About Allison Bottke

The author of the Setting Boundaries book series from Harvest House Publishers.

Is There a Teen Girl in Your Life?

Book Six in the Award Winning Bestselling Series by Allison Bottke from Harvest House Publishers

Book Six in the Award Winning Bestselling Series by Allison Bottke from Harvest House Publishers

Share a life-changing truth with the special teen girls in your life…a powerful truth that almost 200,000 adult readers have come to learn.

It may be difficult for some adults to believe, but today’s young women are faced with unimaginable pressure, expectations and stress. Now more than ever our precious daughters, granddaughters, nieces, neighbors and friends need to know the truth about setting healthy boundaries. They need the life-changing knowledge that it is possible for them to set boundaries in a stress-filled out-of-control life! And we need to provide them with the tools they need to make smart choices, cope with stress, and untangle their mixed-up emotions. Please join me in sharing this important and timely resource with the special teen girls in your life. Together we can encourage and empower young women around the world to jump off the crazy gerbil wheel of insanity and find SANITY!

PRE-ORDER your books today for the special young women in your life.

And encourage them to visit our new SANITY Support Facebook page for teen girls, where they can take part in a growing community of young women who are learning about the incredible freedom in setting healthy boundaries! They can also learn more about an exciting ESSAY CONTEST we’re launching to give readers an opportunity to share their boundary stories and win prizes!

Setting Boundaries with SANITY Support – March 2014 Newsletter

SS01_ABMarch 2014 Newsletter

Six Tips to Survive Challenging Seasons in Life

 

(NOTE: This newsletter was delivered to subscribers on Sunday, March 16, 2014.)

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As a subscriber to the SANITY Support Newsletter, you’ve most likely read one or more of the five books in the Setting Boundaries ® series. And as a subscriber, I promised to send you regular updates on new books in the series, and provide you with SANITY Support Tips, helpful tools, and valuable resources to live hopeful lives. I promised to blog often and offer free downloadable information on my website to help you find (and keep) sanity in your challenging relationships. However, I have not been very good at consistently doing these things.

 

But that is about to change, starting with this communication, and I hope you’ll hang in and give me another chance.

 

I’m deeply humbled by the growing number of subscribers to the SANITY Support Newsletter. Clearly, I’m not alone in my desire to find freedom from living on the gerbil-wheel of insanity that often accompanies life when we have weak or non-existent boundaries. I greatly appreciate the questions, comments, and thank-you notes I receive every day from around the world. Your heartfelt support and encouragement have been such a blessing. Especially during the past few years as the enemy has tried so fervently to stop me from following the call the Lord has placed on my heart.

 

You see; Satan doesn’t want any of us to be free from the bondage of unhealthy boundaries. He doesn’t want any of us to read books that bring us closer to God—especially the Bible. And he certainly doesn’t want me to write books that promote the need to put God at the center of our lives in order to set healthy boundaries, find peace, and walk in sanity. The fact is, the enemy wants to use every bad choice, negative habit and challenging relationship we have to keep us from having a relationship with the One who matters most—Jesus.

  [Read more...]

Setting Boundaries with Our Time – Relax!

I’m thinking this pretty much says it all.

 

Relax!

The Boundaries We Push Against

Little Girl Allison

God has a far bigger plan for our life than we could ever imagine.

Trust Him.

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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Tough Love Setting Boundary Advice to a Struggling Mom

6363980-stopA reader sent me the following plea for help. My response might not have been what she expected.
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Dear Allison:
I am struggling with issues dealing with my mom and son. My son moved out when he was a teen, he didn’t want to follow the rules at home and was physically abusive to me. He went to live with my mom…he has never been able to do anything wrong in her eyes….she has expected me to be financially responsible but not have a say in anything. His behavior has not changed in the 6 years since he has moved…if I am not helping him, I am a (insert any derogatory expletive here) you name it…he swears at me and tells me I am a horrible parent. My mother and I constantly argue over this, and it has gotten worse. She has him lie to me, evens swears at me in front of him….she totally enables him and deems me the bad parent stating that I abandoned him. I am at a loss here. I am in my 40′s, I don’t drink or do drugs yet I am treated as a horrible person for wanting what is best for my son. I am heartbroken that she really feels like I have treated him poorly and that he thinks I am horrible….I hope you can help me somehow…..I only have my 2 girls.
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Dear Reader:
My heart aches for you. However, while the feelings and emotions of your mother and son are important and valid to them … they do NOT constitute your feelings and emotions … and it is critical for you to differentiate the two….and NOT belittle or deny your reality….which is quite different from theirs. Dysfunctional people (and relationships) need to hang on to dysfunctional responses and habits. You must break that habit. You must STOP.
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You need to STOP and look at the big picture.
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No matter what your son or mother says/does … you are in control of your thoughts and responses. And the fact is, if you are setting HEALTHY boundaries you will not be in agreement with them. Period. Deal with this. Is it important for you to be in agreement with them? Or, to do what is right? Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom you need to be the person He wants you to be.
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You have two girls … cherish and love them and show them what love and forgiveness (and not enabling) looks like.
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Stand strong and believe in yourself and in what God is doing in your life.
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Stop beating yourself up. Get off the gerbil wheel of insanity and find SANITY in this situation.
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~ Allison

Boundaries Are All About Love

Cloud Heart PhotoSetting healthy boundaries is first and foremost about love—the love God has for us, the love He wants us to have for own lives, and the love He wants us to share with others.

