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 


  1. This post made me smile so much! I love reading how God is growing you & using you!


  2. So glad you're getting to spend more time with the kiddos :)

  3. Love this! You're so special and I LOVE this insight :)

    HAPPY WEEKEND, friend!

  4. I think most people think about getting POURED INTO instead of POURED OUT. What a beautiful post.

  5. So awesome girl!! SO true!! It's crazy how much joy we can find when we look for things in our lives to be grateful for! Love that y'all did another mini VBS, you guys are awesome!

  6. This is amazing and such a convicting reminder :) You are wise, friend. I love the photos, as well - what a beautiful ministry!

  7. wow this is so sweet. what irreplaceable experiences those are. plus, i think the more thankful we are for the experiences God gives us, He gives us even more :D

  8. Wow Katie. Talk about a powerful concept... and you encourage it so perfectly =D

  9. I LOVE this! I swear, the minute I open your blog I am instantly encouraged :) It's amazing everything God has done in your life in only a few short months.

  10. "as usual it was ghetto and last minute {but isn't that the way of the spirit?}" <--- LOVE IT. So good talking to you the other day! I miss you so much! Hugs!

  11. To be more like you I think is on my bucket list :) Truly-this is so beautiful. So perfect. Thank you for always encouraging and exhorting me to live like Jesus.

  12. I love this way of thinking! The quote on your picture is perfect and just makes SO much sense!

  13. This is beautiful! I love the idea of living with the goal of having an empty bucket! It seems so much easier to give things away than to accumulate them. You've encouraged me once again -thank you Katie!

  14. You are precious my friend and your heart is so lovely. I'm sure we could totally be friends in real life :) Sounds like your weekend was a great one!

  15. I think this just hit one of my favorite posts in the blog world EVER! Katie! PRAISE JESUS and the Work He is doing in your community through your obedience! I LOVE IT!

  16. THIS IS AMAZING !!!! i'm going to take some time to think about this and really write out what God has poured into me so that I can just overflow it to this world :)
    you're awesome!

  17. LOVE. THIS.

    it reminds me of the bethany dillon song: "when You build, it feels like You tear me apart / when You heal, it always leaves a scar / and even when You fill, You leave me with a beggar's heart." this is the paradox of the gospel: that we are given, so that we might give; that we are taught, so that we might teach; that, as you said, we are poured into, that we might pour out, and all for His glory alone.

  18. wow. this is truly amazing. i love this and i know that god completely used you to speak to me through this post. thank you for being you and pouring your heart out :)

  19. katie!!!
    i love that quote! sounds like an awesome way to live!
    <3 lean


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