Author to discuss women who ‘do too much’

Patricia Sprinkle thinks some women simply do too much.”Women tend to be nurturers, either by nature or by training,” she says. ” Therefore, I find that women often do too much because other people impinge on our lives more than they seem to do on men’s lives. You don’t find many male lawyers wondering at 9 a.m. what they will feed the family for dinner. You don’t find many male teachers missing school because of a sick child at home, or male executives trying to figure out how to care for one of their parents in their home.”It is far more likely that a woman will care for her mother-in-law than that a father will devote his time to caring for his father-in-law. But the fact that we women tend to live our lives around other people’s lives – spouses, children, parents, even employers – leads to stresses because we sometimes are so busy doing for others we forget to do the things we ourselves are called to do or yearn to do.”Sprinkle, a prolific mystery writer who also writes nonfiction books, will be in Lawrence Saturday for “Women Who Do Too Much,” a one-day conference at [Heartland Community Church][1], 619 Vt.She also is speaking today and Friday at the [Heart of America Christian Writers Conference][1] in Overland Park.The Lawrence conference shares a title with one of Sprinkle’s books. The first edition came out in 1992, with an update in 2002.It was based on her own experiences as an author and pastor’s wife, as well as those of 14 other women.Sprinkle says she’s given this workshop to a variety of church and business groups, and the book is available in four languages.”This is an issue that I find touches women across economic, religious and cultural lines,” she says. “Some of the stories in the current edition of the book are about women who changed their lives after working through the workshop.”![][2]Three points she has for making sure women don’t “do too much”:¢ “Don’t rely on time-saving tips or efficiency manuals.¢ “Women do not need to learn to say ‘no.’ We need to learn to say ‘yes’ to things we are personally called to do. Once we know what we want to say ‘yes’ to, it is easier to say ‘no’ to other things.¢ “Women need to take time and silence to get in touch with the yearnings of our hearts. I firmly believe God plants those yearnings within us, and when we are moving in the direction of satisfying those yearnings, we lose most of our stress because we are in tune with who it is that we individually were created to be and do.”For much of her life, Sprinkle has dealt with these issues as a writer and as a pastor’s wife. (Her husband now works for a faith/health agency.) She’s bemused by the expectations placed on the spouses of clergy, and how often she’s asked how she balances her own career with her husband’s”In one church we served, an elder asked precisely that question in the interview process,” she says. “Do doctor’s wives and lawyer’s wives have to go through a job interview with their husbands? I replied, ‘I have to write. That’s what I am called to do, just as Bob is called to be your pastor.’ The congregations knew that was who and what I am, so they seemed to do fine with it.”In fact, I think it encouraged other women in the congregation to seek and live our their own callings.”The conference at Heartland runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $20, which includes lunch, and scholarships are available. E-mail Lu Ann Nystrom at to register._ – Faith Files, which examines issues of faith, spirituality, morals and ethics, is updated by features/faith reporter Terry Rombeck. Have an idea for the blog? Contact Terry at, or 832-7145._ [1]: