Bucket List? Maybe Not

Bucket List? Maybe Not

Bucket List? Maybe Not

Every now and again I read about people’s Bucket Lists.  I suppose they were made popular by the movie of the same title starring Jack Nicholas and Morgan Freeman.  I like the movie but I’ve never made a personal bucket list which is slightly odd considering I am a list maker.

Last week, while on vacation with my husband, we spent some time each day reading the book, Praying with Ignatius of Loyola by Jacqueline Syrup Bergan and Marie Schwan.  I have worked through the Spiritual Exercises before but was more than happy to read, pray, and reflect through this adaptation.  One day, while out driving in the mountains of Western North Carolina I began to ponder what would be on my “bucket list” as I saw billboards advertising Zip-lining, hiking, and whitewater rafting along with wineries and mini-golf.

I was almost ready to begin my list, at least in my head, since I was driving, when I stopped myself and realized I could not make a list.  Not now.  Possibly not ever.  Why? Because I was in the midst of following Ignatius as he offers his life up to God for His glory.  He strived to desire nothing more than God wanted for him and I want that as well.  Now, I am nowhere near Ignatius in terms of surrender of worldly pursuits and desires, but I am working on it, slowly moving into trying to understand what God’s will is for my life.  So right now, a bucket list would focus so much I what I want to do in my life rather than let it unfold in front of me according to God’s plan.

There is always that line though between waiting for the billboard that says “Deanna, Go here, do this, it’s the plan. Love, God” and prayerfully discerning what should happen.  I suppose that’s one reason I like the quote “Pray as if it all depends on God and work as if it all depends on you” (sometimes attributed to Ignatius of Loyola, sometimes St. Augustine).  I pray, I plan, I pray, I move forward, I grow in trusting God.

But for me, for now, no bucket list.  I’m leaving that up to my Father.

Copyright 2013 Deanna Bartalini


About Author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She and her husband Deacon John have two married children and a grandson. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog, and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com. Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She has written “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” one book in the series of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women published by Gracewatch Media. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.


  1. sheri wohlfert on

    I LOVED this post! I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about this very thing for the past few months. My goal has been to make a stronger effort in prayer to give up my list and my plans and seek His…this was exactly the jolt I needed today. Thank you! Blessings on your day!

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