February Update from Author Allison Bottke

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FEBRUARY 2015 AUTHOR UPDATE

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Economic Outlook In Crisis Monitor Showing Bankruptcy And DepressionWhen we last spoke (on August 28, 2014,) I had reached a critical impasse in my life and career. After fifteen years and thirty books, I was seriously contemplating shutting down my websites and putting an end to my writing career. It was just too hard trying to juggle everything by myself. The wind completely went out of my sails. Things were looking mighty dismal (particularly with respect to my finances,) and I was on the verge of losing my house, my car, my security, and my sanity.

How did I get here, God? What am I doing wrong? How did I end up back on the gerbil wheel of insanity? 

Little did I know how miraculously my Higher Power would answer these desperate questions.

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Trust Faith Buttons Show Trustful Or FaithfulnessFirst Things First

I thought my faith was strong, that I had reached a place in life where I fully trusted God. But did I really trust Him? Or, was I trusting in my own dysfunctional devices and making less than effective choices? What was God trying to teach me? What lesson did I really need to learn?

Readers who have heard me over the years on TV or radio know I’m uncomfortable when a host calls me a “boundary expert.” Although I have devoted myself to this topic for many years, the fact is I’m one of the most boundary challenged people I know. Truthfully, it’s my Achilles heel. I’ve felt called to write books on this topic not because I’m any kind of expert, but because this ministry is how God teaches—and reaches—me. Learning how to handle difficult choices causes me to delve deep into God’s Word for wisdom, discernment, and direction. Consistently learning how to regain my balance, trust God and find sanity is how I’m able to authentically share the Six Steps to SANITY with others. However, knowing this doesn’t make the lessons I need to learn any easier.

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Drowning

When we last spoke, I was drowning under the pressure of seemingly never-ending financial struggles. I was gasping for air and going down for the final count when a fellow author (and close friend) stepped in to throw me a life preserver.

Mary DeMuth listened to my anguished cries of defeat and despair. And as she prayed for me, something miraculous began to happen. I realized I had to stop fighting so hard to keep my head above water. I had to stop trying to do it all and fix it all. I realized that in a sincere desire to help myself, I had only enabled myself! I became my own worse enemy. Clearly, I wasn’t practicing what I preached.

I had to jump off the gerbil-wheel of insanity and actively apply (not just talk about) the Six Steps to SANITY, starting with the “S” step.

Lord, please help me to STOP repeating the same behavior and expecting different results! I can’t keep up this pace any more. If it’s Your will that I lose everything I’ve been trying so desperately to hold, so be it. I’m trusting You to take care of me and clearly show me what You want me to do.

I didn’t know which way to turn any more–I had to YIELD everything to God, the “Y” step in SANITY. So, I prayed for wisdom and discernment, Mary prayed for me to find peace and relief from the fear and pain, and together we asked the Lord to help us find possible solutions.

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Solutions Not Problems Notice On BoardWhat To Do Next

YIELDING everything to God wasn’t easy. Admitting I didn’t have the answers and asking for help wasn’t easy. Nothing about the six months following this massive melt-down was easy. However, it has been the most spiritually enlightening and fortifying season in my fifty-nine years of life. I feel like I’ve come out of a spiritual fog—like I’m seeing the world—and God—through new eyes. And I just had to tell you—and thank you.

So much has changed since we last spoke.

 

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Difficult Choices

When I realized I needed to STOP the insanity, I was leasing a small house in the DFW area, but I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to downsize and move. I began to actively explore alternative living situations and started to sell off my furniture, jewelry, books, and other personal property. It was crunch time. Next, I weighed my writing options, and I was torn. This is really all I know how to do, but it’s very hard to make a living in this business, especially as a single person who is solely responsible for every expense and struggles with Dyslexia and Adult ADD. When another friend suggested a GoFundMe Campaign, I was immediately against the idea. However, after seeking feedback from trusted advisors and after a great deal of fervent prayer, I felt convicted to tell readers (like you) what was happening.

