Dear God!
       Help! I am burned out!

       I know that your word says that I can do all things through Christ, but all things at once?! I continue to pray for more grace and strength, but with raising my four boys and everything else, I just seem to always feel stressed out and tired. What am I doing wrong?

Dear Burned Out,

       Most women, especially mothers, are overworked and under appreciated. Mothers are givers. God created them that way. They care for those around them...whether it be their children, husbands, or friends.

       Let me encourage you with a story about a woman named Dorcas. We can read about her in Acts chapter nine.

       Dorcas helped everybody but herself. She was that giving, caring kind of woman whose phone never stops ringing with requests for prayer from her friends. She was that woman who was always ready to listen, or lend a helping hand. She was the woman that everyone sought in times of crisis. As is often the case with this kind of person, she had given to others until she herself had broken down.

       Dorcas was sick, and she died. She collapsed! Burned out! Her friends, (the ones whom she had helped) gathered around her and reminisced about her loving and compassionate deeds. Assuming her life was over, they laid Dorcas on a table and mourned for her. It probably looked to them like all her giving had been in vain.

       BUT GOD never forgets a labor of love. God has not forgotten your ministry!!! You may help people who rise up, walk away, and forget to thank you...but not God. He never forgets! As confirmation that He cares for those who care for others, He sent His great apostle, Peter, to Dorcas' friends.

       When Peter came in, he sent everyone else out; and Dorcas was left with the only One who could restore her. YOU CAN'T KEEP GIVING AND BE RESTORED AT THE SAME TIME! There comes a time when you must put everyone else out, and allow God to restore you.

       The ground will refuse to yield a harvest unless the soil is replenished; and trees won't bear fruit without rest...hence, the seasons.

       No matter how strong you are, there comes a time when you MUST "put everyone out", like Peter did, and be alone in the presence of the ONLY ONE who can raise you up again. Peter said, "Dorcas, arise!" And she did. Allow God, your loving Father, to do the same thing for you.

Gail Ramsey, an ordained minister, portrayed the role of Susan Moore on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. She had other roles on the TV programs Mike Hammer, Generations and California Dreams. Today, Ramsey leads Semeion Ministries, where readers can write her at P.O. Box 77, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43063.