Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Post by Awakening » 16 Nov 2014, 15:41

Hi Bill,

This post really resonated with me. Bless your heart for your willingness to serve but also for your ability, integrity and courage to recognize these things you expressed. I, too, served in many, many callings, very demanding and busy ones also one right after the other. Yes, I loved serving however, it does come with sacrifices. I realized 5 years ago when we had moved, that it was time for me to step back. I had 5 children still at home ages 12, 3, 3, 2, 1. Amazingly, I was asked again and again to serve in different capacities in which I declined. I finally made my point when the counselor in the bishopric called me over to his house excitedly and told me they had thought of the "perfect" calling for me......RS compassionate service leader. He went on to say that I would be able to perform the duties at home and on the phone so I would not have to leave my younger kiddos. Poor sweet man looked a bit puzzled when I just couldn't help it and started laughing. I explained to him that in order to even ANSWER the phone I often had to lock my bedroom door and head into my bathroom for enough quiet space to hear (of course, soon as my little one's noticed me gone the door knocking and cries for help would start) He finally understood. ;o)

A dear friend and mother of 9 also validated me when she told me that after being asked to serve in a calling she looked her bishop right in the eye and said, "Bishop, do you know that I haven't slept in 2 years?" She then, kindly declined.

One of the most liberating aspects of going through my own "faith Journey" is not feeling the guilt associated before all this of doing what is truly right for me and my family. There is a time and season is truly an inspired message.

Thank you for all you do.

AmyJ
Posts: 576
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Post by AmyJ » 24 Jan 2018, 14:58

DBMormon wrote:
26 Oct 2014, 05:02
There are others I would happily accept. But I would not accept anything. It at this time in my life has to be a good fit. It has to be something I can swim in and enjoy. It has to feel right. Not only do I have to assume the Bishopric was inspired, but I have to feel it was inspired. I hope to not be in this place forever and I am not recommending that others take this same approach as "this is the ideal way to serve in the Church" as it is not.

But for me right this moment, it is the only way I will maintain my positive edge. My service in the Church while enjoyable has always been about serving others from day one as at least a equal factor. Right now it is 100% about my having peace and enjoying church.... that is the main drive and I wish it weren't so but for my sanity, it must be so right now.
Sorry to come late to this thread... but I am currently calling-less in a small branch (had a baby in 2016 that I was breastfeeding so that took me out of circulation and since we stopped that I have been "on break" in their minds I guess - it was the greater struggle to get my husband engaged in his heavier duty branch calling as executive secretary (which I could in my sleep in a heartbeat) and I made it clear that I was going back to school in Pathways). But I know that my name is on people's minds. Heck, my name came up for a calling in primary again (taught every class individually or combined from age 3-12) - and my husband headed them off at the pass (he says it wasn't for nursery (where I could hide) and I would not grow there anyways). He and I had talked about that before and he remembered that I LOVED teaching R.S. for the 3 lessons I got to teach so he redirected them to that I think.

I have some creditability because I did a decent job in Primary when I was there - and we do show up regularly and serve others at random intervals. People find my conversations "refreshing", "hope-inducing", "uplifting" and "thought-provoking" in good ways - several of the sisters were very gleeful whenever they found out I was teaching R.S. It was a good fit - which is why they pulled me from it I think. NOTE: The BP said they pull the strongest teachers into Primary to give the next generation the best start they can. I used to believe that... and now I believe that he/they like to think that...

I can hide between my husband's chronic medical conditions, and my daughter is "quirky" enough that I can get by with being a little more mother-hen (yes - I was the parent that sat next to my 8 year old daughter at the Primary Program Sunday so she would present her part. And yes, she went up there and read it clearly and loudly enough that everyone heard her lovely voice and she woke up several of the HP's. That is my daughter for you). And people seem to get that if there an issue at church with our children, I will be the one to deal with it - I will be the one out in the hallway or whatever - not my husband.

And I want to serve... I think... but for now I refuse to serve in a position just to burn out or expose my transition more than I have to. So part of my criteria for calling acceptance is a not every week calling - I am not going to put myself in a position where I have to contact subs regularly because we need a day off from church. I don't think I have enough social currency to do so anymore, and I HATE it so no. I have volunteered in nursery, and am willing to do so as long as they need me to do so and have NO expectation I will find a sub to sub for me if I am not there. I can teach - but not every week. NOTE: I am pretty sure they would not have me be a co-teacher in primary. Our branch is too small for that and the expectation would be I take a class of my own.

So these are my criteria posted above for now, and I had penciled in a rule for callings going forward. I mean I know there are people who accept every calling, and that not everything is fun... but everyone doesn't find the same callings fun - my best friend LOVED being the Primary chorister every time - that is one calling that I would not do well with.

I guess I had figured everyone more or less found callings that were OK fits and/or had faith to make it work (until they burned out).

Sorry for the rant...

1) How do I convey my boundaries respectfully and clearly without losing all my social currency at church (an to an extent my husband's)? Actually, I don't care about social currency as much as long as it does not bleed into ecclesiastical currency - I need my endorsement for BYU-Idaho online so I can finish my degree and move on with my life.

Roy
Posts: 4785
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Post by Roy » 24 Jan 2018, 15:29

Thank you for bringing up this old thread. I have a soft place in my heart for DBMormon and his family and it was good to "hear" his voice again.

I do not have any perfect answers about the callings. I did have success as a primary teacher co-teaching with DW. I currently am co-bear den cub scout leader with DW. I find that my wife is a great partner is easy to communicate with (divide duties and conquer) and we have complimentary skillsets (I am a great showman and presenter, she is organized and thorough). I gather that your husband is already committed elsewhere - so this is thought is not supper applicable for you at the moment.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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LookingHard
Posts: 2794
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Post by LookingHard » 24 Jan 2018, 15:39

AmyJ wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 14:58
1) How do I convey my boundaries respectfully and clearly without losing all my social currency at church (an to an extent my husband's)? Actually, I don't care about social currency as much as long as it does not bleed into ecclesiastical currency - I need my endorsement for BYU-Idaho online so I can finish my degree and move on with my life.
My suggestion is that you might be proactive with the bishop and tell him how much you love the church (describe the parts you love) and that you WANT to serve, but are VERY worried about burning out (with your situation that I assume he knows). Mention your past callings and say as much as you loved them, it almost sends you into a panic attack thinking of handing one of those callings now with your additional load of schooling. Then tell him some callings that you would be willing to do (or share 50/50 with someone else).

I think it shows your willingness and even desire to serve and that will probably not trip any sensors that makes him worry about you (other than your "load" you carry).

But then again - you know your bishop better than I do. This is just what came to my mind.

AmyJ
Posts: 576
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Burnt Out and how we handle the Church

Post by AmyJ » 25 Jan 2018, 07:00

Roy wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 15:29
Thank you for bringing up this old thread. I have a soft place in my heart for DBMormon and his family and it was good to "hear" his voice again.

I do not have any perfect answers about the callings. I did have success as a primary teacher co-teaching with DW. I currently am co-bear den cub scout leader with DW. I find that my wife is a great partner is easy to communicate with (divide duties and conquer) and we have complimentary skillsets (I am a great showman and presenter, she is organized and thorough). I gather that your husband is already committed elsewhere - so this is thought is not supper applicable for you at the moment.
You are welcome :P

My husband and I taught Primary before (8-12 in 1 class, it was a small primary ward) - it had its moments of goodness. The biggest problem we had is that if I was sick, I still had to find a sub that was not my husband because he was not going to teach the class without me. The kids loved it when we had them read passages of scripture and then form teams to draw cartoons on the chalkboard regarding what they read.

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