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Leave of absence

This past Sunday was my last Sunday at my church for a while.

This summer I will be going on a leave of absence. Twelve years of stressful ministry experiences (6 of them doing ministry while simultaneously homeschooling) have taken their toll. At a previous job, I worked 80-120+ hour weeks. We moved 5 times in 3 years. My husband has had 3 changes of employment in the last 2 years. As a result, the past three years I’ve had major sleep problems.

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with health issues due to long-term stress and was advised to take at least a 3 month leave of absence and disengage entirely from ministry.

For someone who has worked since high school (or been a stay-at-home mom, which is more than full time!), and who enjoys being busy and productive, a summer off is going to be a challenge!  But I also have to be honest in saying that working has been difficult lately. My body has just said enough is enough. (This is part of the reason why there haven’t been any posts lately!)

Besides rest and a prescribed plan for recovery for me to follow, I’ve also been told I need to do relaxing activities and learn to try more ways of enjoying life. I knew I was in trouble when a friend suggested just going downtown to get myself an ice cream cone or reading in a coffee shop and realized such an idea had never occurred to me. Still seems like a weird concept.

So, this summer will definitely be an experience. I’m more comfortable working and getting stuff done but God is stretching me in new ways that I know will grow me in my faith and restore my body and spirit. I am thankful for the church staff, leaders and congregation that have been so supportive through this process. God is gracious through this season. I look forward to learning about and receiving rest so that I can be healthy for the long term.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Glen Nielsen

    Yea verily, and amen, may it be so!!!

    You will be sorely missed during this period of rest and recovery, but we are so happy you can do this now. You are an amazing blessing … now may you be blessed during this season!

    May 29, 2011 at 12:02 am
  • Reply Patty K.

    I’m glad you are taking a break. I know it feels weird, but it is the most productive time of rest that I ever got was to disengage. Now you can spontaneously get lost and not feel bad about being late for a meeting or picking up someone 😉 I can now spontaneously call you to see if you are free for coffee (or tea) 😉

    May 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm
  • Reply Pete

    You will be missed, but it sounds very necessary. I’m taking a leave of absence myself due to stress and insomnia. It’s been weird for me but good. If you’re ever interested in LA the Yees are always welcome to stay with us.

    May 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm
  • Reply the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin

    I look forward to aiding you in the relaxation process! Can’t wait to hang out!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:20 am
  • Reply Carmen Lin

    I have been praying for you almost daily even since I heard of your problem, asking God to give you regular sleep and to restore your health. I do hope that you’ll not give yourself any more unnecessary pressure, knowing that to be your tendency. As a mother, I wish nothing more than your getting back your health.

    May 30, 2011 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Leslie Liu

    I am so glad you are taking time off! You really need it! You need to practice having more “me time.” LY and I always laughed about that after we watched one of these “Wife Swap” episodes where two moms switched places. One was a wood-chopping-do-everything mom and the other was the wife of a rich husband. She had a nanny and housekeeper and spent all her time shopping, doing beauty treatments and having “me time.” It was such a hilarious contrast! But on the serious side, it actually is crucial to your physical and emotional health. When you take time off for yourself, you will be so much happier and healthier and better able to serve and take care of others!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:30 am
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