Every morning, when my alarm sounds and re-sounds every nine minutes, I “snooze” through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The longer I resist getting up, the more comfortable my bed becomes. My face finds that sweet spot on the pillow and I’m blissfully happy … until the alarm blares again and I ask God how long He’ll reject His people.
“Bed is warm!” I whine. “Out there is cold.”
“Bed is quiet! Out there are … people.”
And every morning, as I finally approach acceptance, I think this thought: “Okay, I’ll get up! But today I’ll take my pillow to work.”
Every single day, however briefly, “Bring Your Pillow to Work Day” seems like a legitimately good idea.
And wouldn’t that be a funny picture? I, in my desk chair, propped up by my king-sized pillow with the red plaid flannel pillowcase?
I could bring it to the staff meeting on Mondays.
“Amy, we’re waiting for you in the conference room.”
“Be right there!” I’d answer. “Just grabbing my pen and paper and … pillow.”
I could even bring a few blankets and make a pallet for myself on my office floor. And my boss would come in to discuss business, and he’d sit above me in a chair while I curled up under the covers.
Between the minutes of 5:45 and 5:54 a.m., all of this seems rational and possible — as though bringing one’s pillow to one’s job would not impact negatively upon one’s employment.
But, alas, pillows don’t belong at the office — especially not king-sized red plaid flannel ones. Work is not the place for sleep. Bed is.
And bed isn’t the place for work, either. I often sit on my bed to do work, with my laptop in front of me and papers around me. My big bed can be a nice place to work until my legs go tingly from sitting that way too long. But bed is not the place for work. Work is.
My problem, I’m learning, isn’t work or bed or my pillow. My problem is … boundaries.
Or a lack thereof.
Boundaries say, “I’m not going to bring that work home tonight. Tonight is for family and rest and sleep. I’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
Boundaries say, “I’ll get out of bed, and not push snooze, because now is the time for work.”
Boundaries say, “I’ll take full ownership of me — of my time, of my work and rest, of what I eat and what I buy and what I say and even what I think. Instead of complaining about things that are happening to me, I’ll set my parameters and own my choices.”
Boundaries and discipline and responsibility. More of these in my life would mean more confidence, knowing who I am and what I’m about. More boundaries would mean more freedom, not swayed by every whim or derailed by every distraction.
Boundaries mean freedom — how ironic! — in the same way that telling a child “no” ultimately gives him a better “yes.” Freedom isn’t the absence of limitations; rather, boundaries make true freedom possible.
So when the alarm goes off tomorrow, or when the pile of work begs to be taken home this weekend, or when any number of things seek to substitute a temporary, artificial solution — I’ll set a boundary.
I’ll set a boundary … and be set free.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Suzanne Hadley Gosselin, author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships9 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture6 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions