Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm stepping on your toes.

“For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”  2 Peter 2:19b  NLT

I might be stepping on quite a few toes today.  I never could dance very well, so that's no surprise.  I know when I did this, it was quite easy to get into a pattern that negatively affected not only me, but my entire family.  It was a good thing taken to the extreme.  Many of us have been down this path to the detriment of everyone around us.  
It all started very innocently.  I was over the hump of some very difficult situations before even more difficult things were about to occur.  A friend had asked me to be part of an online chat and I agreed.  I was soon off and running with it for a little while.  But something else happened.  I started getting super busy on the internet with all things related to and surrounding the special needs topic.  Suddenly something that should have taken very little time was consuming a good portion of my day.  I was in research mode.  I wanted to be up to date on the latest of everything.  Someone would make a comment on the chat and I'd be off researching it later to the extreme.
Remember what it was like when you first starting researching your child’s disability?  Well, I started down that road and more.  I was super busy about “helping” everyone else and leaving my family behind in the process. 
After a few weeks of this, I somehow saw what I was doing.  I was addicted to all things special needs related.  I was reasoning with God that I was helping people.  We all know that whenever we feel the need to reason with God, that can’t be a good thing.  I reasoned that my family wasn’t really suffering because of me.  I reasoned that I am helping other hurting people with all of the advice that somehow I could only give.  I reasoned that my family needed to be more self-reliant.  You see where this was going.  I was indeed being a slave to this.   It was controlling me and I had to do something.   

I'm sure many of you have been there or are there now.  It can be all consuming just keeping up with how to help our special needs child and where to turn for help.  We go down this path looking for answers and sometimes get so caught up in it all that we lose sight of what's really important.  We are so busy about checking out websites, authors, chats, blogs (yes, blogs), online support groups, Facebook, Twitter, Tweetchat,... that we leave everything and everyone else behind. 

For me, I had to stop "helping" everyone else and take the advice I was giving them.  I knew I had to be that drastic.  Now I am writing this blog because God has helped me have boundaries in this area!  So I'm not saying these things are bad.  What I am saying is to not let them take over.  A healthy balance is required.
If this isn't something that you struggle with you may ask yourself this question that I am asking myself too.
Are there any other areas of my life that I am a slave to?  TV, Facebook, food, shopping…. 

PRAYER: Lord, Help me be aware of areas of my life that I have let control me in an unhealthy way.  Help me to set up appropriate boundaries for myself while still helping others.

  Ann Gapinski
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