Last year at this time, I was learning to believe that my life could be good. That there would be things in it that would make it good, that would have purpose, that would awaken the dreams that had become dormant. Because… I didn’t believe those things.
Here I am now, in a place I would never have guessed I’d be. I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be able to do what I’ve done, or that I could have hope even as I grieve what I’ve lost. Life looks different than I thought it would.
But I’m excited to see more of it.
I am fully aware that anything is possible, because He is leading me into His life. Life.
I made a list at the beginning of this year, a list of a hundred good things that could possibly exist in my life. Since then, I’ve continued to list things for when I need reminding. I’ve reached one hundred again. And I would completely recommend that you do something like this if life doesn’t sound like a beautiful thing to you today. Your dreams and your hopes are not fruitless. The Lord sees them and is going to use them to help you live, in complete purpose and joy that won’t fade. Feel free to use anything on my list that whispers joy to your heart.
It’s not a list of things wished for; it’s a list of things to look forward to. I am so excited for us.
Visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand.
Placing flowers at random graves in a graveyard.
Taking an art class again.
Having painting parties.
Taking a tour of the cathedral in my city.
Owning and completing a Wreck This Journal.
Making notebooks and greeting cards for friends.
Giving my textbooks away.
Being reunited with college family.
Throwing darts at paint-filled balloons on a huge canvas like in The Princess Diaries.
Introducing my children to hamsters.
Getting better at art-journaling.
Making prayer-art a regular part of my life.
Loving the gay community in more direct, practical ways.
Decorating with whales.
Having frames full of cherished photos all over my house.
Having craft days with friends.
Going on a book picnic with my sister.
Making dragon eggs from thumb tacks.
Participating in car sing-alongs.
Reading “If You Feel Too Much” by Jamie Tworkowski.
Watching fireworks at our annual Fourth of July barbeques.
Playing Loaded Questions.
Participating in NaNoWriMo.
Owning my own car.
Making more quote signs.
Writing about some of the big things.
Seeing friendships grow deeper.
Watching it snow.
Receiving a bouquet of flowers.
Exploring insane Christmas light displays.
Bringing my children to a farm where they can feed the animals, like my mom did for me.
Getting a new camera.
Creating intricate sidewalk chalk art with friends.
Eating an orange creamsicle.
Owning a bunch of cute, special mugs amassed over the years.
Having bonfires with my favorite people.
Playing with puppies.
Re-watching Bambi and Pinocchio (because I have completely forgotten them).
Finding a purse that suits me.
Giving blankets to cold people.
Roaming huge fields.
Driving in tree-filled areas during the fall.
Seeing the final Hunger Games film.
Hugging people I love.
Owning more band merchandise.
Watching more episodes of great web series (cough“Green Gables Fables”cough).
Painting my kitchen cabinets teal.
Learning to cut my own hair.
Mastering braiding other people’s hair.
Seeing new Pixar movies.
Re-reading old cards from friends and remembering how extravagantly blessed I am to have the people who wrote them.
Celebrating graduations with kids I love.
Owning a Coldplay album.
Growing more associations with albums and seasons of my life.
Jumping through sprinklers with my children.
Talking to my counselor-friend again.
Purging my belongings.
Doing some kind of art collaboration with my brother.
Finally beating Spyro: Year of The Dragon, 117%.
Spray painting objects to make them look modern and trendy.
Taking photos with sparklers.
Finding a copy of my favorite edition of The Secret Garden.
Finding a sunhat that I’ll wear every single day in the summer.
Giving and receiving words of love on our message board.
Using a beautiful wallpaper on an accent wall.
Dressing my children in adorable clothes.
Making food for people.
Going into a bookstore and actually having money to purchase books.
Seeing a munchkin kitty in person.
Watching people I love perform.
Watching sunrises and sunsets.
Making and wearing meaningful jewelry.
Using a glue gun for more projects.
Coming up with brilliant family costumes.
Being in a wedding.
Starting a card and stationary line.
Having more music talks with my dad.
Being part of book launch teams.
Smelling roses and other wonderful smells.
Seeing a children’s choir performance.
Hearing Bob Goff, Ann Voskamp, and Brené Brown speak in person.
Getting back into embroidery.
Being able to spend forever in Powell’s Books.
Owning the new Chris August album.
Having a great answer for the dreaded, “What do you do?” question.
Eating a kiwi.
Attending the weddings of dear friends.
Randomly running into my professors.
Being able to have non-surface relationships with father figures.
No longer having to clean a fish bowl.
Knowing a dear friend of mine is safe from harm.
Taking family car rides to the small town, like we used to.
Catching up with my old art teacher.
Unexpectedly hearing songs that bring me to the most beautiful place of nostalgia.
Having guidance for the next step.