Word of the Week

We all have limits on our days don't we? We can't go to every event we are invited to. We can't develop a friendship with every person we think is nice. We can't give our whole heart to every good cause in the world that needs a champion, can we?

To be alive is to have a relationship with our word of the week: boundaries. 

Boundary: a real or imagined line that marks the edge or limit of something. 

Conversations about boundaries are everywhere these days. Folks speak of setting boundaries around their availability for a meeting. Folks set boundaries around unsafe relationships, or even around "me time" or "family time." Such intention setting conversations are full of intensity and courage and lots of planning.

But here's the thing I've been thinking about boundaries: the human experience naturally comes with built in boundaries (that we aren't in charge of). 

For isn't it true? We all have only 24 hours in a day. 

For isn't it true? We all have only so many days alive on planet earth?

For isn't it true? We only are a certain age in a moment in time once?


And these boundaries, I think, help you become more of who your Creator created you to be in the first place. 

I heard a fascinating conversation this week on a podcast about the difference between overachieving and high achieving. To be a high achiever is to work hard, set big goals for yourself and do your best to meet them (a wonderful place to be about something you care about). 

But to be an overachiever is to do all of that + all the extra to ensure success even if you are drained and depleted in the process. 

I've been thinking about that a lot since -- seeing boundaries as gifts. 

So this week, I want you to think about this: what boundaries has your life given you naturally in this season? How can these natural boundaries be teachers for you about what you need to do and what you don't need to do?

Maybe there's room in your life right now for someone new in your inner circle (maybe there isn't). 

Maybe a new opportunity to serve at a charity now deserves a huge "Yes!" (maybe it doesn't). 

Maybe connecting with your family looks like weekly or daily check-ins (maybe it doesn't). 

Do you get what I'm saying? Notice the boundaries in your particular life. Boundaries are already there! And then let them give you permission to be human. 



P.S. In my ​new website​ re-design, my tagline under my name is this: "Pastor. Author. Aspiring Underachiever." Folks have asked me what I meant by that? Well, it's all about this conversation around boundaries. For years, I've had my feet planted fully in the "overachiever camp" doing more than I should just because I could. But these days, I'm craving the slower pace of things, and being human. If this resonates with you, I'd love to keep chatting. It's one of my favorite conversations!

Have you had a busy week? I know I have.

Parenting. Plans to be made for the future. Phone calls. All the things. Not to mention the daily stuff like doing the dishes, the laundry and sorting the mail (no matter how hard I try both of these are always in to-do piles in our house)

With whatever busy has been on your plate, today I'm wondering how are you living it without feeling tired or overextended ALL THE TIME?

Enter into the conversation, today's word: NoNo: the act of or instance of refusing.

When someone asks you to do something that you don't have time to do or don't want to do, you can always just say no. I know I am not offering you rocket science this morning, yet why do so many of us struggle with "no"?

I think it has something to do with the fact that no can feel unkind. No can feel rude. No can feel selfish. We believe we HAVE TO DO certain things to be a good member of our family, community or church. But giving a "YES" when you really want to say "NO" gives gifts that you might not intend. Gifts like jealousy, anger and resentment.

I love going back to these words of Jesus who taught: "Let your yes, be yes and your no be no." (Matthew 5:37).

It's a great reminder that there's not an explanation needed for all your choices, and that the best kind of living you can do is with your whole heart.

No is a complete sentence.

Let's practice. Say it aloud, "No"

Even if there's no one to take your place . . . Even if you feel terrible about letting someone down . . . Even if your laundry doesn't get folded today. You can say no.

The good news about every "No" you give is that it frees up room in your schedule for the right "Yes!"

The yes of relationships that bring you joy.

The yes of activities that fill you up.

The yes of work that helps you inspire others and bring more good to the world. I know I want more of this like of "yes" in my life, don't you?

So today I want you to think about what can you say no to this week. Tell a friend about your "no" to keep you accountable if you need to. Plan and practice saying no. Then, get ready! The freedom of this no is going to bring you a very awesome YES!

Have a wonderful week-