Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the load you are carrying every day? Here are 3 keys that will help you to prevent burnout and keep your peace.

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The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. Exodus 18:13

Moses had a full plate.

He had overextended himself and the people were feeling the weight of it.

Standing in lines from sun up to sun down, they were tired of waiting and Moses was exhausted.

I can relate.

With 5 kids and a spouse to take care of every day,  the privilege of being a mom and wife can quickly become a burden.

Cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, laundry… the responsibilities can seem endless.

Figuring out how to balance it all can be a bit overwhelming…. it can feel like burnout.

So what is burnout?

If you google the word burnout, you’ll find these symptoms:

exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and motivation, feelings of ineffectiveness, frustration or cynicism

Sounds like I’ve been here before. I don’t think any of us want to lack enthusiasm,  feel ineffective or become cynical.

What are some ways to prevent burnout before it sets in?

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the load you are carrying every day? Here are 3 ways to prevent burnout when your schedule is full. #burnout #peace

 

While reading Exodus 18, three ways to prevent burnout emerged:

Accountability

Having someone who can speak into our lives is essential to recognizing possible burnout.

Many times we don’t even realize we are overwhelmed until we’ve completely worn ourselves out.

We continue doing it all ourselves; digging ourselves into a pit, when suddenly we realize we are buried beneath our work.

If we would’ve had a friend there to help, they would have warned us to not keep digging.

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had a similar warning for Moses. He asks an important question that we all need to be asked sometimes,

“What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Exodus 18:14

Ouch.

I’m guilty of this.

I tend to get into that mode where I am doing, doing, doing…. Usually I end up in burnout and everyone around me is walking on eggshells to avoid an explosion.

Sound familiar to you?

Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, was close enough to Moses that he felt comfortable sharing his observations.

Do you have someone in your life close enough that will tell you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear?

I’m sure Moses probably wanted to hear how amazing he was at handling all these people.

Most likely he wanted to feel like he had it all together.

That’s what I would’ve wanted.

Instead, Jethro cared enough to give Moses the truth.

I imagine that this encounter cultivated a closer relationship between the two men.

Because, “In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery” (Proverbs 28:23).

Moses humbly received the advice, leaving the whole nation blessed and Moses prevented burnout.

“You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. ” Exodus 18:19

Rely on God to do your work

How often do we bring our work before the Lord?

If I’m being honest, it’s not all the time.

If it’s something big, I’ll turn to God right away, but all those pesky little situations that drain my energy….usually my analytical self is working overtime to figure those out.

One particular day while homeschooling, I was trying to explain the concept of double negatives in Math.

My child was clearly not understanding.

I was beginning to get frustrated when it suddenly dawned on me (Thank you, Holy Spirit) that the problem was not with my son, but with me.

I wasn’t communicating it in a way that he could understand.

At a loss for how to explain this concept, I quietly asked God, “How can I say this so he will get it?

Immediately I remembered an example from a previous English lesson.

As the words came out of my mouth, I saw him beginning to understand.

Praise the Lord, it was a victory for both of us! He got the concept and I was reminded to seek the Lord in my work.

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the load you are carrying every day? Here are 3 ways to avoid burnout when your schedule is full. #burnout #peace

It also prevents us from carrying unnecessary stress into our workplace (or homeschool environment).

When I start my days stressed, my kids feel it as soon as they get up, causing them to be grumpy as well.

It makes a really long day of homeschooling for all of us!

“But select from all the people some capable, honest men who will fear God and hate bribes….. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring  the major cases to you. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you.” Exodus 18:21-22

Delegate

This is the key to great leadership and provides sanity for homemakers.

Whatever your work is, delegating will be required for optimum success and burnout prevention.

For all you Type A, driven personality people, I get you. I am one of you.

I like things done a certain way, which can often prevent me from relying on someone else for help.

Getting the task done right is really important to me.

However when we refuse to delegate, we stress ourselves out doing all the work and we deny those around us a chance to operate in their gifts.

