Don’t you just love Isaiah 40:31? “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV) As a Christian mom, there are days when I need to hear that verse multiple times.
God wants us to be productive Christians. He calls us to be involved moms, training and loving our children. I don’t recall though any verses where He called us to burn-out. Exhaustion from time to time perhaps, but not that complete utter burn-out.
Recently, I was given an opportunity to review the book Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Joy, by Susie Larson. Larson understands how easy it is to overcommit, confuse busyness with productiveness and the host of other choices that can cause Christians and Christian moms to burn-out.
Larson uses the thirteen chapters of the book to cover a variety of topics. The first four chapters, she tackles what she calls the “sloppy yes”. To her the sloppy yes is when we tell ourselves we are saying yes to what God asks of us, but do so in such a way that we really aren’t having the godly adventure He was calling us to experience. She even points out the possible additional collateral damage of this type of yes – including destroyed marriages and health.
The next section of the book Larson uses to examine what she calls the “shackled yes”, when your yes is more from peer pressure or obligation than love and joy. It makes me think of little kids when they obey, but make sure you see their glum faces and dragging feet in the process.
My favorite part of this section was her reminder that just because God wants us to do something doesn’t necessarily mean He wants us to do that exact same thing for our entire lives. I am a very loyal person and often struggle when I begin to see the signs God wants me to move on to another ministry. Once or twice He has had to almost knock me off of my feet to convince me it was time to get moving to His next role for me. I may have to cut this part out of her book and tape it to my mirror!
Finally, she addresses the “sacred yes”. In my mind, this is when you find the joy, the excitement and the curiosity that comes from following each step as God lays it out for the things He wants you to do. Young Christians often think Christianity is just about obeying rules. While that is important, the most fun part is going on the adventures God sends you to serve others, encourage them and share your faith. That to me is the “sacred yes”.
While I appreciate the thought questions and study questions she included at the end of each chapter, I am not sure why she felt it necessary to divide them into separate categories. Her “wise word” quotes were not sourced on the page, so I was never really sure whom she was quoting. I think I would have preferred a quick one or two point summary or action steps instead. Personally, I found the written prayers and “faith declaration” (I am not even sure what that was supposed to be) unnecessary. Some people may find that type of thing uplifting, but to me it always comes across as a bit too flowery and pretentious.
Overall, this book is a great encouragement or reminder to those who want to sincerely have a Christian life and identity. I think those who are actively involved in serving others and sharing their faith – especially if those you are serving and teaching are your own children – will find this book helpful. If nothing else, it will remind you to be mindful about saying yes and no to the opportunities that may come your way.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.