Redrawing the Boundary Lines

Boundaries are hard.

And this post is hard to write because boundaries are something that are easy for me to teach and preach but hard for me to submit to in my own life.

Because I’m a people pleaser.

And there are expectations on me and I want to meet them because then people will need me and want me around and I will be valuable to them.

And that’s messed up and messy and a miserable place to be.

And I thought I had all this all figured out.

God, Family, Other stuff.

But I didn’t. My head had all this figured out but my will and my treasure was not focused in these directions.

God, Family, Other stuff.

This was not the order. The order became other stuff, family, God, sometimes.

I have boundaries like our old Basset Hound, Zelda, had boundaries. If you know anything about hounds, they get the scent, put their head down, and follow, boundaries be darned.

Following it through traffic, through staff rooms and mail rooms. It’s a climbing-on-top-of-1997-Ford-Mustangs-to-scale-6-foot-fences-with-your-4-inch-legs kind of following.

And that’s what I was doing. I was following a goal to the good of that goal and the detriment of everything else. Because that’s how it happens for me sometimes, and maybe it happens for you, that all the things are good things but all the good things are in the wrong order.

And the good things take the place of the best things.

So I found myself weeping on a stool in our garage as my husband gently reminded me that saying no is sometimes the most loving and holy thing you can do for yourself.

That saying no to the outward expectations and yes to the long-term potential for family memories is a sacred space and healing place.

That the outside world and my world would not crash and burn if they did not intersect for one day.

Because if you’re like me, then you begin to believe the lie that the things that bring you accolades are the same that bring you nourishment.

That the  approval of one who seems great is not worth disappointing the heart of the one that is tiny and trusting.

When I turn my heart to what is the less permanent treasure, when I lose sight of the God then family, I lose focus and direction.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Matthew 6:21

Sitting on that too tall for comfort garage stool I realized that my focus was outside-in and backwards. That I was so tied up in outward expectations that inwardly I was slowly wasting away. And the decisions I was making, so concerned about doing my duty, for being accountable to what I had signed up for, were decisions that meant saying no to the nourishment from God and nourishing of family.

I was all wrong and boundary-less.

My heart and my head needed to align. My sight needed to focus in on the one who creates and gives life.

And I needed to re-draw the boundary lines in my memory and intentions.

To remember that the fleeting Samaritan interaction does not compare with the memory stored in a child’s heart.

To remember that I am God’s treasure stored in this jar of clay. That I am free to choose, free to seek and strive.


That I am freed to be free of the outward expectation when it does not align with the still small voice heard in the quiet seeking.

The tears on the garage stool were healing, full of purpose and repentance.

Because that’s what Jesus offers when we need to reorient and walk our boundary lines. Direction, clarity, courage, and sure-footed peace.


A Mother’s Day is…

A Mother’s Day is stepping on the 2 foot long pink Barbie speedboat in the shower.

A Mother’s Day is being accidently shot in the leg by a Nerf gun. 

A Mother’s Day is finding undies buried in the mountain of laundry. 

A Mother’s Day is cold toes creeping into the warmth of your slumber. 

A Mother’s Day is hearing the words unspoken in tiny hands and sticky kisses. 

A Mother’s Day is reading endlessly while smoothing back wisps of baby hair. 

A Mother’s Day is loving the man who parents by your side. 

A Mother’s Day is teaching and learning truth and grace. 

A Mother’s Day is creeping away for silence so you can be present later. 

A Mother’s Day is outpouring equal measures of justice and grace. 

A Mother’s Day is navigating and negotiating the return of Nerf bullets. 

A Mother’s Day is wearing the dress for a daughter who longs to embrace the feminine. 

A Mother’s Day is accepting the compliment that she is squishy and comfortable. 

A Mother’s Day is tender tears and toenails on your blanket. 

A Mother’s Day is watching the consequences of choice unfold with tender heart and waiting arms. 

A Mother’s Day is extraordinary intimacy and absent privacy. 

A Mother’s Day is grace and truth and joy and pain. 

A Mother’s Day is longing for the past and future. 

A Mother’s Day is rampant and suspended all at one time. 

A Mother’s Day is Proverbs 31 and Job. 

A Mother’s Day is praise at the city gates and the consistent battle for self worth. 

A Mother’s Day is doable when placed in God’s hands. 

Happy Mothers Days.