In which I am almost all the way burned out.

My Liberty-friend tells me it’s one of the most beautiful things about me, the way I dive into life and everything with both feet AND headfirst – quite an acrobatic achievement, I can assure you. But, she also tells me that this strength of mine can be very hard on my soul, that if I’m not cautious, over time, this unsustainable diving and jumping will make me be weak. She told me this because we talked yesterday after I sent her this exact text message: “I’m burned out. I lost my freaking shit today. Just needed to tell you.” If you’re not familiar with the expression “I lost my freaking shit”, let me clarify: it has nothing to do with bowel movements and everything to do with uncontrolled weeping and wall-yelling and guttural groaning and a body shaking violently because it’s trying so strong not to start throwing things around the kitchen.

Yep.

I lost my shit. (Before I break out in an embarrassment-rash, someone please tell me I’m not the only one.)

I am a diver and a jumper by nature, but there are also circumstances in our personal world that leave very little emotional real estate and added with the high, non-stop pulse of summer activity, I find it extra hard to hide away somewhere long enough to heal from one thing before the next comes along and will someone just let me crawl into the deepest, most isolated hole? So I burned-out under the blazing sun. My soul has lived too much life this past year and it all caught up to me, exploded and left me utterly deflated. I feel like a study in brokenness right now, a veritable petrie dish of multiplying cracks and as painful as this place feels, it’s so good for me to walk quietly beside my old man, be shaken and humbled again over my own humanity and ask the good questions before God so we can seek my gentle transformation and redemption together.

At the tail-end of our conversationĀ Liberty-friend tells me to go on sabbatical, so on sabbatical I will go for the whole month of August. Around the table this morning with our 3 little pancake-eaters, we had a family meeting. Austin and I needed to explain to the boys what was going on inside me, what I had done/had happened to my spirit, what I needed to do to be restored, what a sabbatical meant and how it might look for our daily rhythm for the next 30 days. Our big-loving children with their giant, compassionate hearts decided then and there they wanted to take care of me for that whole time (as best as their young-boyness can manage), so I’m going to let them.

Other then letting the care come in, my soul will be walking softly and slowly, like a body would when recovering from a high-fevered flu. I’m turning any extra noise all the way off, leaving blog/web-land completely, taking no less then three mystic-like and prayer-full pauses a day in some secluded space and also saying “no” SO much, “no” to favors and volunteering and bending in every direction – I’ve learned that I am not Gumby after all . . . Who knew?

Maybe this August sabbatical will become a yearly commitment to myself and my health, an extended sacred space where I can bow low and go extra still and be held by the best arms and drink big and long from the nectar that flows down the mountain of God’s most nourishing heart.

If it comes to your mind or your heart or anywhere else, would you pray for me and mine?

Love you all so much.

Erika

 

50 Comments In which I am almost all the way burned out.

  1. HopeUnbroken

    oh, wow. i am undone, truly, for it was only days ago that i drove down the road, thoughts turned toward you, and i wept right alongside you. heart so full. i do love you, dear friend, and if it helps you to know–i’ve been losing it right along with you. i’ll be walking right beside you in spirit during your rest.
    take care, be good to yourself. you are wonderful, you are beautiful. . . you are special-made.
    be looking for that letter in the mail. i sent it friday.
    xoxo,
    steph

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      You humble me so much Steph. The good kind. Are you by any chance traveling up to Michigan in August? :)

      I am gleefully – GLEEFULLY I tell you – awaiting your snail mail!!!

      Reply
  2. Tara pohlkotte

    Oh, this makes perfect sense to me…sometimes I lose my shit proper. Nice and Loud with a lot of cray-cray thrown in for good measure. Other seasons my shit leaks slowly, leaving me dried up, unconcerned, uncooperative to invest in this messy life. Whatever way I lose it, it means I haven’t allowed my soul rest. Do this sweet one. What a humbling and honored lesson to learn to let others carry us when we are weary. Love and thoughts. Prayers and petitions all month and always. Xoxo

    Reply
  3. kingfisher

    Erika, you are blessed, you are lovely. You really have had “too much” going on, haven’t you. Bless your heart! And lest you think that somehow you’re alone in this place, well, I see many similar comments on other blogs, of those who are hurting from having seen, been, and done so much! (And what would the world do without such exuberance and grace, exhibited in due season?)

    I pray for you and your family to find God’s peace and rest and harmony and lovingkindness. And that you may discover him, walking with you, in a new and elegant and wonderful way — not as something you “put on” yourself by trying harder to meet him, but by just relaxing and letting him handle the “being with you truly”, at all times, places, and ways, even on occasions where you know it not. “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not” (said Jacob when he dreamed of the stairway straight to heaven). May he carry you and your family!

