Ready for a life change of pace?

No wonder it is so hard for me to slow down!

As I've previously mentioned, I am going through the workbook "The Significant Woman" during my daily devotional time.  Today I'm on the part where one discerns her uniqueness.  I like the approach this book takes, as it not only takes into consideration gifts, skills, training, and passions, but also includes relationships, life experiences, and core values.

I've just completed the section on life experiences.  I've done a similar exercise before, but what is interesting about this exercise is that it has you break down your life experiences by identifiable age categories.  I feel like I've lived a long and full life already, but when I look at the break-down of ages I see that I fill only four out of the twelve boxes.  I've accomplished a lot in my first 30 years!

What is especially interesting about this break-down is that I see that I've been operating at a very fast pace since 7th grade and that my 21st through 27th year of life were particularly taxing.  During that time I finished my last two years of college, earning my Bachelor of Arts with a double major and a minor.  I volunteered for a ministry with high-risk youth in a community near my college.  A close relative of mine went through a horrible legal battle. My aunt died and my cousins became my brothers.  My great-grandmother, who meant the world to me, died. One of the youth I had nannied died. I won a national competition. I moved home. I started a non-profit. I went through a series of jobs, one of which was being an interim minister.  I moved again and began graduate school.  All of my closest friends got married.  One of my dearest friends lost her baby.  My sister met her husband and got married. My long term crush got married to someone else.  I met my future husband, fell in love, and got married. Facebook came into existance. Cell phones became popular.  I moved again as I transferred graduate programs.  I completed a chaplaincy program. I became involved in a ministry that serves highly influential people. I moved into my first home.  All of that in just 6 years!!! I tried adding up my total level of stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress scale for that time period, and I gave up.

Then I realized that just in the last two years I have been through a lot of changes as well.  It has been a blessing that these changes have all been positive.

This makes me realize why it is so difficult for me to slow down, why I have a fear of normalcy, and how I can feel like I am currently being unproductive.  I haven't really been at a stage like this since my early childhood. 

So, it is perhaps time for me to take the time to embrace this new stage and recognize it as a gift.  A time to breathe and build again, like the first few years of my life.  I need to not mark or compare these years to the last 20, for a lot was accomplished and lost in the last 20, but rather I need to see them as a new stage and time in life.  A stage for something new--a change of rhythm and pace. 

This is a good thing.


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