setting boundaries/wood garden fence

How to build good guidelines before bad things happen

How to build good guidelines before bad things happen isn’t that hard. It just requires thought. When things happen fast, your head just swims. But if you’ve established some boundaries ahead of time, you will have an easier time.

Which is why I’m so behind in posting this week. So let’s begin.

What happens without good guidelines

similar cubes with rules inscription on windowsill in building
Personal rules to live by

Last weekend I got called into a family issue. Not mine, I might add. The reason I agreed to be pulled in was because I am intimately acquainted with the person the family was concerned about and they felt I could help.

In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken the phone call. I was extremely upset. Until yesterday, there was still some back and forth but by last night everything was calmed down, those involved were stepping back and I was back on track.


I was very sick yesterday. You know exactly what I was thinking, don’t you?


As it turned out, I think it was the stress over the weekend and a Starbucks coffee I had the day before. Before I get to the main point here, let me point out the danger of ordering coffee with a mask on.

I’m not kidding. It is something to consider. If you have a milk intolerance like me, it might not be a bad idea to have some guidelines in place when you order with a mask on.lactose intolereance

My intolerance is so severe that my GI doctor said she had never seen numbers that high on the breathing tests that are required for the diagnosis. Anyway…..

So I was at a Starbucks the day before I got really sick and I ordered my usual latte’, half decaff, half caff, three shots of the my desired flavor and OAT milk. O-A-T milk.

Think about it for a minute. The barista was behind glass, I was over six feet away and I had on a mask. Can you see how easy it would be to hear “whole” and not “oat” milk”?

I will now have them repeat after me what I said and I am bringing a card that says “OAT MILK” written in large letters. I don’t think I could handle that much pain again and I am no stranger to pain.

In other words, I’m setting up some guidelines even when ordering my latte’s.

So just a heads-up for all of you. It wasn’t the barista’s fault. I think it was an honest mistake, but my gut can’t handle any more “honest” mistakes.

Anyway, back to the “situation” where I should have built guidelines

boardwalk bridge cloud clouds

Proverbs clearly states that we all have a tendency to give great credence to the first version of a story we hear.

“The first to plead his case, seems right, Until another comes and examines him”. Proverbs 18:17

We shouldn’t do that.

I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve pre-established some boundaries. I should have taken a deep breath.

Trust your instincts and more importantly trust God. Things have a way of becoming clearer the longer you let them simmer, which is exactly what I should have done.

This turned out to be one of those occasions where each party was somewhat correct and had they listened carefully to the hearts of the others they might not have brought me into the fray.

I’ve written often about not buying into someone’s else’s drama if you have no responsibility. In this case, I felt I did.

And let’s face it, we are all under a lot of stress right now. Every physical ailment, we now ask ourselves, is it COVID?

Taking a deep breath and build some guidelines

wood garden fence board

If ever there was a period we need to all take a deep breath and think before we talk, it is now.

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s going to be hard. It will be the first time my husband and I have not celebrated Christmas with our children. We are conservatives but we are following the guidelines. As Christians, we have an obligation to care for other people. And we’re not being crybabies about it. We want to be able to celebrate all the rest of the Thanksgivings and Christmases to come with our family.

So, if family tensions are starting to rise as the holidays grow closer, build some good guidelines and boundaries.

Jeremiah 31:21 “Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts, Direct your mind to the highway.

Give everyone a break. We are all stressed to the max waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Keep your own shoes on your own feet. Build guidelines. Take a deep breath.

God bless and have a wonderful and safe day and watch out for those coffee drinks!

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