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      Dearest Friend, your observances give me air – thank you for seeing so much more then just this momentary season of mine . . . Thank you for looking back AND imagining ahead. Bless you so big.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      I’ll be saying prayers for you too, my smitten-lady. Thank you for coming alongside me.

      Love you,
      Erika

      Reply
  4. Diana Trautwein

    Very wise move, sweetie. Yes, indeed. Be glad for the ugly tears – they are saving you…without putting you in the hospital! Been there, done that. Not good. Let your boys take care of you and just sit by that water out back and soak it in. Love to you this August break time.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      I will take you words and love with me when I travel to the waters to soak and sit. Thank you mama-Diana.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  5. Barb krueger

    I’ll consider it an honor to pray for you and your beautiful family on this much needed sabbatical. I so appreciate your honesty, vulnerability and passion! I don’t want to have an “if only” mindset but just this once :), oh if only I had had an ounce of your wisdom 20 years ago as I raised my crazy clan and lost shit way too often and lived most of my life burned out… If only… Oh yeah can’t go there :), but I can and WILL joyfully pray for you. May you find much peace and rest in Him!!

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      Oh . . . Your words give me such affirmation and courage. Thank you, dear friend, for understanding. Thank for every single prayer.

      Love you SO.
      Erika

      Reply
  6. Angela

    I WILL be thinking of you during this August month. I see you drinking deeply of the solitude and splashing soul-quenching waters all over your face. May you get refreshed in every way. Much love to you, beautiful one.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      You give me wings and make my heart swell. Thank you, my west-coast darlin’. I covet every single prayer.

      Love you muchly,
      Erika

      Reply
  7. WritingJoy

    I’ve been losing my freaking shit a lot lately, but it’s looked like me hiding from my family, pulling into my shell like a turtle, and shutting people out. I’m not sure what the remedy is yet, but I’ll be praying for you this month in the quiet of the night before I fall asleep. So glad your boys are taking care of you.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      And I will be praying for you, my dear Joy. Thank you so much . . . I’ve got your back any time you need it sister.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  8. Logan@LifeforDessert

    This has been a year of losing my shit. I get it my friend….I SO get it. And what I know is this….I know nothing but to fall apart at the feet of Jesus. I can offer a “you’re not alone…but instead know that I’ll just pray….that will do more.”
    So Jesus…sweet, tender, tough-enough-to-lose-our-shit-on Jesus….hold my friend. Hold her tightly, and softly, and close. Father, I ask that you restore her soul. You say that you do that…that you lead us beside still waters to restore our souls, so I pray that Erika finds a long stroll along still waters with you this month Papa. I declare in Jesus name, a wall of heavenly protection over her this month as she takes the time to calm and still. That angels will encircle her to provide a fortress of rest and protection around her. I speak healing, and life, and fullness over her. Fill her up Father. She’s such a beautiful cup full, and we ask that you bring her brim to overflow again. I pray a sense of peace to encompass her family this month. That her boys would walk in supernatural joy, her husband would carry an increase of heavenly authority, and Erika can feel like she’s floating…relaxing and floating in a sea of your goodness. Father, you are good, and you are crazy about Erika and I just speak blessing over her this month. That as Psalm 65 says, you will crown this year for Erika with your bounty…that her paths would drip with fatness of our greatness. In Jesus name…Amen…let it be so!
    Erika, I have received this Psalm repeatedly for friends who have found themselves in a similar season as where you are now, so I just want you to know that I believe the Lord would have me pray it over you. So I am…and i will. Much love to you sweet sister.
    – Logan

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      I am exceedingly overwhelmed by you pouring yourself out over me with SO much heart. Logan, my dessert-lady, you have blessed me this night – beyond what I can wrap my understanding around. Thank you, dear one. Thank you. I will continue to pray this Psalm.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  9. Genevieve

    Good for you for recognizing this before you’re actually bound up in the loony bin forced from sheer boredom to sleep. I know – I’ve been there. Yes, August is a good month to take an annual sabbatical. Perhaps you, my wise and wonderful friend, shall. {{{{hugs}}}} and prayers going up, too!

    they will care for you well, i predict!

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      You do my heart so much good, Genevieve. Thank you for telling me that I’m not alone.

