Burn-Out Messes With Your Kingdom Work (Plus, What You Can Expect Here Going Forward) - Sarah Mae
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Burn-Out Messes With Your Kingdom Work (Plus, What You Can Expect Here Going Forward)


The thing about burn out is that it messes with you.

It messes with who you are and it messes with your Kingdom work. Here’s why.

When you are burned out, your vision begins to blur and you don’t have the clarity you once did. You’re tired and you’re not sure if what you’re doing is of God or the devil or your own sin nature. You begin to lose your footing, and those balls you’re juggling begin to fall.

You fall with them.

You hit the ground hard and you’re hurting, but you think, “I’ve got to get up and keep going because I have commitments and deadlines and promises and…” an endless list of reasons why you shouldn’t, why you can’t get a break.

You are dying for rest and clarity and Lord am I doing what you want?

You feel stuck. You’re not sure what to do. But whatever this is, isn’t working.

This is burn out.

And it is here that you choose your path.

Will you stay with the jugglers and the doers and the limping-out-of-exhaustion ones, or will you reclaim your life? We don’t reclaim our lives for only for ourselves; we reclaim our lives in order to live free and available and ALIVE so that we can be effective in the Kingdom.

I haven’t read it yet, but I image there are some wise strategies in The Best Yes for helping you to say no in order to say yes to the good things, the life-giving things, and your people. No one else is going to tell you what to do; here and now you decide whether or not you are going to own your life.

Friends, I have learned the hard way. I have not only been burned out, but it has taken me YEARS to learn how to own my life so that I can live well and happy. I’m happy. I know “happy” isn’t always the Christian thing to say, but I am happy; I am joy-filled because I am free.


And moving forward I am going to try and stay free by counting the cost and trusting God with how He made me.

With that said, I bring you what gives me life and what you can expect from me in the future…

What Gives Me Life

Being in the quiet with God and His Word, a cup of coffee in hand, and a journal on my lap

Being intentional as a mother, doing things that I know build into my children

Making a home (NOT synonymous with cleaning)

Time and good conversation with dear friends

Writing and speaking for the JOY of it and to encourage other women to keep on. Life is hard enough, we shouldn’t go it alone and we all need as much encouragement as we can get! “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

What You Can Look Forward to at SarahMae.com

First of all, let me just invite you to pull up a chair and kick your shoes off. {Exhale}


I have found such freedom over the past year as I’ve learned to see God for who He is and see myself as His daughter who He delights in. I believe God takes pleasure when we let ourselves be loved by Him. It’s a really lovely thing when you can be happy with who you are. There have been times in the past when I was very neurotic with my writing. What if it’s not good enough? What if I’m a fraud? I should blog more. I should know more. I wish I wrote like her. I’m no good. Maybe I should just quit.

No more of that.

I mean, maybe sometimes those things will creep in, but I don’t want to be anyone else. I love God and I love that He loves me and intimately made me who I am, weaving me together with purpose and love. With that said, I’m going to do things on this blog that bring me life. For instance…

Prettiness! I’m going be re-designing my blog so that I like seeing it and it brings beauty to you all. Like a journal or a book, I want to be writing and reading in a space that feels warm and inviting and also invigorating. I also want you all to have a good experience while you’re hanging out with me, so I will try and make things as simple as possible as far as navigation and such goes. The design should be in effect sometime in February.

Sporadic writing. Because I’m writing here for the joy of it and to encourage you, I will only write when I feel inspired to write. Maybe that will be every day. I don’t know yet. But I can tell you this, I won’t write just to make words, because that kind of writing is filler and it doesn’t bring relief to people. I want to be a writer that brings an offering of relief and encouragement to the soul, and I can only do that when I’m writing from my own well (more on that later). In addition to these things, I am taking on Emily Freeman’s fantastic list on how she plans on staying sane on the Internet (bravo Emily!). Here it is:

  • I will tell stories.
  • I will be myself.
  • I will remember it’s “better to write for yourself and have no public than write for the public and have no self.” (Cyril Connolly)
  • I will refuse to romanticize the writing life.
  • I will write to connect, not compete.
  • I will remember fear is a normal part of the process, but courage gets the final say.
  • I will remember how ego feels pushy and afraid but calling feels kind and free. Most of the time.
  • I will remember people write online for a million little reasons and I will respect them theirs.
  • I will practice writing words I can’t take back.
  • I will refuse to write from a frantic place of hurry.
  • I will be gentle with myself when I choose to hurry anyway.
  • I will be relentlessly helpful to the souls of others.
  • I will write as a kind companion rather than a truth machine.
  • I will let love lead.
  • I will not be a jerk.

Good stuff, right? You should read the whole thing here.

