A note from Kelly King: When I ask women to describe themselves, there is generally one word that rises to the top—busy. The holidays are looming, and schedules are filling up quickly. If you’re a leader that needs to address how to handle stress during this season, take a moment to read Diane Nix’s words today and be encouraged. I’m looking forward to some down time with the people I love most this season.
It’s the beginning of our holiday season. The activities in our ministries can be daunting, coupled with our family activities. How is a ministry wife or woman in ministry to cope with the stress of this season and still focus on the reason for two of the biggest holidays on the North American continent?
There are some of us out there who are performance driven. We live on a hamster wheel. Truthfully, I fear we don’t know how to get off. Sometimes as a woman in leadership, we can get through the events and seasons and miss the very thing that God had for us to communicate with everyone else. I fear that there have been times when I didn’t hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit because I was so preoccupied with the busyness of my life and making sure everyone else heard from the Lord.
And there have been times in my leadership that I missed great opportunities with my family or I’ve even been so busy planning the perfect event, celebration, or meal that I missed spending time with the people that matter the most in my life.
I know that your list is long. (Mine is a mile long.) I have just recently answered a dozen emails in which I wrote, “Please forgive the delay in my reply.” I, for one, need to take a breath.
Breathe deeply and then look over your list. Ask the questions, “What’s urgent? What can wait? What can I forget?”
I am practicing the following suggestions myself, will you join me?
- Remember who has called you to this work. Be still in your quiet time, and let the God of the universe speak to you. Lean back and practice stillness. Psalm 46:10.
- Read His Word and then reflect silently on what you have read. Apply it to your life.
- Take a nap/rest.
- Take a walk. Stop and look up at the sky; watch the sunset.
- Plan to be with your loved ones, and then do it. Go to lunch with a friend, and don’t talk about ministry.
Take a look at your list and then ask the following questions:
- Is this urgent? If yes, then focus here first.
- Can this wait until after the season? Then communicate with anyone involved that you will be picking this up after the first of the year. THEN LAY IT ASIDE! (Seriously, lay it aside.)
- What can you forget? Is there anything on this list that is of your own making, and it’s just not that important? Is it necessary for the life of the ministry God has called you to? Can you just let it go? (Cue music; if you have any littles in your life, think “Frozen.”) Seriously, there are things that you and I need to hand off to someone else or scratch off our lists completely!
- Establish a rhythm of rest. Take a Sabbath! Productive ministry leadership comes when you and I are well-rested. There will be times that we are tired, but to lead out of fatigue is a disaster waiting to happen! Take a sabbath day where you do not think of ministry leadership. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8).
Living the aforementioned is a challenge. Honestly, it’s a challenge even when we don’t have the holidays. I know that when I have practiced those steps mentioned above, a paradox happens.
I get more accomplished. I am more productive.
I experience more peace.
I hear clearly from the One who has called me to this high calling.
I have more energy.
I am more creative.
More ideas flood my mind.
I have an incredible community and family time.
I’m praying for us this season, that we will not miss the greatest gift—LIFE—while serving the One who gave the gift in the first place! He came that you may have life and have it abundantly!
Diane is the director and founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him, a network of encouragement to ministry wives around the globe. They are offering “Free Refresh Retreats” and a safe place for ministry wives to share their hearts with other like-minded women. Thirty-five years ago, she married her husband, pastor/professor, Dr. Preston Nix. He is a professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching at NOBTS. They have two biological daughters, two spiritual-grown daughters, two grands, and two sons in-law. She is an author, speaker, vlogger, and blogger. You can learn more and connect with Diane at contagiousjoy4him.com