February 27, 2014

setting boundaries

the madness of the semester currently has me wrapped up in school work and plans for student teaching next semester, and my blogging has felt the effects. but i've been desperate to find the time to think deeply, process, and write, and i'm determined to make it a part of my schedule if not only for my business, for my personal health as well - so hey, i'm back! 

for the last few weeks, i've been running up against a wall, the wall of busy and stretched too thin, but feeling entirely helpless to change it. "setting boundaries" "rest" and "saying no" are words and phrases i've pounded into my head, and yet i've slipped back into my old routine - jumping at every opportunity to do something "fun" or try something new, saying yes when others ask for something, cramming my schedule until i burn out, dive under the covers, and pretend the world doesn't exist (at least for a few minutes). both Travis and I have felt the effects of our busy life. we are tired of the rat-race, exhausted by the pace of life. in a perfect world, i want to feel like i've spent enough time with my husband, my friends, my family. i want to feel on top of the errands and to-do lists. i want to feel at rest with my life, knowing that Jesus is at the core. but reality shouts back, my commitments demanding time and energy. and the tension has left me frustrated and dry. on our way back from san diego last weekend, i vented to Travis and he brilliantly suggested that we chart our time in order to see where exactly we were spending the most time and if there was anything at all we could cut out. and you know what we discovered? being a wife is a lot of work! as soon as excel magically created pie charts for us, Travis turned to me saying, "no wonder you're always stressed!" my life looks a lot like school, sleeping, eating, and work, and then cleaning, chores, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, running errands, church commitments, and only a little bit of time with family and friends, with little time for anything else. and ever since that reality check, i've been thinking about how easily i over-commit, how desperately i try to keep it all together, and how frustrated i feel when i can't meet the expectations of others, when i can't be there for people like i'd like to be. the daily grind is exhausting sometimes. there are great days of course, filled with laughter and ease, but in the big picture, it's all just too much. and you know who's blatantly missing from it all? Jesus. my savior, comforter, counselor, advocate, and burden-carrier. i have restricted Him to a piece of my day, and often, time with Him takes the hit as i scramble to catch up. but He's not asking for a sliver of time, 10 minutes in my bible, or a page of journal notes. He's asking me to surrender, to trust, because HE can manage it. i can't. He wants to be at the core. He wants to fight my fights and speak peace into challenges and frustration. He wants to give me the fullest joy. He knows my needs, and He wants me to grow and thrive. He wants our marriage to flourish. He wants to deepen our relationships with others. while i clench my fists, create my lists, and power through the day, He just wants me to let Him handle it. so i'm inviting Him in again, or at least i'm going to try. and i'm gonna watch Him make things happen - big, beautiful, unimaginable things. 

if you want to tune in to a great series on setting boundaries, check out this podcast and click "breathing room"- we love this guy! 

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