I won’t remind you that church planting is exhausting, it would actually do us more harm than good to sit here and rehash it. I won’t go into the theological reasons for rest because you know them and you’d love to live them out. And I won’t take up any more of your precious time with an intro because I know you’ve got maybe two minutes to get through this post. So without further ado, here are four practical actions an exhausted church-planting wife should do:
Make a list.
Every time someone says ‘let me know if you ever need anything’ write their name and contact information down. Whether it’s the pastor of a supporting church, a missions team member, the pastor’s wife from another local church, your SEND City Missionary, your grandma, anyone! If they didn’t mean it they shouldn’t have said it and if they did mean it they’ll be happy when you take them up on it.
Pass it off.
You may not have people in your church to delegate to right now and that’s okay, you just get to be creative. At one point a supporting church printed our Sunday handouts, folded them, and shipped them to us weekly. Guess who had been doing that? If it can be done by someone else, or even if it can be outsourced to a company through money donated from people on your list from above, then it should be. People don’t know what to do for you. Even if they are familiar with church planting, your life and your context are unique. You have to tell the church in the suburbs with background checked children’s workers that you don’t know anyone you’d trust to babysit your kids yet and that a night out would be a huge blessing. Utilize the willing people God has brought your way.
That sounds like more work, and it is, but if you don’t create a schedule you won’t rest or you’ll be so frazzled by day’s end that you can’t truly unwind. Assign every task a time allotment and time frame. Be sure to put in time for rest or fun — preferably earlier in the day before the potential for your schedule to be hi-jacked increases. Need help? You can learn how to map out your time here.
Don’t settle for lesser rest.
When you get to your block of free time don’t veg out in front of Netflix. There can be value in one or two quality episodes you truly enjoy but please don’t go slack-jaw in front of the screen. I know you want to. I know you are tired and it’s easy but it will not rejuvenate you. Read a book. Go for a walk. Journal about what you recently read in your Bible. Make a s’more. Have sex with your husband. Whatever it is, be sure it pleasantly engages your brain. Or you can nap — but not too often.
We are busy and will be for quite some time but we don’t have to be exhausted. Let’s be pro-active and put some extra effort into tasks that will free up space for us to be healthy.
What tips do you have to share to help beat exhaustion?
Published November 19, 2015