Tag Archives: boundaries

What the Hulk Taught Me.

It’s really me.  I know, right?  My dad has encouraged me to start posting some of my articles from The Grip to my blog.  So, here goes this one I wrote on the Marvel hero who scared me when I was kid:

I think I’ve said it before.  But, I am certain I learn as much from children as they learn from me.  We took our two oldest kids to see The Avengers.  (Loved the movie, by the way.  I, mean, what’s not to love about men who save the world by flying in iron suits and smashing stuff?)  My 9 year old is a huge fan of Marvel superheroes.  It’s probably a rite of passage into his manhood.  So, I asked him questions throughout the entire movie.

Is Loki good or bad?  Is Thor really his brother?

When I saw the Hulk first get angry and start smashing everyone, even the good guys, I asked him, “Is the Hulk bad?”

He replied, “He isn’t bad, Mom.  He’s just mad.”

His reply pierced my very core.  And, I haven’t stop thinking about it since.

It’s so easy to view other people’s behavior as bad sometimes.  When they say hurtful things.  When their actions hurt those around them.  When they go off on people.  When they seem to be so insensitive to others.  When they appear to be, well, let’s just say it….

Mean.

Most of the time, these people who hurt us aren’t mean.  They aren’t bad people.  They’re just mad.

There is a deeper rooted issue than what is manifesting on the outside.  The deeper root could be a seed of rejection, envy, or disappointment.  It could be shame or guilt or never feeling good enough.  Whatever the root, it can manifest itself in ways that hurts others.  In the past, I had a difficult time understanding why some people didn’t seem to move beyond playing the role of victim or villain.  Now, I have stopped trying to understand.  That lack of understanding was turning into judgments I didn’t need to make.  My mother has always told me that I can view people as hurting, or I can view them as dangerous.  Once, I began viewing them as hurting, I found it easier to release forgiveness.

Remember, forgiveness is not just about the other person.  It’s about you giving yourself the permission to emotionally move on from being hurt.  It can be also be about setting healthy boundaries in your relationship with that person where you separate yourself emotionally.  And, that is okay.  Christ didn’t reject anyone.  He made everyone feel special.  But, He didn’t let everyone cling onto Him.

Boundaries are okay.  Unforgiveness is not.  May we all have a renewed understanding that most people aren’t bad people.  They’re just mad.  Release the hurts.  Pray they learn they aren’t the deep rooted issues they’ve made themselves to be.  They aren’t who people say they are.  They are who God says they are.

Because, it’s knowing and believing who God says you are that changes everything.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  Ephesians 1:4

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Filed under disappointment, Relationships

At All Times.

“I hope of all the qualities I have inherited from my father that being a good friend is one of them.  He is always a friend to the end.”

That was my last tweet on the Twitter last night.  If I ever want to know what a true friend looks like, I should always look my father. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or haven’t done.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been embraced by thousands or rejected by the world.  Once you are his friend, you are his friend for life.

I sat alone in my living room last night and thought about the qualities that make him such a good friend.  We often tell our friends, “I’m here if you need me.”  But, sometimes, we only translate that to the big stuff – if something bad happens. 

One of my good friends called me last night and asked me if I could watch her children while she went to the doctor today.  “Sure I will,” I told her. 

It would be easy for me to say, “Girlfriend, I am so pregnant.  That’s not gonna work out for me.”  But, that’s not really being a true friend.  It’s easy to give excuses.  It’s easy to become so caught up in our schedule, our life, our families, that when a friend interrupts that routine, we almost become resentful. 

We use the term, “You have to set your boundaries.”  But, I think, often times, we misuse it.  I’ve said it many times.  “Set your boundaries!”  When really, all I need to do is set my priorities.  When my priorities are in order, I don’t’ really have to set boundaries.  I’m sure I’ll create some controversy over that one.  But, that’s how I feel.  Today.

Dad will fly hundreds of miles to be there for a friend.  And, he will drop his schedule to help a friend across the street move.  He’s always there when a friend needs him.

I want to be that kind of friend.

A friend loves at all times….  Proverbs 17:17

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They Can’t Always Get What They Want.

It’s easy to become preoccupied with what other people think about us.  It’s also the quickest way to forget what God thinks about us.  We become performance-minded.  We seek to please others.  And, in the meantime, we ignore what God is calling us to do.  We mean well.  We really do.  We don’t want to disappoint those around us.  We don’t want to let them down.

If there is one lesson we learn quickly in life, it’s that we can’t make everyone happy. 

I’ve always struggled with being a people pleaser.  I struggle saying “no.”  I become obsessed with making sure I perform and live up to others’ expectations. 

But, I’m getting better at this.

While respecting and loving other people is important, it’s more important to do what GOD wants us to do. 

I have to serve Him first.  I have to become obsessed with doing what HE wants me to do.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.  Galatians 1:10

How do you fair in the people-pleaser category?

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Filed under God Stuff, Relationships

Yes Girl.

We watched Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” last night.  Carrey plays this character who pretty much says no to every request until he goes to some insane “Yes” rally where he learns to say yes to everything.  He does.  And, his life takes an interesting turn. 

At times, I say yes to more things than I want to say yes to.  And, I probably say no to more than things than I should.  By saying yes to too many things, I’m certainly not setting my boundaries well.  And, by saying no to too many things, I’m not experiencing life to its fullest – not to mention, placing myself in more opportunities to see God at work.

Last week, we visited our friends, Mike and Shari, in Florida.  Shari convinced me to try the stand-up paddle board.  I initially hesitated, because my thirty-something year old body and balance isn’t what it used to be.  But, I eventually ignored the little chicken inside and surrendered.  The result?  I loved it.  I really did.  I loved it so much, that I’m saving up my money to buy my very own.  So far I’ve saved $1.75.  At this rate, I’ll own a YOLO board in 2029.  But, that’s something, right?

What is something you wanted to say yes or no to and did the opposite…..and glad you did?

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And, I’m spent.


I’m not doing a very good job pacing myself lately.  And believe me, I like a good pace that includes enough time for Facebooking, General Hospital, and working out sitting on my sofa with a box of Cheez-its. 

I won’t bore you with my laundry list of items I’ve committed myself to. 

- Pre-School Committee Member

- School Auction Leader

- Donate this

- Donate that

- Weekly classroom help

- EWC

- Takle Management (a.k.a. Kris’ errand and project girl)

- Designing websites

- Expanding my cooking repertoire

- Mommy

-Wife

Seriously.  The list could go on. 

So, maybe I will bore you with my laundry list.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like doing all of these things.  I’m just not sure how to do them all well.

I am so overwhelmed with my to-do list that I am overwhelmed with forgetting my to-do list.

The real problem lies here…

I am void of passion in areas I am usually passionate about.  And, I have this performance issue that creeps up and bites me in the badonkadonk at times.  Not to mention not wanting to let people down.

That’s all I got.

I’m sure the spiritual insight has inspired you. 

I suppose I should have titled this post “Setting Boundaries.”  I just never took that dang “Boundaries” class.  Did you?

Are you good at setting boundaries?

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Filed under life