Archive for the ‘Burnout’ Category

Balance Your Day

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Crashing metal, thudding, and sounds of heavy furniture being slid across a tile floor brought my husband Garry and me out of our chairs and onto our feet. The noise was coming from behind the closed utility door.

With adrenaline pumping we flung the door open to find the clothes washer thrashing about like a monster trying to rid itself of an unpleasant pest.

Garry began talking to the machine, asserting that he had not put in too many jeans to wash effectively in a single load! The moving slowed after he pushed the off button, and he was then able to open the lid and view all those jeans piled up on one side of the tub. There may not have been too many clothes, but they had gotten completely off balance. In the lop-sided condition the tub simply could not take the ‘spin’ cycle.

Our lives can be a lot like my washing machine. We fill each day to the maximum with stuff. When we get overloaded, it’s hard to do a good job. Maybe we have even calculated the day and it looks like the number of things we have scheduled is a do-able amount. But there is still one more important detail that must be considered. That vital aspect is balance.

A friend of mine, who started his own cabinet-making company, found that his greatest challenge was consistently taking a lunch break. Before he owned the company, lunch was an anticipated joy so he easily kept track of time. But when he became the owner, he tried to get ahead by working nonstop all day long. After many hours of not eating, he felt weak and his hands would begin to shake as his blood sugar dropped dangerously low. He learned that to really be successful he would have to work in harmony with his body.

In the same way, if I neglect the spiritual side of my life by going extended periods without praying or reading the Bible, then I will find myself becoming emotionally unstable, as well. And so will you.

We were made to have balance in our spirit, soul, and body—time to work, play, eat, exercise, rest, create, pray, and contemplate. Balance creates order, focus, and boundaries. Balance keeps us from becoming burned out. Balance allows us to refuel and enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment throughout the day. We may not even have too much stuff. We may just need to prioritize and arrange it differently… especially when life goes into a ‘spin’!

Are you out of balance in the spin of a hectic schedule today? If so, then I pray that you would stop and create balance in every area of your life: spirit, soul, and body. May you live a healthy lifestyle and be strong even in old age.

May your day be blessed and your tub in balance!

“One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NASB)

Live a Relevant Life

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

1.) Choose Relevance as a judge and guide – daily.

“Something is relevant to a task if it increases the likelihood of accomplishing the goal” (Wikipedia)

2.) Rest is Relevant!  When we were building Mom’s house we would stop at the end of the day and concentrate on things still not finished! That was overwhelming!  Then, one day, we reflected on all the things we ‘had done’.  We were uplifted as we released ourselves and the day back to God!  We rested even though our work was not complete.  We did what we could on that day and that was enough!

Tomorrow will come and there’ll be more time to work and accomplish goals, unless of course you’ve burnt yourself out today.

Look into your eyes as you work.  Do they sparkle with anticipation and passion?  If not- you’ve got some choosing to do. Walk through those windows of your soul and choose relevance and rest. See life… as a good journey.

Winds of Change

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.” Author Unknown

Sometimes the winds are worse than change itself!  I have often wondered why it is that I who love change, still fight so hard emotionally, to make the turn to go another direction!  I remember when I worked for Northeast Tech Center. The job was awesome until I reached a plateau of learning and creating.  I loved the people I worked with and the campus was a beautiful place, nestled among trees on the side of a hill.  I felt the breezes of change for days- maybe even a year- ahead of my resignation to resign.  I had reached my limit.  I just didn’t know where I was going next if I quit what I was doing.

The winds blew harder and unrest turned into dread. Early one very dreary, cloudy morning, on my drive to work, I started looking at a very tiny mobile home that had a light on.  And, I began to imagine that the lady of the house was home having coffee.  I thought of the joy she must have being able to sit and sip. Maybe she was taking time to read, talk to God and the cat.  She might actually have breakfast on the table.  Maybe she would be able to clean her own house, or see her children, or go out with a friend.  I just knew she would be feeling very fulfilled and would fling her head back and laugh at the rain—for she was happy.  I was not!  My goals of making more money to create a better car and house seemed way down on the list- compared to a moment of being true to myself- even if it meant downsizing.  Although, some of my greatest concerns were that I would never get to trade cars or replace the carpet.

My scenario of the lady was pure imagination.  The winds of change were very much a reality! Would I be true to myself and try new things or shrivel up inside a shell- with a known paycheck end?

Yes, I quit and tears spilled onto the page of the resignation letter before it was sealed and signed!

It was quite funny that first week after.  Someone donated me an entire box of toilet paper!  Strange, but, it made me laugh at God’s humor. Forget the ‘if God cares for the birds’ story in the Bible.  I now had my own version which went something like, “If God cares if Reba has toilet paper, then He can also provide for food and clothes and carpet—and fun.”  I love God.  He’s personal to me. And, He likes to make me laugh.  People say He’s awesome- and I know  He is. Spiritual people say cliché words… I mostly think God is funny- in the very most Highest, Holy way!  Think about it. He made a donkey to talk, fed a prophet steak flown in by a black bird, divided a sea by lifting a stick, fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch!  I tell you He really works to make us smile.  He pushes it further and wants me to be ‘full’ of joy the Bible says.  Well, that’s where the toilet paper came in!

Yes, I bought my first new car after that, founded the WINGS women’s ministry, became an ordained minister, started writing this column and began pastoring a church alongside my husband.

Breezes of change are a sweet relief- yet still emotional.

Winds of Change ever blow, redirecting us, charting our course, so that we arrive, totally spent, every gift opened and honed to the limit, having stopped at every port, and boarded every connecting flight, before arriving… at heaven’s door.

Archive #190 – Burdened and Bothered

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Whew!  One more item crossed off the ‘to do’ list.  I should feel fulfilled- tired, but joyful.  Instead I feel only tired.  I know I’ve crossed the line from efficient and effective to burdened and bothered. Too much time spent making oneself keep producing after exhaustion only leads to total personal burnout.

And, we all know the results of burnout.

So, today I started re-thinking what the things that I managed to check off the list really meant to me.  Did I even want to do them in the first place?  What was the value of today?  Did my list have any lasting results?  Did my work bring me closer to my goals and the areas I enjoy?

Now, I know there are times when illness, death, or special events make us do some things that are just busy, hard work… but, those times should not be the norm.  Normal should be productive with balance.

Who said that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy?

It might be an even more shocking reality to understand that the things I did today I actually traded a day of my life for.  That day I can never retrieve.

God, help me evaluate, calculate, and schedule my days to nourish spirit, soul, and body. Lead me in paths of peaceful production.

Archive #171 – Venting

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Venting is the term used to describe release or discharge through an outlet. All plumbing has a vent to prevent the buildup of poisonous gasses. The teakettle and pressure cooker both let off steam.  Venting is a good thing if it lets out buildup yet normalizes and retains the good. It’s a good thing to keep the poison from building and the pot from exploding.

That was my scientific reasoning that expressing me today in the form of ‘venting’ was entirely legal and beneficial.

See, in my hurry and extreme workload of building the house I filed for and received an extension of taxes. Tomorrow is reckoning day. Today is reality.

I feel better now. The session of griping over what could have been better budget and records last year helped. The rest of the steam was used to educate myself (again) about how the system works.

Now, I need to shut the mouth valve to keep the good thoughts intact. I believe I succeeded because I just heard myself say, “Well, although we still have to come up with more money- I’m thankful that we did have that income.”

Before you explode, find a trustworthy friend to talk to. Remember God always listens. Educate yourself on how to make the situation better next time. Don’t let off so much steam that the good heart of joy and integrity has escaped. Your system has normalized when you begin speaking words of thankfulness!