Friday, January 20, 2012

15 out of 30

I last posted about my endeavor to accomplish 30 new and exciting things before my 30th birthday.

I only hit 15 items.

This could feel like a failure... except for the fact that I'm pretty proud of a few of the items on my list. I worried that they would all end up being about food. I had intentions to make it to my in-law's house and attempt to walk on stilts. I wanted to take a cycling class. I planned to run a 9 minute mile. I had so many more things that I really wanted to accomplish.

But then something happened this week that reminded once again how quickly everything can change. A close friend lost her 8 year-old nephew to leukemia. His journey was long and hard, but in the last 6 months of his life Liam decided to help raise money to dig fresh water wells. In his dad's words: After his relapse, in an attempt to make each day as meaningful as it could be, we decided that every day in the hospital should include three important things: learning something, making something and loving someone. After one conversation about how to love people, we ended up at the Water Project's website, and Liam started raising money to dig wells for people who have no clean water.

Because of his beautiful life over $30,000 dollars has been raised for the Water Project.

There I was lamenting not having enough time to learn to make hummus and Liam wanted to bring fresh water to the world.

These past weeks I casually tried new foods, listened to sports radio, learned how to juggle, memorized Hebrew, and pushed myself to run a 1/2 marathon. It was a fun way to finish off my twenties.

But for this year and for this life, I want so much more. I want to live better.

I want to be more like these people...

1. Liam, who lived well and full of life- giving wells of life to others.
2. Shannon, who falls on her face and prays for the orphans of the world.
3. My dad who who plays the piano for Alzheimer patients who don't remember after he leaves, but who dance and sing while he's there.
4. Becca, who is currently fostering two boys as a single mom.
5. Carson, who is making friends with the homeless men in our area.
6. My mother-in-law, who has volunteered at a homeless shelter for over 20 years.
7. Carey, who dreams big and listens intently for the voice of our Father.
8. Mary, whose heart for refugees could hold up the whole world.
9. Megan, who adopted one and her heart breaks for every other child in the foster system.
10. My mother, who makes the Bible come alive to children.
11. Annie, who gets back up every time and makes again something beautiful.
12. Clay, who reminds me how much God loves His sheep.
13. My husband, who sees and loves every child he's ever met.
14. Suzie, who will take in strangers and love them like family.
15. Virginia, whose hugs feel like home.
16. Grandma, who shows me what love looks like.
17. Kacie, who asks the questions that make you stop and think.
18. Whitney, who gives freely and generously to those she loves.
19. Erin and Jon, whose hearts have been on mission from the very start.
20. Abby, who is faithfully walking through fire.
21. Angie, who reminds me to live adventurously.
22. Lauren, whose loyalty strengthens and affirms everyone around her.
23. Valerie, who shows me what it means to "rejoice when others rejoice."
24. Jack, who challenges us to stop making excuses.
25. Scott, who points everyone back to the gospel over and over.
26. Lauren, who teaches me that God's portion is good.
27. Mike, who reminds me to live life with two scoops.
28. Chauncey, who is faithful to the very end.
29. Brian, who is living it out on the front lines.
30. Fernando and Carrie Fay, who show me what family looks like.

And I could go on and on. You know that right? Rather than having a list of things to do before I die, I just want to remember to live. That's the whole point, isn't it? Life is so short and so precious. I'm so thankful for the gift of that reminder this week. I'm thankful for so many to love and for so many who love me back. I'm so thankful for so many examples of how to live and love well.

Birthday request: Tell someone you love them today. And if you feel so inclined, donate to help Liam finish another well.

Here's to 30, and doing it well.

Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ John 7:38, NIV


Valerie said...


hootenannie said...

This - "rather than having a list of things to do before I die, I just want to remember to live" - this is exactly, exactly what I need.

You inspire me, G, in so many ways. Thank you for reminding me of what's important, and what's true.

Praying for peace for Liam's family's soul-ache, and for so many blessings on you as you enter your 30s tomorrow. Much love.

shannonmichaelis said...

I think you wrote this a month ago which shows how little I have been on google reader as of late. Great perspective and yes, we could all strive for more of heaven and less of us. Love you!