      Love you,
      Erika

      Reply
  10. rain

    i lose my tongue in those whispery, veil-thin holy ground place. i’m learning what it means to have groans which cannot be uttered. so i may be low on poetry and i miss you so much i get achy and weepy, so let those aches speak where i cannot and let my tears tell you stories that i would if words fell from my lips.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      My Rain – Your words are always water falling on my dry places. Thank you for always being present with me, for being so faithful through all my journey’s and seasons. I love you so.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  11. Ashleigh Baker

    I’m learning as my years grow that silence is the most healing. Being still soothes the soul. So glad of your sabbatical, friend. I took six months and don’t regret a moment of it. Love you so.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      Dearest Ashleigh – thank you for affirming my heart. Lord knows I’m going to eat the silence this month and try for even more sustainable stillness in the future.

      I love you, sister.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  12. Brittany

    I just started reading Come Thirsty by Max Lucado and it’s about this very thing.
    How we know the signd of a thirsty body but so often ignore the signs of a thristy soul. And we inevitably lose our shit.

    The good news is you are definitely not alone. I’m in the slow adn steady process, the crazy crying at the drop of a hat shit-losing stage.

    So, I’ll burrow you into my heart and be praying right along side you.

    Love and love.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      I’m going to have to get my hands on a copy of that book, B. Thank you for telling me about it and for letting me know that I’m not alone. I will be praying alongside your healing as well.

      Love you, darlin’.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  13. Shelly

    Not very many people in this world are willing to take the plunge into the peaceful waters of our Lord. What a good month for that too. In Aug here in Texas it seems the ground is even thirsty. It shows great courage for you to admit your thirst. Admittance not just to your self and your loved ones but too all of us. It shows great character. I went to the wells of Christ in February. Broken and unstable I went to Him knowing that He understood even when I didn’t, he met me there with miracles. He did a miracle in my heart and my physical body. Without sharing tmi, I am confident of this, He gets us. He is already there treading water for you! Waiting to you to dive deep. Time for a washing of the water of His living word. I will pray. I will ask God to go deep into your soul to heal and smother you with love. You are in His care and not alone! Blessings love you

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      Hello Shelly-dear,

      Your encouragement goes straight to my heart and I’m going to hold it close. Thank you SO much for taking the time to affirm my soul-choices and your prayers? They are already such a soothing balm.

      Blessings and deepest love to you.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  14. HopefulLeigh

    I wish I didn’t know burn out as well as I do but I can tell you, as one on the other side, it is so important to care for ourselves and do what we must until refreshment comes. Praying for you, dear friend. Take all the time you need and trust you will emerge better for it.

    Reply
  15. Jodie Swan

    I read this on the blog of another friend and thought of you:
    “It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to not have it all together. It’s not ok to lie. It’s not ok to keep things hidden. It’s not ok to pretend things are what they are not.”
    Be willing to not be ok. Jesus came for the not ok – that’s who He reaches out to and touches. But we must first realize we are not ok, acknowledge it before God and others and want something much deeper than ok.

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      You are so dear, Jodie. Thank you so much for your thought and support and sending these words to me.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  16. Brianne

    Oh, what a wonderful thing to do, Erika. I can say for sure you are not the only one who gets to the point you’ve found yourself, and yes, I feel like crawling into a hole and becoming a hermit sometimes; I admire your courage to let it all go and take care of you and know you will find restoration in your quiet time.

    Reply
  17. Donna

    I’ve been lurking for a while, reading the artistry of your words and life, and today I break my silence. :)
    I get the whole ‘losing my shit’ place. Really get it. And have great admiration for you, for NOT throwing things round the kitchen!
    I regularly find myself on the verge of that place, but for the last 8yrs or so, with little ones under my feet and in my hair all the time it’s been almost impossible to find the time and space for my soul to rest.
    I’m glad that you are taking time out to rest and restore, and that your boys are so keen to look after you. Long may that continue!

    Reply
    1. thelifeartist

      Thank you for breaking your silence, Donna, and leaving me the words that encourage. I am so blessed to have you here and so grateful that you’re sharing in our stories.

      VERY much LOVE,
      Erika

      Reply
  18. Bethany

    Finally catching up in blog world, and oh, oh, oh! I totally understand this. Over the last year, I’ve been practicing the word no A LOT — sinking into myself and accepting what I’ve always known, I can’t be/do everything. This is where I become an underachiever, doing what I know is necessary for the day and leaving the rest on the shelf. Take care, friend, during this month to allow the Lord to heal your soul, to renew you, and lead you. Praying for you.

    Reply
  19. Brittany

    Remember when I said I was losing it too? It’s happened. Any wisdom you gained from your sabbatical/prayers would be so appreciated. You were definitely not alone. <3

    Reply
    1. Erika Morrison

      Hi Darlin’ –

      How would you feel about emailing me the broad strokes (at least) of what went down in your world? I’ll help in any way I can . . . I did encounter such full healing during my sabbatical and would share any bits that might resonate with your story.

      Love you,
      E

      Reply

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