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A Simplified Birthday Bucket List
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For the past few years I’ve created an annual bucket list around my birthday with items that I’d like to accomplish or attempt before my next birthday comes around. I’ve corresponded the number on the list with the number I am turning; last year I turned twenty-nine so I created a list of twenty-nine things to do while I was twenty-nine (easy enough, right?).

This has served me well for the last few years but this time I knew I wanted something different, something simpler.

For the past couple of years I have been a journey of learning (and often re-learning) how to live a more simple life and this year I knew I wanted that bleed over into my annual birthday list. I didn’t want to create a list that was full of “fillers” just so I could get thirty items.

This year I want to live with more intention and I want my list to show it.

I decided that this year I would simplify my birthday list by asking myself one question for every item I contemplated putting on my list, if I couldn’t answer the question, the item didn’t get put on my list. If you receive my monthly(ish) newsletter you will have found out last weekend that the one question I am asking myself is:

how can I honor God in this?

This one question has ruled out a number of different items I considered putting on my list and has helped me to get a vision and really focus on this upcoming year and decade of my life.

I ended up coming away with only five items on my list, and while I am going to share them here I’m not actually going to share my answers to my question of how I can honor God in each item. Some of them will be easy enough to figure out and that’s fine but some I just didn’t care to share right now.

With that in mind these are the items I have on this years list:

01. practice my craft – for me this means doing lots of writing, taking lots of pictures and continuing to learn how to tell stories through both.

02. live intentionally – I want to be present in the now, not always wishing for the future, I want to be intentional with the possessions I have as well as the events on my schedule. I want to make sure that every item I have in my home has a purpose, if I am living with more than I need than it ends up just being a distraction and I want to ask myself, could I sell this item and use the money in a better way?

03. homeschool my kids – I am still kind of shocked that we will be homeschooling this next year, five years ago I never would have believed it and yet here we (almost) are. I want to focus on character building with my children as well as the academics, the act of homeschooling fits very well with our family values and I plan on breaking that down in a future post.

04. use our home as a gathering place – this has been a process over the last few years, and one that I want to continue, and as our backyard gets a little closer to completion I am looking forward to being able to host people back there.

05. travel – this year Jared and I have plans to finally go on our 10/30 trip (this year is our tenth anniversary and we both turn thirty), we have zero ideas where we are going yet but I would love for the opportunity to help out a mission organization in some way wherever it is we end up going (I’d especially love it if I could help out with photography & storytelling in some way).

And that’s it! Just a simplified bucket list for my year, I’m hoping the simplicity of the list will help me to keep each of these ideas at the forefront of my mind throughout the year.

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  1. You should go to Iceland. I don’t know of any mission opportunities there, but it is gorgeous and well worth the money. It’s even better if you can rent a camper and drive yourself around. Just my two cents.

    1. Have you been before? I’ve seen so many gorgeous photo, it’s definitely on my list of places to visit “one day”!

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