When my middle daughter was 2, she really loved to clean.

She would consistently take wipes out of the container and begin scrubbing the floors.

I thought it was just a Cinderella moment, but when she was 4 she began asking to mop the floors.

Actually she begged.

The wipes were not a big deal, no real mess. But the mopping?

All I could see was more work for me!

But she looked at me with those big brown eyes and I gave in.

To my surprise, she was really good at it. I mean really good. Like, better than me good!

Now she loves to fold clothes and help around the house.

It is a gift God has given her.

Yet, I probably wouldn’t have recognized this if I hadn’t given her the opportunity to mop (which I do not enjoy).

Now, not only do I have help (which avoid burnout), but my sweet girl feels fulfilled in helping around the house.

If you are like me and struggle with this area, you may need to let go of the little things, in order to be more efficient at some bigger things.

Do you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of burnout?  We can all tend to come to that point at one time or another. Yet if we have some close friends to walk with, rely on God and learn to delegate, we can begin preventing the frequency of this vicious cycle.

Which key area do you struggle with the most—accountability, relying on God, or delegating? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the load you are carrying every day? Here are 3 ways to prevent burnout when your schedule is full. #burnout #peace

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55 Comments

  1. I LOVE, love, love this. I struggle with all 3!! My husband is a pastor and we just took time off because he hit a wall and burned out big time. We learned the lessons the hard way. Thank you for sharing. It’s not just pastors who burn out.

    1. You are so right Niki! We can all burnout at some time in life. I did about 7 years ago. I thought I could handle the pressure; I was determined to succeed…and I did, at burning myself out. It’s amazing what we learn from those experiences. I love how even when we wear ourselves out, God gently lifts us back up and brushes the dirt off of us and sets us on a new path. I’m so glad you stopped by today!

  2. Alisa,

    Great lessons drawn from your study of Moses!

    Most of the time it just seems “easier” for me to do a project because the time it takes to explain it, I could already have it done. You convicted me that in a sense, I am robbing the person of a blessing to exercise or discover their own gifts, ESPECIALLY where children are concerned.

    Other times, I can be a very good delegator. lol. I am a results oriented person and it feels good to see all the pieces and people come together on a project.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Karen, I’m the same way! I like to get things done. With kids, it’s so hard for me to slow down and let them help. Last year I took an EQ test (how I relate to others and myself). It stated that I tend to have an intolerance for people who are inefficient or don’t know what they are doing. It’s definitely something I’m asking God to work out of me! Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. Good keys to avoid burnout, Alisa. And can I order one of those “love to mop” children, too? 😉

    1. Kristi, if you lived closer I’d send her over! She always asks if she can go clean other people’s houses!

      1. Gosh, if only we were closer!
        Relying on God is a big area for me. It’s rather easy to plow ahead in the field of self-sufficiency. (sigh) But with maturity and humility, pride eats dirt. 😉 Always enjoy visiting with you. We are neighbors at Lyli’s today. #thoughtprovokingThursday

        1. I love that Kristi!! “But with maturity and humility, pride eats dirt.” I feel a lesson for my kids coming on! ☺️ Thanks for visiting!

  4. This is such a great, practical post! I love the advice that Moses is given and feel like it is so useful for whatever season of life we find ourselves in. You did an awesome job of finding 3 practical ways that help prevent burnout. I especially think accountability (coupled with humility) is essential because if I am not being honest with myself and others, I can tend to get overwhelmed by too many things I say yes to.

    (found you through Wife Mommy Me’s linkup)

    1. Elena, I love your comment, accountability couples with humility! That’s so true! It takes lots of humility to let others hold us accountable! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  5. This is really good. I, too, have struggled with all three. But when I remember to go to God first for wisdom and strength I am usually able to see things a little more clearly and not worry so much thinking I have to do it all on my own. Love the illustration of your daughter. 🙂 When one of my daughters was 2, she was very good at folding clothes and would be surprisingly neat about it! It’s so easy to just do it ourselves, but how much better to delegate. It makes sense and is good for us and those to whom we delegate. Thanks for such an insightful post! Blessings to you! I’m visiting from #TestimonyTuesday.