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Help Letters Falling As Symbol For Support And AdviceReaders Come to the Rescue

I prayed for strength to follow the “A” step in SANITY and ASSEMBLE supportive people online and offline to help.

I’ve always been transparent in sharing my life experiences in my books, but this level of vulnerability was very risky. Close friends were well aware of my increasing financial difficulties, but for the most part I appeared quite successful to the public. In our world, it’s one thing to share the emotional and psychological fallout of abuse, abortion, addiction, and even divorce…but it’s another thing entirely to share financial despair and desperation.

However, within days of revealing my critical situation to readers, God showed Himself through the loving generosity of my brothers and sisters in Christ, who called, prayed for me, sent encouraging letters and email, and contributed financially to help me stay afloat. I wept. Several people offered temporary rental homes. And God continued to show His provision through my gracious and compassionate church community. I was overwhelmed at the outpouring of love I felt.

However, while this sudden influx of financial blessings would allow me to address immediate needs and temporarily stop the financial hemorrhage, it wasn’t a long-term solution to the ongoing problem. Although deeply grateful and blessed by the help, I still had to face the fact that it didn’t look like I could make it on my own as a freelance writer—I couldn’t seem to generate a consistent flow of dependable income or clients, and I couldn’t keep up with the growing demands of handling all the administrative tasks and marketing and promotion responsibilities in addition to the writing. As much as it broke my heart, I began to think it was time to give up on my writing dream—to consider that maybe it wasn’t a calling after all.

Lord, I’m almost sixty years old, what am I supposed to do for income? I have nothing in savings, nothing in reserve, how am I supposed to live? I need you to show me…

Before August came to an end, the Lord clearly revealed His will about my calling. He gave me a miraculous writing project that took me out of self-pity and self-reliance and placed me on a path where His love, grace and mercy were so visible—so viscerally apparent, that I had no doubt whatsoever I was walking completely in His will, that I was doing exactly what He called me to do.

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31 Days of Moumtaintop Miracles

A Book Years in the Making

When Susie Jennings, the Founder of Operation Care International approached me to help write her book on miracles, I was familiar with the project. I was one of several writers who had bid on the writing project several years previously. At that time, I presented her with a sample of how I would write/edit one of her miracle testimony stories. I enjoyed working on The Widows Pendant, but that one story had taken a considerable amount of time, and my projected fee reflected the hours it would take to complete thirty-one true short stories using Susie’s notes and ideas. It turned out that Susie’s book wasn’t a key priority for her back then, and she set it aside when God called her in another direction.

However, when she called me in late August things had changed and now she needed a complete book in less than one month. It would take an extraordinary commitment (and supernatural power) to accomplish the work within her requested time frame.

I completely agreed that Susie’s ministry message of how to understand and care for the growing homeless population needed to be shared, but I was in the throes of a monumental life change—selling, packing, and trying to figure out where I was going to live and how I was going to survive. The GoFundMe Campaign had just launched, and I was overwhelmed with life. I didn’t see how I could possibly help.

However, Susie was determined. She was certain I was the person destined to be the midwife to help give birth to her first book. And so, Susie did what she does best—she prayed for a miracle. She prayed that God’s will for my life—and for her book—would be revealed to both of us. And I prayed, in earnest, desiring to be led by God’s spirit and not by my own will or financial need.

It quickly became apparent to Susie (and me) that God wanted me to work on this book, at this moment, for a fraction of the fee I initially proposed, and in a crazy timeframe that seemed humanly impossible. I prayed daily (often hourly) for God to do His miraculous work through me.

Okay, God, Your call to take on this project is coming in loud and clear. I will be obedient. Use me to help Susie share her story and the amazing ministry and message of Operation Care International. Please handle everything else in and around my life—and give me the wisdom, strength and creative vision to make this book possible–and pleasing to You.

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susie & allisonNo Time to Waste

Time was critical. Susie had carried this baby in her heart (and on pages and pages of notes) for many years, and the time had come for her “child” to be born. By the first week of September, I was putting in 15-hour days in the delivery room. I worked over 280 hours during a 37-day stretch on nothing but this project. I wrote and edited while I ate. I prayed about the project in the shower. I even took hard copy print outs with me to the bathroom. The only time I stopped was to sleep, or to respond to the comments and financial blessings readers were sending online.

