We’ve Got to Stop!

“As long as we are working hard, using our gifts to serve others, experiencing joy in our work along with the toil, we are always in danger of believing that our actions trigger God’s love for us.  Only in stopping, really stopping, do we teach our hearts and souls that we are loved apart from what we do.”

Lynne Baab from Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest

This grey issue of performance vs rest is one of my toughest battles.  I’m a driven achiever who constantly struggles with finding my identity in my work.

Unfortunately this is quite common for those of us who lead.  We carry a weight of responsibility for leading and guiding others that has an endless stream of things to do… work to be done.  And when you add a ministry context to that equation, the idea of ever stopping feels somehow like you’re shirking that responsibility when you choose to stop.

So, how do you stop?  How do you force yourself to break from the endless string of responsibility and trust in God’s faithfulness?

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  • Amanda May 22, 2012  

    Over the past several years this has probably been one of my biggest battles as well. In fact, I’m such a worker bee that I couldn’t (wouldn’t) force myself to break. So God forced me to do it instead…and tossed in a total lifestyle change and move across the country here to Nashville to boot. It’s still not easy, but I’m learning to enjoy this season of “forced” rest and will try and carry some of these lessons with me. Especially when I find myself doing too much again 🙂

    • Jenni Catron May 22, 2012  

      Amanda, I’m so glad you are embracing a season of rest. Welcome to Nashville!

  • laura anne May 22, 2012  

    Back when I was a student, I didn’t do this and had no boundaries on my timetable. Work would creep in, and I didn’t say ‘no’ to anything. I ended up getting sick with M.E. – and there was no one to blame but myself really. When I returned to uni I made a pact – no more ‘all-nighters’ and I wouldn’t do uni work on a Sunday – even if I had an exam on the Monday. Well, my grades actually got BETTER.

    Now I’m a proper grown-up (ha!) I schedule in a sabbath day each week. And I’m strict about it – those I work with know that I have a sabbath day, and on that day I will not respond to texts, calls or e-mails. I’ve learned that it makes me more efficient, less stressed and I’m healthier physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
    There’s a great book I’m reading just now called ‘Boundaries’ by Henry Cloud & John Townsend. I highly recommend it!

    • Jenni Catron May 22, 2012  

      Oh Laura Anne, thank you for sharing your story. I hate that you went through a season like this but I’m grateful you’ve learned some valuable boundaries from it. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Sharon Hoover May 23, 2012  

    I battle this grey issue frequently. Striving hard to find balance, I am able to live in it for a while. A family crisis or unexpected work load, though, can tip the scale and I start to feel the see-saw beginning to tip. I take a step back to get the bigger picture, pray for wisdom, then step back in to help as I am able. Leaning on the arms of others always helps me to get the see-saw back in balance, too! Thanks for posting this reminder, Jenni!!