Adela went bowling as part of a class trip last fall. She loved it. She told me all about all the pins she had knocked down and all the points she earned. I was confused, wondering how a beginner could be an obviously better bowler than her poor mom, but then she told me about the bumpers that had been set to keep her ball in the lane.
Boundaries can be looked at in two ways: restrictive or constructive. I want you to see them as constructive, keep your ball in the lane so you can knock your goals down one by one. To do this, I want to look at 8 areas of your life where boundaries are helpful. You might even consider some boundaries in these areas especially if you are struggling in these areas. The areas are faith, physical health, mental health, emotional health, marriage, parenting, relationships, career, and finances.
When you create a boundary you need to ask these questions.
What is my goal?
What is keeping me from fulfilling this goal now?
What would have to change to make me successful?
What do I have control of that I could use to protect my efforts?
Faith: This one is incredible personal but where we start first. I like to advise my ladies by first asking two questions: How do you want to continue to learn about God? How do you want to make sure you include God in your life? Personally, I put the boundary in place that I mentioned in our routine series that I always begin my day with Bible Study and prayer is essential. I do not do anything else unless I have spend time in God’s word and in conversation with Him. It is a boundary that helps me connect with Him and put Him first in my life. You might do something similar or you might have a standing date with a prayer partner or do a devotional with your husband. There are many boundaries you can put in place to make sure God is getting a place in your world.
Physical Health: I have oodles of boundaries ideas for ladies that struggle with physical health issues that are related to emotional eating. Personally, I don’t eat unless I’m physically hungry. That is a boundary that helps me not emotionally eat and it helps me tune into my body’s needs. Other physical health boundaires my put limits on sweets, alcohol, times of day to eat, when you exercise, how much water you drink, and the quantity of sleep you get. Our body’s are vessels of the Holy Spirit and we can do nothing on this Earth without our physical bodies.
Mental and Emotional Health: This one can feel tricky, but incredibly important. Want to hear one boundary that really helps me? I don’t multi-task. I just don’t. I know multitasking saps me of mental energy and makes me go from peaceful to anxious and frustrated within a couple minutes. My only excepts is if you am doing something entirely mindless like driving or gardening. Your boundaries might be turning your phone on Do Not Disturb in the evenings or meditating before getting started on evening chores. The question to ask yourself is, where do you feel your mental energy slipping and emotions go from peaceful to reactive. How can you protect yourself? Where to boundaries need to be put in place?
Marriage: How do you need to protect time with your spouse? I have a standing rule that my husband will not eat alone. Even if he arrives home at midnight from moving cows, I will sit with him. I also like to make sure that whenever possible we do something special together once a week, even if it is snuggles and a movie on the couch.
Parenting: Parenting can be life-consuming. So, let me keep this as simple as possible. What do you kids need from you? How do your kids need to grow? Right now my daughters need to know that even when I am busy that they are loved, seen, and important. They also both need to learn how to be responsible human beings. So, our boundaries include me always looking them in the eye when they talk to me and they also have to do their chores and homework.
Relationships, careers, and finances are the last three areas. I decided that instead of giving you personal examples, I would love to hear from my listeners. To do that, go over to the page for this podcast. I’ll link it in the show notes, and leave a comment. Or, you can contact me on Facebook or Instagram. I would love to know what boundaries you have in place to protect your relationships with family and friends. How do you use the concept of boundaries in your career and finances. Just let me know.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.