Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Line

Last night was one of those nights when I was thankful for my children and thankful for some of the lessons I have learned through the years.

It was time to reinforce some boundaries with the 3 yo and I had the fortitude to do so because I've walked down this rocky path before. I needed to say, "No." I needed to mean it and stick with it. (And then I needed to hand off to the Husband, because sometimes tag teaming works well too.)

I was talking about the word "No" with my MOPS ladies last week. One of the wise women there talked about how it used to be very difficult for her to say "No" to opportunities but then she realized that by saying "No" to something she didn't feel called to do, it freed her to accept other opportunities which fit her. Not only that, our pastor (also our speaker for the day) pointed out, sometimes by not taking on a role we allow someone else the gift of serving.

Unfortunately, there isn't anyone lining up pining for the opportunity to convince a 3 year-old that bedtime is really bedtime and not "wild child" time. But it's part of my job description- "Wild Child Whisperer", except when I'm not whispering but saying loudly to the older brother just to be heard over the din, "Would you just be quiet so I can deal with him?!" (At this point tag-team parenting was not an option and the only line was of offspring loudly demanding my attention.)

We need to set boundaries and draw lines in all aspects of our life. We need to decide how and when and why and where and with whom we do things. Sometimes the government sets the boundaries (like the speed limits everyone follows so carefully) and sometimes we need to draw a line and say, "I will not wear, watch or do x,y,z." Sometimes we can change our mind, reevaluate. Sometimes what worked back when doesn't work now. (That mini skirt just isn't working for me anymore.) Sometimes with new information or a new mindset we need to redraw the boundaries.

I have found that I am increasingly comfortable drawing boundaries in my life. It is far easier to draw the lines in my advanced age. LOL. Maybe it's the strength training of being a mom. I can stick to my word even if it's not popular, because let's face it, being a mom doesn't always make it possible to make the "cool" choices.

I think, too, that my faith in God gives me strength I need in difficult situations. I can respond honestly and with care. I can stick to my word. I can find peace even when the boundaries might be unpopular. I can draw the line and erase it if needed, or I can see that the line needs to stay right where it is. Sometimes I need added strength, like tag-team parenting, only I get my strength and peace from the loving God.

I pray that you have strength and peace in your life.


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