3 posts categorized "Balance that Works"

April 13, 2011

When 'Quitting' is God's Will for You...

Bayfield Docks at Night

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So leave a post, share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! 

Typically I work very hard to reply to every post, but I must tell you, I am about 20 replies behind right now! Forgive me. I'm buried.  Please pray for me if you think of me. I'll get to those post replies as soon as I can. Thanks for your patience...

Now on to my topic:

Monday on Live the Promise my guest was Geri Scazzero and we talked about her book, 'I Quit! Stop Pretending Everything is Fine and Change Your Life". Listen to the interview here...

Geri is a pastor's wife who had 'served' dutifully for years to the point of utter and absolute burnout. Then one day - when she couldn't take another moment - she declared to her husband (my paraphrase), "I quit! This church may be growing, but I'm dying inside. I'm leaving this church and going somewhere else!'

Well, you can imagine how that landed on her husband. Long story short, though it turned things upside down for a while, her choice exposed a system within her marriage and her church that wasn't conducive to intimacy with God, intimacy with her husband, and a life that involved rest. The church culture was so fast paced, there was no time for replenishment. Now, Geri has the marriage of her dreams and their church culture is one that fosters life and balance. 

Years ago I hit that same wall of, 'I can't do it anymore!' and had to step away from a significant commitment. I had been trying to send up warning flares that my soul was depleted but everyone was busy with their own work and no one understood how desperate I was becoming. So, one day, I had to lay it down and say, "I'm done." And, that was the beginning of healing for me. It took a while for me to burn out, and it took a while for me to recover. But out of that season I learned a very valuable lesson. A couple lessons, actually. 

Nobody knows my limits like I do (and God, of course). It's up to me to establish personal boundaries so that I'll not only survive, but thrive in life. A second lesson I learned is that ideally, you don't want to get to such a crisis point that you have to blow up and quit in a moment's notice. Which brings me back to my first point: it's SO important that you pay attention to how your commitments are affecting you! Make some changes NOW if you need to so you can last long and finish strong! Ask God to show you how to honorably adjust your schedule and commitments so you can make room for life, and breath, and joy, and replenishment. Life must have its ebb and flow - not just flow! 

You might be at a breaking point right now. Here are four indicators to help you discern if you need to make some serious changes in your life immediately  (taken from Geri's book, "I Quit!):

  • You violate your own integrity (how you're living speaks differently than what you truly believe and value)
  • What or whom you love is at stake
  • Your present situation pain is so great, you have to make a change
  • The fear of things staying the SAME is actually worse than the fear of things changing

If you are in a desperate place right now, may you steal away for some time with the Lord. May you look up and listen for His voice. He will show you the way you should go. He WANTS you to be replenished, rested, and refueled. It's not impossible! You're not stuck, though you may feel otherwise!

Jesus reigns over your circumstances and He can and will deliver you if you trust Him.

Have a blessed week~

Susie

June 21, 2010

The Right Kind of Fatigue...

Kev'sMorningRoutine  

Greetings, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. This week I'm posting late Monday night because I'll be out of town for the next few days. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So leave a comment, share a story or insight, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! 

Two quick announcements:

In celebration of my newest release, Growing Grateful Kids, I'm giving away a 4G-I-pod Shuffle to someone who posts a book review on Amazon (only one month left on this promotion!). Go to my Facebook page, click on the Free I-pod! tab for more information. 

My new radio show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson launched a couple of weeks ago (Noon to 1:00 CST every Saturday)! My guest this Saturday is author and columnist Lee Grady. We will be talking about his book, "The Holy Spirit is Not For Sale" and, about the need for a great awakening in the coming days. We had a great, and thought-provoking conversation. Be sure to listen in! For more information, go to: www.Faith900.com 

Now, on to my topic...

Many years ago, I went through a burnout stage that was so bad, it actually scared me. I had been committed to so many good things, I - like many others - had lost sight of the BEST thing - to live and breathe in sync with God's heartbeat for me.

The Lord was gentle and wonderful during my recovery season. Step by step He led me through a time of soul-searching, rest, reflection, and repentance. I understood, on a deeper level, how much He loves me, how important my time is to Him, and how I only have this one life to offer HIM. And I can't give to Him something I've already given away to somebody else.

Out of that season I learned to 'put the big rocks in first' as some are known to say. Certain things in my life had to be immovable commitments if I ever hoped to bear the kind of fruit God had in mind for me from the beginning of time. And the same is true for you.

In the Gospel of John (chapter 15) Jesus tells us that we have a divine appointment to bear MUCH fruit, and that it's to His Father's great glory when we do. It blesses His heart so much when we live by faith, abide in the Vine, and live in response to His love. 

As Christians, we don't produce more by doing more; we produce more by being more with Christ.

But here's something very important about the fruit-bearing life: We are going to get downright exhausted sometimes, and that's okay.

In those early years after my burnout, when I would only take careful steps into commitment, and still have the occasional day of absolute exhaustion, that wretched enemy would come in like the bully he is and accuse me for being 'back in that place' of burn out; of never learning to say no, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah.

And I just took it because I agreed with him. But then, the Lord whispered to my heart and said, "You are most definitely NOT back in that place! You have a little fatigue today and you need some rest; tomorrow is a new day. When you were burned out, you were tired every day; you had lost your margin and your joy. That's not you now. You are in a NEW place and learning to work within the ebb and flow of life." That insight was a healing revelation to me.