Together, in record time, Susie and I gave birth to 31 Days of Mountaintop Miracles, One Woman’s Journey of Unconditional Obedience. The manuscript passed from my hands to the publisher on October 1, and Susie received her first shipment of books on October 14, in plenty of time to give 1,000 complimentary copies to guests at the Annual Roaring Lambs Hall of Fame Banquet on November 15, where Susie was being inducted into the Hall of Fame for her lifetime achievement as the Founder of Operation Care International. It was a monumental day for Susie, in so many ways.

Susie Jennings’ life of obedience is a powerful testimony of faith, and her ability to see miracles in every moment is inspiring a nation.

Susie’s beautiful and anointed book on miracles had a miraculous birth of its own, made possible by both of us trusting in God and faithfully walking in His will every step of the way, and by readers like you who helped me survive. With 100% of the proceeds from all book sales going directly to Operation Care International, I am deeply honored and blessed to be the person God used to help bring this extraordinary collection of 31 Days of Mountaintop Miracles into the world.

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Time For Miracles Message Showing Faith In God

The Miracles Continued

As I worked 15-hour days and prayed for God’s provision, financial gifts from hundreds of people enabled me to stay afloat. Before October came to an end, the Lord helped me pay off several significant debts. He also brought me a roommate to help with monthly expenses, so I could remain in the house I was renting. Then, through earthly intercessors, He introduced me to several serious clients who were looking for a professional writer/editor. The tide had shifted, and so had I.

I believe God was changing my life because through this entire crisis, I was changing how I honored and served Him. I had learned a powerful lesson during this journey about unconditonal obedience.

In his book, The Blessed Life, Pastor Robert Morris writes, “God is a rewarder. This is a truth about God of which many Christians don’t seem to be aware. He loves to reward us when we diligently seek His presence, His will, and His ways. He rewards good work, and He rewards good stewardship.”

I had worked hard over the years and tried to be a good steward—or so I thought—but the reality was that I had failed miserably in actually walking out the words in Joshua 24:15, “…choose this day whom you will serve.” In my fear of not being able to make ends meet, I had been serving the spirit of money—mammon—and not the true Spirit of God. I have always tithed, but not with the kind of intentional committment and loving obedience that blessed God.

As God began to open the eyes of my heart with new wisdom and give me new direction, I began to read and interpret His Word in a fresh new way. Suddenly, every message at church seemed to address my financial issues and lead me to applicable scriptural teaching. As the blessings in my life increased, the more convicted I felt about the biblical mandate of stewardship and tithing.

I believe that because of my faithfulness and obedience to Him and to this conviction, He has rewarded me in unimaginable ways, including the blessing of bringing some very important book projects into my life for this New Year. Projects that I feel are destined to inspire readers around the world.

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Hand writes the word thank youThank You, Jesus!

Six months ago, my life was falling apart as I tried desperately to keep running on the gerbil wheel of insanity. Although money is still tight, I’m no longer drowning. I’ve jumped off the gerbil wheel and I’m trusting God to provide. Today, I’m wealthy in blessings and rich in God’s love. Today, I’m on the road to sanity and peace.

Thank you, Mary. Thank you, readers. Thank you, God.

 

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Finding BalanceWork Life Balance Signpost Showing Career And Leisure Harmony

Maybe you have challenging relationships with adult children, difficult people, toxic relatives, or even with food. Perhaps you’ve experienced an internal struggle with your own stress, expectations, or habits—or maybe you feel like I did—frustrated over your job, career, purpose, or finances. When setbacks happen in life, we can’t give up. We can regain balance! God is always in control, and He will never give up on us—so we mustn’t give up on Him, on ourselves or on the people in our lives. The Bible teaches that we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength. SANITY is possible—one step at a time!

