Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Boundaries + Restlessness

--I wrote this post about a month ago and am finally pushing publish. When I wrote it, I had been wrestling with the thoughts, feelings, and words for a good bit--so writing it (processing it) was the way I finally was able to pin down so many of my restless feelings. Now, even just a month later, life feels more grounded. Often, it surprises me the way that God uses writing words to teach me. It's just a blog post, yes. But it's also a testament of God's work in me--so that's why I am finally hitting publish :)--



I hear Luke rustling in his bed in the room nearby and lay quietly on the bed while Sam finally drifts off to sleep.

Maybe--I think quietly (hardly daring to even think noisily)--he's not actually awake. I groan inwardly as I hear Luke pop out of his bed and loudly throw his door open.

I lift my tired self off the bed and reach Luke before he makes more noise that would wake Sam up. I feel frustrated that I had literally one minute of space between my kids tandem napping and try to shake off the midday tiredness that I seem to always wear after months of disjointed sleep.

Luke's mood is a little sour and I try my best to not let it rub off on me--because I'm not exactly thrilled that I didn't have time to take the power nap that I desperately needed (and wanted). I quick find a snack for Luke because I know his mood well (because I experience this mood often): hangry.

We settle into the afternoon and I try not to think too much about the to-do list that seems to grow because the time for myself seems to dwindle daily. Between the kids alternately napping, a certain toddler who has turned into a night owl, and a baby who is up two or three times during the night, I often feel a little clausterphobic about time.

Something about this season has triggered a response that looks like a lot of scrambling and not a lot of settling. Maybe it's because I like to place my time in tidy places, and when that isn't happening, I tend to feel disgruntled and distracted.

Do I complain when Josh get's home about the time I didn't have? Do I spend time scrolling social media while Luke plays next to me--because I just need to escape the moment for a while? Do I dwell and inwardly (and outwardly) grumble about how tired I am? Do I get frustrated and frazzled by tasks undone because I didn't have a moment to do them? Do I wish that my day could be orchestrated by my own schedule rather than by the two sweet little guys in my home? Do I feel annoyed that I can't do everything I want to do?

Yes. Sometimes I do. Actually, no, I often do.

Here's the thing-- I get why I do and feel those things. I bet that many of you would say, "Well, Nicole, of course you do. So do I." Maybe we'd feel solidarity and justification because of those shared feelings.

But here's the other thing-- I want to draw some boundary lines. Because right now I know my attitude and my time management is not my best work. It's as though I'm trying grow a crop in a gigantic field instead of setting up a boundary around a small, workable plot of ground.

The boundary isn't about having a rule--it's about saying this is where I'll stop and grow something.


For example, the level of social media buzzing in my mind is too loud, and it's definitely to helping me that about what is true, and pure, and lovely. I find my mind eating up articles that fuel resentment and annoyance. I see posts (mostly on Facebook) that are painful to read--comments that are so bitter and mean. Not only that, but it often gobbles up time that I could spend tending to more important parts of my life. Plus, after scrolling through social media, I rarely feel refreshed.

So, I decided to delete Facebook off my phone. And when I feel overwhelmed by voices and images, I take a day or two to go social media free. I am drawing a line and saying--I know this is best for me. I know this is good. And it really is. It takes me out of every one else's life and puts me in my own.

I am also drawing a line about my attitude. I'm asking God to help me walk diligently through this season--to abide in Him. Right now, it's easier to grumble than to to grow.

I feel convicted about my eye-roll attitude in my abundant life.

Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I wish I had more time to pursue those life-giving parts of my life. Yes, I hear the world saying "you should be able to do it all."

But Psalms 62: 5 needs to be my Yes.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him."

Even though a good night's sleep, kids napping at the same time, to write without distractions, or to finish up those house projects would be glorious--they are not the magic ticket to contentedness.

God is.

I could have all the good things, and only God would do. I could have all the worst, and only God would do. He's all I need.

That's my version of Philippians 4:12.

Today, I'm asking God to help me draw lines. dig in where I am, and trust Him with the story.




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