Recently, a message kept popping up on my i-pad…Storage almost full, manage your storage in settings. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about that so, I simply ignored it! The problem with ignoring that warning was that my i-pad was at capacity and gradually it began functioning slower and slower. Finally, I was able to figure out how to download more storage and in essence created more space on i-cloud.
Similarly, my life is very full and at times reaches capacity. The warning signs begin to show up; I begin to feel frazzled and overwhelmed. Rather than intentionally managing my time, I become driven by the urgent. I fall behind on writing projects and creating messages for speaking engagements. I start noticing signs of frustration, impatience and anxiety. My immune system begins to fail and it becomes easier to catch a cold or flu. The bottom line is that my body, soul and spirit have reached capacity. What I need is more space. Breathing room.
Rest. Renewal. Refreshment.
Psalm 23, speaks to this. David writes, “He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:2). Refreshment sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But, here’s the thing. Space for refreshment isn’t created without boundaries. Boundaries are invisible lines that define our limits and protect our space.
Boundaries are good. They were God’s idea. In fact, read, Mark 1: 35-39, and you’ll discover Jesus set boundaries. He didn’t heal everyone and He didn’t preach everywhere. Sometimes He said, “No”. For some of us, saying, “no”, is a challenge. But if we don’t say “no” to some good things, we won’t have the emotional or physical energy to say, “yes” to great things. Saying, “no” can feel challenging but with practice you can learn to say, “No” sweetly and respectfully without guilt. Jesus didn’t feel guilty when He set boundaries. We shouldn’t either because He is our example.
So let me ask you, as you enter this new week, where do you need to set some boundaries? Do you recognize warning signs that you’re near capacity? in order to avoid burn out is there anything you need to say, “no” to in order to say, “yes” to something else? Try this. Think through your week. What does God want you to say, “yes” to? Then think through what you’ll have to say, “no” to in order to answer enthusiastically, “Yes” to all God has planned for you.
I’d love to hear from you. What feels most challenging to you about setting boundaries?