My Life Inventory: A stream of memories… the world through my eyes.

My Life Inventory: A stream of memories… the world through my eyes. {paulabianca.com}

I am currently going through a blogging course called Write Your Worth by Alicia Caine. She is guiding us through the process of finding our unique voice and telling our story. This Life Inventory is one of our first activities, which is to go through our memories and document what you saw, felt, did, experienced. Even if your observations were of big world events or something you witnessed happening to someone else, you were still present for them and experienced them, and what you saw became a part of who you are. Here is my list:

  1. Singing in bed with my little brother and daddy at bedtime.
  2. Playing legos and dolls with my little brother. Our worlds combined to make one joint world.
  3. Woke up on the day of my 6th birthday. It was the first birthday I clearly remember knowing it was my birthday.
  4. The sweet kisses from my mommy when I was hurt or woke up with a bad dream.
  5. Learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Remember the feeling of fear to let go and fall. Not wanting my dad to let go. But wanting to sense of accomplishment of being brave and doing something new. The feeling of pure thrill as I smoothly coasted and kept my balance on my own for the first time. Nothing could take that feeling away from me.
  6. Decorating the tree and really believing Santa was coming to leave us presents.
  7. Singing carols in church and having my first solo as a child.
  8. The joy of experiencing the presence of God in worship as a child, and being able to visibly see his face in my mind and feel his love for me.
  9. Accepting Jesus into my heart with my daddy, as a little one on the floor in my bedroom. Seeing my little brother accepting Jesus into his heart, right after me.
  10. Not understanding why the other children were mean sometimes, and left me out. Wanting to be accepted and loved.
  11. The pride of giving my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Marks the right answer, and being on her good list.
  12. The shame when I got my name on the naughty list for the first time for responding to a classmate’s question during a quiz.
  13. The disgust of having to eat my vegetables. Broccoli, green beans, squash, mushrooms… were all my enemies. Trying not to puke them all up.
  14. Waking up after being in a coma in the hospital for 10 days after having seizures triggered by post-viral encephalitis. Hearing the stories of my family and entire church interceding for me and the miracle God did, not only making me 100% seizure-free from the day I woke up, but also protecting me from what the doctors predicted would be major permanent brain damage.
  15. Leaving private Christian school and starting public school in Junior High.
  16. Finding an amazing church where I experienced some of the most amazing fellowship and community at the High School ministry.
  17. Growing in Christ along with over 100 other High Schoolers at our Youth Group.
  18. Enjoying the last few years of adolescent freedom with my Youth Group friends and goofing off.
  19. Playing capture the flag at night with glow sticks.
  20. Participating in Barbie Bowl football.
  21. “Kidnapping” friends for breakfast on their birthdays.
  22. Being birthday “kidnapped” myself.
  23. Hearing the first news of the 9-11 attacks on my walk to school as we waited for the cross walk to turn green. Not believing it was real. Then sitting in class with lessons cancelled as we all watched the news in shock and horror. Praying like crazy for the victims and our nation.
  24. Re-ignighting my passion for Christ at Aquire the Fire, and Christ in Youth.
  25. Going on my first missions trip to Mexico and building houses for families.
  26. Performing in my first musical, Les Miserables.
  27. Taking my first dance class, and learning jazz, & ballet. Performing in my first showcase.
  28. Finally getting my drivers license at 18, after failing the test 3 times before.
  29. Getting my first car at 18, a white Toyota Corolla that I still have to this day. That car and I have been through so much.
  30. Getting in my first accident and crying my eyes out.
  31. Getting my first job at Yogurt Delite.
  32. Being laid off for the first time from Haagen Daz during Christmas season after not being able to memorize the recipes quick enough. Feeling like a failure.
  33. Having my first boyfriend at 18 and figuring out really quickly that he wasn’t right for me, but feeling broken-hearted when he broke up with me first and moved on to someone else right away.
  34. Broke a couple of hearts myself, and dealing with the guilt of that for many years.
  35. Starting college at William Jessup University, and taking a year off of dating as a freshman to refocus and give God back control of my romantic life, after questioning my choosing ability.
  36. Embraced my first year at college as an opportunity to break out of my shell and be myself, and step into new self-confidence.
  37. Played college soccer, though I wasn’t very good, but scored my first goal during a game.
  38. Lived in a 3 bedroom house with 4 other girls, and became lifelong friends with them too.
  39. Watched those girls fall in love, and they watched me do the same. Most of us ended up marrying the guys we fell in love with during that time.
  40. Met my eventual husband as a fellow worship major, though we didn’t like each other at the time.
  41. Got to know my husband gradually and felt like I could trust him and share my heart with him. Admired his maturity, wisdom, and quiet confidence. Eventually started developed feelings for him. I respected him before I ever loved him.
  42. Finally figuring out he felt the same way about me too when he invited me to a coffeeshop show he was playing at, and I was able to hear the songs he wrote about me. That was how he sealed the deal for me. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.
  43. Finding out my parents were calling it quits and divorcing, and my world falling apart. Eventually watching them reconcile and God fully redeem and restore their marriage. (Recently watched them celebrate their 30th anniversary.)
  44. Going on my first real date with my Jay.
  45. Exchanging first I love you’s and then my first and last ever first-kiss in one night.
  46. Getting engaged at 22.
