This week’s prompt: Burnout

We were sitting at Starbucks in Fresno, California. That’s when it came up in conversation.

All of us ladies were attending Link Care, an intensive counseling program designed for women serving overseas. We had spent hours together in our group sessions with soggy tissues balled up in our hands. This was the last night before many of us were leaving, so we piled into two cars and went out for one last time together.

“Have you heard of the book called ‘Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission?” one of the women asked.

I nearly choked on my Italian soda. What?? There is a book with that title? Why have I never heard of it?

I knew that book had my name all over it. I waited until I was settled back into my China home, and then I dove in. I found myself glued to the glowing pages of my e-reader, journaling ferociously as I read.

I finished the last page and breathed a deep sigh. So much of what I had been struggling with and learning was there in those chapters. I wanted to turn back to page one and start all over again. But I didn’t want to do it alone. I wanted to walk through this book with other women walking the same path. I wanted to plumb the depths of its themes and talk it out with all of you.

I wanted us all to experience the richness that I had found in my Link Care women’s group, where women opened up about their struggles and the deep places where those struggles were born. I wanted us to feel each other’s gentle nudges towards healing and freedom.

Amy had been equally moved by the book, and so we decided that for the first time ever, Velvet Ashes is aligning our weekly themes with the discussions at book club. If you’ve never joined in on book club before, you’ll want to jump in with “Expectations and Burnout.”

This spring we’re intentionally walking through a series designed to lead us through the hard themes and on to freedom and renewal for our lives.  We’re kicking it off this week with the topic of “Burnout.” From our submissions, we already know this is a topic that hits so many of us, whether we’ve teetered close to brink of burnout, or we’ve been down in the depths of it.

This is a safe place to bring your stories of brokenness. You’re in good company. No judgment, only grace and understanding extended. If you’re in the hard middle of despair right now, we’re not afraid of your raw story. Write it. Bring it to The Grove.

If you’re learning to live in freedom and grace, throw that line of hope out to others. Write your story and share it at The Grove, beginning Thursday 6pm EST.

Eager to walk through this series with you,

Danielle Wheeler & the VA team

Photo Source : Unsplash


  1. Elisa Groth March 12, 2015

    This is a picture I was asked to draw while attending DAR (Debriefing And Renewal) this past  spring.  It is a picture of how I got to a place of burnout as well as a picture of the hope that is ahead, after the burnout. My last term was a tornado/perfect storm of stress, conflict, death, and weariness.  It is represented by the tornado in the top left hand corner.  What the tornado did was rip my “Superwoman” cape to shreds.  On the cape you’ll see patches of the parts of my cape that were most affected some are labeled and some are not.  All of them contributed to my burnout.  Below the cape is a recycling bin which is where my cape is being worked on as we speak.  God is going to recycle it into something true, right, lovely, and pure…it’s not going to be a cape anymore…he’s going to use the pieces of it though, to make the quilt of my life.  A quilt of memories, lessons, and comfort for myself and others that glorifies Him.  This is a picture of my burnout story.

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