    1. Gayl, isn’t it amazing how much a 2 year old is capable of? Sometimes I think we discount what they can do because of their age. Thanks for reading today!

  6. Alisa – I am stopping by from #Titus2Tuesday. Your title caught my attention, since I have been writing on the same topic recently. I would say that I struggle with the delegation part the most, mostly because it usually ends up back in my lap anyway so I think, “why bother”… but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t continue to try delegating 🙂

    1. I never thought of it that way Debbie, but your right! Sometimes I think it’s just easier & less hassle to to do it myself! Glad you stopped by!

  7. Great tips, Alisa! My yeses come too quickly. So I am thankful my husband helps me see when I have too much on my plate.
    Sweet blessings to you, friend. : )

  8. Great practical reminders today. We can all fall into these habits and end up burned out too quickly. Thanks for reminding us how to get out!

  9. I have to remember these points. I am guilty of all, especially on not relying on God to do the work and take care of me. Too often I try to do it all in my own strength.

    1. Me too Mary! I think we all forget! But God is so merciful and gracious. He gently pulls us back in and reminds us of whose we are where we should be looking! Thanks for visiting today!

  10. Hello Alisa,

    I struggle with relying on God. I always feel presence of God in all my work. Your post is a great reminder for me. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    ~Dr, Diana Hardy

  11. Love this, Alisa. I’ve learned that it’s important to make room for margin and rest into my day, my week, and my year. It renews my spirit and helps me to avoid getting crabby.

  12. Thank-you for sharing this! It’s so easy to get caught up in what we think we “should” be doing and not actually ask the Holy Spirit about it. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. 🙂

  13. Great tips and points, Alisa! I definitely need to slow down and ask God first, rather than after, I’ve made a mess of things! I love how He honored your prayer for wisdom! What a wonderful teaching moment!

  14. Great post, Alisa! Burnout is so common today. We all need to keep these tips in mind!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  15. Hey Alisa … so very good to meet you this week. I am so resonating with your wisdom on burn-out, having been there, done that back in the day. Too often we see it coming, but for some reason we’re not ready, willing, or able to say ‘NO MORE!’

    HIndsight’s a great thing, isn’t it …

    Weekend blessings to you, to yours!

  16. Thank you for this wonderful post on burnout. As caregiver to my husband and son, and trying to be a somewhat “normal” wife and mom to my husband and 3 children (whatever normal means, don’t think I am capable of normal, haha). Burnout is always at my door, waiting to take me down. It has a time or two, I am learning how to delegate ministry thankfully. God bless you!

    1. Laura, it sounds like you have a very full plate! Praying that God will give you pockets of rest! Thanks for visiting today! Have a beautiful week.

  17. I need to remind myself constantly to rely on God to do my work. Otherwise, I end up spinning and comparing and chasing after so many unnecessary soul drainers! Great word, Alisa!
    Happy Wednesday!
    #OneWordCoffee
    Megs

  18. I know burn-out all too well…it is so hard to try and let someone else do some of the work – it might not get done ‘right’. Like when I was first married, I HAD to fold the towels since hubby just didn’t know how to fold them the ‘right’ way. Well, he does most of the laundry now…
    I am curious about how you explained the double negatives…
    Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    1. Oh yes… I was an obsessive towel folder too! After 5 kids, I’m way past that! Ok… So the double negatives. So 5-(-7)= 12, right? Well that’s a positive. So 2 negatives = a positive. In English I’m not, not going to the store. If I’m not, not going then that means I’m going! 2 negatives = a positive! Amazing how that simple concept sparked a light bulb!

