Women in Ministry: Avoiding Overscheduled Lives
We all know that bills, home repairs, children and their demands, relationships, and work stress can take a toll on us. When we add volunteer work in school, the community, or church, even hobbies and previously enjoyable ministry work can overwhelm and fatigue us. As women often entrusted with the role of family nurturer and caregiver, our instincts are to take on everyone else’s stress as well. Sometimes we are telling everyone else that it’s all going to be okay, and we are feeling quite the opposite ourselves: unable to sleep or function in our once calm and enjoyable lives.
We have the tendency to focus on the negative when we feel that pleasurable activities have become a burden. In our last post on women and burnout in ministry, we learned that we all go through the same stress cycle, and that many times this cycle is so familiar to us that we just allow, rather than stop, the destructive patterns of behavior. While we aren’t suggesting that any of us deliberately seek destructive patterns, we can all admit that we do tend to take on too much sometimes and then seem to think that it is our responsibility to handle the stress on our own.
However, if we remember that God sends so many truly good things our way, we can begin to focus on the positive in life again, despite having many roles as mother, wife, employee, and/or ministry leader. We can all enjoy the sunset at the end of a long day spent at work, tending to family, or working in ministry. And we can all appreciate the comfort of a warm bed, a meal prepared just for us, conversations with our children and friends, and the devotion of a husband or other close family member. These things help us. They refocus us. We need to begin to see as everyday blessings—the ebb and flow of a busy life that also allows for downtime and the simple enjoyment of the little things.