 

Setting Boundaries with Difficult People (pg 14)

New Year Resolutions and Setting Healthy Boundaries

Lifeline RadioHappy New Year. May God richly bless and keep you and yours this coming year. Join me today on Lifeline Radio with host Neil Boron and LISTEN LIVE as we discuss how to make God-honoring New Year Resolutions by setting healthy boundaries and making intentional SANITY choices. Begin this new season by claiming God’s promises for your life and learn how to live in the fullness of love, joy, grace, and peace in the coming year. Streaming live online at WDCXradio.com on Thursday, January 2 from 3:00-4:30 PM (CST).

A Teenage Pregnancy by Robin Jones Gunn – Day 1 Countdown to Christmas (12/25/13)

12pearlsofxmas

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

My friend and Pearl Girls Founder, Margaret McSweeney, has once again provided a series of inspirational posts that I’ll be sharing with our Setting Boundaries Books blog community over the next 12 day Countdown to Christmas.

I hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from 12 authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

The Pearl Girls are giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what they’re all about. In short, they exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

Without further ado, let the countdown to Christmas begin!

God bless and keep you this Christmas and always.

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A Teenage Pregnancy
by Robin Jones Gunn

It was early, early morning, that delicate time of day just before sunrise when it seems as if all of creation is still asleep.

In the cold, gray light she gazed at the infant in her arms. He was less than an hour old and so, so small. Instinct prompted her to draw her newborn close that he might feel the rhythm of her heart. He curled his tiny hand around her finger and she smiled. His eyes closed, and with feathered breath he gave way to the blessed sleep that follows such a long journey.

In weary awe she studied his face, his ears, his nose. He was here. He had come at last.

A single tear fell from her eye and rolled across his cheek. She kissed the tear away but could not kiss away the memories that came with the tears; memories of the day she found out she was pregnant. How exhilarated she felt and yet how terrified. She was young, and there was much she didn’t understand.

Trying to justify her condition to her parents proved more difficult than she’d hoped. But the most excruciating memory was the moment she stood guileless before the man she hoped to one day marry. She had no words to make him understand the awful truth—the child she carried was not his.

Leaving seemed to be her only option. A gracious aunt took her in and welcomed her with open arms. From the moment she arrived she was showered with motherly words of hope and sisterly touches of love. Week by week, month by month, the child inside her grew.

Was it a miracle when she returned home, her belly round, her face flushed, and found him there?

What prompted this man to take her back and make her his bride? Did he now believe what she had tried to explain all along, that none of this was her own doing?

When the time was right they left their small town together, as husband and wife, with her due date rapidly approaching. The labor began—tightening her abdomen with a force she had never before imagined. Perspiration streamed from her forehead. The contractions multiplied with a frenzied urgency until the need to push overwhelmed her young body, and the baby was born.

Nothing of the past mattered anymore. He was here. Naked, perfect, quivering in her arms. With a thrill of hope, she believed that her life, her world, would never be the same.

Now as the first silver streaks of dawn pierced through the cracks in the stable, she tenderly wrapped her sleeping babe in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger.

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Robin Promo Photo Close Up 2013Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and the award-winning Sisterchicks® series, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter. You can learn more at Robin’s website.
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Do You Hear What I Hear? by Cynthia Ruchti – Day 2 Countdown to Christmas (12/24/13)

12pearlsofxmas

Welcome to Day 2 in the Countdown to Christmas! 

See Day 12 on this blog (Saturday, December 14, 2013) for information on Pearl Girls and why I’m sharing The 12 Pearls of Christmas with our Setting Boundaries Books blog community over the next 12 days.

Remember, the Pearl Girls are giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter the CONTEST now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

God bless and keep you this Christmas and always.

SBYACLogo

 

 

 

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Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Cynthia Ruchti

To shepherds? Really, God? You crafted a birth announcement that was delivered first to shepherds? The story’s become so familiar to us, so easy for us to visualize because of all the Christmas pageants we’ve witnessed over the years—all the fourth-grade boys in plaid robes with a homemade shepherd staff, carrying a cloth lamb from the toy department that plays “Jesus Loves Me” if you pull the ring where an umbilical cord should be.

Theologians speculate the reason for shepherds as the audience for the holy pronouncement could be as intricate as a genetic retracing of the Baby’s heritage back through history to King David, who started his career as a shepherd.

Or it could have been simpler than that. Maybe shepherds were the only ones listening that night.

“Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night,” Luke 2:8, CEB. The biblical story tells us that the shepherds weren’t sleeping but were on guard, watching, when the news about Jesus came to them.

Distractions were few. Hills, sheep, other shepherds, a low fire, and a wide expanse of sky overhead—a dark sky that held the same stars night after night, until this one.

