The last couple of months have been transformative and generally not in a good way. Our usually quiet lives became crisis zones. Every day we received new announcements of what to do or not do. And conflicting opinions — don’t forget the conflicting opinions! We had to be retrained on how to safely get groceries. Or did we? (opinions oy!)
Now the restrictions might be less and the questions about reopening are running rampant. Opinions again, all over the place! First it was, what’s closed and now it’s when and what will be opening? Oh good, more stress.
Stress, exhaustion and anxiety are the new normal.
Let me just say, YOU are doing amazing! I really believe that as tired and frazzled as you are, you are impacting people. Praying for each and every one who is stretching and stressing to care for people.
YOU are doing amazing!
God is pleased with you and the Holy Spirit is giving you the strength and love you need to carry on. Lean in hard to God in all this. (you’re probably saying, “I AM!” or “I’m trying!” and I get it)
I thought regular life and ministry were tiring and difficult at times but this is a whole new thing. And we’re doing it! YES WE ARE, so be encouraged in what you’re doing.
Can I offer a suggestion? It’s up to you what you do with it.
Take a break, a short one, a needed one.
Take a drive, a walk, a nap, read a book for fun and refreshing. Take time to pray and rest in God. Slow down and notice the beauty of creation around you. Sing, dance, stretch or just lie down.Do what is rejuvenating for you.
You might feel like you can’t. That too many people need you. I get that. But you need a break, an hour or an evening to rest/refresh. Jesus went off by Himself to rest and pray. He didn’t do ministry constantly.
You can delegate.
Sometimes it’s tough to do. But you can, please find someone to take your responsibilities for a short time or even say, “I’m sorry but I’m unavailable for this hour or this evening. YOU need a break. And spell off someone else so they can the same.
Give someone else a break.
Pastors, who are streaming a Sunday service and doing countless online meetings could you and a brother/sister do a joint service a couple of times so that one week they can produce one and the next you can? You’re running on less rest than usual and having to prepare one less worship experience this month could help you both as well as show great unity in the body of Christ.
Or here’s a radical idea, cancel a meeting. Take a “snow day”. Remember how good it felt as a kid, or a teacher or a parent to have a snow day? A day when you could not do what you normally had to do? Okay, so maybe you can’t take a day (if you can, grab it and run baby!). But cancel or stop doing something you can do without for even an hour or two. Take breath and rest.
Cancel a meeting.
At work we had a lot of meetings and now that tech is helping us survive the pandemic, those dreaded meetings have followed us home like a lonely puppy. But they have taken over the house. In the past, we have had too many meetings. And in the midst of online meetings instead of in-person ones we are falling into the same habit. Don’t meet so often. Cancel — what a great word! Give some space back to your people so they can breathe and so you can breathe.
Parents and caregivers, you won’t be surprised if I say you need a break. And if you need a rest or a break I’m sure the others in your household do too. What can you do to help that happen? Make a deal with someone to make a space to rest even if it’s for an hour or two, in the sunshine or in your room. If you’re a single parent or caregiver is there someone who can help? Someone who you can trade off some time and energy while maintaining safe distance? Not sure how it will happen as it depends on your specific situation. Pray about it and ask God how. He’s the one who can help you find a way.
God gave us work and responsibility. He also gave us Sabbath. We need to embrace both so please do.
Again, YOU are doing amazing. God has gifted you and given you an awesome responsibility and you are killing it. But please give yourself a break.