It is work, isn't it?

I’ve considered starting this last post in a myriad of ways. It’s hard to wrap up such a topic because there was so much I didn't cover. It’s hard to know where to end this when it’s still something I am very much learning myself. But this is day 31, and it’s time to put this series to bed. Oh, I’ll post on relationships again, but we need a wrap up, don’t we?

Relationships are important. We were made for community and learning how to deal with one another can take some time and effort. It is work in many respects, and I know: we get tired of working. It would be lovely if our relationships were as effortless as a day at the beach. The sun slowly wakes us, the sand welcomes us, the rays kiss us, the water cleanses us; but even at the beach it rains, there are jellyfish, and that sand? It can be painful sometimes.

You know why relationships require our time and attention? Because people require our time and attention. We can talk about quality and quantity all day long, but it takes both. And each person is their own creature, so no two relationships are the same. There is no magic formula or ten step process in making each and every relationship turn out good. Trial and error can get messy, and so can we. I’m simply grateful for those who have come before and have been willing to share their encounters, lessons, and comforts with those of us who are a few steps behind.

 day 31

Boundaries go up, boundaries come down, forgiveness extends, reconciliation is reached, love is given, attention is required, hearts are heard, and pain is released. Relationships begin, reconcile, and end. Jesus helps us work through all the situations if we listen to our heart and listen truly. Sometimes love is hard. Sometimes love is sacrifice. Sometimes a relationship needs time, and sometimes it needs grace. God will tell our hearts when to do what, because there is a time for everything. The goal is to do our part to make each relationship have what anyone would want from a personal relationship: “closeness, safety, intimacy, respect, freedom, trust, and mutuality.” (Dr. Townsend, Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?)

You know what I realized from writing this series? Building boundaries actually takes a lot of work on our part. Sometimes it seems unfair, actually, how much work is required of us. But that’s the difference between good walls and bad walls. The bad walls are easy. It’s easy to walk away, turn our back, and ignore. But eventually the more walls like this you build, the more isolated from life you find yourself. The good walls are harder. It takes time, vulnerability, love, forgiveness, honesty, and communication. But in the end, you have a more abundant life.  

Living safely with others means that we protect ourselves, others, and the relationships which connect us. I hope you will keep learning and working towards doing this with those you interact with. I know I shall.

Thank you so much for joining me in this series. I appreciate each and every one of you very much. The list of all the posts for this series can be found in the Table of Contents

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  1. Glad I got to read some of it. And I will vote yes, relationships are very important. From the beginning of time, people have depended on one another. Great post, Stacey.

    1. I'm glad you were able to drop in as well, Silvia! ;D


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