Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

4 Habits that Prevent Burnout ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} A Guest Post

Are you tired?

Are there some days when you’d like to disappear, rather than get out of bed to deal with your to-do list?

I must confess that I almost burned out on ministry. I lost my passion and joy. For a long time, I thought I had it all together. I was juggling many responsibilities and doing it with flair. But, one day those tasks started to get heavy – the weight of all that I was carrying became too much, but I still struggled to let go. Everything seemed too important to surrender over to someone else, so I trudged on burdened down by own self-imposed expectations for ministry.

Looking back now, I see where I failed to make healthy choices about how I would use my time, talents, and treasure. I invested in Kingdom business, but I did not invest in myself. I forgot that I am important to the kingdom as well. I am God’s holy temple, and I am called to be a steward of my physical, social, mental, and spiritual well-being.

If I could sit down with 20 year old me, I would tell her that there are essential habits that will prevent ministry burn out.

1. Sabbath is a commandment, not a suggestion. If you don’t give yourself time to refresh your spirit, your spirit will start to get bitter. Take time to sit in the quiet and let God speak to you. Linger at His feet, listen up, and learn what His agenda is for you.

2. Keep a journal or notebook where you write down how God has worked – prayers He has answered and battles He has won in your territory. Cultivate thankfulness by noting down every day blessings. When you are in the middle of a difficult ministry season, you will need to refer back to your notes often. Besides a journal, I also created a “happy box” where I saved cards, pictures, and mementoes – Revisiting this time capsule at the end of a tough week always put a smile on my face.

3. Put fun on your to-do list. Spend time with people who energize you and encourage your heart. We are not meant to do life alone. Pick up the phone and invite a friend to join you out for coffee or dinner at least once a month. You need to make time for this – if your ministry schedule is too busy for fun, then you are too over committed.

4. Remember that you are serving as unto the Lord. People will disappoint you, but you are not serving people. You may never see the results of your efforts here on earth, but you are called to be faithful to Him. He sees you in the trenches, and your labor is not in vain.

Taking care of yourself is vital to a healthy ministry life. It’s not wrong to slow down and cross some things off of your calendar in order to create space for renewal in your life.

Sometimes, saying no is not unselfish. It’s wise.

Rest cannot and should not be an after-thought on your priority list.

Lyli Dunbar enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books.

A disciple, wife, educator, and mentor, Lyli is just a girl working to keep the faith day by day.

She writes about life lessons and faith at

A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here. 
"Older women likewise are to be 
reverent in behaviour, 
not slanderers or slaves to much wine. 
They are to teach what is good, and so train 
the young women to love their husbands and 
children, to be self-controlled, pure, working 
at home, kind, and submissive 
to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."

{Titus 2:3-5}


  1. Eventually I learned, if in the name of serving God, I am harming myself, then I'm not serving God. thank you so much for this post. Drusilla Barron (

    1. It took me a while to develop boundaries that helped me renew, but I am thankful that I did.

  2. I followed you over here, Lyli, and glad I did. Sitting down with your twenty-year old self really places all of these great habits into a perspective that gives me food to ponder about should my young self sit down with me now! Thanks for a great post.

    1. Linda, thank you for stopping by to reflect and share your heart. You and I both know that this is a lesson we need to re-learn as we get older and have sick loved ones to care for. Hugs

  3. Rebekah, thank you so much for inviting me to guest post as part of this series. I love that you are creating a space for oder women to share their experiences and be an encouragement to younger sisters. xoxo

    1. Lyli, I thank you for coming here and sharing your words and experience, mentoring women and encouraging them to rest that they would be ready to do the work that they are called to do.

  4. I've been there, after having served faithfully in various ministries at the church were I worked for over 18 years, I nearly burned out. I am learning to put up healthy boundaries and only do what I feel it is God is asking me to do. It's been hard, but freeing at the same time.

  5. There is such wisdom in this advice. Thank you so much for this post. I like your description of "Kingdom business". We need to remember that we are called not just to be "Marthas", but "Marys". Jesus said that was the more important choice. Thanks, again, for this post.


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