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2014_06_01 Boundaries

In this series we have already talked about setting priorities and learning when you are at your best for certain tasks. This week we are going to look at setting and maintaining clear boundaries. To be completely honest, this is the one I have struggled with the most over the years. Granted there is a balance to this which we will talk about next week, but I tend to go overboard with my permissiveness.

This is why the previous steps are so important. They lay the ground work to help you discern when it is and isn’t appropriate to bend in your plans and routines. Some things are obvious such as if your child needs to go to the emergency room then that is top priority. However, it is the more subtle things that tend to trip us up. Things like working on a project longer than you had scheduled to because you want to get it over with. The thinking is that if you get it done now then the time you had scheduled for it later can be used for whatever you are skipping. It doesn’t ever really go that way though. You end up being too exhausted to catch up and totally neglect whatever you skipped.

The key to avoiding this is keeping your priority list and blocking schedule handy when you are making a choice like this. That way you can objectively evaluate whether or not you should make the compromise. Too often we make choices based on our emotions and fail to look at the situation objectively. I don’t know about your emotions, but mine have been known to get me in a world of trouble. So I avoid making emotional decisions whenever possible.

Ask yourself some key questions:

1. Is this more important that what I have planned?

2. Can this be delayed to a more appropriate time?

3. If I only had time to one of these two things {meaning one would go completely undone}, which one would I choose?

This will help put things in perspective and make the choice more concrete and easier to stick to. You have facts and reasoning to back it up…things you can remind yourself of when sticking to it gets tough. It makes a huge difference!

Then set some ground rules. Yours will of course be specific to you, but here are a few of the ones I am solidifying this week:

1. Nothing short of an emergency should replace or come before my quiet time with the Father. {This also includes things I’m doing the night before so I can be sure to be well rested and get up on time.}

2. I set regular schedules to do things with my children so that if I don’t get one on one time each day, then they know that we are going to have family time on this day and/or they’ll have personal time on this day. {This helps them cope when I have to work on something or when their homework piles up and our day just runs wild.}

3. My house must stay presentable at all times. {This doesn’t mean spotless or looking like it’s not lived in, but if at any given moment someone knocks on my door I should not be embarrassed to open it.}

4. I must be well groomed and presentable from right after I wake up until an hour after sundown. {Same as above…I’m don’t have to be off-the-runway dressed, but my head is covered, I’m dressed in something I wouldn’t mind being seen in, my nails are filed, and I have my lip-gloss, jewelry, and such on.}

5. After sundown is my time to decompress, regroup, say goodnight to my kids, and find rest in His Presence. So I don’t accept unannounced company and am only online when I’ve made plans to be, typically only for temporary functions.

These are just my basic guidelines, but as you can see it takes a bit of structure to do all that God laid out for us to do in His Word. Too often we get so bogged down with the those things that we have come to believe are important from watching the way the world operates that we think that we don’t have enough time to do those things that He has commanded of us. The truth is, if we completely gut our day and rebuild it according to His Word, we will find that we have way more time than we ever thought we could! I have found more peace, more productivity, and, believe it or not, WAY more fun as I transform my days step-by-step to align with His Way.

So I beg you…give this an honest chance. Invite Him into the process and let the Holy Spirit guide you into His Truth. I pray you persistence and malleability beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~
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