First posted in August, 2006
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I've been pondering boundary lines today. Two recent events are the reason. The first happened with a conversation with one of my dear friends. She was depressed, nervous and her blood pressure had gone dangerously high. What had caused such despair? A war in the Middle East and the possibility of it expanding elsewhere. She admitted she leaves the news on all day so she knows what is currently happening with the war. (There is a cease fire since that conversation.)
The second event, watching an episode of Leave It to Beaver today while resting on the sofa. I enjoyed watching a show that I didn't have to worry about being offended, no effe words on TV in the 50s/60s and June was not a desperate housewife. I have read numerous articles written about the favorite TV shows of the 50s. Many have said they are not real, that wasn't how life was in the 50s and they show perfection. Well yes, they do show perfection...it is entertainment. However, I was a child in the 50s and you know what? It was a lot like that. The world really did have most moms at home taking care of the house and her family even if she didn't wear pearls and high heels. She did probably wear a dress and an apron. My mom had to work outside the home but she and my father worked it out but my neighborhood was safe.
I had an epiphany a few years ago, why it took so long I don't know. I do know Who was the Teacher. I'm glad He was and is patient for it took a long time to get it through to me that I am very much in control of my surroundings. The decisions my husband and I make often decide whether the boundary lines are in pleasant places in our home even if our circumstances are less than perfect.
I can decide if my home is a peaceful, clutter free place for my family to enjoy or I can "let it go" all day. I can decide to study homemaking arts and be able to decorate on a budget or I can complain about how little money we have and do nothing. I can learn how to cook healthy meals, search out good recipes, learn to bake homemade goodies at a fraction of the cost of a bakery, serve meals on pretty plates (purchased within the family budget, even if they are from Goodwill) with a few flowers in a vase as centerpiece or candles in the middle of Winter casting a flickering light on the family.
I can choose to leave the TV on all day, letting the worst of the 21st Century into my home or I can choose carefully the edifying shows and turn the TV off when they are not on. (Or do what my daughter and son-in-law did, they use their TV only for videos and DVDS...no TV reception at all. I'm not quite there, yet.)
I can decide if I have to have a McMansion or if a small house in the country will suffice so I don't have to work full time. I can choose to own two brand new cars or work with one older car (we will have to become a two car family soon). I can decide to work part time on my career and be there for important events with my family. It may be I won't work out of the house at all for a season and all the family will work together to live with a tight budget (what I'm doing now).
I chose to make good literature important to my children. I chose to prohibit certain kinds of music, instead enjoying a large selection of different kinds of music with edifying words.
I didn't always choose well and I haven't chosen perfectly. That has to be where His Grace is sufficient for me and for my family. There is a reason He has commanded we choose Life. By choosing those things which bring life, our boundaries are in pleasant places.
An Itty Bitty reminder--boundaries in pleasant places does not imply a life without trials. The Word of God says we will have trials throughout life. It means to me that (like Job), the Lord will not let the Enemy of our Souls go one inch over the line He has placed around us. We can never be tried beyond our capacity (when we are walking with Him) and His Grace. Believe me, I've argued with God a few times that he has done just that but then Peace and Grace take over. No, it is not a trial free life but it can be a life that is filled with beauty and peace in the journey.