Catholic Book Review: “God’s Bucket List” by Teresa Tomeo
Trying to give your live over to God? Start by taking at look at your bucket list! It’s probably filled with trips, challenges, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but is God on there?
Teresa Tomeo‘s new book “God’s Bucket List” is a fun and entertaining way to help you start to focus less on self and more on God and begin the process of letting go and letting God! Available on November 5, the book considers what if God had a bucket list for each one of us and if he did, what would be on it?
Tomeo, who is the popular host of Catholic Connection on Catholic Radio weekdays at 9 a.m. and of the Catholic View for Women currently in its third season on EWTN (airs Wednesdays at 11 p.m.), takes a light-hearted yet thoughtful look in her latest book at the idea that we need to toss our own to-do list and start to follow God’s. She describes here in the introduction to the book the concept behind “God’s Bucket List“:
“…What if we suppose that besides all these things that you want to do in your life before you pass on to the next, God has a bucket list for you, an agenda of adventures He wants you to experience, ways of living before you die? … This book is about that what if question. This book is also about, well, me and my struggles to figure out what God might want from me before I kick the proverbial bucket. I tell the stories that follow in the hopes that there may be something in my life that mirrors your own and that I can be a helpful hand during uncertain times or a warm smile when you feel like life might be getting the best of you.”
In this book, filled with personal stories from Tomeo that will likely make you laugh out loud (if you listen to her on the radio or watch her on TV, you’ll hear her voice shine right through!), she shares her own struggle to hand God the keys to her life. She had always dreamed of being a successful television journalist since she was a child (you could say it was her No. 1 Bucket List item), and in the first 20 years of her career, she fulfilled that dream. But God had other plans for her.
She lost her prominent anchor position in Detroit and was forced to rethink her life. While she did return to her Catholic roots with help from her husband, she still felt herself hanging on to control about what SHE wanted to do with her life. She says, “If God was still driving this bus, it was time for me to really let go of the wheel.”
When she did, she ultimately found herself as a Catholic journalist, speaker, author and evangelizer, successful beyond anything she could have dreamed with national radio and TV shows, the author of numerous books and a sought-after speaker around the country. She even recently participated in the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican as an invited speaker and ate her meals in the dining hall just a few tables over from Pope Francis. Wow!
Tomeo says in the book that if we take a moment to think about what’s on our personal bucket list, most of these items are about sensation and pleasure and ME. Where is the spiritual side of things? It’s time to stop thinking about what I want and instead consider and discern what God wants. There we will find abundance beyond measure. She says, “The key to this grand way of living life is submitting to God’s version of fulfillment and abundance instead of insisting He bless, approve and put the final stamp on our version of things.”
Letting go and giving my life over to God is something I’ve recently come to terms with after choosing to Consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. In doing so, I basically turned my life over to Mary, who will in turn guide me in doing her Son’s will in all things and also lead me in the quickest, most efficient way to Him.
This is not an easy thing to do, but I can tell you the peace and joy it has brought me is beyond measure. There is just something about letting go of control and handing the reigns over to someone else (God and our Blessed Mother, no less) that takes away so much stress. Even when bad things happen, you can say to yourself, “OK, Mary/God, you’re in control, so I know this is your doing and it’s happening for a reason. Give me courage and steadfastness to follow your path.”
I’ve tried to stop focusing on me quite so much, ie “I want to do this; I don’t want to do this” or what makes me feel good or bad, and instead try to remember I’m here to do God’s will, not please myself. It truly relieves much stress and disappointment, as you can let go of feelings like “I didn’t get what I wanted!,” and brings greater fulfillment. But it’s a process to get there and truly let go, and “God’s Bucket List” is a good way to light that fire within you.
In the book, Tomeo lists 8 bucket list items that might be on God’s bucket list for us, including:
- Live with Stillness
- Live your Passion
- Live with Instruction
- Live in the Mess
- Live with Understanding
- Live by Confession
- Live the Good Life
- Live like You’re Loved
See anything you need to work on? I plan to delve into these a little more in detail down the road and share my experience with them in my first year of being Catholic.
One last note, the book has a special offer available through 10/31/13. If you buy one, you get a second copy free. It’s a great reason to get one for yourself and then share one with a friend or family member. It would make a great gift or even a book group selection. You can take advantage of the deal here.
What do you think would be on God’s bucket list for you? Give it some thought :); it’ll change your perspective!
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