Velvet Ashes – Burnout: A Retrospect

Join Robynn at Velvet Ashes today as she talks about burnout. We have included an excerpt below.



My husband Lowell and I served for thirteen years as a couple in South Asia. We labored hard and long. We poured out our lives. We took up our cross. We put our hands to the plow. None of the New Testament metaphors were lost on us. We did them all—whole-heartedly, without abandon. And somewhere in all of that laboring, pouring, taking up, laying down, putting to, somewhere in all of that, we came to our end. We burned out. We were hard pressed, crushed, perplexed and in despair. We felt abandoned and struck down. We felt destroyed.

To this day, when I look back on it, I’m not entirely sure where we went wrong. Lowell is a visionary and an activist. He changes the world. Deliberately. Passionately. I want everyone in the world to be okay—the world Lowell’s changing-and in my own little world too. I take responsibility for people. I want them to be happy. I do whatever that takes. We were aware, even then, how disastrous that combination might be so we planned and executed regular days off. We took vacations seriously. Lowell and I both counseled many to be rigorous in their self and soul care and we took it to heart ourselves.

Somewhere in all of that cross-culturaling I think it was actually our theology that killed us. We had role confusion. We took on jobs that are God’s. Lowell was committed to building Christ’s church and the gates of Hell would not prevail against him. Not if Lowell had anything to say about it. And I, bless my heart, I was inviting people to come to me if they were burdened and heavy laden and I would do my darndest to give them rest. I would look after them. I would make it all better.

It’s a recipe for burnout for sure. It’s also heresy. Read the rest here at Velvet Ashes.

Have you experienced burnout? If so, what have you learned in the recovery process? 

Photo Credit: Velvet Ashes

Also – take a look at Every Mom

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