 

 

SS01_ABThe SANITY Support steps work—no matter what trial or tribulation we might experience. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that (even me!) God loves us and wants the best for us. He does not cause bad things to happen, but He sometimes allows them to happen for a purpose that we don’t always see clearly. In my recent situation, I had to learn to stop placing so much emphasis on generating money—and more on being a good (and obedient) steward of what God was providing. I had to change my perspective in order to regain balance in my life and set healthy boundaries with my own thoughts and actions. Practicing these SANITY steps can help us find balance, especially when life spins out of control.

 

S = STOP repeating our own negative behavior

A = ASSEMBLE supportive people around us

N = NIP excuses in the bud

I = IMPLEMENT a plan of action

T = TRUST the voice of the Spirit

Y = YIELD everything to God

 

We are moving forwardMoving Forward

I respect and appreciate you as a reader, and I want to be professional, responsible, and dependable in communicating with you. My vision for this newsletter has always been to provide you with valuable resources that will meet your needs, empower you to stand strong in your faith, and help you set healthy boundaries.

Thank you for allowing me to give you an update on my life in this February 2015 issue, to share my heart with you. Thank you to those who have shared your hearts with me. May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds. And may you feel the love and protection of Jesus with every breath you take.

 

God’s peace,

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2884Attention DFW Readers

Barnes & Noble Book Signing

Susie Jennings will be conducting her first public book signing at the Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble. Please mark the date on your calendar and stop by to say hello to Susie, show your support for Operation Care International, and get your signed copy of 31 Days of Mountaintop Miracles!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

3:00 – 4:00 PM

Barnes & Noble – Lincoln Park

7700 West Northwest Hwy. Ste. 300

Dallas, TX 75225

 

PS: If you’re at a place in life where you feel this newsletter isn’t what you need, please simply return to the Mail Chimp email you received from me and click on the UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom, and you’ll automatically be removed, no questions asked.

Make Your Writing Dream a Reality

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Want to make your writing dream a reality?

Join me and an amazing faculty of professionals at the beautiful Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida for the annual Florida Christian Writers Conference from February 25 thru March 1, 2015. Visit the website now for more information, and make sure to check out the Faculty Blog for timely tips and updates on workshops, keynotes, continuing education classes, and more.

 

Talkin’ About the Stress of Being a Teen Girl – Join Me Today LIVE on The Debbie Chavez Show at 11:05 AM (CST)


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It’s that time again! In August of 2013 Debbie and I talked about the challenges women have in setting healthy boundaries and listener response to that program was off the chain. In Auguist of 2012 our discussion on setting boundariers with food also brought a flood of listener phone calls.

 

Today we are going to cut right to the chase and discuss the serious issues teen girls are facing today and we’d love to have you join us as we talk about A Young Woman’s Guide to Setting Boundaries – Six Steps to Help Teens Make Smart Choices, Cope with Stress and Untangle Mixed-up Emotions.

 

The program is streaming live online and if you miss it a podcast will be available in the next few days.

Join us today, Monday, August 25 at 11:05 (CST) streaming live from Faithplace.org on The Debbie Chavez Show.

 

The Debbie Chavez Show is carried Monday through Friday at the internet radio station. Debbie Chavez is a faith-based, internet talk radio host as well as a dynamic and transparent women’s conference speaker. Debbie Chavez is a pastor’s wife who interviews expert guests for Biblical wisdom and answers listener questions.
Faithplace.org consists of shows produced and distributed by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Great Awakening Productions. Their mission is to fill the spiritual void in conventional talk radio with biblically-based perspectives that are presented by hosts who are not only dynamic, transparent, and frank…but have years of accumulated wisdom and experience in their fields. They desire to point listeners toward a deeper relationship with the God of the Bible. Currently, they have listeners in all 50 states and over 95 countries.

 

A long-awaited broadcast event from Billy Graham to our nation.

 

Listen to Billy Graham on his 95th birthday, this Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Listen to Billy Graham on his 95th birthday, this Thursday, November 7.

 

TBN will host the historic “My Hope America with Billy Graham” on Dr. Graham’s 95th birthday, November 7th.

