In March, I decided to start a #30before30 bucket list. I asked friends and family for ideas and pieced together a list of thirty goals to accomplish in the next six months. Here’s the list in all her glory:
1. Read the Harry Potter series
Take a bubble bath
3. Color a page to completion
4. Go horseback riding
Write a worship song
6. Watch the BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice”
Submit a guest post to a Christian blog
8. Make a Shutterfly album
9. Moisturize my elbows
Go to Tom + Chee
11. Reupholster our dining room chairs
12. Do a Paint Nite
13. Keep a prayer journal
14. Learn how to do a new braid
Make 30 blessing meals for families or individuals
16. Go swimming with my kids
17. Learn how to prune bushes
18. Paint our bedroom
Take an overnight trip with Dan
Invest in friendships
22. Hang out with all four of my sisters just for fun
Read a biography
24. High tea
25. Church scripture memory
Get a massage
Sit in a hot tub
Teach Duke a trick
Go to Northwestern
30. Create a will
Today, is the big 3-0, and I am pleased to tell you that I failed my #30before30 challenge. It’s what I now affectionately refer to as my #13before30.
Six months ago, I would have been sad had future Chelsea told me that I wouldn’t complete it. But today, I’m content.
Shock in the Night
I drafted this list in March, and a month later, my life flashed before my eyes when I went into anaphylactic shock in the dark hours of the night.
The morning after my incident, I had a greater sense of urgency. But it wasn’t directed toward the bucket list, it was pointed straight at my heart.
I suddenly became acutely aware that God is the one breathing life into me each morning and that my life is not my own. The “bucket list” isn’t mine to make. It’s his.
A Bucket List of Two
My bucket list changed that day from thirty to two:
1. Love God and seek his face.
Before my episode, I was a sporadic Bible reader at best. With three little ones, I convinced myself that I never had the time.
But thanks be to God for revealing my need for him and his word! Today, I wake up like David and say, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
I now realize that things of this world will never satisfy me like Christ. They can offer temporary joy, but he alone gives me abundant life (John 10:10).
2. Love others by pointing them to Jesus.
If you’ve been around here long, you may have noticed an uptick in my writing beginning in April. Before then, I was lucky to write something every few months.
Yes, #7 on the list was “submit a guest post to a blog,” but can I tell you what really happened? As I beheld the face of Jesus through God’s word, I couldn’t keep silent!
As scripture says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). My heart overflowed with words about Jesus, and I had to write them down. I wanted to tell everyone about this man who lived and died and rose so that we–yes, you and me!–could be in right relationship with God.
I did the work of submitting an article to Desiring God and building a website and developing a social media presence, but it was GOD who did the work in me, friends. What you see on the screen is truly a testament to the transforming work of Jesus Christ in my life.
For Jesus’ Sake
Today, I’ll check #10, 20, 21, and 27 off the list because it’s good to have goals and dreams and fun! But at the end of the day, those things won’t matter.
What will matter is if I’ve loved God and others well. If I reach the end of my life and can check those two goals off my list, then I will die happy. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. I proclaim not myself but Jesus Christ as Lord, with myself as your servant for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:5-6).