The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
*Psalm 16:6-8 ESV
The path has been quite rocky over this most recent leg of this journey.
Changes left & right have caused me to recenter & stand firm on the unshakeable truth: God alone is my sure foundation.
I have had to take a step back & closely examine what matters most to me, and He has been reshaping me on the inside while the storms swirl around me on the outside.
By the way, a storm is anything that tries to knock you on your Foundation. It can be a temptation, a spiritual attack, a crossing of a boundary, a sudden loss….any unexpected change, big or small.
God has been quietly prompting me to allow Him to set my boundary lines, and giving me the strength to hold fast to Him as I do.
Boundary #1: God time is in permanent marker in my schedule, wherever & whenever He wants.
Allowing Him ownership blesses my time, makes me more confident He is with me & more productive at all I do.
Boundary #2: Self care under His direction is not selfish.
This includes enforcing my need for balance. Too much work at a time leaves me exhausted & drained. As part of my work is freelance, I now have boundaries on when I will/will not work which God is helping me reinforce.
Boundary #3: After God, my family is more important.
God didn’t just randomly refer to children as treasures or gifts we were never meant to unwrap. Your spouse is to be your best friend, the one you go to first after God with whatever is bugging you. God wants us to have daily family time, however that can look for your family. Meals, DVD, walking, laughing, worshipping together…. We miss the tight bonds God planned for us when we fail to put family ahead of all else after Him.
Boundary #4: Saying no is to be welcomed when it is enforcing a boundary, and/or following His leading.
I have a hard time with this one, as several people around me like to try and bypass my no. What is urgent to them is to become my urgent project to be immediate dealt with. If I am already working, or on a day off, I need to say no or not yet. If they can’t accept it, that isn’t my problem. As the Polish saying goes, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!”
The reality is: I am not on call 24/7 to anyone but God or my family.
I suspect I am not the only one who needed to read that truth today. If your ‘no’ is not being respected, then quite honestly the requester is not respecting you. Stand up for yourself, and if you have to, take a stand. I have left a job I was very good at because my employer crossed the boundaries I had clearly set. As much as I hated doing so at the time, it was the best thing I could have done for myself to learn how to enforce my boundaries, knowing God was with me as I did so. No means no. God will back you for standing firm on a boundary He has helped you set.
Boundary #5: God & I together are free to change, adapt or create new boundaries at any time. I don’t need anyone else’s permission to follow His lead.
Now, if I do something completely out of character or fall into sin, it will become obvious to those around me whether God is in it or not. We are known by our actions & their fruit, not only our words. We are to be considerate & honor one another, and at the same time we are not be someone else’s doormat to be walked all over at their convenience.
I speak from experience that I have learned the difference between serving & being a slave.
I will not head back into the chains God rescued me from.
I had spiritually cowered like Piglet for way too long, being timid and afraid to speak up for myself. Allowing God to direct me into healthier living has enabled me to see that where He wants me to step, in His Presence, will lead me towards becoming the ‘me’ He designed me to become.
I don’t need to apologize when I improve for the better, when Holiness & Love grip me so tight I become broken to be rebuilt into something better & more precious: More His.
My boundaries all lead back to freeing myself to live more fully in the wide open spaces of His love, mercy, grace & Presence, where He is constantly with me.
So the winds will continue to try & sweep me off my feet. Let them come, I say:
Because if I am already on my knees, I will not be shaken.
God’s promise: When I stay close to Him & follow His lead, He’s got me solidly 100% on His grip.
In His strength, I can stand firm and hold my ground when the storms circle about me.
Hold fast, dear ones.
God knows the way ahead, and the way through.
He’s got you.