ok, time to admit some very-painful-to-admit truth: my life is completely out of control these days.
really, it’s my travel schedule. that’s it. i’m not out of control in other ways.
but my travel schedule is causing me to be somewhat disconnected from my family and from the people i work with. i love the stuff i travel for (well, most of it); and so much of it seems “essential”. i’ve had a bit of a cyclical thing going for a few years, where my travel gets to be too much, then i make an adjustment, and have a season where it’s ok again, then back around again to insanity.
this past summer, our whole family was home together one week. we were together quite a bit, so i didn’t feel overly disconnected from them, but i felt really disconnected from my ys relationships. this fall, my travel hasn’t let up much, but my family hasn’t been with me.
something had to give.
jeannie suggested a few weeks ago that i consider taking a year-long sabbatical from outside speaking engagements (optional stuff, non-ys). i instantly hated the idea, because i love being with youth workers on their turf, and i love talking about jesus and the kingdom of god to students, and… well… probably because it makes me feel important and special to do stuff like this (if i’m really honest). oh, and the extra money i make from speaking always comes in handy.
i’ve been stewing on it and praying about it and pondering it for a few weeks now. and this past week jeannie and i decided the following:
from may 1, 2007 through may 1, 2008, i will take a one-year sabbatical from speaking at events that aren’t part of my work at ys. i only have two non-ys things in this window: one is a trip to ireland, and my dad is going with me (so there’s alternative value to the trip), and one is a large youth event for churches in the florida panhandle and southern alabama, and one of the churches is my grandma’s church (so there’s alternative value to the trip).
from now to january 1, 2008, i will not entertain any speaking engagements. if someone wants me to consider something past may 1, 2008, they’ll need to wait until at least january of that year to ask, or i’ll have to decline.
we’re hoping that, after taking this full-year pause, we’ll be able to discern how much i can add back into my schedule without taxing my family or co-workers.
this is really hard for me. i don’t want to do it. i don’t like it. but i’m really convinced it’s the right thing to do. and choosing to do it feels like an issue of obedience to god and a commitment to my priorities in life.