Last year my husband and I worked hard without many breaks. Our busiest time in ministry work is August through May, and last year we put the pedal to the metal, as it were.
We spent the summer leading up to our “busy season” writing Shawn’s first book, The Measure of Our Success. He would write; I would edit. Beginning in August, Shawn travelled often for various conferences or speaking engagements, and he led coaching networks for other church planters. He also led our fabulous church on a daily basis – no easy feat. As for me, I spent a good bit of time leading Girlfriends, an environment for the women of MLC. I also wrote articles for Up In Cumming (a local mag), Flourish (an website for Pastors’ wives and women in ministry), and my own good ol’ blog. And, I spent time each week helping Shawn brainstorm sermon ideas, message tweaks, and plans for the future of our ministry. Together, we also coached/lead our kids’ football and cheer squads. It seemed we would finish one task, only to discover the next one was looming dead ahead.
Let me tell you, by
May March we were tired. Very. And, it showed. At least for me. My creativity was waning, and I just wasn’t my normal peppy self. My family was tired, too. I could tell they were simply going through the motions – wake, eat, work/study, eat, sleep.
Ok, it probably wasn’t that bad. But, if I was “living the dream,” I think I might have been ready to wake up.
This year, I made a change. We still have a “busy season”, but I approached it differently. Rather than going full speed ahead all year hoping we survive until summer vacation, I’ve planned several mini-vacations along the way.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We take breaks to rest, and we honor the Sabbath. But, sometimes I need my family to pull out of our normal routine for longer than a day, and I need a change of scenery.
So, here’s my plan. I synced up my husband’s calendar with the kids’ school calendar. I looked for opportunities when the kids might be out for a 3-day weekend. I took note of longer breaks, too, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. Rather than letting these dates come and go, I decided to plan in advance to “change our scenery.” I asked around a bit, found some good friends with cabins in the woods and houses at the beach (I’ve got good friends!), and I marked our calendars.
With these mini-vacays never more than a few months away, we always have something fun to look forward to. Better still, we know we have times of refreshment and reconnection coming. So, if life gets too crazy-full, we all know an end is in sight.
That’s good for my mind. Good for my spirit. Good for my body. Good for my family.
Later this week, I’ll fill you in on the fun we had on one of our mini-vacations, Thanksgiving in the North Ga Mountains. But, for now, I want to encourage you to take a break, too. After Black Friday shopping, you just might need it!