For over sixty years his message of hope and healing has filled stadiums and major venues all over the earth, and his warm, assuring voice has reached out to billions of individuals and families on every continent through radio and television. Now beloved evangelist Dr. Billy Graham is embarking on one of his most historic efforts, My Hope America, partnering with individuals, churches, and ministries to reach out to neighbors, communities, and the nation with the simple message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

This very special thirty-minute broadcast will feature impacting testimonies from notable people whose lives have been changed through faith in Christ, along with a powerful message from Dr. Graham.

 

You can view “My Hope America With Billy Graham” on TBN November 7th at 5 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. Central, 8 p.m. Eastern). To view the Spanish-language version of the program tune in to TBN’s Enlace Hispanic network November 7th (8 p.m. Pacific), November 8th (8 p.m. Pacific), or November 9th (5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Pacific).

 

What is Our Most Important Boundary?

Chocolate HeartDear Blog visitors, what does “guarding your heart” look like to you?

I’ve mentioned several important areas of life where women usually need to set boundaries, including relationships, home, workplace, church, and self. We’ve distinguished between helping and enabling, but I’ve deliberately set aside the most critical difference for this chapter. It’s that important.

Before a woman makes relational and psychological boundaries, she must consider her most necessary boundary—that of guarding her own heart. By that I mean a woman should know and respect the boundaries God has given for her heart’s protection. Protection is, after all, one of the purposes of boundaries.

According to Scripture, everything we do flows from our heart. Therefore, once this primary boundary is in place, we can set all other boundaries much more easily

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

(Excerpt from Setting Boundaries® for Women, Six Steps to Saying No, Taking Control, and Finding Peace by Allison Bottke, Harvest House Publishers, © 2013. All rights reserved. Page 57).

Countdown to Book Launch for Setting Boundaries for Women – Only 8 Days to Go!

Setting Boundaries for Women (02The 5th book in the Setting Boundaries® series from Harvest House Publishers will officially release Thursday, August 1. On that special book launch day, I’ll be giving away one free copy of Setting Boundaries for Women every fifteen minutes for three hours as I travel between this Blog and my Facebook Page from 11:00 to 2:00 (CST). Stop by and share your Setting Boundaries feedback, make comments, or ask me questions. Visit my website Home Page for more information.

In the meantime, I’d like to share some tidbits from Setting Boundaries for Women, Six Steps to Saying No, Taking Control, and Finding Peace. Tidbits that I hope you will find helpful on your journey to set or maintain healthy boundaries.

Many women live their entire lives unaware of how much better life could have been if only they had seen their need for boundaries and implemented them. Some women may neglect to set boundaries because the idea seems limiting, restrictive. But rather than restricting us, properly defined boundaries with others and with ourselves actually increase our freedom to be the women God designed us to be.

This is why boundaries can be so crucial. Boundaries properly set in place enable us to have control over our lives and our destiny.

“Control” is a word you’ll see often in this book. That’s because your goal in setting boundaries is to gain or regain healthy control over your own life whenever possible. Of course, sometimes you can’t control the unfolding panorama of external influences, circumstances, and situations. However, even then you can always control your responses and attitudes toward those circumstances as you also surrender them to God. That will be key to remember. You may not be able to control every outward influence or circumstance in your life, but you can control the way you react or respond.

Exercising this type of self-control with the help of the Holy Spirit is life changing. Women who passively accept the barriers that keep them from appropriately controlling their lives remind me of Proverbs 25:28—“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Broken walls are like broken boundaries. The good news is that just as a city can rebuild broken walls, so too you can build the boundaries that will allow you to control your life and fulfill God’s destiny for you.

(Excerpt from Setting Boundaries® for Women, Six Steps to Saying No, Taking Control, and Finding Peace by Allison Bottke, Harvest House Publishers, © 2013. All rights reserved. Pages 13-14).

Dear Blog visitors, how would you respond to this question, “Can I still be a good Christian woman if I take control of my life?”

 

Join Thelma Wells Tonight for a “Wonder Woman” Sneak Peek

Thelma & Allison 11.8.2007

Don’t miss this free Sneak Peek tonight at 7 PM (CST)

Do you ever wonder what the women in the Bible would think of our world today?

