Establishing Boundaries – Setting Priorities, Pt. 1 - Girlfriends in God - October 2, 2013

October 2, 2013

Establishing Boundaries – Setting Priorities
Part One
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

And God said, ‘I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs’ (Isaiah 41:18, NIV).

Friend to Friend

To celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary, my husband and I traveled to the enchanting island of Maui, where we decided to explore the rugged terrain and tropical beauty along an infamous road called the Hana Highway. The brochures promised black sandy beaches, a view of Hawaii’s largest volcano wreathed in clouds, African tulip trees with orange-red blossoms, exotic plants tucked among bamboo forests, and breath-taking vistas of raucous waves crashing against rocky cliffs.

Instead of being carted up the mountain in the comfort of a cushy air-conditioned tour bus, we decided to rent a car and travel at our own pace. After all, the tour guide from the hotel lobby informed us that it would take three to four hours to travel fifty-two miles to the road’s end. Being city dwellers who move at a fairly rapid pace, we surmised that the laid-back Hawaiian was simply planning to take his time puttering up the mountainside. We were sure we could make the trip in one-fourth his time.

Mr. Tour Guide warned us, “The road is very windy and difficult to maneuver.”

“It’s just a sales ploy,” I whispered to Steve. “We don’t need a guide. Besides, if he can drive that big bus up the road, surely we can maneuver this little Buick.”

I should have had second thoughts as I passed by a T-shirt in the gift shop that read, “I survived the Road to Hana.”

The fifty-two mile stretch of highway was anything but a stretch. It was as if a two-year-old had held a fat crayon in his chubby hand and scribble-scrabbled circles on a piece of paper. Then a surveyor, mistaking the twists and turns for a map, designed the road accordingly. One writer noted that calling it a highway was like calling a Volkswagen a limousine.

Yes, there were many spectacular views, but I missed many of them because my motion-sick eyes were closed.

Well, three and one-half nerve wrecking hours, 54 bridges (many which were one lane) and 617 hairpin-turns later, we made it to the crest of the mountain and the end of the Hana Highway. Was it worth the twists and turn, cliff hanging maneuvers, and near head on collisions? Yes.

The sight that I beheld when we reached the top will forever be etched in my mind. A series of seven interconnected pools spilled into one another down the mountain and formed the spectacular Wiamoku Falls. The rains from heaven pour into the first pool at the top. When it is filled, it spills into a majestic waterfall that ends in the second pool several yards down the mountain. The second pool overflows to a third pool, then a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. Eventually, the seven waterfalls flow into the Pacific Ocean.

Those seven cascades are much like our relationship with God and all the other areas of our lives. When we come to Christ, God pours His blessings into us, filling us with His love, power, and grace. The more time we spend with Him, the more we become full of His love, which spills over to those around us.

The seven pools reminded me of the boundaries and priorities I should have in my life. In our fast-paced, upside-down society, boundaries are blurred, roles are reversed, and priorities perplex us. Looking at the falls, I saw the flow of my priorities, with my relationship with God being at the top, followed by my relationship with my husband, my role as a mom, my ministry to the world, etc.

If I put my child first, and start at pool number three, everything else suffers. If I start at pool number four, where my ministry would be, everything else suffers. I have to start at the top with my relationship with God for the flow to be the most beautiful.

Let me go back to the Wiamoku Falls for just a moment. On some days, the seven falls are more spectacular than others. When there are heavy rains and frequent storms, God fills the pools to bursting and water rushes grandly from one step to the next. The results are spectacular; however, no one likes to get caught in the downpour.

How like our Christian walk. No one enjoys the storms of life. But it seems that it is during those times that God fills us to overflowing and onlookers are inspired and refreshed by the splashes of His grace displayed in our lives.

But dry periods sometime come when the falls are reduced to a mere trickle and appear inconsequential and insignificant. We feel we aren’t much to look at, and those watching aren’t “oohing” and “aahing.” That’s when we need to pray that He will shower us with His presence and fill us anew.

No matter how your waterfall looks today, I’m praying that God will fill your pool with mercy, grace, and love so that you will spill over to all those around you.

If you are ready to make God your number one priority, click over to my facebook page and say, “I’m ready to get my life in order!”

Let’s Pray

Lord, fill me to the brim so that I can spill your love, mercy, and grace onto those around me. Forgive me for putting other people and priorities ahead of You. Help me to live and move and have my being in You today. Thank You for being with me at all times.

In Jesus’s Name,


More from the Girlfriends

Draw a picture of those seven waterfalls on a piece of paper. They should look like seven stair steps. Now write what you want your priorities to look like by writing one on each step.

How does what you desire actually match up with your reality?

Need to make any changes?

More from the Girlfriends

If you need a little help in the priorities department, Lysa TerKeurst and I wrote a book that might be just what you need. This is a toughie. That’s why it took two of us to write it! Check out A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life on my site, and while you’re there, sign up for my blog for more inspiration and encouragement.

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Originally published Wednesday, 02 October 2013.