I also read the work of pastors and ministers who do large-scale ministry, and every one of them admitted that although they KNEW they were walking in God's will for them, they still had days when they dropped in bed in exhaustion. It's simply true: walking out the things God has for us - though wonderful and exhilarating - can still make us tired from time to time.

Maybe this is obvious to everyone but me. But when I figured this out, the accuser slithered away. Now, instead of being tired for a month (something I'd never allow in my life again), I might be tired for a day or two. And as soon as I notice twinges of fatigue that carry over, I make some immediate changes.

What about you? 

Are you flirting with burnout? Have you been joyless and tired for a long time? Maybe you need a time of recovery and rest. I'd love to send one of you a free copy of my book, "Balance That Works When Life Doesn't." Leave a comment and I'll announce a winner next week along with Starbucks card winner.

Or maybe you're just a little tired and just need a little break. Give yourself one.

More than anything, I pray that if you're tired, it's from working through and walking out God's highest and best will for you. 

May the Lord fill you up and make you strong! May you hear His voice and follow His lead.

Blessings upon you this week~

October 30, 2009

A Smart Pace...

BeautifulPath

Greetings, Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I USUALLY post every Wednesday (and have been very consistent to that end until last week). :) My sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Though this post lands on a Friday, I'll be back on track next Wednesday. Lord willing. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share a story or insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend. It's time to announce the winner for the month of October. Drum roll please...

Kimberlee Patton, congratulations! Please send me a message via Facebook and give me your mailing address. I'll get the card in the mail within the next week and a half. Thanks for sharing your posts with us!

NEW RELEASE!!!

I am very excited to announce the release of my newest book, "Embracing Your Freedom: A Personal Experience in God's Heart for Justice." 

Make my day and pick up a copy today! I believe the message of this book is an important word for women in our day. Follow the Amazon link below to get a look at my book. Please post a review if you've had the chance to read 'Embracing Your Freedom':

Embracing Your Freedom (on Amazon)

Now on to my topic...

A friend and I talked today about the importance of following the 'rules' of training. She is an elite athlete and competes at a very high level. She admittedly doesn't like to rest. She likes to move. She is a two-time cancer survivor, a near-fatal car accident survivor, and a typhoid fever survivor. Now that she's healthy, she wants to move! I understand her completely. I'm the same way. The thing is, though her coach repeatedly tells her to pull back at times and keep some reserve in the tank for the intense days, she figures, 'if I have it, I'm going to expend it.' Again, I understand her completely, because I'm much the same way.

But in order for us to accomplish the whole of what God has appointed us, we must never consider ourselves an 'exception to the rule.' If we run too hard without rest, we'll burn out. If we live half-hearted lives, we'll miss out. If we lose focus, we'll lose purpose. This is the race of our lives, friends, and if we want to 'run to win' we need to play by the rules. 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

Let's take a moment to consider the different aspects of 'running to win' as it relates to our physical and spiritual lives:

Run Focused:

Smart athletes keep their eye on the prize, on the goal. They say 'no' to many things so they can say yes to the race set before them. We have a destiny and a specific call of God woven into our spiritual DNA. We live on this planet, in this day, in our community for some very distinct reasons. How about you? What are your God-assignments? Have you said yes to too many good things, or even not-so-good things that have deterred you from your God-ordained purpose on this earth?

Stay Nourished:

Smart athletes nourish themselves regularly throughout the day. Their input has everything to do with their output. If they skip meals or eat junk food, their performance will suffer significantly. How about you? Are you feeding yourself throughout the day with the things of God? In this day, we have access to spiritual nourishment with the click of a button. There's no reason in the world for us to be spiritual malnourished. Don't let your taste for spiritual food wane, otherwise your life choices will follow suit.

Train Hard:

Smart-winning athletes put their time into training. They take initiative when everyone else is sitting in front of the TV eating guacamole dip (something I'll be doing later on tonight). :) Truly though, since the Bible likens us to an elite athlete, we need to look at our level of training. Do you consider heavy seasons as an opportunity to get stronger, or do you complain, whine, and drop the ball on your faith when you're not getting your way? Are you earnest in prayer and do you take initiative to serve God every moment you think of it? We're not here to dabble in Christianity, we are either all-in or nothing (See Revelations 3:15-16).

Rest Well:

Finally, and this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of training, the truly smart athlete knows how and when to rest. We don't necessarily rest when we feel like it. I can think of plenty of times I 'felt' desperate for rest and God told me to get up and run. In hindsight, I was thankful I did. Great fruit came from those times. We are called to rest as the Lord leads, on Sabbath, in-our-hearts-as-a-way-of-life, and during seasons when the Lord pulls us out of the rat race and puts us into a circumstance where we have no other choice. One thing we must remember: God-directed rest will always propel us forward. God-rest heals, restores, and replenishes. Lazy-rest rips us off and depletes us of the muscle and motivation necessary for the race.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man (Proverbs 6:9-11).

Take a look at your form today. Are you strong in one area and yet neglecting another? May the Lord speak to your heart and help you to make the necessary adjustments. 

  And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared (Ephesians 6:10-13 MSG). 

Until next week~