Setting down the bucket

Maggie at 6 weeks

Maggie at 6 weeks

Life is incredibly short.

I was reminded of this yesterday when my husband learned that a friend of his from college had passed away after battling cancer. He was in his early 30s.

As I imagined the grief his family must be experiencing, I held my tiny daughter. Less than seven weeks ago, we brought her home for the first time, and she weighed at least four pounds less than she does now. She has grown and developed right before our eyes; I marvel at the changes on a daily basis.

While praying for this man’s family, and for my husband, I also thanked God for my daughter’s little life. For my own life full of twists and turns. For my husband who God constantly uses to demonstrate His love for me.

“You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” -James 4:14

Last year, I created a bucket list to guide me through the year and motivate me to stay focused. I started my 2013 bucket list a few days ago.

  • Make my dream to operate a cement mixer come true. This was on my list from last year and was one of two items I didn’t get to cross off the list. This year, though…. this will be the year!
  • Graduate from my Master’s in English program in May.
  • Start the tradition of doing devotions with my husband and daughter each night.
  • Hike three new trails.
  • Teach at least one class on the college level after earning my degree.

After getting this far along in the list creation process, I paused.

I am almost positive that I’ll be able to cross these items off my bucket list in 2013, Lord willing. The items on my bucket list are things I’ve wanted to do for a long time, worked toward accomplishing, and have the means to achieve.

But whether or not I finish school, and no matter how many trails I blaze in 2013, I want to live my life right here and now. I want to be where my hands are.

Right now, my hands hold my baby, pat her back to burp her, wrestle with diapers to keep her clean and dry, soothe her skin with lotion, and cradle her fragile frame to feed her. My hands massage my husband’s sore shoulders, bring him coffee, and wipe tears away from laughing at his jokes. My hands do dishes, fold laundry, and carry firewood. My hands fold themselves together in prayer repeatedly throughout each day. My hands turn pages, type encouraging words to friends, and write research papers.

???????????????????????????????My hands are full, and they’re full with what matters.

This year, I might operate that cement mixer, and I might teach a college course, and I might even find myself sitting in a brand new sunroom writing my blog. Who knows?

I know that God has given me the right things to hold onto right now. And I’m going to hold on and let everything else go.

 

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