Day 16 of 21 Days of Healing: Get a Bigger Bucket

Day 16 of 21 Days of Healing: Get a Bigger Bucket December 23, 2014
CC image from Golden Alpine Valley Facebook

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts

God delights in you. (Brain work.)

Day 16

By now, you probably have figured out what’s coming today. Yep, that’s right. What are the big things you want to do?

All my life I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Guess what? Last spring we went. The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, The Petrified Forest, Sedona, the Rocky Mountains and much more. What beauty! What majesty! We were awed. And delighted. We came home with something like 14,000 pictures between our camera, phone cameras, and two iPads. Absolute splendor.

Next, I think we are going to go south because it will probably be during my spring break. And then east. I attended a conference in Washington DC when I was in college and when my son’s choir toured through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and up to Maine, my husband and I were chaperones. But there was little sight-seeing and I really want to visit the historical monuments and Civil War sights.

Also on my list are the redwoods in California, Glacier National Park, Nashville, and Niagra Falls. That’s a bit of my traveling list.

Other things in my big bucket are:
Write a book.
Build a greenhouse.
Finish quilting my grandmother’s quilt tops.
Become a master gardener.
Start a business.

I always thought I would have to wait until I retire to work on any of these projects, but now I can actually work toward them or even on them. My world has opened up in so many ways without the hundreds of hours per year we were spending at the church.

Now, I’m not saying that if you are still involved in a church and are volunteering and giving, that those are bad things. No, no, no! They are wonderful things. But if, as part of the abusive environment you were in you were like me and the volunteering and giving were so extreme and so “expensive” that you lost yourself – because really, if you don’t have money or time to live the life and do the things you dream of doing, reasonable things that lots of other people at your church have been doing for years because they didn’t have to measure up to the extreme standards expected of you – now is a good time to make up for all of those lost years that the locusts have eaten.

Even if it’s just sitting on your front porch watching the world go by.

We live in a 103 year old house with a beautiful front porch. We always thought how wonderful it would be to just go out on the porch weekend mornings in the spring, summer, and fall, and have coffee or breakfast. How wonderful it would be to sit there on hot afternoons and enjoy the shade and the breeze. How wonderful it would be to sit out there and read. How wonderful it would be to sit out there.

We filled it with beautiful outdoor furniture. That never got used.

Ultimately, for many, many years, we never had a Sabbath. Because we worked on Sundays. And while the church staff got Monday’s off for their Sabbath, we went back to our weekday jobs.

I know that porch sitting might sound like it should go in the smaller bucket list. But it’s on my big one. And I’m keeping it there.

What’s on your big bucket list? Why don’t you start making some plans to do one of those things or, better yet, just get out there and do it?

I guarantee that it will bring to you a measure of healing.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16

Ellen is a member of the SASBN and she blogs at When Church Hurts

More about Ellen:

Several years ago I was the victim of a most heinous form of abuse unlike anything I had ever thought possible. Not having been raised in a Christian home, my first experience with Christians and pastors had been one of joy, grace, fellowship, love, and delight. When faced with the horrors of having the very essence of who I was as a woman of faith stripped from me in what I can only describe as spiritual rape, I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. This was church, after all, and I believed that everything works together for good for those who love God. Somehow, it didn’t make sense that everything was not working together for good. When I was finally able to resign myself to the fact that God was not going to “work this out,” I made my escape and sought a safe haven. 
Little did I realize that I was going from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. Oh, how I tried to beat back the flames! Oh, how I prayed and pleaded for mercy, for grace, for a chance. “But hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will toward” Ellen. 
He who began a good work . . . had forsaken me . . . and the silence was more than deafening . . . it was defeating. So intertwined were we, that as God went missing, so did Ellen. But I am nothing, if not tenacious.

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