Overflowing With Appreciation

She is only 19 years old.

A beautiful, fresh-faced, sweet spirited, wise-beyond-her-years young lady.

God knew our paths would cross last weekend. I had no intention of spending Saturday in the place that I did, but that changed immediately and definitively on Friday. In little (but oh so charming) Lindsborg, Kansas, the eyes of my heart received bifocals and my spirit was inspired by a girl named Ashley.

A friend and I had stopped by her table at a scrapbook retreat. She had not been there on Friday and so we introduced ourselves and asked what she was working on.  We were not prepared for the answer.

“My Bucket List Album”, she said with a smile. She offered to show us the work that she has just recently begun. We were eager to see! After all, how many 19 year olds have a “Bucket List?” She turned her album for better viewing. The first entry: High School Graduation.

My heart was instantly arrested and inspired.  This Bucket List was different from the list of longings so many of us jot down with vague hopes  that someday they may come true.

She explained that her “Bucket List”  is not the things she dreams she could do before she dies. Instead, it is a record of the opportunities that she has already had. She smiles with gratitude as she continues to turn the pages.

The second entry: Go to College. Check!  She is in her Sophomore year at Sterling College.

The third entry: See Snow. She is from Riverside, California and had never seen snow before coming to Kansas.  On this same layout was a picture of her first coat. Being a California girl myself, I completely related to this one!

The next entry: Be in a College Production.  Accomplished, with pictures to prove it! {Her prerequisite for herself is that each Bucket List entry must have a picture to prove it!}

The last entry: Walk on Water… a page filled with pictures that document her walking on {frozen} water!

I thought about Ashley’s perspective all afternoon. What an incredible twist on ‘gratitude’ and ‘abundance!’ How insightful and refreshing!  I thought about all the opportunities I have had in my lifetime; the places that I have seen, the people that I have met and the lessons I have learned along the way. I thought about the movies “A Walk to Remember” and “The Last Holiday” that show what can happen when we write down the ‘Possibilities.’ Ashley’s perspective, however, was different from all the ways I had ever looked at a “Bucket List.”  Filled with recognition and overflowing with appreciation, her way more-than-half full glass filled my cup as well.

I absolutely love when inspiration finds me.  I was so grateful to be at that retreat, to have met the wonderful women I met, and to finish projects I had started. The highlight of the weekend, however, was the inspiration I took with me from Ashley’s album. Before I left, I asked her permission to share this story. She happily agreed to let me.  This week I have continued to feed off that inspiration. I want to start a Bucket List album like Ashley’s and have been pondering what to put in there and what pictures I have to back up my gratitude.

What a wonderful life lesson!  Thank you so much Ashley for letting your light shine, for sharing so willingly and for being just who God created you to be.

Filling Buckets With Gratitude With You,

About debbierivers

I love to share what I can whenever I can. My goal is to live simply and love lavishly. I enjoy inspiring others with my writing. I am married to Steve and am the mother to two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Jenna, and grandmother to Kinsley. My desire is to encourage and to bless others through my life and my words.
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3 Responses to Overflowing With Appreciation

  1. Debra Miller says:

    Amazing – what an inspiration!

  2. Love this! thank you for sharing this!! 🙂

  3. Rachel Guillot says:

    What a concept!! To live with appreciation at the opportunities that present themselves in our day-to-day!

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