Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Why It’s Essential to Refresh

Why It’s Essential to Refresh

Following an intense year and a half of writing my book, launching my book, and promoting my book along with all the other ministry hats I wear, I was toast. Done. Stick a fork in me.

I was sick of writing, and sick-and-tired of sitting behind a computer screen alone instead of in the company of others which is my favorite. The thought of typing one more word made my shoulders clench with anxiety, and I should have had a massage therapist on speed dial.

I needed to give myself permission to rest and refresh, so I did. I started months in advance telling people that I was taking a writing sabbatical. That gave them the wrong impression, though. “Oh, that’s so nice that you’re taking time away to write,” they all said.

“Oh NO!” I’d quickly correct them. “I’m taking a sabbatical AWAY from writing!”

Thanks to all my wise speaker friends who stepped in here to keep the content flowing. It went all crickets on my personal blog except for posting links to Grit ‘n’ Grace. Guess what? I lost a few subscribers, but I kept my sanity. Turns out the world doesn’t revolve around my blog posts after all. 🙂

I have to tell you that it was a bliss-filled month of no writing. I basked in every minute of it, but I started the month with a purpose.

I wanted to do life tasks that had gone undone: (You know it’s been a long time since you’ve done these things when you actually enjoy them tremendously!)

  • Painting my boys’ rooms which are now a guest room and an office.
  • Washing windows.
  • Re-caulking the shower.
  • Cleaning out the attics.
  • Oh… this list was glorious and lengthy!

I wanted to seek God about what should stay and what should go. I asked Him to show me:

  • Which “hats” needed to be taken off.
  • Which assignments were ongoing.
  • Which roles needed mending, renewing, or rethinking.

It’s funny because I thought I’d come back to you with an overhaul of what I’d be doing, but that didn’t happen at all. God didn’t show me anything that needed removed. He just spoke to me about true Sabbaths and better time management. He also gave me new vision and renewed desire to do what I had been doing.

I knew that I was getting my groove back when early in the month I attended an American/Indian wedding, and I thought of a blog post that I can’t wait to write. I hadn’t been excited to write in ages! Stay tuned to my blog if you want to see that one coming up, and there’s some great video to share too.

[Tweet “Fresh vision refreshes the soul.”]

Do you need a time of reflection and rest so that you can be refreshed? I encourage you to take it! Not much about my work or schedule has changed, but my heart has shifted back into a place of excitement and gratitude. My windows are still smudgy, but my vision is sharp and clear!


Note: I had completely forgotten to choose a winner for Wendy Pope’s Wait and See giveaway, but I remembered today. Congratulations, Iris Peterson!! I’ve sent you an email, so if you haven’t heard from me, please check your spam filter. 🙂

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  1. I have been feeling a bit guilty about the crickets gathering on my blog and my social media pages. The first 3 months of this year I did nothing but eat, sleep and write. I had nothing left by April. I questioned my abilities, my calling, and my self. Like you, I felt the story come back to me just a few days ago. I have filled my days with projects and serving in other ways, and now I feel like I am ready to put pen to paper again. Thank you for your honesty and helping me to lessen the guilt. I’m revisiting all your posts and videos from this calendar year to help me get back in the batter’s box!

    1. Stacy, I’m so glad you were encouraged by this post! There are seasons for everything, and I’m cheering for you as you start writing again.

  2. Thank you so much! This is God’s perfect timing as I am just starting my Sababth/Sabbatical from many hats. I am excited, nervous as I have worn them and am know by those hats! Taking them off feels like losing a part of me, but putting them on has been too heavy lately. I just resigned from all but one and I look forward to letting the sun warm my hatless head 🙂 I am enjoying you and my friend Cheri! You two have a great dynamic!

    1. Thanks, Cheri! And I love your picture of a warm, hatless head. lol!

  3. Hi Amy, I just took a month off to “grieve” our family’s journey with autism – my 19 year old son was diagnosed when he was 3. Things would happen and I would respond with anger or tears and not know why, until God revealed it was due to unresolved grief. So in October I laid aside my regular inductive Bible study hour for ten minutes with My Utmost for His Highest, and then I used the rest of my time with God to journal, pray, cry, and grieve. I also read three books that were helpful. It wasn’t all pretty but I’ve now accepted my journey and the anger and sobs aren’t hanging around on the surface any more. I wrote a few blog posts, too, about the things I learned. Overall, it was a great experience.

    1. Lisa, this has a beautiful lesson embedded in it. I read quote that basically said that when we try to bury our grief alive that it will always dig its way out. So true and a reminder to us all that we’re simply human. We can’t avoid grief. We have to walk through it. Thank you for teaching us, Lisa!