Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Energizing Relationships With Your Bucket List

Many have now seen the movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman where two older men decide to write lists of things they've always wanted to do before they kick the bucket.  Unfortunately too many people wait to write, much less actually start fulfilling, their bucket list until they're too old or ill.

However, a list of important goals and dreams has the potential to keep both a marriage and family energized, exciting and meaningful as long as we actually do something with the list.

For example, I had always wanted to climb 14,000 foot challenging mountain Longs Peak in Colorado. I had actually done part of it once when I was 11 but my dad and I got altitude sickness and had to go back down. I vowed that someday I would conquer it. When my son was 13 we decided that we would climb at least three 14'ers before he got out of high school. An item on our bucket list.

We ended up starting with (and completing I might add!) Longs and actually did four total with another coming after he was married. Those are memories we will never forget and added a love for the mountains to the lives of our children.

Speaking of mountains I had also dreamed of going to Switzerland and seeing the Matterhorn. On our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary we did just that and had an incredible anniversary trip including five days in Zermatt, the home of that historic mountain.

Bucket list items may be personal, vocational, spiritual or service-oriented. Bucket list items can teach us about faith, determination, thinking of others and risk-taking. They can challenge us to trust God to do things much bigger than we are. Bucket list challenges can cost us something but the investment is usually worth it. We may have to give up something else but why not if the goal is worthwhile?

Our lists can also get us talking about the things that really matter in our lives. They can cause us to focus on how we use our time and spend our money. And planning is half or more of the fun! It's something you and/or your family can do together with great enthusiasm and anticipation.

I just took my fourteenth trip to Russia in September and from those visits I have a goal of spending a year or more someday in Russia, perhaps helping a church, pastor or ministry free of charge. We'll see if that happens but at least I'm thinking about it. It's caused me to try to learn Russian which I love doing.

Somehow, I'd be much less of a person, husband and dad without my list. How about you?
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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