Thelma Wells (aka: Mama T) is launching a series of three WONDER WOMAN conferences beginning this Saturday, July 27 in Carrollton, Texas. But you can also access these events via a live Internet stream! These are very unique conferences, as each talented speaker will be sharing a powerful woman in the Bible in tandem with their own message and testimony. Thelma’s mission for this unique outreach is “To empower mature women AND encourage the next generation and millenniums to strive to achieve the great legacy of powerful women celebrated in the Bible and within our society today.”

The three guest speakers for Saturday, July 27 are, Victorya Rogers (Hannah), Bethany Williams (Deborah) and Thelma Wells (Zipporah).

Tune in TONIGHT at 7 PM (CST) for a FREE SNEAK PEEK at Zipporah. Please share this message with your friends.

Embracing the Most Important Relationship

Jeremiah 29 11If we believe wholeheartedly that God is personally involved in our life, we would expect that He has something specific in mind for us to do while we’re here on earth.

In their book, Being Christian, Exploring Where You, God, and Life Connect, authors Stephen Arterburn and John Shore address four things every Christian will have at some point in life: answers, guidance, confirmation, and inspiration.  They address a question that has laid heavy on the heart of many believers: Does God Have a Plan for Me?

He certainly does.  God’s plan is for you to accept the fact that He loves you, has always loved you, and will always love you.  God’s plan for you is to trust in the truth of who He is, and in what He has done for you.  It’s for you to open yourself up to the wondrous powers of the Holy Spirit within you.

One of Satan’s most insidious strategies to attack and influence the children of God has been to keep them too involved with challenging relationships to care about a relationship with the One who cares the most—Jesus Christ.

Clearly, God wants us to be in loving relationships, starting with Himself.  Yet relationships are being destroyed, hearts broken, and families fractured as good Christian men and women forget what God has said about the most important priorities in life—to love Him first and to love our neighbors. This is the very essence of the gospel message.

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40.

Step One: Love the Lord Your God

It starts by acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Savior—our Lord.

Ryan Northcutt is the pastor of a small (but rapidly growing) community church in Haltom City, Texas.  Pastor Ryan talked passionately about a personal God who understands what it’s like to live in this world—to be involved with people, challenges, troubles, and trials. He said:

We can’t do it on our own.  When we trust in ourselves it’s too hard.  If we rely on only ourselves we will be left wanting.  When we are separated from God we feel it—we may not know what is missing from our life—but we know something is. When that something becomes a relationship with the Lord, it’s impossible to live the same way.  When our relationship with the Lord grows—we grow.

It’s not about what we have to do to get to God, for by grace we are all saved. It’s about what Jesus did for us to get to us.

 

Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, Six Steps to SANITY for Challenging Relationships  by Allison Bottke © 2011. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information. 

Setting Boundaries with Difficult People

GET READY…Keeping Your Eye on the Goal!

It’s important to know our ultimate goal, no matter what we set out to accomplish. Runners who enter the annual Boston Marathon know if they want to successfully complete the marathon they will ultimately have to run an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (that’s 26 miles and 385 yards). No one enters this race unsure of the distance they are expected to run.

However, achieving this ultimate goal may require the accomplishment of several supplementary goals during pre-race training.

“After a scare with my heart, I entered the race mostly to get in better physical shape. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to run the entire 26 miles, but I knew the training would help,” said one runner. “I needed to lose 60 pounds, that’s really why I entered the race. If I reached that goal before race day and never ran, I would have succeeded,” said another.

While it was important to know the ultimate goal of running 26 miles, for many the supplementary goals leading up to race day were every bit as important.

As we work toward our ultimate goal, we want to accomplish several other goals as well:  We want…

  • We want difficult people to stop hurting us
  • We want to take control and stop the stress
  • We want to become healthy and whole
  • We want to gain clarity in our life
  • We want to learn new skills to enhance our relationships
  • We want to live a life that is pleasing to God
  • We want to find SANITY

The Moment is Now

It was Palm Sunday at Harvest Church in Watauga, Texas, when Pastor Chuck Angel challenged those of us in the pews to find the courage to open the door to change and choice. I’ll paraphrase his message from the copious notes I took, when I wasn’t shouting, “Amen!”

