I have a love-hate relationship with January. I hate the cold, and the snow, and the early sunsets. But a goals girl at heart, I love the feeling of a blank slate, fresh calendar, and new year potential. Like you, I have big dreams for 2022. In order to see those things happen we're surely going to have to make all the lists, write the action steps and pray big prayers for all we want to see God do in, through, and around us this year.
But, if we're going to run hard on mission we're also going to have to be strategic and intentional about resting. Inasmuch as we've been given a divine commission to work as ministers of the gospel, we've been issued a sacred invitation to sabbath. It's not a commandment given to tie our hands from productivity one day each week, but a gift from God to rest our bodies, refresh our spirits and ultimately show God we trust Him in our obedience.
I'll be the first to say I don't always get this right, but I'm working on doing it better. Some practical rhythms I've found that serve my work and family well have been:
What about you? What are some rhythms, habits, or practices you've found that help you rest? We'd love to hear from you - hop over to our socials and join the conversation! And to help us all develop in this area, we're hosting a one hour conversation on Sabbath and Sabbatical on February 10th. The details are below and we'd love for you to join.
This time of year I've found there's two kinds of people - those who finished their shopping forever ago and those, like me, who have barely started. Either way, as a woman in ministry "holidays" are generally synonymous with "hustle." In addition to all our normal responsibilities we've got parties to plan and parties to attend. We've got gifts to buy, and wrap, and send. There are end of year spreadsheets and rapidly approaching deadlines. We're planning celebrations in kid's classrooms, church boardrooms and family living rooms.
So in all the hurry, we just wanted to remind you of something you already know. Don't allow the busyness of the season steal from the sacredness of this season. As ministers of the gospel we know that Christmas is about Jesus, but sometimes forget He didn't come to add pressure to our lives. In coming at Christmas He brought rest for the weary, an invitation to trade in our heavy loads and the promise of both eternal and abundant life.
So this season, remember to not just plan the celebration, but to actually celebrate. Beyond facilitating the worship experience, experience worship in His presence. Schedule margin to rest and reflect. Simplify and streamline projects to reduce stress and burnout. Prioritize times of personal devotion. Above all, find time to spend with Emmanuel who, after all, is God with us.
We're praying for you this holiday season believing it will be a very Merry Christmas!
Ashley Pritchett & the Southern Missouri Women Minister's Team
I’m drafting this in my brand new office.
I’d been sharing an office with my husband, but our church recently converted a conference room into new office space. It’s been fun choosing paint colors, a tiny couch with floral pillows, a bigger desk, and a few things to decorate this space. It isn’t huge, but it is a huge deal to me. I certainly don’t need an office to fulfill the call God has on my life, and it isn’t about a position or title or even new furniture. It’s about having a space. Someone made a space that is mine to work in, dream in, serve in, and sit in.
As grateful as I am for this fresh space, it reminds me of the place I’ve been given by the One who has called me. He has given me -- and you -- a place as a female minister of the gospel. He makes space for us to work in, dream in, serve in and sit in. What an honor to be called, credentialed, and commissioned to minister in the places God has sent us. Regardless if you’ve recently transitioned to a new space, are praying for a change of place, or have been in the same space for decades, this is the place God has called you to for today.
Ephesians 2 says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” He’s prepared specific work for you and I to do as His messengers and His ministers, and He has set us in specific spaces and places to “walk in them”.
As the Southern Missouri Women Minister’s Network, we are praying for you -- that God would use you in your current place in a powerful way, that God would prepare new places for the women of God to lead and serve, and that the kingdom of God would multiply as His female ministers walk in the work He’s prepared for them.
Can’t wait to connect again soon!
Southern Missouri Women Ministers Facilitator
Southern Missouri Women Ministers Facilitator