My daughter, Sarah Crew, says, “if you don’t take care of yourself now, you won’t be around to take care of others later.” Hmm, ponder that for one minute! Do you resemble this remark? Taking care of others before you take care of yourself? Well, the result of that does not look very promising.
I am a servant in life. My Kendall Life Languages Profile (lifelanguages.com) says I am a first language Responder. In short, that means that it is natural for me to be there when there is a need. Especially if it is a need is overcoming an obstacle that I have overcome myself. If I have experience with it and have a basic plan on how to overcome in the situation, I am there! Honestly, it is my joy to help others to become over-comers in their situational circumstances of this life.
Over the years, I have had to re-learn the fine art of saying no to requests for help in some situations. I have heard the Boundaries teaching many times, but can still struggle and begin to forget me and the principle of rest. And I am not alone as we see more and more counselors and ministers burning out. They burn out while knowing that they were called to help others find hope in their situational circumstances, because they didn’t take time for themselves along the way.
“If you don’t take care of yourself now, you won’t be around to take care of others later.”
There are a couple of biblical principles regarding rest that I found work well for me. We must stop and take the time to rest our land if we want to continue to be successful.
Exodus gives us two types of rest.
1. The resting of the land so that a larger crop can be yielded in the eight year.
2. The Sabbath day of rest so that your bodies can recover their strength from the throes of life.
God Himself rested on the Sabbath. He is the most powerful force in the universe yet He set up the principle of being still to regain your strength and vigor. He designed our bodies to recover if we take time for it.
The new testament expounds on this type of rest also. A rest from striving so that we can understand purpose and recovery.
Matthew 11:28-30 – The Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
That word “easy” means, well fitting. Designed specifically for you. I am finding more and more that the root cause to burn out is a lack of rest. Unrest can come from striving to become someone we are not and not taking the time to find out who you are. The lack of rest can also come from simply doing too much of what we are called to do without rest in between.
Even Jesus needed rest. He is known to disappear from the crowds to be alone with His Father. Those interruptions enabled Him to appear again and minister from the place of “doing only what the Father was leading him to do”, not the needs nor the schedule.
“God Himself rested on the Sabbath. He is the most powerful force in the universe yet He set up the principle of being still to regain your strength and vigor.”
Although I think I love what I do more than anyone else, I am aware that even I need a rest from the thing that I love. In my case, it’s too much of a good thing that has me lacking rest. As you know, I have spent a large percentage of my life traveling over these lastyears with little to no break in the calendar from the stresses of the packing and unpacking and long road trips. My health is good, in fact, better than most people my age, but I can see signs that my body needs a season of rest.
Though I have begun to mention a growing desire to take a season away from travel to recover my strength, I realize that to take such I am going to have to be as intentional in scheduling that break as any other thing. So what’s the plan? I will finish out this year (2017) and my commitments but will be taking a six-month sabbatical from any travel once I am done this year.
During this sabbatical from travel, I will still
* be teaching at our local schools here in Myrtle Beach.
* be completing a few writing projects that are in the works during this season. There is growing evidence showing that whitespace or seasons of downtime are crucial to creative processes. I hope to make some whitespace so that I can focus on these projects with a refreshed spirit.
* continue to schedule sessions with leaders that need help with a situational circumstance
* scheduling Navigating Life Skype appointments as well.
So, in short, this sabbatical from travel will take me off the road but not out of the ministry. I want to be around for the next season. For that reason, I must take time to refresh and be strengthened. Shiloh Place Ministries will continue ministering and my sabbatical from the road doesn’t mean Shiloh Place Ministries won’t be available. Doug and Sarah and other team members will be available to travel and carry the mantle of the message of the Father’s love as well as Jack and I have.
Taking this step and intentionally taking a sabbatical from the road is a more not less move for me and it is a more not less season for Shiloh Place Ministries. We are adding new team members who will be raising their own funding to be a support staff in the office. They will be helping Doug with weekly duties and administration, as well as expanding online offerings and other options that reach the next generation. We are also beginning to reach out to those with suffering with Post Traumatic Stress. As I said, this is a time I will be focusing on writing and producing more teaching. So now more than ever we are grateful for your partnership with us.
Again, continue to invite us to your area! We will be praying over each invite and we can send you team members that example this message and teach it better than me.
Hey and maybe you could help us out by filling out the form below. This is a step in better figuring out how we make opportunities to partner together and serve you.
Love you all,