Video courses. NOW WAIT. I know that courses are all the rage and some people are so pushy about their courses that you feel like stabbing them in the eye. No, that’s just me? Kidding. I don’t want to stab anyone in the eye. But just like you I get frustrated with anything bombarding me. BUT I don’t think that means that the medium should be to blame. Just like blogging, courses are a way to communicate, and for me it’s a way to communicate through video that is focused on a particular topic. I will only do courses when I have something from my own “well” to pass on to you. Be not afraid. When I have a course, I’ll tell you about it but I will not bombard you with emails. 🙂

I think that’s it for now. Sound good to you? Sounds good to me!

Here’s to a BEAUTIFUL, wonderful, INSPIRING, pleasurable, WIDE-AWAKE, freedom-filled, NEW YEAR!

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Love, SM

What I Learned From My Year Off:

Part 1: We are Not the Providers, God Is

Part 2: Counting the Cost

Part 3: I’m Still Me

Part 4: If You Are Burned Out, You Will Not Be As Effective in the Kingdom

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  • Stacie Teigen

    You are an absolute favorite of mine. I read the book Desperate for the first time last year and was introduced to you and Sally Clarkson. I appreciate that there are others just trying to be the best mom they can be for their family and who realize the importance of this “mom stuff.” Thank you for sharing your heart. I very much enjoy following along to your posts and books. Blessings to you.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Stacie, thank you! I am so thankful that book encouraged you and I’m so glad you’re here for the journey!

  • Cathy

    Hi Sarah Mae. I found your blog the other night after watching the own your life webcast. I just wanted to tell you that reading your description on burn out really struck me because it is exactly how I am feeling right now. Praying for clarity, but feeling like I can’t think clearly. Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and wanting to escape-and feeling regret that I have lived my life like this for too long. Thank you for sharing our story, I know I’ve got some work to do to reclaim my life.

  • Candice

    I found you during your year off and love it. I love your honesty about burn out. Right now I am suffering from some good old fashion burn out. (Not as a blogger but as a mom) This post was shed some light for me 🙂 Looking forward to see what is ocming next!

  • Denise Australia

    Great post Sarah Mae. So true. I’ve written some of these points down to relate to me. They are great. Thank you. I’m hoping to watch the webcast over the weekend. Thanks for your writing, it’s very helpful to me.

  • Sherri

    Sarah Mae, you mentioned something in the video with Sally the other night that I was wondering if you’ve written about before. You said you used to sit around and wait for your husband in order to do some things. YES! Soooo many women (including myself) have been stuck in this. If you’ve written about this before, would you mind pointing me in that direction? And if you haven’t written about this before, would you mind sharing more????

    Thank you!!!

  • RestWeary

    Glad to see you back. Burnout was my companion (homeschool burnout) for a long time.

  • http://www.melaniedavisporter.com Melanie Davis Porter

    Beautiful new creed for you pretty girl! It is so freeing when we find the sweet spot we are supposed to exist and serve in. Thank you for transparency. You inspire me as a writer! Blessings and favor for you in 2015.

  • Danielle

    Thank you for this, Sarah Mae. Right now I’m sitting at the computer in my PJ’s, it’s 12, and all I can do is cry because of the tiredness. I never thought that I’d experience burnout but I think that I’m smack dab in the middle of it. And as for being effective for the kingdom, you’re right. We can’t be if we’re mired in this. Pray, please?

  • disqus_rAtIi1RZxq

    you have no idea how you have blessed and encouraged me! From your blog to your books, you and Sally have inspired me as I can never begin to tell you! Thank you SO much, and please keep sharing! us Desperate mothers out there need the encouragement that they get from you!

  • Jessica Saltsgaver

    Love this, Sarah Mae! It’s good to see you back around here too. 🙂 I have a small blog, but have struggled with feeling inadequate with blogging quite a bit. I’ve finally just come to the conclusion that I’m going to be myself, tell stories, and enjoy the writing process and try really hard not to get worked up about everything. Easier said than done, sometimes though. 😉

  • http://joyfulmothering.net/ Christin

    Yay and love it! I write when I have something to say (and legit time to say it) — if you look at my blog you’ll see I haven’t written anything since before Christmas. :-O (other than sharing The Confident Mom’s FREE planner — but that’s not really writing). 😉

  • http://www.Littlehousebigworld.com/ Lindsay S.

    Thank you for using your experiences to encourage others. It’s good to read your words!

  • http://thequeenmommy.com/ Debbie Taylor

    I just wanted to comment on this post again because it kinda nestled into my spirit and I’ve been lightly chewing on it for a few days. It’s hard to say it – but I totally FIT the whole “burn-out” description. In a way, though, that gave me some relief because I could NOT figure out WHY I was SO out of whack in my life and why I felt so awful all the time. Now that I’ve recognized it, can I tell you that I feel like a big ol’ rock fell off my shoulders!?! And it isn’t just that I recognized it but that I now have HOPE where until that point it felt like an endless spiral into darkness. What a relief! So thankful for you Sarah Mae – and I have missed you but totally appreciate your frank authenticity here!

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