Permission to Rest

I’m writing over at Friday Night Wives today. Here’s a preview:

I recently had to research a few keywords for a client and discovered something alarming. Globally for Google searches, the term “burnout” increased 4200% in one week. The breakout terms about burnout, which also increased, included psychological warfare, mental abuse, and mental exhaustion. Each search term percentage increased hundreds of times over.

It doesn’t take an expert to realize that people are tired. As I confirmed for my client on the other side of the globe that burnout is just as prevalent in Google searches in his country as ours, I realized there was a deeper reminder to consider in this task.

When Ordell and I were dating, he looked me in the eye and, in his ever practical way, said romantically said, “Before I waste my time here, I need you to know I have one goal. I am going to be a college football coach. That’s going to mean I’m going to work a lot of hours for very little pay, and we’re going to move a lot. So, I need to know you’re on board with that, it’s non-negotiable.”

This news wasn’t surprising to me. However, as we discussed what coaching as a partnership could look like, I realized there would be an opportunity for much more than lonely evenings and packing and unpacking boxes.

We’ve framed football as a family ministry, and throughout our marriage, Ordell has always worked hard to create space in our calendar for me to thrive in my calling. This doesn’t mean that living on mission has come naturally. There have been plenty of…growing pains as we’ve figured out our best path forward individually and together.

It’s challenging to evaluate something while you’re in the thick of the chaos. Growth often requires time outs for assessment and realignment. Some may look at a time out as a failure. As a coach’s wife, I know that there is a lot of value in taking time out. Sometimes the best thing we can do to continue living on mission is to pause to avoid burnout.

On the sidelines of our football games, you’ll hear coaches correct­ing athletes’ technique, their understanding of how to execute the play, and their attitude. Emotions run high on the sidelines, especially when the scoreboard isn’t kind. When players aren’t performing the way a coach expects, the coaches call a time-out or pull a player to the sidelines to speak directly to him.

The sidelines is also where athletes rest and hydrate in preparation for the next series. It’s the place where teammates encourage each other and minor injuries are tended. The sideline is a tremendously important place on game day. But most people only see value in the field.

Living on mission will require time on the sidelines on game day. Discerning when you need those times and who should be on the sidelines with you takes some time to figure out.  (Excerpt from Lessons from the Sidelines)

These days some of us are in a forced time out. Hardly anyone’s day-to-day looks like it did twelve months ago. Rather than pushing against this season, driving toward burnout, what if we chose to take a time out instead? To READ THE REST HERE….

Curious to know more about burnout?

I write about the 5 Stages in my book. Here’s a short video that gives an overview:

Lessons from the Sidelines front cover final

As the wife of a football coach, Beth Walker encourages women whose families are in the public eye to pursue their own callings even as they support their husbands’ careers and ministries. Through her personal stories as well as interviews with other women who are also living just outside their husbands’ limelight, Beth shows it’s possible to do both.

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