This evening, I shall be starting my present wrapping! I love this part of Christmas, remembering what I bought and disguising it with brown paper and ribbon.
Earlier today I published a post for my work youth devotional blog on the subject of advent and waiting with hope.
Which leads me to my thoughts today remembering of a recent occurrence that strengthened hope in me.
The Bucket List
Every now and then, I venture into the unknown, which is the back of my under the stairs cupboard. Over in the corner tucked in the side shelf are my old journals. I’ve been wondering for a while what to do with them – some are years old and part of me thinks, just get rid of them. Yet the moment I pick them up to do so (as I did that day) a part of my soul awakens in me and they are quickly shoved back on the shelf. On this occasion as I did so, an A4 piece of paper fell out. Almost immediately I recognised it as a Dreams List. One evening back in 2010 where, for reasons that don’t need to be explained to fulfil this tale I was particularly struggling to align my heart with hope; I took it upon myself to write out some of my hopes and dream. A bucket list perhaps.
As I wrote, I asked God to give me wisdom and hope; a kind of serenity prayer. In an odd way, I was letting go of these things. They were drams and hopes that were distracting me. The discontent was making me miss the season I was in. So I wrote them down and I stored them away leaving them in His capable hands. It seems I revisited it in 2012, and I’m not sure that I have seen it since.
I thought, as I took the piece of paper to my armchair, that I would shamefully read the list with the heaviness that only underachievement and longing can bring. Instead, I began to laugh as I read one by one through the list of 73 items. I laughed both because there were some which I had no idea why I had written them and some which were not that important to me anymore. For some reason it was important to me that I owned my own TV and an ipad. I have had both and now have neither. Hopes can sometimes be unfulfilling. Hopes can be misplaced, there are thing on here that just aren’t important to be know, even though they felt central in that season. God has changed me heart on those things. It gives me hope for now that some dreams which seem so painfully far from me, may never happen and yet this won’t destroy me.
Yet from the moment I had passed these over to God and got on with living my life, following Him, forgetting about these things, it appeared He hadn’t forgotten. I’ve just been merrily getting on with my life, making decisions, planning new experiences, being amazed and thankful for the opportunities that have arisen; yet many of these were on that list. Some of them have even exceeded my initial hope.
2. control diabetes (much better than then!)
5. enjoy exercising (well mostly)
9. Sing in a worship band
14. Teach dance (even if it was for half an hour with beginners!)
16. Buy a house
21. Schools to stay open to our work
29. Find my voice
31. Find a mentor
26. Visit Italy
40. write a song 40a. Have a prophetic song
56. Prophesy to a stranger
65. Be an early riser (at least on bootcamp days I am)
There are of course others unfulfilled, but I have a whole lifetime for them to either fall away or find me.
I wrote the list, not to cling on to these thing for hope, but rather, to loosen my hold and cling onto my one and only hope.
The page will soon be gone again, but for now, I am celebrating and thanking God for what has come, what has fallen and what is yet to be seen.