A very long time ago, at least 15 years ago, I fell in love with a friend who was immediately a kindred spirit. Her heart was so like mine, and we shared ideals in a love for books for our children, a love of family, a love of our precious Jesus, a love of words--and her beautiful words always inspired my heart.
Last summer, this friend, Elizabeth, came to my home for several days, with a few other friends, and we celebrated our friendship again, but this time in person. She has been through seasons of littles, elementary, middle school ages, high school and having married children. We both hope to end the next seasons well, but we both know it takes intentionality. I think you will be so blessed by this amazing course she has put together. And just for my readers, she has provided a wonderful gift and printable.
My heart in writing Own Your Life was to help women restore a vibrant vision for life and for the kingdom and for your relationships. This wonderful seminar will lead you to restore your inner self, your true self--emotionally and spiritually so that you will have an overflow from which to live your vision and ideals. I am going to be going through it myself. Will you please share about this with your friends, and move toward refreshment and peace as you restore and nurture a refreshed heart. I give you Elizabeth.
When we first come to a relationship in Christ as an adult, whether that's through maturing in faith or through a conversion, we are on fire. There is no lukewarm, mediocre feeling. There is fire. There is an urge to shout for joy, to do His work, to join the choir and sing His praises from the rooftops. And then, we settle in. We commit. We live the Christian life day in and day out. We know joy, but sometimes, we grow weary and the fire grows a little cooler. Life happens. We are asked to take turns we didn't know were there and climb hills that seem steeper than we even knew possible. Calm confidence evades us and though we are joyful deep-down, we're not exactly dancing a happy dance.
Because we are committed to a life in Christ, our hearts are restless. We want to rest in Him. We want to feel joyful. Still, our souls are hungry and our spirits are weary.
I've been there.
The first time I was there, I had four young children and a major case of burnout. As I battled back, I kept notes. I shared those notes in a talk at a conference. Strangely enough, those notes became the foundation upon which a a book was written--a whole book about education and twelve years later readers still tell me that the most dog-eared chapter is the one on burnout.
We give and give and give and then we crash because we've nothing left to give and nothing left with which to restore ourselves. Burnout is a real thing for mothers.
I have nine children now. Only two of them can be considered "young." The rest are teens or twenties. I have learned some strategies along the way as these children grew and it's a good thing, too, because I'm finding that mothering older children is stretching me in new ways.
That burnout chapter all those years ago? I've discovered so much since then. I'd like to share those things with you. Last year, I offered an online retreat -- a closed community where women could come together and restore themselves--body, mind, and spirit. This short video gives me a chance to better explain what it was all about:
This year, the time together has been expanded to include all of Lent and Easter week. When we begin, it will be mid-winter February. We'll stay together throughout March and emerge victorious in early April. We've added new written content and new podcasts (in addition to all the wildly popular original podcasts). There will be some beautiful new printables joining the ones we offered last year. The space online is one of quiet calm and beautiful inspiration. It's not something else on your to-do list--it's a gift that makes doing all those important things possible.
We've created a printable just for Sally's readers. It's a sneak peek at Restore, but it's also a tangible reminder that you can print and frame in your own home if you'd like to take some time and prayerfully discern whether to join us. It's a gift--right now!
Still not sure this is for you? Perhaps it would help to hear from women who traveled the path last year.
I'm so glad I invested in the workshop. I initially found it hard to justify spending money on myself, and questioning whether I was really experiencing burnout. From the very first essay, I was in tears realising this was exactly what I was experiencing and I wasn't alone. Every aspect of the workshop ministered to my soul and I'm so glad I now have all the resources available to revisit when I recognise the triggers of burnout resurfacing. I can't thank you all enough for your faithfulness in putting all this together - and I have a friend in mind that I will be recommending the workshop to. --Annette
Restore changed my life. I did not realize that there were other women out there with the same struggles of keeping God in the forefront. During this retreat, I found myself more calm and focused on what really mattered. I am so looking forward to getting back to that place as the accountability with the group really keeps me on track --Ashlee
Restore was such a gift for me. Coming off of the holidays and major changes in my life, I didn't realize how weary and spiritually parched I had become. Restore did exactly what it's name says, it helped to restore my joy, re-set my priorities, and renew my relationship with the Lord. Knowing a new devotion, video, and focus was in my inbox actually gave me courage to face the day and the community of women that formed was precious and sweet. Elizabeth and Joy are one of us--moms that have been in the trenches for quite a few years, who have weathered storms of motherhood, and who fight for their own joy daily. They put together a workshop that truly reached my heart and blessed. Can't wait for the next one! --Betty
Because I already felt like I was drowning, adding Restore to my packed schedule felt impractical and pointless. In fact, during the entire workshop, I was unable to implement any of Elizabeth's wise advice beyond the first few days. Nevertheless, just reading her gentle words daily was like a healing balm to my soul, and over the next several months following the workshop, I began to find balance in caring for my family and myself. Elizabeth has blessed me with a new understanding of my own dignity and worth and countless practical strategies to live out my vocation as a wife and mother with peace and joy. --Jenny
Although I'm not a wife or mother (yet), I have benefitted so much from Restore. After becoming broken in every aspect of my life (right down to broken bones), I needed help to put even the most basic parts of my life back into perspective. This retreat gave me the daily guidance and traction that I needed to begin to care for myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The lessons from Restore continue to inspire me and remind me that I glorify God when I make time for things that bring me life and joy. --Kate
Click here to take the first step.