Mar 2013 02

I always dreamed I’d marry someone like my father. He was exciting, daring, curious, charismatic, and not afraid of anything. I was convinced he walked on water and was pretty sure there was no one out there who could hold a candle to him.

And then came Wolf.

One evening early in our marriage on a flight home from Atlanta I woke up from a nap midway through the trip and noticed him hard at work on a yellow pad. I leaned over to see what he was doing and he hunched over the page, shielding it from my eyes. Now, too intrigued even to respect the privacy of my new husband I begged to see what he was doing. After repeated attempts to peel his fingers off the pad, he finally relented and bashfully showed me what he’d been working on.

Before continuing, it’s probably only fair to tell you that I married “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. No, I mean THE GUY. Both sides of this guy’s brain fire on all cylinders as he goes through life as a business owner, a competitive athlete, chef, adventurer, sculptor, and so many other things. Our daughter says he’s the kind of guy you want to be with when you’re in a real jam because he will just simply get you out of it.

His appetite for adventure and travel were two things that particularly attracted me from the gate. Like my dad, there seemed to be no end to what he’d done or would do. Before we met, this Indiana Jones had experienced a lot of unusual things, exposing himself to a side of life most only see on a beer commercial or read about in a magazine. He had stared down the barrel of an Afghani nomad’s rifle in Band-e-Amir over a fifty cent dispute on his horse. He had paddled with a pod of dolphins a thousand strong while kayaking off Espiritu Santu. He photographed rhinos in the Brahmaputra from the back of an elephant. He once circumvented the entire shoreline of the largest lake in Bali, water skiing so long his fingers couldn’t hold a pen the next day to sign his name. Out of respect for the atoll’s custom, he once ate the heart of a tuna given to him by a Tuamotoan woman while it was still beating. He made mango crepes while 30-foot waves crashed over the bow of the sailboat on which he and his buddies crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He had eaten thousand year old eggs in China, crickets in India, and salamanders in Hong Kong.

But I digress. Back to the yellow pad.

At the top he had written “Things To Do Before I Die”. It started off with
1. Explore Patagonia.
2. Kayak around the islands on the Sea of Cortez.

Okay. Sounds like him. He continued:

3. Sleep on the crater floor at Uhuru Peak.
4. Take Sylvia down the Baja peninsula in the van.
5. Be a greeter at my church.

Wait… what?

The list went on:
6. Enter the Molokai Challenge.
7. Build a house for someone who doesn’t have one.

Whoa, whoa… what was that last thing?

Buried in a list of things typically featured in outdoor magazines were two little pearls. Easy to miss, but oh, so telling. Those two pedestrian items were placed right alongside things on which adventure movies are made but they told me more about the soul of this man than anything I read that night.

Since that day some of these things have been done (I highly recommend the drive down Baja, by the way; EPIC).

The economy has tightened though and we are using our scarce dollars in other ways, suspending his quest to finish the list for now.  But his unquenchable zest to live life to the fullest hasn’t been snuffed out and besides, he’s begun to make a new list:

1. Start every morning in the Word.
2. Adopt an older adult with no kids of her own.
3. Pray my daughter will want nothing more or less than what God wants for her life.

Although initially attracted to his daring spirit, it is now his gentleness, generous heart, and commitment to God that draws me to him the most. Today, I think he’s way more interesting than ‘The Most Interesting Man In the World”!

So what’s the point of going on and on about Wolf? None really. I just like to talk about him.

But I do think we all need our very own bucket list. Life’s so short, why not dream BIG and commit ink to goals that will supercharge the few years we have on this planet? Our lists shouldn’t only include things that require money we don’t have or personality traits we don’t possess. What would happen if our list reflected a change in the definition of what interesting is? What if our list demonstrated a focused effort to pour into the lives of others? Bob Goff says it simply: “Love does“. To be the mom who raises kids who know they are loved, the teen who spends free time with seniors who have no one else, the business professional who pushes a competitor forward, the family who makes room for a foster child, the secretary who buys a bag of groceries for the co-worker who is struggling, the unemployed person who sponsors a 3rd world child, the busy dad who takes an 15 extra minutes to mow the difficult neighbor’s lawn, the single guy who volunteers a Sunday a month in the nursery… these are the places where character lives.

