Summary: In light of the fact that we only have so much to give, I’d like to attempt to bestow a Mother’s Day gift today- the gift of limitations. God can do everything, but you and I cannot! So, here's permission to set some limits and boundaries in your life.
The Gift of Limitations
-(Matthew 25:1-13) We all have limitations. We are finite beings who are limited by time and space, and by a finite supply of energy and focus. Furthermore, you could say we are limited by our mission or purpose in life, although some never learn to set limits that keep them within the boundaries of their purpose.
-Since it is Mother’s Day, a mother is a perfect example of why we need limits. Think about it. The first person a mom may have to deal with is her spouse. And guess what! Men are takers and women are givers! I’m certain there are many exceptions, but even within the language of our enlightened culture, men still take a wife: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” I don’t remember ever hearing of the groom being given away. Typically, men take and women give. Yes, I know it is give and take and that for a marriage to work, the husband must learn to give as well. But the giving doesn’t stop with a husband.
-From the moment a child is born into a family, who is giving the primary care most of the time? Again, there are exceptions, but usually Mom feeds the baby, gets up all hours to feed, change, comfort, or do whatever is needed. On top of that she may work a full-time job, do the laundry, prepare meals, do the dishes, clean the house, maintain the most beautiful flower & vegetable garden in the neighborhood, mow the lawn, change the oil in the car… well, maybe not all moms. And you would think her job would get a little easier when the toddler is finally out of diapers. No, now Mom has to put on her track shoes just to keep up with the little rug rat. Then comes school. Lunches, field trips, practices, games, homework, disappointments, etc. Get them through grade school, and then come the Jr. High years, complete with hormones, bodily changes, pimples, broken hearts, and more. Then on through high school with all of its pressures and challenges. And who is usually there to give hugs or kick rear ends or talk or cry with, or give ultimatums? Mom!
-Now, if you didn’t have a mom who was there for you during your childhood, I am very sorry. I wish everybody could have an amazing mom their entire lives. However, lest I lose my direction here, let me just point out that there are certain things moms aren’t supposed to do. You’ve probably seen or heard the saying in the workplace, “Please clean up after yourselves. Your mother doesn’t live here.” Unfortunately, some kids go through life thinking that Mom is supposed to just wait on them hand and foot and meet their every need. “Mom, I need this. My clothes are dirty. I need money. Buy me something. I’m hungry. Fix me dinner. Buy me a car. Pay my insurance. Take care of me because I don’t feel good. I want my room back (even though I’m 35 years old).
-A wise mom will start early, teaching boundaries to her children. She will never stop loving them, but it would be very unloving of her to make them dependent upon her for the rest of their shared lives. We need a mother’s love, which is why God made women the way He did. But we also need limits and boundaries so we don’t take advantage of the servant’s heart God has placed in so many moms.
-So in light of the fact that we all only have so much to give (and God made us that way on purpose), I’d like to attempt to bestow a Mother’s Day gift today. I’d like to offer the gift of limitations. God can do everything, but you and I cannot! So, if you need permission to set some limits and boundaries in your life, I hope this will help you today, no matter who you are (man, woman, or child).
1. It’s okay to take care of yourself
-Some have called this soul care. (Put your oxy mask on first, then you can begin to help others.) I’ve heard some experts talk about building margin or white space into your life.
-A couple weeks ago I attended our OMN Summit. I loved hearing the different speakers, but realized I had not prepared for note taking. So I found myself writing notes on every blank part of my schedule I had received. No margins. There was so much good stuff I was filling all the white space (and even some of the other) with the wealth of insight and knowledge. If anybody would have picked up my notes and read them, it would have been nightmarish. Disorganized scribbles and bits of info here and there. When we live like that, without white space or margin, our lives also become a bit nightmarish, stressful, exhausting, and in need of de-cluttering.