Wednesday, May 18, 2011

boundaries, grace giving and denying myself...

Years ago, while standing in her barn watching my kids' riding lesson, I was given words of great wisdom from my friend, Candy.... "you need to develop some boundaries!  Have you read Townsend and Cloud's book?"

I think that conversation took place 6 or 7 years ago and I still haven't read Townsend and Cloud's book.  Well, at least not the original.  I'm currently working my way through Boundaries with Kids and Boundaries for Teens.  And, I still need to work on developing good boundaries for myself.

I'm one of those individuals, that for whatever reason, needs a wide span of personal space... both physically and emotionally.  I'm not big on standing close, touching or hugging nor I am thrilled with people who find me to be their only friend and want to be together 24/7.   For some people, this is as foreign to them as if I were green with pink polka dots and I find myself avoiding these types of people because it's easier than explaining myself to them over and over again.  The flip side, though, is that I enjoy being around people and have been blessed abundantly with incredible friendships.  Thus, my personal space issue is a hard one to regulate....

The question I've posed to the LORD lately is this... is there a way that personal boundaries (both physical and emotional) can coexist with grace giving?  In other words, can I be a grace giver without sacrificing my need for physical and emotional space? 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, 
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must 
deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, 
but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
Matthew 16:24-15

When it's all said and done, it's the "deny yourself" part that I struggle with the most....

1 comment:

  1. Wow Heidi. Such a powerful post. I have a million questions swirling around in my head...and in my heart. I'm not sure that I understand what personal boundaries--or any kind of boundaries, for that matter--have to do with giving grace. God's grace is given freely to us. I look at my stained t-shirt, my muddy feet because I can't stand to wear socks, my dirty hair because I haven't showered yet today, my ultra-short attention span and quick temper because I've dealt with screaming kids all day, not to mention the closet in my heart with dark nasty hurts... But yet, in all of my filth and meanness, with all of my shortcomings, God wraps His arms around me because that's what I need most. His hug.

    I want to say this in the nicest and most loving way that I can--because I so love you... Isn't giving grace about giving what the other person needs, despite, or maybe even because of, our personal boundaries? Isn't giving grace exactly not about us?

    I'm reminded of the story about the woman who sneaks a touch of Jesus' robe. Just a touch. And He knew immediately that someone had touched him. His disciples were quick to point out that there were so many people gathered around--everyone was touching Him, brushing up against Him, invading His personal space, no doubt. What does this woman's encounter with our Lord tell us about personal boundaries and grace?

    I don't have the answers. I just have more questions.

    I love you bunches! And I'm sending you all the ((((hugs)))) I want to! :)



Thank you for your kind words!