So do tell… what’s on your bucket list?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23

 

 

Sylvia Lange is a Christian women’s speaker who lives in Southern California.

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31 Comments

  1. Amen. I was just boasting about Wolf this weekend, in fact. Love the focus on the heart. It’s what God sees and cares most about. :) Super encouraging post!

  2. Cindy says:

    Sylvia, reading this makes me smile and realize that this man was sooooo worth the wait for you!!! God’s timing is so perfect and you two are so perfect for eachother!! Thanks too for the reminder that our “Bucket list” is a day by day thing. Not just something to attain in the future. God has so much for us each day. Wake up every day and say “This is the day that the Lord has made!! What do you have in store for me today or who do you want me to connect with?” He gave me this day. You allowed me to wake up so I better make the best of it for Him!! So I guess my “list” is whatever He has for me that day! Some days I hear better than others but it is my hearts desire. Thanks for your blogs and being obedient to His call on your “list”!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I like what you say so much find myself wondering when the next one will be coming. I looked on your websight and dont see a book. Do you have a book?

    • Sylvia says:

      The book is something I’m hoping for next year. I’m using this blog as a “testing ground” so any and all comments are welcomed as it helps me tremendously. Thank you!

  4. Marti says:

    When I met you at a recent women’s retreat, I was so moved by the loving way you described and spoke about Wolf. I knew he had to be someone very special to put that light in your eyes. After reading this, it is clear that God put two wonderfully created beings together to accomplish great things! God bless you both!

    • Sylvia says:

      Marriage is sure worth choosing wisely for, investing in, holding precious, and fighting for, that I’ve learned! Thank you for your comment; hope to see you here again!

  5. Brian says:

    I first learned about Bucket Lists when I saw the Jack Nicholson movie years ago. My takeaway was that as we reach our final years, making a bucket list offers a last chance opportunity to experience adventures we’ve previously missed. But Wolf’s far better idea reminds us that we should all be living our lives in a purposeful way NOW, as they are a gift from God to be used and savored throughout, not just in our twilight years. Most poignant though, are the “pearls” on his list that remind us that the best adventures of all are the ones that involve serving others and stepping out of our comfort zones to make a difference. Wonderful blog!

  6. The power of positive thinking and God’s Love keeps us going.
    Keep it up!!!

  7. Geralyn says:

    Love your love for Wolf! I pray I will see my husband as lovingly as you look at yours.

  8. Jay Wickman says:

    What a beautiful testimony of the love and character of a godly man.
    Blessings to you and your gift of a husband.

  9. Vicki says:

    When is chapter two coming? Loved this so much. Having an attitude of gratefulness and thanks to Him for all in our lives gives strength and peace.. Amazing

  10. Vickie Ray says:

    I love this! Thank you!!

  11. Elaine says:

    May the love you and Wolf share grow deeper, spread wider, and soar victoriously through any hardship you may endure.

    • Sylvia Lange says:

      Hardship, schmardship when you’ve got the King! Your words are so uplifting and I thank you for taking the time to comment!

  12. cathy keller says:

    Awesome, Sylvia. An amazing man with an amazing wife. I see the Holy Spirit’s work in your lives. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Gail says:

    They say when we write, we should write about what we know best. You just did it. This is your very best blog to date. Congratulations.

  14. Carrie Erro says:

    I love the idea of making a bucket list, and not just for fun – but as an actual plan of action! Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder that I need to get on that! :)

  15. Josh says:

    Your husband makes us guys look bad. JK. Great bit of writing and a compelling story. Makes me wanna jump in to life more.

  16. Chelsey Novak says:

    The irony of this blog…I just rewrote my bucket list last night. The contentment I have in my life, with my husband, my God, my family. With money as tight as it has been, I am so content keeping life simple and finding ways to serve the Lord with my family. I pray that we are given opportunities to expose our children to such opportunities so they can see the true joy that comes from being with others Chrisitans who find joy in serving, being greatful for what they have and give unselfishly from their hearts.

  17. Your own personal cheerleader says:

    WOW, I am going to have to read this one several times to get it all. I firmly believe that when God created Wolf, he looked down and said “It is VERY GOOD” Can I apply for #2 on the new list?

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