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Friday, August 27, 2010

Freeing Boundaries

“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


Denise said...

My precious sis, God will direct all your steps, He will lead you where He wants you. Relax, I love you.

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

Dear Lisa have been there. After 70 years of being everywhere, literally, I was able to be nowhere The decline in my health was God's way of telling me I had crossed the boundary. Of course I am older now but I can so remember when my 6 were all in school. He will lead you.

Kimberly said...

When God draws a line in the sand, so to speak, and says "no" to one thing, it is usually to make room for something else. When we let go, we have to open our hand and release our grip. How else can we receive what He wants to give us? I can relate. I've said no to some things this year and in my heart I know it is so God can make room for something else. For the first time in 11 years, I've said "no" to the symphony. I've been playing continuously every season in two states for the past 11 years, and for the first time since, I won't be. That is weird for me, and will take some getting used to, but I believe it is right for me at this time. I know God will fill that "space" with something else, something that is better for me at this time, even if it is only extra time to allow Him to prepare me to receive something else from His hand.

Blessings as you open yourself up to new experiences in Him!

Big Fat Mama said...

Very wise insight...

Big Fat Mama said...

One more thing, I am about to post Chapter 10 from Charles Swindoll's book, and there is a line from this chapter and he says this:

The quantity and quality of your memories are the measure of a life well lived, and they are built upon moments in time shared with those you love-time spent with them, not tasks done for them...

Big Fat Mama

Kari said...

Loved this post! I have been trying to turn my plans over to Him as well (easier said than done) and your words tonight were just what I needed to hear!

Karen said...

Wonderful post!Over the years,including the loss of our oldest son,I have learned that God will indeed guide us .Thru the good and the bad times.He is control and will guide your steps.