“In a minute, I’m cleaning out my closet,” a child yells from her bedroom. Normally Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus would ensue but not today. Not now.
I have just asked her to come set the table for dinner. She says she will in a minute when she’s done with her own indisputably good agenda.
In my frustration I question my failures as a parent. In my heart I wonder if God ever feels the same way about me.
I struggle with boundaries. I struggle with implementing them, maintaining them and accepting them. Sometimes boundaries are required to protect us. There are some situations in my life, especially with relationships that require boundaries. When I feel betrayed, hurt or overwhelmed by the demands of a friendship, I must implement a boundary in order to function with healthy emotions. Then I ask God countless times why I can’t just pick up the phone and talk with my friend like I used to. His answer is always the same. Although it might be a good thing, an acceptable thing, it is not a beneficial thing to me right now.
With back-to-school season and all things routine, I find myself asking God if I should volunteer at the book fair, silent auction or fall festival. Last night I found myself praying about how many days a month to spend at my children’s schools. When I didn’t hear angels singing after my prayers, I paused. It seems my desire to help my children adjust to their new schools and my inability to say no have crossed some boundaries.
I know what God has called me to do this year. I know what He has asked me to be about. I know the sacrifices and time necessary to fulfill His purpose in my life. Yet I still ask Him if I can start His work when I’m done with my own good work.
Last night when I was asking God permission to say yes, I found my prayers changing mid-stream. Instead of asking my Father’s permission to say yes, I began asking for my Father’s strength to say no.
Although boundaries often stifle me, I saw last night how they were not only put into place to protect me but to help me thrive, excel and complete what God has called me to do. He wants my success as I go about His business. I would never want His purposes in my life hindered because I’m too busy doing my own good things to go about eternal God things.
Boundaries were never meant to stifle us, they were meant to free us to pursue our passions unfettered by emotional baggage and heavy obligations. Girlfriends run hard and listen because God Himself is singing over you.
“You are the one who determines my destiny.
Your boundary lines mark out pleasant places for me.” Psalm 16:5b & 6a
“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17