So throughout my life, my adult life mostly, I've been told that any kind of meaningful, purpose or calling related, passion-driven, ministry-type, helping or helper work... that dedicating your life to that kind of thing is an automatic ticket to burnout, stress and overwhelm.
And that's why I'm calling bullsh*t.
It wasn't my proudest moment but in the aftermath of an emotional meltdown in my early twenties, I sat in the sun with my Bible turned to Matthew 11:28-30. Here's what it says:
"Are you tired, worn out, burnt out on religion, come to me, get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a 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 hit or ill fitting on you keep company with me, and you'll learn to live lightly and freely." (The Message)
And so the message I received when I read that that day was this:
When I am following Christ and learning how to live from him, the exact opposite of my lived experience would be true. That Christ would lead me away from and teach me how to live free of hustle, burnout & overwhelm! (gasp!)
So, if I was in that space (and I was), then I couldn't help but make the following deductions:
1. Either I am not following Jesus at all (in my case I was chasing a religious check-list)
2. That I was stuck in a rut of working/hustling for love, and not from it (also true for me)
3. That I wasn't paying attention to HOW I was living out my calling and pursuing closeness to God. I had the "what" down, I was doing the things but I wasn't doing them in a way that would preserve me.
Earlier in Matthew 11, Jesus also said that God would reveal his great wisdom to anyone humble enough to seek it - that the spirit of God would instruct us how to live lightly and freely.
And it was basically since that moment, right after I thought that I had blew up my entire life that I started to put it back together again - this time I would be dedicated to the pursuit and application of that wisdom I was promised in Matthew 11.
I nearly died hustling for my worth, I lost so much searching for love and validation in all of the wrong places.
If what the Bible says is true, and it is: we all have access to a life that is characterized by REST, blessed quiet and renewal for our souls... a life that is free and light... (check out Matthew 11 in the Amplified Bible.
I created a video about this experience and towards the end I share about a special and very practical tool that I have created from the wisdom I have gathered specifically for the purpose of cultivating what I call peaceful productivity.
In the meantime, if you'd like to participate in something I created called "the Peaceful Productivity Challenge" - You can do that by joining the Facebook Community: Support & Solutions for Overwhelmed Heart-Centered Mompreneurs & Leaders
Hey Friend! My name is Lauren - and this is my story :)
I spent the first decade of my ministry career working in unhealthy and toxic organizational structures that nearly cost me my health, my sanity and my family. There were days when I could barely bring myself to go to work, attend a meeting and I would come home nearly everyday in tears. I was worried about the monster I felt like I was becoming in order to survive, and whether or not I would be able to make it to the end of my race, or if I would burn out, and become a statistic like so many others who had gone before me. For a good period of time, I found myself questioning my sanity almost daily, my health was deteriorating and I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.
One night while wrestling with God, I decided that I would dig deep. I decided that I would commit to learning and master the skills and the mindset necessary for me to not only survive, but to flourish. I was not going to go down without a fight. I was not doing to allow the dysfunction of my environment to determine my future or my faithfulness. I was going to shine my light in love, and I was determined that the cycle of dysfunction and toxicity would end with me.
Now, I empower women - particularly those in the helping professions like ministry, missions, non-profit work, nursing and teaching - with the tools they need to stay out of bitterness and burnout, and to flourish in their callings to work or vocations where burnout and toxic culture is particularly challenging and prevalent.
I work with women who want to faithfully honor their callings AND themselves and flourish in life, marriage and motherhood. I do this holistically - and by helping them hone the skills they need to lovingly deploy their courage, authenticity and wisdom in building both boundaries and bridges.