Wisdom of Women- Krista Dutt
If you look at the date from this post to the last, you will not be surprised to know that I have been experiencing an intense ministry season. I knew that a season of long hours and late nights was on the horizon, so I asked a few women that I love and respect, the following question: In busy ministry seasons, what spiritual practices have you developed to keep you connected to God?
Here is the answer from my former co-worker and continued friend, Krista Dutt.
First, I should say that I have in no way figured this out, especially as a new mom where I have a new “always on” feeling. But the new mom gig has reminded me of what I need to do to keep sane. I think when we get busy, we have been taught to cut things that seem like additional luxuries to us or sometimes in my case I cut things that others might see as “she-doesn’t-need-to-do-that” things. However, I am learning some of those practices are the very things that keep me going. I offer the following as my learnings:
1. Reading: Soon after Benjamin, my son, was born, I realized that holding a book while nursing was impossible for me. (It was much easier to watch TV or browse the internet on my phone.) A few months later, Ben became more interested in the crinkling noise that books made which made it hard to read a book whenever he was around me. But, without a constant book I felt like I was not complete. So, instead of giving up, I stopped listening to the radio in the car and turned to audio books. It has been great! I feel more me, and have enjoyed listening to books. Now, I know reading isn’t everyone’s thing – but reading allows me to dream, create new thoughts that may connect to my current life, and be a student of the author. Audio books are expensive; so check the library or my other source paperbackswap.com which is almost free (you pay to ship the books you are swapping so requesting books is free).
2. Take a whole day off: I have a job that allows me to be flexible in what hours I work. Its 11:30 at night and I am planning on spending about an hour working on email, but this afternoon I took Benjamin to play for several hours at the park. I have always been grateful for this type of schedule, but I often think that ministry jobs like this one can lead to more burnout because we can always take some time, but then do we? I have found that taking a whole day off can really help me. Since I am easily tempted to check just one thing if I go online or really on my computer, it tends to be a media fast as well. I find I am more productive the next days when I do this.
3. Go to church! I have a ministry job that could be my church; but I have found having a solid place to go that I am Krista, a sinner more than a saint, is hugely important. I realize that for pastors this safe place might be harder to find – but I urge you to take the time to find it. Having the place that you are a celebrated, loved child of God more than you are the leader – good or bad has been life saving for me. I show up; I share; I just am. It’s a beautiful thing.
Lastly, I have a job I love. It energizes me; and sometimes I use that as an excuse to do what refreshes me. I urge you to love what you do but also take care to do other things as well.
Krista is a lover of God, Chicago and her family. She is passionate about people coming together and tries to give the space for them to do so.