A few years ago, I knew that I was in danger of burning out. I was working full time in pastoral ministry. On top of my responsibilities at the church, I was coaching clients, completing all the requirements necessary to maintain my coaching credentials, serving as associate staff for a national organization, and I was helping my denomination build a disciple-making culture. These were all good things, but the amount of work was crushing me.
At the same time, God was inviting me to create space and margin to nurture some other pieces of me. I sensed a need to have bits of time that were unspoken for woven in my week. It was a way to let my life breathe. I wasn't sure what I was going to do in these cracks and crevices and had a hard time justifying using precious time in this way. Space to breathe is a necessity, but I struggled to carve out this healthy rhythm.
I was afraid.
I knew I couldn’t keep up the pace. Honestly, I didn’t want to anymore. But I was afraid that if I gave up any one of those things and set aside unplanned time, I’d miss out on something. Maybe you can relate.
Many women struggle with stopping. We are afraid that we will lose out on an opportunity to do or produce something of value. Several lies fuel this fear:
We believe that if we don't schedule every moment of the day, we are wasting time or lazy. Our culture is addicted to busyness. We are always going, always doing, always planning, and always managing things. We hold up busyness as a badge of honor. Our congregations and colleagues see us being busy and think we are serving sacrificially. (We're sacrificing alright, just sacrificing the wrong things).
We believe that our worth comes from our doing; therefore, we only have value when we are doing, creating, building, or providing something. We have lost sight that we are human beings, not human doings.
We believe we must prove our worth. Some of us serve in an environment where our leadership and contributions are suspect because we are women. We are afraid that if we stop, we will lose what little place we have around the table of ministry. (Your responsibility is not to convince other people that you are a legitimate leader. All you need to do is to be obedient to the call God has placed on your life. He will take care of the rest.)
Friends, these are lies that will hold you captive. You do not have to live and lead this way. You have freedom to create space and margin without fear. It is a radically different way to think and live but it is entirely possible!!
Jesus lived like this too. He didn't spend every minute of the day healing, driving out demons, and teaching. He knew the value of being. He hung out with people and enjoyed a meal. He lingered and had meaningful conversations. He created healthy rhythms that allowed Him to be with the Father and the ones He loved.
You are allowed to have a date night, to go on an uninterrupted vacation, and to set aside unplanned time to let your life breathe. But those things won't just happen. In order to have something you've never had you're going to have to do something you've never done. Make the intentional choice to mark off some bits and pieces of time and set this healthy pattern into motion.
What do you need to say "no" to in order to have a sustainable pace? Where on your calendar can you carve out bits of time unspoken for in your week? How can we support you on your journey?
We believe in you! Comment below or contact us and let us know where you are stuck so we can help.