January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New Pace

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Well, we’re back at it. The tree and lights have been packed, the parties attended, Christmas carols sung, and presents opened. The holidays are busy, busy, busy, but worth every moment.

I’ve been really blessed. I had this whole last week off with my husband; we made no plans and did nothing important.

I wasn’t used to that. At all.

You see, the last few years have been filled with busyness: getting my husband through law school and myself through grad school, teaching for the first time, writing my first book, performing in musicals, participating in church leadership, not to mention hanging out with family and friends.

All of that aside, busyness seems to be a part of who I am. I’m naturally a doer. A go-go-goer. I am always making plans, checking items off of lists, and in general speeding through life as if it’s a race. And in part, it is: a race to better myself, to make sure I take advantage of all life has to offer.

But after awhile, racing like that—all the time—wears on me. But I’ve become so good at (metaphorically) running that I forget what it feels like to walk. I figured the time to start running again would be this week, after having a week off. I thought I’d take off, full blast, tomorrow, January 3 (when I start a new job!) and run into the sunset of 2012.

But this week off did a lot more for me than I thought it would.

Because even though walking feels foreign to me, it’s good for me. It gives rest to my muscles. It allows me to focus on my breathing and my reason for running the race in the first place. And above all, it helps me to run even faster when it’s time to run again.

So I think I’m going to keep walking for a little while. I’ll still start my new job, write, and spend time with loved ones. But I don’t need to keep going with this intense pressure cooker of a life that I’ve been living for the past however-many years. I have always had high expectations for myself, and that won’t change—but I think I need to allow God to have a little more control over the timing of it all.

He means for us to enjoy life, not just jump from goal to goal, accomplishing them and not taking the time to celebrate each one. But that’s what I’ve done—it’s what you do when you’re constantly running.

I always thought if I slowed down, I wouldn’t achieve anything. That life would get away from me. But if I remain focused, but still move forward, then I’ll eventually get there. Slow and steady—and focused on God’s plan—wins the race in my book.

Welcome, 2012!

Your Turn: Metaphorically speaking, do you tend to run or walk through life? Or is it a mixture?

14 comments:

  1. First, congrats on the new job!

    I tend to be a runner. For as long as I can remember I have ran- in fact I think we might be related!

    I grew up with a good work ethic instilled in me and I have carried that throughout my life. I worked my way through two college degrees and took little time to breath...and I must say I loved it!

    It wasn't until having my son (I had my career first, family later) that I realized I needed to slow down. I don't want to be so busy pursuing a career, writing, keeping a clean house, keeping social engagements and commitments that I miss out on all the joys of motherhood.

    My son changes and grows daily, I am so thankful that I became a stay at home mom so I could be a part of his life. This is the BEST job I have ever had! The pay isn't good, but the benefits are priceless!

    (I find I am still running, just in a different direction. I don't handle walking, but it is nice to slow down every once in a while.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I tend to run. (See, I knew I could relate easily with you & this post proves it all the more.)

    I'm learning how helpful it is to walk at times though. Just had a bit of a slow down and it felt good.

    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, TC! And that's awesome that you've been able to stay at home with your son. I imagine that it is so nice to have those moments with him and watching him grow. And I think it's good that you saw a reason for slowly down, instead of just slowly down because you were tired or something like that. :)

    Wendy, I'm so glad you can relate and that I'm not alone. :) I totally relate to you as well! I'm glad you got a chance to refuel for the race ahead in 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, I was tired after reading your list of responsibilities!

    I had an incredibly busy year with my first novel debuting in 2011. I was so busy that I crashed in December. I've taken time to do nothing. And it was through those do-nothing days that I heard God's voice.

    I have to be careful not to run so fast that I'm trying to pull ahead of God. I need to slow down and walk WITH Him as He shows me the way.

    Lovely post to remind me of that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so there, Lindsay. I felt like I was reading my thoughts.

    I've run for exercise for years and have a handful of 5K's under my belt. But, when I got my lab, I started walking him every day. And, to my amazement, I feel healthier and lost weight without straining so hard.

    I'm wired much the same way and applaud your efforts to slow down...but still stay driven. :) It's not a sprint after all...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm probably a mixture. There are periods of life when I have to run, but then I try to slow down and walk sometimes too. With little ones, the running is more frequent than I'd like these days. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lisa, what a great reminder that when we run, it can be tempting to block out what we think is noise...even God's voice. Thanks so much for visiting!

    Sarah D., so glad that you've found walking to be invigorating. That's the balance I need...not to be running so hard my body is weary, but still getting the benefits of focused exercise.

    Sarah, I'm with you! Although I don't have little ones, there have definitely been times in life when my other "babies" (e.g., school, writing my book) have taken priority and required me to run, run, run!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can so relate to this post, Lindsay! I've always been the busy type. I think I've gotten better about slowing down, but old habits tend to die hard with me. I'm glad God uses his word to remind me from time to time that I don't need to be everything to everyone and to plain slow down. I also thing God uses His people (like you) to send gentle reminders. So thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. OH, and good luck with the first day tomorrow! You can do it!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aw, thanks, Heather! Your words and encouragement bless me more than I can say.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't exactly know how it happened to me, but I am definitely a walker. I'm curious to see if there's anyone else out there like me, b/c often times I feel excluded from certain groups b/c I am not a high energy, busy person... It's like I'm in training to be a grandma or something, lol, but one of my greatest joys is to have a wide open schedule for visits and phone chats with people I love. (I always feel like I should point out that I appreciate the blessing of time I've been given, with my husband working and me as a SAHM. I know there are others who don't have the 'luxury' of not working.) And I might add that the danger of being a walker rather than a runner is that low energy people can experience the slippery slope of too-much-dreaming and not enough doing.

    Good luck to you on your first day tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Barb, that's great that you're a walker. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It sounds like you are a blessing to many because you take the time to spend time with people. I want to be more like that!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glad you had a good first day!!

    As you know, I am a runner...but have learned that the Lord wants me to slow down. It is hard to do when you are used to days that were so busy. But it can be done!

    So, slow down and smell the roses! It is worth it in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the encouragement, Ruth. I'm learning that for sure!

    ReplyDelete