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Christy Catherine Marshall

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January 2, 2006

This week’s writing topic at The Carnival of Beauty is “The Beauty of Limits.” How can limits be something we describe as beautiful? A limit is defined as “something that bounds, strains, or confines.” This makes me think of a dog, tugging on a leash, straining to reach toward freedom.

Yet when I give this further thought, I’m led to scripture. I read in Psalm16:6, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” (NIV). As a mom and manager of my home, I’m bound to accomplish all that God has called me to do within the 1440 minutes that are in a day. My roles are three: I’m a wife, a mother, and a person — me. My top priority is serving my Savior and glorifying Him through my life and words. But my roles also include loving and serving my family and others — and taking some time for myself. These are my boundaries, and how thankful I am that they fall in pleasant places.

What I struggle with most of all is the boundary of time. I try to squeeze way too much into a day, and I get frustrated because I can’t complete it all. So one of my goals for this new year is to change my attitude toward the limits of time. Last year, I saw the clock as my ticking enemy — always pushing me, pulling me, and taunting me with tasks that must be done. As soon as I got going to the point of satisfaction in one area, I’d check the time and have to scurry to the next event.

But this year, I want to see the boundaries of time as a blessing in order to keep me balanced. I’ve actually gone out and bought a new stainless steel timer, which has become my little companion I carry around from room to room. It’s ticking beside me at the computer, helping me to focus and stay on task. I set a time limit on how long I can allow myself to read or write — because I know I’ve got other priorities that must be taken care of.

These ticking bounds are beautiful to me when I see my life from God’s point of view. Work and play, serving others and taking time to be alone — my spirit will shrivel and die without a balance.

I hope someone reading this may be encouraged to try using a timer — and see how it works. I know I can’t be perfect in all that I do. But I feel freedom, even joy, within these pleasant boundaries. And at the end of the day, I can thank God for the beauty of the limits in which I thrive.

P.S. In case you’re interested, this blog post took me 40 minutes to write. I thought it would only take me 15! And if I didn’t have my timer, I would keep fiddling with these words. But I can’t! The ringer went off, so I must stop. Kind of reminds me of musical chairs — you can’t keep going when the music (ticking) stops.

By: Heather Ivester in: Writing | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (4)

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