  47. Doing long-distance for while Jay went through bootcamp in Texas after enlisting in the USAF.
  48. Waiting on my parents’ blessing to feel comfortable releasing me to him and the new life I would begin as a military wife.
  49. Getting married at 23. Promising to live our forever YES to one another, regardless of what life brings our way.
  50. Blissful honeymoon.
  51. Saying goodbye to family and friends as Jay and I started our new life at our first duty station in Southern Illinois. Adjusting to marriage and military life first time away from home.
  52. Growing up a ton in my years living away from home, and embracing the adventure of everything I was learning and experiencing, and getting the opportunity to spread my wings and start my new life and family.
  53. Seeing it snow outside my house for the first time. Learning to drive in snow and scrape ice off my window.
  54. Our first Christmas together was a white Christmas.
  55. Took my favorite photograph of all time of a farmhouse and barn covered in fresh fluffy snow in the distance, shilouetted by the sunrise coming up over the hill.
  56. Struggling with some church wounds from some of the churches we tried to plug into out there in the Midwest. Not quite understanding what was keeping me from connecting and breaking into some of those church bodies.
  57. Eventually finding the perfect church for us in St Louis at August Gate and witnessing one of the best examples of community, discipleship & serving their city I have seen, yet.
  58. Struggling with the amount of time it was taking to become pregnant and wondering if there could be something wrong.
  59. Finding out we were expecting our first child and being thrilled and relieved with the news. Sharing with family right away.
  60. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Seeing baby on ultrasound for the first time.
  61. Finding out we were having a girl and phoning our families with the news.
  62. Getting our reassignment to our base back near my California hometown, but feeling my heart break after having to say goodbye to my dear midwest friends and church family.
  63. Traveling across country at the beginning of my 3rd trimester.
  64. Wondering if I could get any bigger, and if she would run out of room and come early for having a petite mama.
  65. Reaching my due date, and two weeks later, still no baby.
  66. Being induced in the morning on February 25th and welcoming little Olivia into our arms ten minutes before midnight that night.
  67. Holding her for the first time and staring in surprise at those lovely big blue eyes.
  68. Catching my breath a little as she stopped crying as soon as I held her and started talking to her. She recognized I was mommy right away.
  69. Watching Jay become daddy for the first time, and just staring at her as he held her close.
  70. Bringing home sweet baby girl, settling her in, and enjoying so many precious firsts that week as we soaked in having her added to the family.
  71. Not being able to get enough of holding her, cuddling her, kissing her, staring at her. So happy to finally be a mom.
  72. Tired from not being able to sleep much but so grateful to have her.
  73. Worrying about her jaundice and crying when they had to prick her little foot multiple times that week.
  74. Seeing my sweet girl smile for the first time.
  75. Having major struggles breastfeeding and crying over my failure in that area. Kept it going for 2 months before finally throwing in the white flag.
  76. Cheering when she sat up for the first time, stood for the first time, took her first step… hearing her first sweet words.
  77. Watching her little personality start to come out, falling in love with this little person even more.
  78. Feeling frustrated and like bad mom when her little will and stubborn side started to make its way out more often. Having days when I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and hoping I wasn’t completely screwing everything up.
  79. Coming to peace with this little person who isn’t perfect and who it trying to figure out who she is and how the world works. Coming to terms with her becoming her own person and finding my own peace even when I see her struggle or fail. Not always jumping in to fix it every time.
  80. Being there for her all the same whether she has a good day or bad day.
  81. Figuring out what discipline and teaching a little one looks like. Identifying what isn’t working and learning new things to try. Gaining confidence in my ability to navigate and relying on my own maternal instincts and problem-solving skills.

To Be Continued…


This type of journal post is mostly just for my own benefit, and it has been seriously so good for me to revisit all that I have experienced. But I am super open about everything and have no problem letting anyone see these windows into what I have experienced and get some inspiration for writing one of their own Life Inventory Lists. I love just putting this kind of thing out there and practicing being real about who I am (especially with myself), and hopefully sharing this can inspire someone else to do the same thing and write out their own list.

There are certain things I intentionally left out depending on what I want to focus on and highlight or simplify, or in some cases keep private for me. Or to protect the privacy of someone else when our stories overlap. If you are starting your own Life Inventory List, those are some things that might be good to keep in mind.

Writing it all out has given a lot of these memories meaning for me, and highlights specific things about the person I am today because of these experiences, that I had either forgotten or am just becoming aware of. It is a real identity former. It is so helpful to look back on these past experiences in the context of today and be able to see the hand of God shaping and forming me into the woman I have become. It is my story and has greatly shaped and revealed my voice and my message.

This was an awesome exercise and highly recommending trying it yourself sometime. I plan on adding to this entry from time to time. It will be fun to see it grow in the coming years.

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  • Huntress

    Stumbled across this blog, found it beautiful and got me thinking about my own life and the experiences I have been through. Thank you for writing this, it was inspiring.