Today’s my 33rd birthday!
I’m not quite sure what to make of my 32nd year on this planet. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a year of “change” like last year was for me, more that this year was a year of…closure.
I saw closure in a couple of areas, some brought freedom & some brought tears (and stress). But all of it brought a finality. I closed the door on a few chapters of my life & am (learning) to open new doors of trust & opportunity. This doesn’t come easy for me.
Recently one of my favorite people on this planet (ego-boost to her!) Pastor Heidi Strickler wrote a blog about her vision for Women’s Ministry at our church, Oasis (http://livinglovedlivingfree.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/oasis-making-time-to-sit-on-the-curb/) & how it came to fruition after the idea first appeared on her top 10 list. This, of course, got me reviewing & revamping my own Life List; something I first started working on when I was 16. My Life List would contain the top 100 things that I wanted to accomplish/do/see/invent/visit with my time allotted on this planet. As of today, my list has 73 items & I’ve checked off 34 of them. Not to bad! If I was better at math I’d figure out the percentage or do a pie chart (mostly because I like to make things colorful & pretty), to fluff up the completed items. Heidi’s list, however, only contained 10….10. 10 seemed like such a small number to me. 10 things that you REALLY wanted to accomplish during your life…in the course of your WHOLE life??? Only 10??? Now that seemed to be unrealistic to me, to have to narrow down my potential 100 to only 10. I could NEVER do that!
But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I’ve reviewed my Life List more in the last few days & weeks than I have in the 17 years since I first started keeping it.
Once I started looking over my Life List & questioning if I really thought my life wouldn’t be of value unless I visited New York City at Christmas time (#23) or if my life would be considered a waste if I didn’t attend a taping of a movie or television show (#47). The answer was a definite NO!
While I’d love to see Paul McCartney in concert (#6) & a dream would be to see whales swimming in their natural oceanic habitat (#17…of course, that also involves my get over water fear, #4. Double-check-off-whammy!), am I really going to think of my life as stamped with “Failed” if those don’t happen?
I started narrowing my list down to things I felt I HAD to do & that was when I realized that nothing on my Life List I HAD to do because in the grand scheme of my whole life, none of those petty things matter!
What I ended up doing was a top 10 list that didn’t include anything on my original Life List (except travel to Africa on a missions trip). In fact, it ended up not even being a list of things to “do”, but a list of what I want to be known for; how I want to be remembered because of the way my life was LIVED & not from items checked off. Even though it does include things I hope to accomplish, those things are not active/physical things, but spiritual things. When my time on earth is over & I stand before God, I want to be able to stand before him with a clear conscious knowing that I represented Him & the family I came from, well. Surprisingly, what began as being a little overwhelming with deciding to narrow down 100 items to 10, I ended up rattling off my Top 10 in about 5 minutes; after I realized that what I wanted to do with my life wasn’t “stuff” but a “legacy” that’s left.
This is a very fitting lesson for me right now.
I can feel God doing something in my life. Something big that He’s working on. I’m not saying this to be pompous or to elevate my ego, but I can tell he is. Just from what he’s working on in my life; the bondage being broken, the “issues” I’ve had to work on & through. And from past experience in learning to recognize His direction & voice more & more (even when I think it’s not there!) its guiding me away from my comfort zone. I’m learning that God doesn’t like me “comfortable” & every time I start to get “comfortable” He begins to make me “uncomfortable”. This isn’t a bad thing & I’m finally at the point in my life where I don’t view it as a bad thing. Change is good! And when its God-Change you can move forward in confidence that its going to turn out great. I don’t know what adventure he has me moving towards, but I know that I’m not where He wants me to stay. And I’m okay with that…well, semi-okay 😉
I’m not quite sure what send-off to give my Life List, its been deeply personal to me for almost 20 years. But now I feel like it’s constricting; a road map with specific destinations & that’s not what I want in the next leg of my journey. Just tossing it in the trash or shredding it seems to diminish the important significance its had in my life, but I know if I keep it I’ll fall into the same old trap of fulfilling the desire to check things off (fellow obsessive List Makers will understand).
Even though I’m pretty open & try to not keep things hidden, my Top Ten is probably the most personal thing I’ve ever written for myself. So personal that I won’t even share it in my blog. Nothing against you lovely readers (whom I love & appreciate) but its something that is between me & God. I’m hoping that when he created me, this list is what his intentions for my life were. It’s a list that I’ve prayed over & asked Him to let me know if anything on the list is something that I should not focus on & so far nothing has been brought to my attention. It just feels right!
I come into my 33rd year full of expectancy, hope & faith that this is my “peace & settling” year.