I wonder if any of the shepherds brought their families to the fields. I wonder if in the tent was a hardworking woman nearing the end of an exhausting day. She’d barely gotten the evening meal cleaned up when she had to start thinking about what her family and the other shepherds would need for breakfast. Soak the grains. Check the progress on the sheep’s milk cheese. And try to get those kids to settle down.

“Stop annoying your brother. Caleb! Last warning. Josh, get your fingers out of your sister’s ears. Turn down that video game. You can’t listen to the radio and watch TV at the same time. Turn one of them off. Better yet, both of them! Who’s singing? What’s that sound? Do you hear what I hear?”

What noise do I need to turn off in my life in order to hear the first notes of the angel’s song?

Another noisy Christmas party. Another trip to the department store for stocking stuffers. Another round of Christmas CDs. Another Christmas special on TV. Another Facebook post to share—the true meaning of Christmas. A text about the practice time for the Christmas program at church. Another phone call about travel plans. Brain waves clanking into each other, making a cacophony of noise.

Shutting down one layer at a time. Unplugging. Keeping even “Silent Night” low so I can silence my night and hear the downbeat of “Glory to God in the highest.”

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Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. Of seven books on the shelves currently, her latest releases are the novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction), the nonfiction Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press Christian Living), and several dozen of the devotions in Mornings With Jesus 2014 (Guideposts). Spring of 2014 will see the release of another novel—All My Belongings, also from Abingdon Press Fiction. You can connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com or on Facebook.
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Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required, by Jodi Murphy – Day 3 Countdown to Christmas (12/23/13)

12pearlsofxmas

Welcome to Day 3 in the Countdown to Christmas! 

See Day 12 on this blog (Saturday, December 14, 2013) for information on Pearl Girls and why I’m sharing The 12 Pearls of Christmas with our Setting Boundaries Books blog community over the next 12 days.

Remember, the Pearl Girls are giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter the CONTEST now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

God bless and keep you this Christmas and always.

SBYACLogo

 

 

 

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Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required
by Jodi Murphy

For more than a decade I worked in the luxury design field, and every year around Christmas time there were holiday show houses and charity events where the designers would hold nothing back to create the most beautiful displays for the Christmas season—trees with baubles and sparkles, swags of fresh greenery festooned with handmade bows, every room dressed to the nines, dining and breakfast tables set for imaginary entertaining, and hundreds of perfectly wrapped packages that would make Santa’s elves go green with envy.

The sights, sounds and smells were magical! And though I enjoyed the “eye candy” and appreciated all of the creativity, I often left these events on a “sugar high” of the season’s pufferies and feeling disconnected to the spiritual significance of Christmas.

As we begin to count down the days toward December 25th, I will do my share of simplified decorating as a way to mark such an important day, and I will be celebrating Christ’s birth with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the gifts God has given to me . . .

My Parents

I was blessed with parents who loved and respected me. I was always important, seen and heard. They gave me the confidence and strength to go out into the world because I knew they were standing right behind me in case I stumbled. They modeled generosity, loyalty and commitment.

My Sister

Tenacious, strong-willed, and determined balanced by a friendly, supportive, “I’m there for you” spirit—that’s my amazing younger sister. She’ll step out on the front line to stand up and defend you or throw on some work clothes and volunteer to help with whatever dirty work needs to be done. No questions asked . . . you need her, she’s there.

My Husband

My husband is so comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t compare himself to others or secretly long for what they have. He doesn’t get embroiled in other’s gossip or petty arguments. His loving influence has made me happier and more at peace. Every day I wake up to the joyful realization that I am his friend, wife, and life partner.

My Son

My firstborn. My son with Aspergers Syndrome. Raising him is the most extraordinary journey. He has made me more accepting, patient, and understanding. He has helped me find my passion to support and advocate for him and those just like him. He doesn’t filter or concern himself with being anything but who he is. I admire his strength to put himself out into a world he doesn’t fully understand.

My Daughter

She was born with grace and an “old” soul. From a very young age, she had an understanding and compassion for others well beyond her years. And when she was excluded for not following the crowd, she never compromised her values in order to fit in. She personifies all that is good and right in our world.

So I’m taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the designers’ holiday season. This Christmas, and every Christmas henceforth, you’ll find me singing praises of “Gloria!” to God for the walking, breathing beautiful gifts of my family.

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jodi_murphy-Headshot 1Jodi Murphy has been a freelance marketing specialist for the last 25+ years working for clients in a variety of industries, a journalist in the design/luxury lifestyle industry, and co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent lifestyle digital magazines. But her most important role and her life’s passion is being a mom! She founded Geek Club Books to share her son’s life on the spectrum in a positive and entertaining way. Her focus is on building a community of spectrum and neurotypicals who are engaged with and inspired by the Geek Club Books’ message of self-acceptance—“I’m unique. I’m a geek.” Jodi writes original content on the blog, and, with the help of her talented kids and top-notch creative team, she produces audio stories, e-books, and interactive storybook APPs.

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