Psalm One Ministries
Rooted in Christ, Growing in His Word, Celebrating His Grace

Psalm One Ministries

Newsletter

April 2015  Embracing limits

Do you ever get frustrated by your limitations? Does it seem like everyone else can juggle a million balls, but you’re feeling like a failure, trying to handle one or two?

I don’t like being limited. I want to be able to do it all:

  • To keep going like the Energizer Bunny
  • To meet everyone’s needs
  • To check off all my “to do” boxes every day
  • To single-handedly tackle all the home projects hanging over my head
  • To understand all mysteries of Scripture and life
  • To make everyone happy
  • To have a perfect body, gorgeous face, brilliant intellect, spotless house, and unshakeable spirituality

As Dr. Phil might say, “How’s that working for you?”

A friend posted a funny, but true sentiment yesterday: “You can’t make everyone happy. You are not pizza.”

I feel like standing up in a meeting: “Hi, I’m Linda. And I have a limited capacity.” (Hopefully met by a supportive and understanding, “Hi Linda! Me, too.”) I am limited physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, financially. But whether I am running on all eight or only two cylinders, I need to embrace those limits. I can’t do it all. I was not designed to do it all. I am not called to meet every need in the universe. I only have so much energy, time, and resources. Superwoman is a fictional character. Knowing and accepting my realistic capacity frees me to let God be God, and Linda be Linda.

Limits are humbling and frustrating. But limits are a gift. Truly, a gift. They are God’s grace in my life. They are freedom. They let me breathe. They are a constant reminder of blessed dependence upon the One who does not grow weary.

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
(Isaiah 40:28)
 

He is unlimited. We have limits. We violate those limits at our own peril, at the peril of our marriages, at the peril of our families, at the peril of our walk with God. Acknowledging our limits causes us to rely upon the One who does not grow weary. 

 

He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
(Isaiah 40:29-31)
 

When we think we can do it all, we often run hard and fast, far apart from anything God ever assigned. We ignore all marching orders, directions, and warning signs, proud of all we are doing. I think many of us will say to God, “Look at what I did for you!”, only to hear Him say, “I never asked you to do that”. Our goal must be to keep in step with the Spirit, so that we can say with Jesus: "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”(John 17:4)

Embracing my limits means I must say no to a lot of very good things so I can say an enthusiastic yes to God’s best. I have learned that people want me to have margin, to set limits, to say no to unnecessary things…as long as I don’t say no to them!

Embracing my limits means I must discern the difference between:

  • Distraction:
    • Lures me away from what really matters.
    • Fritters away my time, energy, and resources, giving me nothing in return
    • Tempts me to compromise in tiny--then increasing--degrees
    • Keeps me busy and hurried without actually accomplishing anything
    • Chasing my tail instead of strategic obedient and purposeful action
    • Exhausts me and leaves me running on empty
    Recreation
    • Anything that feeds my soul, and frees me to be myself
    • Beauty that lifts my spirit
    • Learning that stimulates my mind and stores up wisdom
    • Physical release that strengthens my body and clears my head
    • Laughter, fun, playtime, pleasures, sheer joy
    • All forms of refreshing mental and physical rest
    • Whatever re-creates me in life-giving activity
    Divine appointment
    • When you know you are in this situation “for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14)
    • When you feel the nudge, hear the whisper, know the Spirit is urging you to connect
    • When you know you need to be the one to listen and care
    • When you can stand in the gap and help put their hand in the hand of Jesus
    • Not every need constitutes a call. That false belief is a crazy-maker. But sometimes you know this call is for you!

Embracing my limits means I need to incorporate certain things into my life so that I do not “fray around the edges”:

  • I must weave Sabbath into my days, my weeks, my years
  • As an introvert, I know I need time alone before time with people
  • Shut it down: no tech, email, or social media for at least one 24 hour period per week. Controlling my technology instead of technology controlling me.
  • Enough rest. So many of us live sleep-deprived, exhausted, and stressed. And we think that’s normal.
  • Good friends. Good conversation. Face-to-face connections. Hearing one another’s voice. Seeing one another’s smile.
  • Play. Laughter. Hilarity. Joy. Beauty.
  • I need the ocean. NEED the ocean. That’s not an easy request when you live in Ohio! But nothing restores my soul like the ocean. Which I will experience next week. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
  • Praying without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) An ongoing, living, breathing, guiding, comforting communion with God Himself. The Limitless One.

Slowly learning to embrace the gift,

Linda