Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life-Giving Leadership: Taking Care of Yourself

Like many of you reading this post, my days are packed with work, family, and ministry responsibilities. As a ministry leader and therapist, I often hear from women, "I'm just so tired. I could use a break!" But I also hear, "I can't take a break right now. Maybe when everything settles down." Here's a reminder: Jesus delights when we draw strength from Him. When we freely receive from Him, then we are freely able to give to others (Matthew 10:8). So, take a break, get alone with Him, and allow Him to refresh you, strengthen you, renew your vision.
Here's a few ideas to consider on your break:

Commit your "break" to the Lord. Spend time reading the Word and books that encourage self-reflection. Here's a few of my favorites: Sibyl Towner's One Life Maps, Foster's Celebration of Discipline, and Julie Gillies' soon-to-be-released book, The Prayer Spa for a Woman's Soul

Do a relationship inventory: How is my relationship with the Lord? How is my relationship with my husband, children, and the people God has called me to serve?

Ask yourself the following questions: How is my thought life? Am I keeping healthy boundaries? Am I saying "no" to those things, people, projects that draw me away from my priorities?

Give yourself permission to dream BIG. When I was a little girl, I used lay on the ground and look up at the clouds and watch them move across the sky. I was mesmerized by their shapes and their very existence. As my mind explored their wonders, I would begin to dream about my life. Allow yourself the time to dream. Give yourself a break. Freely receive from Him so you can freely give to others.

I would love to hear from you. Please send me your ideas on how you are renewed and refreshed.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A strange dichotomy...

As I was researching stats for an article, I came across the following info: while there are more women in executive leadership positions within the church than ever before, and more women leading non-profits than men, more than 50,000 women stop attending church every year. As a women's leader in my local church, that info saddens me. I am curious, what are you doing in your local church to reach out to women and keep them engaged?