25 May 2011

Miserable Missionaries

In early 2008, my health started to decline. I eventually became aware that I was suffering from burnout (or physical exhaustion). As I gradually regained my health I learned that I must monitor my own physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

During my next furlough (time in the States), I was able to gradually recover. In the process, I learned a lot. One of the most effective measures I put into place was forming an accountability team, consisting of four women that know me well. To put it in their own words, they "have invested their lives in mine"!

A key realization we made was that I must pro-actively take frequent get-away trips. They are to be a time to unwind and refresh. A time to rest and recuperate. I think missionaries sometimes wear busyness as a badge of honor. But this is dangerous. We must give ourselves permission to set aside our busy schedules and take time to restore our souls!

And so, last month I joined my fellow-Omaha missionary friends - Julie and Ryan - for a lovely three days on Banda Island, in Lake Victoria. We had an absolutely amazing time!

 "Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake... " (Mark 3:7)

We had ample time and opportunity to explore...

... hours upon hours to sit and read...

... favorable conditions to enter our own thoughts and enjoy good music...

... the leisure to sip a cup of tea... or two... or three...

... and a perfect setting to watch an incredible sunrise!
"Be still and know that I am God."
- Psalm 46:10

"Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest."
- Matthew 11:28-30 (Message)

"Emotional fatigue can result from excessive work, but more often it is simply because the out-go is greater than the intake."
- Dr. Bob Brenner

"One has to find balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself."
- Jessye Norman

"Miserable missionaries are not very effective."
- Michelle Perry, Love Has a Face


Anonymous said...

Almost a month later... I still feel rested from our few days at Banda! What a needed time that was. -ryan

Anonymous said...

I love the 'heading' of this blog "Miserable missionaries" and then the rest.... "are not very effective". I think the same can be said for us all! Very nice photos and I am glad you are looking after yourself and enjoying God's calling!


Anonymous said...

Deb, I LOVE the quotes and the gorgeous professional pictures.
I love you. Peggy

Marina Marangos said...

Happy Birthday Mamanaomi
With best wishes