a new kind of bucket list...

Friday, August 31

a few days ago my brain waves were altered when I read Ann Voskamp's blog post entitled
 "How to Live the Really Best Bucket List". 

we ALL have a bucket list. 
admit it. 
there are experiences you are DYING to have, and even if you haven't written them out,
you still long for them. 

Ann begins the impact....
Oxford Dictionary defines a Bucket List as this 
"a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime." 

Like a number of experiences I hope to have — instead of a number of experiences I thank Him for having?

Why does the list of want-to-experiences continue to grow — instead of the list of thanks-for-this experiences?

Why want more to fill our bucket — when I haven’t thanked God for all the ways He’s already filled my cup?

I don’t want a bucket list as much as I want a poured bucket list. I’m thinking:

The best lives don’t have Bucket Lists as much as they have Empty Bucket lists.

Because the thing is when I kick the bucket, I don’t want there to be anything left in my bucket. When I kick the bucket, I want the bucket right empty.

I don’t want my life to be how I took experiences — but that I gave exceedingly.

That I gave every last drop, that I poured it all out, that I held nothing back. 
Because the way to really live is not to try to fill your life up — but to spill your life out."

{if you want to read the entire post, click here}

my heart raced as these words passed through my mind. 
YES, instead of looking to add the next big excitement to my life,
and becoming disillusioned when it didn't happen fast enough,
I began to yearn to THANK GOD for the buckets He's ALREADY FILLED
and filled overflowing to the brim!
and open clenched fists to say,
"pour me"

"pour me out Abba" 
"so that all you've filled in my buckets is given BACK to you"

because isn't that the way of Christ?
blessed to be a blessing. 
poured into to be poured out. 

so as I reflected on this last week, and changed my view of "buckets"
here are the beautiful ways in which I saw God at work in my buckets,
pouring in and then pouring me out....

this past March, i spoke at a missions conference in the central valley. 
i shared at 5 different churches during the week, and it was such an incredible experience. 
in one tiny little farming town, i met sweet Laurie. 
she is a pastor's wife that loves her flock, and gives and gives and gives till there is nothing left.
because that's how much she loves. 
and when i met her, she was tired, and exhausted and happy to have other women of faith to talk with. 
during the year  my co-worker Diana and I would talk to Laurie on the phone,
and as always, she was loving others till it hurt. 
Diana and I felt the Lord nudging us to encourage this special woman in some way. 
so we planned a retreat for Laurie,
with lots of pampering, worship music, scripture reading, prayer, beach time and yummy food. 
Laurie came last weekend to my house, and Diana and I were given the most special opportunity to love this woman of God. 
we laughed together, and cried together, and fellowshipped in a most divine way. 
and the spirit was there. 
loving us tenderly. 
and when we said our goodbyes, i realized it was the best way to spend 3 days of my life. 
loving and encouraging those around me, and being encouraged myself! 
buckets poured out. 
{i was informed that posing with your arm like so reduces arm girth. who knew? now I do, ha}

many of you remember the VBS Kev and I hosted at our house this summer for the neighbor kids (here)
well, our life group didn't want it to just end with that, there was a hunger to be in deeper waters with these kids. to know them by name and see them regularly. 
so we prayed and felt God calling us to continue hosting mini-vbs's once a month
an hour before we met for life group. 
and last night it happened. 
and it was magic. 
as usual it was ghetto and last minute 
{but isn't that the way of the spirit?}
and we were making up hand motions to kiddie songs we found on a cd laying around our house-
songs that we didn't know the words too but learned fast
 (at least there is something good about repetitive lyrics!)
we told the story of the good samaritan by an impromptu skit,
and broke into small groups and had the kids discuss ways they could encourage those around them. 
and then of course we played games, because what is EVER complete without games? 
i'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
but again, the beauty in being poured out for the KINGDOM
is far far more exhilarating than any bucket list item we could ever dream up. 

so here's to creating a NEW KIND OF BUCKET LIST! 
one in which you are thankful for the buckets He's filled
and ready to pour out His blessing upon others. 

happy happy labor day weekend friends:) 
here's to pouring it out...

love Katie 

travel log: juneau, alaska

Monday, August 27

our second day in alaska
we discovered the amazing capitol city of juneau. 
looking at the small population of the town (ringing in at a whopping 30,000 ppl), 
you would NEVER guess that Juneau is the biggest capitol in terms of sheer land in the entire US...
(yes, that little fun fact came in quite handy during a cruise trivia competition...i'm glad my sister was listening!)

speaking of land mass,
i'm convinced I saw most of juneau from a bike on a sore bum.
my dad, who is quite the avid cycler
decided it would be a great idea for our family to take a 20 mile bike ride to see the Mendenhall glacier. 

