Thursday, June 20, 2013

Boundaries {Quotes & Thoughts}

I am not too sure what I am going to write in this post yet. I wanted to write some of the quotes that I liked from the Boundaries book and then maybe write some thoughts or things I have learned. I am only a few chapters along and already have 8 pages in my journal handwritten, so we shall see how this goes.

I highly suggest this book. We have no idea the lines that are crossed, that we allow, and how we want to blame everyone else for. I have found it very freeing and life giving.
{I write more of my own thoughts below should reading quotes not be up your ally}

I will try and narrow it down to some key favorites and some thoughts on them....

  • Many people live scattered or tumultuous lives trying to live outside of their own boundaries, not accepting and expressing the truth of who they are. Honesty about who you re gives you the biblical value of integrity, or oneness.
  • Often we do not take responsibility for what we value. We get caught up in valuing the approval of men rather than God.
  • Making decisions based on others approval or guilt breeds resentment, a product of our own sinful nature. We have been so trained by others on what we "should" do that we think we are being loving when we do things out of compulsion.
  • We must own our thoughts. any people have not taken ownership of their own thinking. They are mechanically thinking the thoughts of others without ever examining them. They swallow others opinions and reasoning's, never questioning and thinking about what they are thinking.
  • Remain separate thinkers.
  • God's desire is for you to know where your injuries and deficits are, whether self-induced or other induced. Ask Him to shed light on significant relationships and forces that have contributed to your own boundary struggles. The past is your ally in repairing your present and ensuring a better future.
  • Since you can not get others to change, you MUST change yourself so that the destructive patterns no longer work on you. Change your way of dealing with them, they may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.
  • We judge the boundary decisions of others, thinking we know best how they "ought" to give, and usually that means "they ought to give to me the way I want them to".
  • Many peoples giving is motivated by guilt. They are trying to do enough good things to overcome the guilt inside and feel good about themselves. When they say no, they feel bad. So they keep trying to earn a sense of goodness.
  • The Law of Motivation says this: Freedom first, service second. If you serve to get free of your fear, you are doomed to failure. Let God work on the fears, resolve them, and create some healing boundaries to guard the freedom you were called to.
  • Proactive people do not demand rights, they live them. Power is not something you demand or deserve, it is something you express. The ultimate expression of power is love; it is the ability to express power, but to restrain it. Being able to "die to self", and not to return "evil for evil". They have gotten past the reactive stance of the law and are able to love and not react.
  • Appropriate boundaries actually increases our ability to care about others.
  • An internal no nullifies an external yes. God is more concerned with our hearts than he is our outward compliance. If we say yes, when we really mean no, we move into a position of compliance. And that is the same as lying.
  • When we are afraid to say no, our yes is compromised.
  • Boundaries are the litmus test for the quality of our relationships. Those who can't respect our boundaries are telling us they don't love our no. They only love our yes, our compliance.
  • If everything you say is loved by everyone, odds are good you are bending the truth.
  • People who own their own lives do not feel guilty wen they make choices about where they are going. They take other people into consideration, but when they make choices for the wishes of others, they are choosing out of love, not guilt; to advance a good, not to avoid being bad.

I just had to stop there. I practically underlined the entire book, so go read it if any of those struck a cord with you or challenged you.
When my parents first gave me this book I though, ewww. It sounded wrong or mean or something.
It didn't sound Christian (aka legalistic and religious).
You see, some of us are taught from a very young age to serve, be godly, give to others, etc. While all of this is well and good and grace is so important I think I have allowed myself to be used and be trampled on like a door mat for the sake of being a
"good Christian".
I took responsibility on myself to make sure that other people were happy with me at all times. I did not allow myself to be free to think separate thoughts, especially if someone I loved and/or admired disagreed with me. And even when times that I knew what the word of God said about certain situations I would bow to what someone else told me, even if it was the opposite, for the sake of them being angry or mad at me. I just accepted that I must be wrong or over critical, rather than being me, expressing my opinion, allowing grace to change that should it be wrong. Losing myself for the sake of being "nice".

Christians are "supposed to do this" and these thoughts always resounded on my mind. That was what God expected me to do, to keep everyone happy with me, to serve at all costs.
When I pulled out of ministry here at my current church the guilt messages practically SCREAMED at me. I really felt like it was what God wanted from me, what He was asking me to do.
I wasn't "committed", I wasn't willing to make the sacrifice it took, I was letting people down. And although perhaps some of the people I served with MIGHT have thought these things, it was my own self condemnation that I heard most loudly.
I thought that if I could guess other peoples thoughts and think them before they spoke them to me that I could fix myself and save myself from "being wrong". I didn't want to have an unrealistic view of myself, so if I could tell myself the real hurtful truth I would not be hurt. The opposite actually was true.
I believe this has led to much of my depression.
Whether it was about my family, my service, or my body, I took on responsibility for what I perceived others though about me, what they thought.
I remember when I first thought about this fact in regards to my self image. I would imagine what others were saying about me. "Eww look at that ugly outfit", "Don't you think she knows she is too big to wear that", etc. Then one morning I just thought, I am doing the best with what I have today. I can be responsible for how I think about me, but others are going to think whatever they want.
This was setting a boundary without me even realizing it.
I allow myself to say no, this is healthy.
I am not responsible for anyone else to be kind to me, to be godly, to rescue them, make sure they become who they are supposed to be, etc.
I can encourage them and support them, but their feelings and responses are not up to me.
Only mine are.
This has been truly freeing and peace giving to me.
That I need to give from a place of love and not guilt is HUGE for me.
I was doing everything I was doing in church out of obligation and guilt. I was trying to pour out  of a dry well. I knew it, but I thought it was my responsibility. I kept thinking, "I have nothing to give here". And I never thought about the importance of taking care of myself. Letting God actually fill me up so I then had something to give. That I was broken and I needed to be fixed, but that only GOD could do that. Not my family, not my friends, and not my church.
Now, I know that when God releases me from our time together that I will have so much to give because of all the pouring time we have had together. Nothing to prove, not trying to scramble to find my worth by others telling me so. In fact I feel like the Lord has made me invisible to people, because for so long I wanted them to tell me I was worthy, rather than go to the source. God simply said no, not this time. It's time to do the hard work, let's go.
The result of all this....


  1. So happy to hear that God is using this book in your life! It sounds like a good read...I had never heard of it. You should download my dad's message from this past weekend. It is about margin. It was excellent...but I know I am biased! ;)

  2. PS - I want the dress that girl is wearing in the last picture.

  3. Good, good, so good Ash. I think this is a huge issues with Christians and all of us struggle with it but don't really have a vocabulary to express it. I'm totally gonna get this book for Tyler and I to read for dealing with his family and just being in ministry its really hard sometimes to draw those lines. Glad to hear more of your insights.

  4. Wow Ash-what insight you're getting. Such an awesome outcome from something that has been so taxing on you. An example of how gracious and loving God is, even when it hurts. Thank you for your honesty & vulnerability. It's inspiring!


Thank you for your thoughtful comments!

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