It’s been a hectic few weeks. Not bad hectic, but busy. I was offered a job, made an unplanned trip to the North East to be with my family, started a job, and moved all in the span of three weeks.
If you know me or read my blog, you know that I can get a little crazy during big life changes. And in the last three weeks, I’ve had three biggies.
Well smack dab in the middle of this chaos, I had a part in throwing a Big Game party for my church’s college service. I didn’t have a lead role in the planning, I was just working on food. But it was enough to get me a little sweaty in the pits. When I found out we would be moving the same weekend as the game, my mind was flooded with thoughts like:
“You need to set boundaries and just say you can’t help. Moving is hard on you, plus you just started a new job, you need to set your priorities.”
“You can’t serve well if you’re overwhelmed.”
“You’re under a lot of stress, you should see if you can get someone else to help and just take care of you.”
But it was too last minute, and I wasn’t sure if my thoughts on boundaries versus serving were good, right, correct…
The brains behind the event had also just moved and was experiencing some big life change herself, so she and I were peas in a busy pod as we planned this event. One night, just before the bowl, we went shopping for food, and over fried cheese samples, we started talking about serving in the midst of stress.
And her attitude and outlook were so different than mine. She had a great perspective about the joys of serving. Her priority was to serve, not to get her house under control.
And I was really convicted. After a 5 month lesson about this world not being my home/stuff isn’t important in the big scheme, I still haven’t learned it. I still have to fight against the “me, me, me” mentality. As soon as I got a job and a house it became all about me and my control and my way again.
My niece has a book about sharing called the Mine-O-Saur that’s all about sharing. Apparently I should reread it because I haven’t been doing the best job of sharing my time, energy, and priorities with others well these last few weeks.
So, I’m working on the “me first “attitude this week. I’m fighting against the urge to want my house to be all prettied up before I invite friends over for dinner. I’m fighting against fighting with my husband about who gets to decide how we organize the books on our shelf (unsuccessfully – sorry I was cranky last night, Dear.)
But I’m also fighting with the tension between setting boundaries and serving selflessly. I’ve had too many counseling classes and counseling professors who preached “You take care of you first” “Say no!” “You can’t help others unless you’ve helped yourself.”
Where do boundaries fit in the Kingdom of God? Are boundaries a Biblical concept? Can one have boundaries and serve selflessly? Help me out team, what are your thoughts?
I’ll close with this: I’m really glad I served that night and didn’t take the night off.