Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Boundaries

We're in a trial and error stage of life right now, trying to figure out how to be children of action, children of prayer, and children who submit to Godly wisdom. With homeschooling, couponing, never ending laundry and dishes, and frequent grocery runs (oftentimes the children join me), we already know how the hours can simply run away from us. Add to that the priceless opportunities that God presents for us to pour the gospel into another individual's life, (and, if you're like me, you want to take as many opportunities for that as you can get) then you've got a bit of a conflict.

Our days are numbered. Our hours are numbered. The sun rises and sets, and we are only allowed so many daylight hours to work and to work hard. Our bodies are limited. Working hard leads to the need for us to also rest our bodies well.

Consider as well the primary responsibilities we've been given charge over: for me the top two are my marriage and my children. This doesn't include the secondary relationships in which all believers all called to invest: the church, discipleship relationships both for myself and myself towards another, extended family, my neighbors, the needy, the widow and orphan. Where do you find time to pour yourself into each of these types of relationships that fall into your life? Where does that all fit in?

Where do you draw the line as you consider the primary responsibilities versus the secondaries? How much energy and intentional time do you set aside for your marriage and for your family? How much time do you set aside for pouring into the secondaries? Do you ever say, "no," to the secondaries?
In this season, we're finding that if we participate in more than three or four secondary activities a week, we literally lose a day to recovery. That is one whole day a week that I can't pour into my primary responsibilities. This means that we've sometimes said "no" to birthday parties, having adult friends over, even after the kids go down, and declining to help when we really, really wanted to.  We're making mistakes sometimes, but we're trying to humbly submit, recognizing our own limitations as well as taking seriously our responsibilities.

What works for your families?

*Edited to add:
I really, really do want to hear what works for your families! We're still trying to figure it out.
Also it's funny/strange that I wrote on boundaries two years ago here, but I had a different take on it back then. hmmm. Learning still, I guess.

3 comments:

tasha said...

I love your heart, Andrea.

whocanfind? said...

We're still trying to figure it out. Got any suggestions?

Andrea said...

I think you're doing great, it is so important to set your priorities even when it means saying no when you want to please someone by saying yes. My calender for this month is so jam packed that I am tired just looking at it. Once we have our schedule set for a month (or sometimes on a week by week basis) I don't add anything unless it is necessary. I try to leave at least one empty day a week and at least one weekend a month that is not filled with activities. And I try to include at least one big "event" and save our money and time for that. This month it is the state fair but other things have come up too and now I feel overextended so next month I don't have anything big planned (except Thanksgiving of course). It is getting easier to say "I'm sorry, our month is completely full, keep me in mind next time". I'm not sure if these were really the suggestions you were looking for but it works for us.