I’m about eight months into my role as a stay-at-home mom. There are days so fulfilling that I know this is where I’m meant to be. And I know what I’m doing is immeasurably valuable. However, there are also days, as with any role, that I am so overwhelmed by the end of the day that I’m practically pulling my hair out. When I left my job, I did so after a very strong tug on my heart by the Holy Spirit. But for the first time a few weeks ago, I started having the feeling of unimportance. Some people my age own businesses, have had several promotions in their field, or are involved in important decisions at their workplace. As I begrudgingly rocked my two-year-old for a nap after having just yelled at him to stop throwing cars at his sister, I began to feel a little bit of burnout from our routine and the lack of any measurable impact from it all. I asked God to change my heart so I could see the value of my role.
In Luke 5, Jesus spotted Simon and Andrew bringing their fishing boat in for the night. They had just given their everything to be successful but had failed. They were probably not only physically drained, but also emotionally drained. Jesus told them to get back in the boat, and do the same thing they had just been doing all night – only now, do it for his sake. Simon threw some logic Jesus’ way (as we all like to do) by saying that they had worked hard all night and didn’t catch anything! But where I tend to fail is in the following line. Simon continued, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again” (verse 5).
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
Sometimes God is telling us to change our attitude so he can display his power in our lives. We may have exhausted all of our own ideas, but even still, trust him. If we change our attitude, it allows Jesus to work in us and make God-sized changes. Trust God now and continue trusting him when it is hard to do so. Simon knew he had done everything he could, and yet there were no fish in his net. This wasn’t his first time doing this; it was how he made a living. Yet, he trusted Jesus and decided to go back and do the same task but with the mindset that he was doing this for Jesus. The result was much different this time than it was when he tried it on his own.
I still have hair-pulling days. However, I know I am not alone. God revealed to me my importance one afternoon when I picked up my daughter from school. She was crying, telling me about a situation with a friend at school. She’s at the age where her stories come in increments. I got some of the story in the car ride, but a lot of it came throughout the day. That evening, after feeling her almost tangible relief from discussing it, I immediately felt God telling me, “This is why you’re here. This is your purpose, and these are MY children. Do it for my sake.” This revelation has allowed me to maintain my attitude adjustment. The only way I can make a true impact in these children’s lives is to be fully present with a listening ear, not feeling sorry for myself and getting caught up in burnout.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
When you feel exhausted from your job, your kids, or from your own unrealistic expectations, God might be reminding you that he is the one who gives us the ability to live and work, and we will not reach our fullest potential without him. God works through us when we are emotionally spent. When we have tried our own ways and failed, we are ripe for reliance on God, which is where his power shines through. Make sure your motivation for your work is God-centered, and he will give you strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In what area(s) of your life do you need an attitude adjustment?
How might trusting God change the way you do things?
When you find yourself feeling burned out, having exhausted all your options, repeat the phrase, “I trust you, God. I do this for you.”
Keep a journal of the area(s) in your life that you struggle most with burnout, recording any positive changes that have resulted from your new mindset.
God, help me to approach everything I do with you in the center of my heart. Help me to work willingly as though I am working for you, not others. Allow my attitude to change so that I trust you and rely on you and your power even when things get rough and I reach my physical and emotional limits. You are all powerful and all loving, and I pray that that light shows through in my work. Amen.
This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a former nurse who is now embracing her role as a stay-at-home mom. She is married and has a daughter and a son. She loves writing for this team, and feels she grows a great deal through writing and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.
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