When opportunity knocks, we need to have courage to overcome fear. There’s a difference between knowing what you should do and choosing to do it. The tipping point.

When we reach that point that takes us from “ought to do” to choosing to do it.

God will direct our path, but He won’t take the step for us. Some of us will stop on the journey. It’s not just knowing—it’s going. Often, there is a gap in the middle between knowing and going.

Life is a parade of “now” moments, not a series of tomorrows. No future moment is more significant than now.

Some of the boundary choices we face will be life-changing. Yet it’s not just about the monumental choices we make that dramatically change the course of our life, but the individual choices we make in the everyday moments of life as well. Combined they make us who we are, a rich tapestry of experience woven together with choice.

The journey to find SANITY doesn’t happen overnight. It isn’t just a matter of understanding what the word definitively means, or what types of boundaries exist, although these are important things to know. Understanding boundaries really begins when we stop seeing ourselves as helpless in a drowning situation and realize how much power we have over our actions and emotions. More important, understanding boundaries is also being aware of what God’s Word teaches us about the critical aspect of protecting our heart. One of the most powerful actions we can take in life is to choose to be in relationships that bring out the best in us—that nurture our heart—and that allow us to bring out the best in others as well.

Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Difficult People, Six Steps to SANITY for Challenging Relationships by Allison Bottke © 2011. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information.

The Power of SANITY

SANITY is what we gain when we shift our priorities and stop focusing on dieting, food, and on our weight—when we stop focusing on the problems of others, and on the situations and circumstances of life, and begin to focus on changing our own attitudes and behaviors—starting with our hearts.

SANITY is living in the peace that comes when we put our trust in God.

S – Stop your own destructive patterns.           Stop Sign 2

STOP repeating our destructive patterns.

STOP ignoring our personal issues.

STOP being alone in our confusion and pain.

STOP pushing God out of the picture.

A – Assemble a support group.support-group

If you feel the need to communicate with other people in your same situation, ask God to open the door for you to get connected. God already knows the plans He has for you to be in fellowship with others. Ask Him to reveal that knowledge to you, praying for wisdom and discernment to walk boldly in God’s purpose.

N – Nip excuses in the bud.I-cant

There are so many different excuses for why we live in bondage to poor choices, challenging situations, and painful circumstances. Yet as different as the excuses are, many begin with the same two words—two words we need to ask God to help us remove from our vocabulary—two words that cut right to the heart of God, telling Him we do not believe His Word, and calling Him a liar—“I can’t.”

I – Implement a plan, define your boundaries.life-choices-quotes-004

Although we may not have been responsible for some of the things that happened to us in the past, we are responsible for our future, and our future depends on the choices we make today to take full responsibility for every aspect of who we are.

Hope lies in learning to depend on God and to make intentional choices that will change our lives and not just perpetuate the status quo.

T – Trust the voice of the Spirit.worship photo1

The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).

Trusting your spiritual intuition and not worldly lies, emotional uncertainly, or even the head knowledge you may have becomes more natural as we understand God’s truth and hide it in our hearts.

Y – Yield everything to God.prayer-on-my-knees4

I have found that it’s often easy to see God in the exceptional things of life that make our spirits soar, or in the crisis situations that bring us to our knees. But it’s much more difficult to see God each and every day in the places in the middle, in the ordinary living of life; this requires a spiritual discipline that is beyond our human nature to acquire, a habit that can only come when we YIELD Everything to God and trust Him to be the Lord of our lives.

 

At some point, every Christian adult will have to release his or her problems to God and learn to trust Him for whatever happens.

Come near to God and He will come near to you.  James 4:8 NIV

 

 

Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Food, Six Steps to Lose Weight, Gain Freedom, and Take Back Your Life by Allison Bottke © 2008. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information.