© 2017 by THE MINISTRY WIFE 

All rights reserved. All wrongs reversed.

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I'm Ashley! I am a member of a tribe called Ministry Wives. 

We are business owners, homemakers, supermoms, lovers, and friends. We are passionate, talented, creative, strong warriors... who happen to be married to ministry men.

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according to my mom.

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June 21, 2019

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Rest

December 5, 2017

 

 

Once upon a time, I wore myself out.  Like really wore myself out.  Not the ‘wore myself out’ that is at the end of a normal day with small children, but a deep wearing out that took about a year of focused recovery.  To be fair, what really sent me over the edge was the loss of my third pregnancy.  The heartbreak of that loss was what transported me from ‘tired mom’ into ‘can’t get off the couch or can’t find her personality.’  I worked with a chiropractor {yes a chiropractor} for months to heal my adrenals, and praise God the human body has an astounding capacity to heal.  But the truth is, I set myself up to be one blow from the enemy away from burn out.

 

Back when I was first married, and had my first baby (events which, to my great surprise, were only about 18 months apart.  Ovulation?  What does that mean?) I wanted to be myself, which is kinda messy, and pretty laid back.  But I had conflicting messages in my head from my upbringing and bless him, my husband.  Married at 21 and a mom at 22, I was excited to do life my way and not be a housecleaning perfectionist, but apparently I hadn’t adequately communicated that with my husband, who as it turns out, DID expect me to be a housecleaning perfectionist.  Bless his sweet heart.  He would come home at the end of the day, look around the house, and say, “What did you DO all day?”  Jesus be near.  He learned.

 

 

 

Somehow, even though I didn’t want to, I ended up sitting in the lie that I didn’t deserve to rest until it was all ‘done.’  I started a photography business, and I loved it.  Since I had babies, I would work while they were napping, having a hard time turning it off when they were up.  I’d stay up late at night editing because praise the LAMB the house was QUIET.  It was amazing how much more I could accomplish when my family was asleep!  Then I got caught up in time management and hyper scheduling.  I had to cross every.last.thing off my list, dangit!  And somewhere under that cloak of ‘responsibility’ was where I got locked into the lie that I didn’t deserve to rest.

 

And you know what?  For a while, I made not-resting look good.  I had kids who napped at the same time in the afternoon, and I worked on my photography business.  My husband worked many jobs so I was often on my own until after I went to bed, but I got into some housekeeping routines that I kept to religiously, so my house was pretty clean.  I did all the cooking, I made things like broth and yogurt and kombucha myself.  I published to my blog three times a week, every week.  And I would stay up much later than I should have finishing off my checklist, or watching tv, or reading.  Oh and I didn’t have a car, so I did this all while basically never getting out either!  I’m blessing my own heart typing this.  I was starting to have a harder time keeping my energy up, but I figured I just needed to be more consistent with my workouts.  I had heard that HIIT workouts helped boost your energy levels, so that was next up on my list to try.

 

But then it all came crashing down.

 

In June of 2012, I lost my third baby at 10 weeks pregnant.  I was completely heart broken.  A few weeks after it happened, I still wasn’t ‘getting better.’  I could have slept all day and only gotten out of bed for meals.  I knew something wasn’t right, and through some research, I discovered adrenal fatigue and knew that that was it.  Once I started getting the help that I needed, it took a year as I said before to get back to my old self again.  

 

Y’all.  Getting some extra quiet time at night and squeezing that extra bit of work in is not worth it in the long run.  God designed us to work from rest.  You can read more about  the things I implemented in my recovery over on my blog, but here is what I want to say to you precious one.

 

You deserve to rest.

 

You deserve to call it a day even when it’s not all done.  It’s ok if your kitchen isn’t clean, if you didn’t pick up all the toys, if your nail polish is chipped, if the laundry is on the floor.  It’s ok!  You might be cringing at the idea of leaving things undone and you MAY even be tempted to blame your lack of rest on your personality.  No ma’am.  Personality and preferences are real and legitimate.  But the greater reality and legitimacy is that you are a being who was designed for rest.  There are seasons where we need to allow ourselves to be stretched out of our comfort zones and move into a greater reality for a while.  This applies all over motherhood dear one.  It’s a season.  You can have years and years where you have all the energy and time to take care of everything just the way you like it.  But be realistic about the season that you are in now.  You are not invincible.

 

I want you to get into your really honest place, and ask yourself if you are holding yourself up to a standard that God set for you, or a standard that you or your mother or your husband or Pinterest gave you.  And while you’re processing this question, I want you to tenderly realize that what you remember about your own childhood is from when you actually CAN remember.  In other words, when you weren’t a toddler.  You probably don’t know how your mother spent her time when she had three under three.  Chances are you only remember what it was like when you were old enough to be helpful yourself.  When I start to feel myself getting into the trap of doing too much, I remember these great words from Kris Vallotton.  “There is always enough time to do what GOD has called me to do.”  His opinion of how you spend your time is all that matters Mama.

 

And believe me I know that it’s easy to say His opinion is the only one that matters, when in reality you may be on the receiving and of some truly negative opinions of your choices.  It’s hard to stand up for yourself when someone you love is giving you the message overtly or subliminally that you are not doing ‘enough.’  But that doesn’t change the truth.  God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

 

 

 

So here is my challenge to you.  Moving forward, as you plan your days, try managing your energy instead of your time.  Make that list, look at the day.  And ask yourself how many of these tasks do you have the energy for in addition to the normal day to day grind that is motherhood.  You have my permission to not get it all done every day.  Be on a journey of rest.  It is so much better than the journey of burnout.

 

-Beth Dreyer

 

 

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Beth Dreyer is one of my very dearest, bestest friends. She is the kind of friend where you both know each other's grandmothers, are adopted children to one another's parents, and have seen each other's hoo-has in the delivery room. That's friendship. She has put up with me for well over a decade, didn't leave my side (and took care of my children) when I lost my third pregnancy to miscarriage, and is my forever road trip warrior buddy. Though half a country apart now, she is still one of my very first calls for advice on life, children, and living like a crunchy health goddess. She is an avid researcher, and shares her knowledge fabulously on her blog. And although no longer an official ministry wife, she is a PK (Pastor's kid), EK (Elder's kid), and former YWAMer.

 

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