Just say “No” and keep your peace

We all have boundaries and can bang against them.

How reassuring is it that God has designed them for us?

And it is all good!

And in pleasant places!

This has me jumping for joy in the freedom! How about you? How about your teens?

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And because it makes me smile {and cringe},

And because we can look like a stressed out fool when we don’t embrace freedom with boundaries, I am posting this treat  😉     —————->

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Last week we discussed God’s Calling for each of us. When I talk about calling, I always continue with a discussionon limits. It is an amazing fruit of staying in step with God. It makes saying ‘No’ so much easier. And having boundaries gives us space to rest which in turn allows us to have peace and joy. I am so much more fulfilled and confident in the things I say “yes” to. Even if it stretches me a little. I can hardly express how much this has impacted me and allowed me to follow God’s lead and have an inner peace.

 

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As I reflected on this graphic and tried to come  up with a good example to share, I keep remembering the first big “No” that I had peace with after defining my calling. I had been a PTA board member in various positions for 5 years in TN public schools. We moved to VA and it seemed strange to not have a PTA job. I was a newbie and unfamiliar with the way things were done in VA. I attended meetings as a member, offered some opinions and volunteered to set-up social media accounts. At the end of the school year, the Principal approached me and asked me to run for President! President!! I hadn’t had that printed on a magnetic name tag yet! I must admit my ego was stroked and I felt included and valuable … to the school…but was that I really where I wanted to find my value? I told the Principal that I would consider it and let him know. I prayed about it and measured it up against my calling. It did not fit within my boundaries. I determined that it was not where God wanted me to place my time and it was clear that it was a “No”. When it came time for the next meeting, I told the board that “I have prayed about it and it was not where God was leading me at this time.” Let me just say, God gave me courage to say that. I did not where these people stood with God. They may have rolled their eyes but I didn’t see it.   I still served in a board position that year but a less time-consuming one that was in line with my gifts. I was voted volunteer of the year and I could accept that recognition with humility and confidence that I had worked with God in the forefront. Seeking His guidance changed my heart. We moved again after that school year, and I felt lead to say no to PTA boards in this new season. And it has made room for some great “Yes’s”.

 

As I began to read the next chapter in Nicole Unice’s “Brave Enough”, I should not have been surprised that it was called: Brave-Enough Women Know Their Limits. Here are some notes from Nicole’s teaching:

God has given us boundaries and calls them good.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Psalm 16:6

God has given us two great gifts: capacity and fragility.

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

Sabbath-rest allows for communion with our heavenly Father.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.
hebrews 4:9-11

To become strong, first we must be still.

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Isaiah 30:15

We answered these questions as a group based on these boundaries:

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  1.  Which boundary type sticks out to you as places where you tend to live outside your limits?

  2. What frustrates you about your own limits? What is God teaching you in that frustration?

 

 

You have Charisma and a Calling

You have charisma and a calling… great news, isn’t it?

In Hope Moms of Teens we are reading Brave Enough by Nicole Unice. This week the chapter focused on our Calling. A topic that I am passionate about.

It has been life changing for me to define my calling. I can find purpose and to hopefully glorify God in my activities. It is also invaluable in helping me set limits and find peace.

Being brave enough to say yes to things that are a little out of my comfort zone but in line with my calling and to say no to the other commitments. This is the a topic for next week and they really do go together.

Calling

to fill in this sentence:

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We started with this one:

“Who am I becoming?”

We watched Nicole Unice’s video on “calling”.  Here are the highlights:

We are all gifted, but we are not the same.

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
 Romans 12:4-6

Charisma (translated: gifts) are the result of grace.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4

Calling is bigger than category.
 Calling is the intersection in your life of God’s glory and your design.

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10


We were brave enough to answer some of these questions in our group today. Can you be brave enough to write down your answers?

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I also challenged us to pay attention to each other and be willing to encourage each other in our callings. To notice when someone lights up!

These more specific questions were especially helpful:image

Personally, I went through this process 6 years ago. I participated in a study called Woman on a Mission which has now been released as a video study called Embracing Purpose. It was intensive and entailed a lot of soul searching.

If I were to translate it into answers to the brave enough questions, it would look like this:

What do I love doing?  (what gives me energy?) talking, women’s groups, hearing people’s hearts, taking photos, holding babies

What experiences have I had of God calling me into my gifts? prayer groups, urban involvement, sharing my heart on social media and blogging

What do other confirm they see in you? shepherd, encourager, sensitivity to the Spirit

Am I in a season where I have been presented opportunities to live out my gifts? free time, leading MOTS, mentoring Moms, praying for others, encouraging healthy marriage, writing ?

I ended embracing my purpose by having a mission statement and a visual mission board. Here is mine:

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My mission is defined as:  to guide and encourage women while using my passions and being open to God’s leading.

What is yours?