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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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37

Tuesday 11th April 2017

You’ll need this when you’re burned out and tired

I used to wear “busy” like a badge of honor. I’ve generally had a capacity to do a lot in a day, which means my calendar convinces me to say “yes.”

But then I realized that just because I CAN, doesn’t mean I have to.

At my best, I’m dependable. At my worst? I feel utterly trapped by all my “yeses.”

I’m not alone. Friends often tell me that they feel wrung out, stressed, and sucked dry — because their responsibilities are the boss of them. I asked a group of women the other day, “What steals your joy?”

Over and over, they told me:

“I’m tired.”

“I’m too busy, but don’t know how to stop.”

We feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and it’s our responsibility to figure it all out — to be all things to all people. We want to stop the merry-go-round. Yet we feel resigned to this crazy life.

I had to laugh when I read Mark 1:35-37 this morning. Jesus is up early, praying alone. But it doesn’t last long. Simon and a friend interrupt him: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Sound familiar? Everyone is looking for you, too, aren’t they? Everyone wants your yes. Everyone wants you to sign up for the room party, the committee, the meal drop-off, the Easter Sunrise Service breakfast. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, so you say “yes,” and just like that, your calendar becomes your master.

At the same time, we feel guilty that we feel so stressed. We look around and see mothers with five kids — homeschooling them, while running two nonprofits. We wonder, “how does everyone else do this?” So we minimize our pain, stuffing it because we think we have no right to fuss.

But what if we listened to our OWN lives? What if — when we heard our bodies begging, “go into lower gear” — we actually paid attention? This is the only YOU that you get.

You don’t have to run it in the ground. You don’t have to maintain a go-bananas pace.

You don’t have to say “yes,” even if you are generally capable of running at high capacity.

You don’t have to always be the hero and the helper — sometimes the bravest thing you do is say, “I need help too.”

You are in charge of your hours, not the other way around.

Today, maybe you feel like “everyone is looking for you.” We all get to start our day like Jesus — alone, praying, and asking God for direction. Let Him guide your agenda, and trust that He’s given you the ability to say “I can” or “not this time” — and the wisdom to know the difference.

It can be tempting to always say, “I got this” because you don’t want to let anyone down. But the truth is, GOD has this. He has you. That is the hope and promise of this season called Easter.

Today, you may feel sealed into a tomb by your busy-ness, your circumstances, or your fears. But there is no tomb that can keep you imprisoned. Easter is the promise, Jesus is the way, and the Holy Spirit is the force that rolls away the stone.

No matter how crazy things feel right now, God has placed a notice outside of the tomb.

I’ve got this,” He writes in bold letters.

Watch in awe at the remarkable ways He proves it.

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Theresa Boedeker. Her husband and daughter totally, completely forgot her birthday. But what she learned from that accidental mistake? It’s so true and important. Find Theresa here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer


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  • Lynne Cole

    Oh Jennifer! I so needed to read this today. For the first time in a long time, I thought of myself yesterday and took time off work with being ill. I’m off again today – really not like me. I felt so guilty when I did and the thoughts of failure and not being enough soon crept in. I know that this is what I needed to do though. I know I can’t keep going on like this. God has this and God has me! Amen!!

  • Oh my were you writing this for me? This is an ongoing struggle of mine. I think I am doing pretty good at saying “no” and then it all catches up to me. I need to slow down. Thank you for your post.

  • Mary

    Thank you for the permission to not only say no but rest in God. You would think when you retire that my days wouldn’t be so busy but I can fill them as much as the next person. We all need this reminder to pause when we need to and want to. Happy Easter Jennifer!

  • The older I get the easier it is to master my schedule ;). Maybe because I can point to my gray hair and say, “I’m too old for that! I need my rest!” ;). Ok, I haven’t used that excuse yet, but it really has gotten easier to say no and let God take care of things!

  • Jennifer, This is such a good article. I can so relate. Thank you for reminding me, again, that I have permission to go at a slower pace and that “not this time” is an acceptable and healthy answer.

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  • Meghan Weyerbacher

    Amen. It seems like the clock is where many of our hearts were this week. God is saying slow down and be with me!

