Every Woman a Theologian
— What's Keeping You In is Setting You Free —
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Dear friend,
Yesterday morning came bright and early. Five forty five and the sunlight was already peeking through our bedroom blinds when my alarm went off ("Life's Incredible Again" from The Incredibles montage is my ringtone, and I'll never go back). I stumbled to the car with bedhead and my Bible to meet my friends for our morning prayer meeting.
We are approaching 2 years of meeting early in the morning to pray for our marriages, kids, churches, and cities. There have been weeks we haven't met or only two of us have showed up, long breaks for babies or injuries or travel, but somehow we all still show back up. That morning I brought Psalm 16:
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
We prayed about God's provision for the things before us, but the psalm also got me thinking. Boundary lines. We often think of boundary lines as limiting, taking away from us, blocking us from something. Even how “boundaries” are described in social media usually has a negative connotation; our boundaries are preventing someone or something from gaining access to us. But that is not how boundary lines are described here.
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In the psalm, boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. The lines drawn around the psalmist are for his good, his protection, his blessing, and his joy. He goes on to say that the limits drawn by God are a “beautiful inheritance”. The language here goes all the way back to Torah - to Exodus and Leviticus - when God divides the Promised Land into portions for each tribe. Each tribe received an inheritance.
The psalmist uses this language to describe God's blessing. I think it's worth noting that the term “blessed” as it is used in Scripture means “happy”. In other words: happy is the woman, or man, whose boundaries have been drawn by God Himself.
Sadly, many of us don't see our boundaries, our limits, as something beautiful. 
Perhaps your current boundary line is your singleness. You're sick of the waiting and the dating and you just want it over. You want clarity and direction and feel like that's not possible without the relationship everyone is pressuring you to have. 
Perhaps your boundary line is your home. You're called to stay at home with your kids right now and you're discontent about it. You think that, if you accept the season and make the most of it,  you'll be stuck there forever. You don't know the beauty of home because you haven't cultivated it, but you don't cultivate it because you won't accept the boundary.
Or maybe the boundary line is a job you despise. Your boss is a micro-manager, you want to throw your computer out a window, and the stress (or boredom) of it is enough to make you scream. 
But what we forget when we refuse to accept our current boundaries - our current land, place, inheritance - is that God is as much here as He will be in the next season. And if we can't recognize His hand and heart in the midst of this, the season we didn't expect or desire, we will forget Him even more when it changes. 
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God is right here, right now, not just in the someday. He drew the boundary lines – and they are in pleasant places, even when we can't see it yet. The lines of unemployment, autoimmune disease, financial loss; these hemmed me in before. But what was supposedly “keeping me” from living my real life was actually setting me free. Through those boundary lines I developed a relationship with God that gave me a passion for home. That taught me contentment. That forced me to rest. I learned that living for someday was robbing me of the inheritance right within my grasp.
When it felt like I had no portion, God said: I am your portion and your cup.
So yes, I will praise the Lord who counsels me with His eye upon me; I will praise Him for the inheritance beneath my feet, not just the one I wish I had. I will embrace the boundary lines because they are drawn in love and kindness, because the limits that are given to keep me in also keep me close to the heart of God. And somehow the hemming in is what sets me free.
Around the Christian World

The problem with “preach Christ and if you must, use words": Ed Stetzer
Can a wife spiritually lead her husband? Read it here
When to quit a bible reading plan: here
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My Five Faves

  • Morgan Bullard on Instagram. Morgan does cute size 8 style that's affordable and inspiring. She does use some fast fashion sources like Amazon, but I mainly use her for outfit ideas! Adeline and I like to watch her together once a week for “girls' night”. 
  • New Beacon Commentary Series: I've mentioned this series before but it's my current favorite for individual books of the Bible. It's from a Wesleyan perspective.
  • This hair clip: It's from my own shop and it's been my go-to as my hair grows! I love the neutral color and square shape. On sale for $6.
  • I keep taper candles on my table year-round to “romantify” our dinners. These rolled beeswax tapers from Etsy are my favorites.
  • For Mother's Day I threw my mom and family a brunch. I love a good brunch and I even broke out my great-grandmother's china for the occasion! I served waffles, bacon, yogurt/granola and berries, with a variety of toppings for the waffles plus coffee and mimosas. I wish I could find the article I used for menu planning; I lost it! But this post is so good for learning how to time your brunch, what items to choose and how to scale it. Hint: the more you host, the easier it gets!
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At Home with Phylicia

A little glimpse of what's bringing us joy at home: routines, books, kitchen and home life.
  • What I'm buying at Michigan's homeschool convention: I'm headed to MICHN's annual homeschool convention this weekend to speak (will we see you there?!)! We're arriving in time to catch the used curriculum sale. On my list is a cursive workbook for Addie, her new phonics program (AAR Level 3), and a nature curriculum. I'll update with what I got next week.
  • 1,000 hours outside progress: If you're doing One Thousand Hours and feeling behind, don't feel bad. In the first three months I think we got maybe 30 hours in. This winter was NASTY with little snow and ice for our usual snow sports. But we are making it up with 4-6 hours a day outside now that it's spring here! There is time to make it up. I use the app to track our time and color in a sheet on our fridge for a visual.
for the awakening,