  19. Burnout…Yes! Especially in homeschooling. 🙂 I finally had my kids start saying, “Mom… you are not speaking my language,” when the lessons were going the wrong direction. This doesn’t always happen but it is a lot like your suggestions to avoid burn out. Define the needs, seek the wisdom and help to get through ( and past) the trial and take a break when stress threatens to topple the peace boat you are floating on. 🙂

    Great advice, Alisa! Thanks for sharing this at #GraceMoments LInk up! I am thrilled you are a part of the community.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    1. I like that idea, Dawn! “Mom… You are not speaking my language” is a great comment for when they aren’t understanding. It can break through the frustration barrier much quicker! I’m going to have to use that with my kids. Glad to be linking up each week. ☺️

  20. well, I won’t say that my kids “like” to help out around the house but I am trying to get better at delegating anyway! ha! Great post! I think burn out is something we all struggle with. We live in such a “busy” state of mind that we forget that we need a little Sabbath in our lives.

    1. So true Lorie! We live in a go, go, go world. It’s easy to forget to rest. Thanks for visiting today. Have a great week!

  21. ALISA – great post! i often reach burn-out status with my job but lately have been praying about my “to-do” list first thing in the morning and asking God to not only help me accomplish what is His plan for the day, but to remove what I don’t need to worry about.

    1. That’s a great idea Sarah! I’m sure there are a few things that could be removed from my to do list! Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!

  22. I struggle most with delegation. I like things done a certain way. I just expect people to have the same drive, passion, and desire to get things done. I don’t like giving the same directions over and over again. This devotion has made me realize that I’m not delegating because i don’t want to have patience with other people. It’s the reason I don’t delegate. I have to continue to summit my work to God and He will work in and through people to get it done. I have to relinquish control over overseeing everything. Also that I have to be patient with people because God is patient with me. I have to be willing to develop people. Wow…revelation.

    1. Oh, I know that feeling Angela! I don’t like repeating myself or doing the same things over and over. But I also tend to want to control how things are done! I’m definitely learning to delegate and let go of some of the details! Hey, recognizing it is half the battle, right?? Praying that God would continue to help you in this area.

  23. Totally needed to read this! The eaxmple from Moses is so good. We always need to lean into the Lord’s strength. Thank you for this refreshing round up of truth from God’s Word!

  24. Umm, yes. My first-grade spoke the words I NEEDED to hear this week. It stopped me in my tracks and made me realize I was allowing the little things to make me mad and not being efficient in what matters most–loving and being present. Great post Alisa!

  25. I can relate to this so much!! Definitely need to work on all 3 of these things. Thank you for the gentle reminder/encouragement.

  26. I so needed this today!! In the thick of summer I am DYING!!! Feeling so overwhelmed. Thanks for this!! xoxo

  27. Alisa, this is such a wonderful post. You so eloquently describe how each of these areas have personally impacted you—and I love how God has been woo-ing your heart in each one. Personally, I have a tendency to not delegate and ask others to hold me accountable. Delegation involves asking for help and this is one of the hardest things for me to do. I often feel like I’m bothering someone else. It’s a lie that the enemy has thrown in my face for years and I’m thankful to say it doesn’t roar in my ear as much as it used to. Accountability has been more of a challenge for me as well in that my social circles have changed dramatically over the past six years. I often get stuck in the “I don’t know that person well enough to let them hold me accountable” trap when in reality it will deepen and strengthen friendships. Thank you for encouraging me to seek out these things in my life to help me to invite more community in my life.

    1. Oh Sonya, I know what you mean! I have a hard time delegating bc I want everything to do be done right. I’m learning to let that go and give others the opportunity to serve as well.

  28. These are great suggestions from the life of a great leader. I know I’ve been feeling burnt out here lately so I really appreciate your post!!

  29. This is a great reflection and list of suggestions! I’m trying to think through the area of accountability. I think many people don’t know them well enough to even be able to ask, Why are you signing up for something else! Great encouragement!

  30. Great tips! I’m especially bad at “delegate.” but for a different reason. The people pleaser in me doesn’t want to bother others with what I’ve convinced myself I should be able to accomplish on my own. It’s spelled PRIDE! Thanks for this article!

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