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boundaries to help…

I feel like each season in life is crazy. The fall is here, I have a new baby, I’m going back to work (where I have to lead and initiate and plan), we are moving (in town), and I am a wife, friend, sister, etc. Each new responsibility means renegotiation of what life was like.
We all know the biggest change is little Jack. He is such a sweet, good baby. I am grateful, but I am still tired!
As I sat in worship yesterday morning, Rick preached about going out to meet people in their needs with the gospel where they are. I so want to be focused on that–loving God fully and loving others with his love.
The problem: I want to be able to do all things. There is a movie trailer I have seen with Sarah Jessica Parker called “How does she do it?” Everytime I see it, I yell “she doesn’t!”
This morning I had a chance to sit with God and think through and pray through this Fall. My first need/desire/must is time with Him. I cannot do anything without Him (John 15:5). I become more tired, worn down and irritable without His presence and word. If I live without time in His presence, I’ve missed my purpose, my life.
Next, I thought about time with Greg. I realize how distance can grow easily with kids in the picture. You do life, survive and begin to disconnect. My loyalty is to Greg first and foremost. We covenanted before God to love and serve one another. This is the picture of the Gospel to the world…yes, it is more sacred that motherhood. My hope is to pray fervently for my husband, stop to listen to him and cheer him on and not keep a record of wrongs.
Third, I prayed for sweet Jack. What a gift he is–his smile, his coos. My greatest prayer for Him is that God call Him to Himself and that Jack learn to love Him with all of His heart. I pray for a godly woman for Him to marry–and for Him not to take less than that. I pray that He follow God wherever He may lead and that I champion Him on instead of reacting in fear of “losing” him.
And then, we have all the rest…Women’s Discipleship Concepts, Church, Friendships, Moving, etc. That’s where I feel like I am drowning. “How does Jen do it?”–“I don’t!”
My prayer today was that I create space in each lane. That I keep boundaries in time with the girls I disciple and the women that I spur on so that I can love well on these God has entrusted me with. That I have time to write.
I long to serve well–God, my family, ministry, neighbors, friends. I want to be able to have enough time that I can stop and serve the immediate and long term needs of others instead of rushing to the next thing that is scheduled. Pray with me on this one.
The greatest opportunities in life come in the unscheduled pains, conversations. My life is much different as a Mom in the availability of that unscheduled time. God has been very gracious to me in the last few years to have that time…now, I must listen closely to the rhythms of my life to make boundaries to serve Him well.
The reason I write this blog partly is to go back and read these thoughts–to be reminded of what is important.

Author:

40 year old Married Mom to 2 From Tennessee

3 thoughts on “boundaries to help…

  1. You know I have felt the same way. I so want to minister, to pour out to others and was talking to God about how I don’t have time to do all of the things that I want to do and volunteer for…and I remember hearing Him say to me that ministry starts at home..that, like you say, having good boundaries and making space in the margins…having some margin of space in my busy schedule so that I can say yes to unexpected meetings and opportunities that God brings my way is so important and so easy to lose sight of. God first, my husband and family next…I think we can trust God to sift our schedules for us and protect us in that way..

  2. Dear Jen….I loved this post. I love your heart for God and Greg and Jack and so many others!!…….May I, as a mother of 4 grown children, offer a word of encouragement to you —-even to all of the young mothers out there who read your blog. I pray this will come across as edification and not criticism………..It all goes by in a BLINK! Cherish it–all of it. I think it took me having my fourth child before I really believed this myself……Yesterday I was rocking Forrest. Today he is married!…..I know we all have obligations and work and other “stuff” we have to do, but the pressure to ACHIEVE is on you girls more than it was on my generation. We did not have a book telling you how to wisely raise a baby. We just went by what our mother’s and grandmother’s told us—–rock, hold, kiss, cling, ponder in your heart as Mary, nurse, feed with a bottle–it really doesn’t matter as long as you hold your baby close and look into his or her eyes- sing to sleep, laugh, teach, play, listen, hear, cherish each and every moment and pray—never ever stop praying! Please do not let books out there now rob any of you of the truth or your instincts. If your baby is crying and your heart wants to pick him up—-pick him up! Contrary to what may be taught, it will make your baby grow into a healthier human being because they will know deep down that their cries bring relief…..and Mama……and if they know that in their little souls now, they will one day be able to let go when they are older……And that is what having babies is all about—letting go…… For you and them. Time is short. Never waste one minute feeling inadequate because you think you do not measure up, or can’t keep some schedule made up by another, or don’t use cloth diapers, or don’t nurse, or don’t use disposable diapers or whatever else is out there telling you how to measure yourself as a mother…….ALL of that truly DOESN’T matter…….what does matter is being like you already are–a mother in love with her Lord, and her husband and her child…….God bless you sweet wonderful mommy Jen, and all of you other mommies out there. God says in Zephaniah, “I will quiet you with my love, I will rejoice over you with singing.” If God does that for us, then let us not allow anyone or anything to tell us differently……..In His grace, Cate Tuten

    1. Thank you for those words of life, Cate. I surely do not want to regret. I keep hearin how quickly it goes, and I simply want to enjoy and be faithful.

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