  • Agreed. Let’s take a nap now. 😉

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  • Suzanne Smith

    Thanks for this reminder. Was just praying about this last night, as I was feeling rather exhausted and like I’ve lost my zing…and your reminder, that God’s got it, allows to me breath a sigh of relief, and know that it’s ok to stop.

  • Angela Howard

    We have a choice! Great insight.

  • So true. This reminds me of all the blog posts I have been reading lately about being still. Listening to His voice for a bit. To do that we need to have some margin in our life. To say no once in awhile. The world will continue on without us doing it all, and by saying no we may be encouraging or allowing someone else who has been sitting on the sidelines to say yes.

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  • Susan

    Lysa Terkeurst’s book “The Best Yes” is so helpful in this area. Sometimes we have to say no to have the best yes! Have a blessed Resurrection celebration! xo

    • I loved this book too Susan! I may need to go back and reread it though…the calendar (and my stress and never enough feelings) is on overload!

  • Beautiful, life giving reminder today! Thank you!

  • Amy Jung

    Oh Jennifer, I’m so glad you’re using your beautiful writing skills on your blog where we can be encouraged so readily! Thank you for this…

  • Sherry Thecharmofhome

    Thanks for hosting!

  • Jerri Miller

    Jennifer, this is so good – and so needed!

    When you said, “But what if we listened to our OWN lives? What if — when we heard our bodies begging, “go into lower gear” — we actually paid attention? This is the only YOU that you get.” it really resonated with me. I AM the only me that I will get! ~ Jerralea

  • I often wonder what it says about our level of trust in God when we feel we cannot slow down…when we feel we cannot say ‘no’…when we feel we must be Atlas and carry the world on our shoulders. In truth, it says that I do not trust Christ enough. Blessed post, Jennifer.

    • Nancy Ruegg

      Wise words, Leah. Thank you!

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  • Sweet freedom! Thanks for this reminder, friend. And Happy Easter to ya! xo

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  • Gretchen

    Amen! Amen! Amen! Let’s take back the control of our schedules instead of letting them control us! Great post!

  • I love this: we can do a lot but should we?! Thanks , Jennifer!

  • Julie Loos

    Such a timely post:) I’ve had 3 church groups wanting help and I feel at my max already. You’ve reminded me that saying no is ok.
    Blessings!

  • Great reminders, Jennifer. I’ve found that actually putting these truths into practice is easier when we choose Him first. Blessings on your Easter week!

  • Katy Shellenback

    Hi! I just found you! I was looking for some encouragement for my mother this morning and found this so I thought I look at your website and read just one post and I am so glad I did!! I am a first semester Nursing student pushing thru the end of the year and this was such a blessing to me and timed perfectly. Thank you so much!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8daaeeaef9a2ef4c4f118fcce822b83fcc7ad35297f28dd97969c0175aa6b2c1.jpg

  • Yes! Yes, again!! I just had this conversation with my sons swim team when they told me I was expected to volunteer 16 hours in one weekend. After I lost my mind, I said “No. That’s not reasonable.” I may have said a few other things, but all clean so there’s that. 😉 People are constantly vying for our time, and I’m learning just how precious mine is. We need to take time to breathe. Rest. Seek. And I’m going to do just that.

  • A good message for my heart, Jennifer ♥ Even though I know the truth and believe He has got this, it so easy to scoop it back up and get locked back in the tomb! Thank you for the reminder and thank you for hosting! I’ve missed hanging out here so it was so nice to be able to do it again this week!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  • Nancy Ruegg

    First, someone brought to my attention years ago that when I step in too often to be the helper, I may very well be stealing that opportunity from someone else much better qualified. Second, AMEN to your closing statement about God’s power to remove responsibilities, circumstances, and fears: “Watch in awe at the remarkable ways He proves it.” I’ve been witness to miraculous cancellations, postponements, long tasks made short, volunteers to assist, etc. No tomb is beyond his ability to open. Praise God!!

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  • Ah, that beautiful feeling like having a cold refreshing drink after sweating outside under the sun. That’s how it feels reading this.

This is what we are all after this Christmas, right? We are all after more light, more Jesus. 🕯🔦💡... So let’s make it happen. Let’s make it all about Jesus. (Latest blog post in the profile) ift.tt/2j8VIGC pic.twitter.com/f1MRQ692QC