I had the opportunity to speak to a MOPS group in Broomfield yesterday morning. We talked about how living simply means living within your boundaries--things like time, energy, family, finances. I can never tell how it goes!
But the cool thing was that I got to be part of the discussion at the end. It was a small group, so we all sat around one big round table to talk for a good 40-45 minutes. I love hearing about how other families function.
We talked about knowing what's important to your family and the boundaries you need to protect those things. And about how clutter makes it hard to build boundaries (think Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and the people being discouraged because there was too much rubble to build--Nehemiah 4:10).
And we talked about where there's clutter in our lives that needs to be cleared so we can build boundaries--clutter in things like our homes and possessions, thoughts and worries, calendar and commitments.
Just like Nehemiah, we can't build boundaries in day, but we can start. So what's one area of your family's life that needs protection? And what's one boundary you can begin to build today?
Here's a little summary:
1. Requires recognizing the need for boundaries.
We were created to live within boundaries. Freedom doesn't mean getting to do whatever we want without boundaries, but living within boundaries.
Boundaries are for our protection, not our punishment!
2. Requires the whole family.
How do we know what boundaries to build? What are the two or three things that are most important to our family?
When we agree together what's important to us as a family and build boundaries to protect those things, it makes us more likely to stay within them.
3. Requires clearing out clutter.
Clutter clouds our focus and makes it hard to see what's really important. Where is there clutter in our lives?
God is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). Where do we need order in our lives in order to build boundaries?
4. Requires maintenance.
Others won't always respect our boundaries--it can be hard to be different.
Living within our boundaries is one way we can shine in the world.
As seasons and situations change, boundaries may need to shift in order to protect our families and what's important.