and it was a good idea...before and after the ride. 
during it,
i honestly thought i was going to keel over and die. 
am I being dramatic? 
no (well, maybe)
but it's no secret i'm the worst biker in our family because I have no zero muscle anymore after slaving away at a desk job for a few years (well, maybe not slaving, but you know...)
i was freezing cold (because come on people, we're biking around glaciers!)
the wind was blowing hard right at me that all i could do was put one foot in front of the other for fear that if i went any slower i would literally start blowing backwards (no joke). 
my saving grace was that i was wearing the sweetest bright neon yellow poncho so at least if i started blowing away someone might see me! 

but despite the actual ride (which really was fun), the glacier was seriously breathtaking! 
before juneau i had no idea or concept of what a glacier really was, and it was beautiful to see the ice wall wedged between the 2 mountains. 

after the epic ride, we showered and went back out into juneau. it has some really adorable and colorful downtown streets, the quaintest little book store i've ever seen (where i indulged in a dark chocolate and coconut bar) and some awesome pubs that showcased the olympics:) 

Juneau, thanks for the most wonderful memories with my family:) 
I hope I see you again (and next time in better biking shape!)
love Katie 
{fyi, a lot of yellow poncho action is coming your way...consider yourself warned!}
 {notice my fuzzy beanie under the helmut...that's how cold it was people! i don't generally look like a dork for NO reason...ha}
 {whoa nelly, we're like the freakin sun in this picture it's blinding!}
{zumba moves...get it!!!}
 {glacier glory}
 {dad and his mini-me, girl version}
 {dad and his lone boy...love these guys}
have a wonderful week dear friends:) 
may we rest in the beauty God has created all around us, and thank him for the beauty of today. 

to journey with one's best friend

Wednesday, August 22

 it is so easy to become discontent
it's like one minute we're resting peace
and the next these big hazel eyes take their focus off the eternal
and onto the "could haves" 

and tonight amidst all the blessing
i sat raw in a pile of wishes
beating myself up for self-perceived wrong decisions

it's true, it happens to the best of us

but that's when i discover why Abba sends us out in two's
because when one falls down, the other is there to help them up
we're stronger when we have a truth teller on our side
because truth is light, and it pierces through that darkness in hurried sparks
ready to evoke and enhance the faith we cling to

kevin has this way of making me laugh, smile, and bask in God's truth
the truth that blessing surrounds. 
no need to look elsewhere. 
the truth that i make good decisions
and that God is pleased with me, 
and his love is like a never-ending well springing forth acceptance at ALL times
so I praise our Father for the gift of a journeyer 
by my side
that has committed his life to Abba and to me
the "i do"
that means a lifetime of love, patience support, and truth. 

yes, it is a gift to journey with a man of the Lord. 
because all the niceties aside,
on those bad days,
God uses those that know us most,
to breath his deep life upon us. 

love Katie 

travel log: ketchikan, alaska

Tuesday, August 21

alaska was magnificent
a wonderful escape from the heat wave of the summer
and such a blessing to be with my family. 

i discovered that cruises are really perfect for family reunions. 
you can do your own thing, but always come together for dinner, which was really a treat 
(no pun intended)
almost 20 of my family members came, and it was a blast. 

the ladies did zumba every morning
our family killed it in trivia (and by killing it we failed miserably, but had so much fun!)
we laughed at comedians, saw dance shows, and really just enjoyed one another. 
oh yeah, and my sisters and I sang "wanna be" at karaoke
it was seriously the best thing ever, 
especially because our whole family was in RazMataz bar, including my almost 90 year old grandpa. 
when we got done, gramps looked at us and said "what the heck did you sing?"
evidently spice-mania never hit him. 

we had 5 days where the boat was docked. 
our very first port we explored was ketchikan
evidently alaska's "first city"
it was extremely quaint and adorable, i loved it. 

it was a nice mix of hiking to the totem pole national park
seeing bald eagles in the wild
and soaking up the local blueberry festival! 

at the end of the day, dad, peter, kevin and I all went and found an irish pub
where we watched the olympics 
(as a side-note, the cruise didn't offer the olympics, and when I found out i cried, like really, heavy tears fell! but it ended up allowing me to take more advantage of the cruise and all it had to offer, so i ended up seeing it as a good thing!)

ketchikan is a must see in alaska, it's adorable! enjoy the pictures:)
 {the totem poles were really amazing}
{so of course polly and i had to climb on them}
 {i was so excited that we saw a bald eagle in the wild, that the next people that walked down the path i excitedly pointed out the eagle, and they were like "oh, we live there, we see them all the time." like no big deal! i felt so lame, haha!}
{alaska: home of the creepy howling wolf shirt.}
{creek street! cute now, but it used to be alaska's first red light district!}
 {love this handsome man}
 {YES, we are having fun!}
{evidently ketchikan is the salmon capitol of the world! go ketchikan!} 
 {walking to the irish pub, and then watching some olympics with my most favorite men!}
{as we pulled away from the port, this is the beautiful view we saw. just stunning!}

enjoy your sweet tuesday friends! 
love love love