Walls, foundations and bucket lists

We like to travel. Actually, we love to travel. I was born with the “let’s go” gene. And I believe the hubby was, too. So, we have done a lot of traveling when possible. Life has put a bit of a cramp in that plan, but still, we travel.

Recently as we were walking on one of our favorite trails at the lake where we’re camped, I said, “You’re 68. I’m 67. We need to determine the things we want to do, places we want to see while we still are able to do such.” He replied, “We still have thirty years of living for all that”. And he’s the math whiz??

We’re at the age when our “bucket list” gets a lot of conversation. But, truly, my main desire is to live out this last chapter in a way that matters. Today my Bible reading included Isaiah 58. Words like these:

Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not turn away from your own flesh and blood. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. You will be the repairer of Broken Walls, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:7-8, 12‬ ‭

Oh, Isaiah, how powerful the words God gave you to speak. Did you know when you spoke them that these words would still be read over two thousand years later?

I want to be the repairer of Broken Walls, building again on old foundations. Not literally, of course. I’m a 67 year old woman with little to no constructional skills.

I think God is speaking of relationships primarily. Caring for those in need and meeting those needs as much as possible. The words that speak to me right now are these: “and do not turn away from your own flesh and blood.”

I know many people are alienated from members of their family for one reason or another. Sometimes those reasons seem justified. But are they? I’m thankful for the grace that has kept my family together, when honestly there are plenty of “one reason or another” for our family to be fractured and broken.

And then, for me personally, I’m acutely aware of my particular “flesh and blood” role. I am the youngest of four girls. My sisters were 18, 16, 15 when I was born. Old enough to have given birth to me actually. I always joked that I didn’t have one mother, I had 4 mothers. And I braced myself for the day I’d lose my mom. It was awful. I was 37, she was 78, and wow the pain was so deep. Now, I’m 67. My sisters are 84, 82, 81.

**momentary silence**

I feel like I’m going to lose three more moms. Of course, God only knows, maybe I’ll go first. But mathematically, my feeling is justified.

Sharon, the oldest, disabled sister, was just diagnosed with cancer. She’s mentally and intellectually disabled. Often I can’t understand what she is trying to say, or she’s having behavior issues that I need to talk her down from. I’m her guardian. Yesterday I visited her at the group home where she lives. She said, perfectly intelligibly and clearly: “Hi, Bunny, thank you so much for coming to see me.” She showed me the jigsaw puzzle she is working on, and I showed her the new one I brought her to put together later. She said “I went to Sunflower (day care services) today. It was a good day and I didn’t get into any fights.” I told her it was good to see her so happy. She said, “I am happy. I am happy just to still be alive”. Her voice cracked when she said it. Then she grabbed me and hugged me for a long time. I wrapped my arms around her and held her close to hide my tears

What’s on your bucket list? I’d like to travel with my husband. I’d like to see my grandkids grow to adulthood. Maybe those will happen. Maybe they won’t. That’s okay. Really, it is.

What do I really want to happen the most? Eternity with my family in heaven. Eternity in heaven with y’all. Circle unbroken.

Rebuild some walls. Restore the ruined homes. Do what matters

15 thoughts on “Walls, foundations and bucket lists

  1. I like it, SimplyB. I like it a lot! It’s almost always a good idea to stretch the circle wider—to include more people. I appreciate what you said about my own flesh and blood. I’m not estranged from my adult sons but they live far away. I need to be more purposeful about staying in touch.
    Great post. Thank you, and God Bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful moment with your sister Benita! You have been blessed with big sister mums!
    I love how you have highlighted those verses and that relationships are actually what matter most, and to have those and eternity on our bucket list is priceless! 💕
    When I went through cancer last year I read an amazing book called “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp. One thing she talked about is that life is not about how much we can fill our buckets before we die, but how much we can empty our buckets before we die. It impacted me a lot! That said, my husband and I also love to camp and traveling more around Australia is something we would love to do, but since reading that book I must admit my whole concept of a bucket list has been turned upside down!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Benita, this post is beautiful. It affirms a number of things I’ve been recently pondering and praying about. Though you wrote it almost two months ago God used your writing to minister to me today. The message is timeless like you spoke of Isaiah’s words being–our God is awesome like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Manette, I’m so thankful that God used these words to minister to your heart. Yes, God is SO VERY awesome! Praise His holy name. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Touched my heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like David, I like it a lot…You put many of my random thoughts lately into words. I am your husbands age. My wife and I have these conversations. We would be travelers and get in some adventures but take care of a very handicapped daughter full time. The lists in our buckets are old but still legible. I love the Isaiah passage and we are a part of lives around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments, Gary. My heart goes out to you and your wife as you are caring for your precious daughter full time. Praying for God to bless you and keep you, that His face would shine upon you and be gracious to you today. I appreciate you taking time to read and your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

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