Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life By — Henry Cloud
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The New York Times bestselling book Boundaries has helped millions understand that being a loving Christian does not mean never saying no. This newly updated and expanded companion workbook provides practical exercises for setting boundaries in marriage, parenting, business, and friendships in a digital age.
Scott Bolinder and Bruce Ryskamp caught the vision for this book from the very beginning. They arranged for a retreat on Lake Michigan, where we passed this vision on to other Zondervan staff members. Sandy Vander Zicht directed the editorial process and fine tuned the manuscript into a book that is more graceful, more precise, and easier to read and understand. Dan Runyon cut the
book down to a manageable size.
Dave Anderson translated this book into a video curriculum. Sealy Yates encouraged and supported us throughout the whole process, from contract to finished book.
The alarm jangled. Bleary-eyed from too little sleep, Sherrie shut off the noisy intruder, turned on the bedside lamp, and sat up in bed. Looking blankly at the wall, she tried to get her bearings.
Why am I dreading this day? Lord, didn’t you promise me a life of joy? Then, as the cobwebs left her mind, Sherrie remembered the reason for her dread: the four-o’clock meeting with Todd’s third-grade teacher.
The phone call returned to her memory: “Sherrie, this is Jean Russell. I wonder if we could meet about
Todd’s performance and his. . .behavior.” Todd couldn’t keep still and listen to his teachers. He didn’t
even listen to Sherrie and Walt. Todd was such a strong-willed child, and she didn’t want to quench his spirit. Wasn’t that more important?
“Well, no time to worry about all that,” Sherrie said to herself, raising her thirty-five-year-old body off the bed and padding to the shower. “I’ve got enough troubles to keep me busy all day.”
Under the shower, Sherrie’s mind moved out of first gear. She began mentally ticking off the day’s schedule. Todd, nine, and Amy, six, would have been a handful even if she weren’t a working mother. “Let’s see. . .fix breakfast, pack two lunches, and finish sewing Amy’s costume for the school play.
That will be a trick—finishing sewing the costume before the car pool picks her up at 7:45 A.M.” Sherrie thought regretfully about last night. She’d planned to work on Amy’s costume then, using her talents to make a special day for her little girl. But her mother had dropped over unexpectedly.
Good manners dictated that she play hostess, and another evening was shot. The memories of her attempts to salvage the time weren’t pretty. Trying to be diplomatic, Sherrie artfully told her mother, “You can’t imagine how much I enjoy your surprise visits, Mom! But I was wondering, would you mind if I sew Amy’s costume while we talk?” Sherrie cringed inwardly, correctly anticipating
her mother’s response.
“Sherrie, you know I’d be the last to intrude on your time with your family.” Sherrie’s mother, widowed for twelve years, had elevated her widowhood to the status of martyrdom. “I mean, since your father died, it’s been such an empty time. I still miss our family. How could I deprive you of that for yourself?” I’ll bet I find out how, Sherrie thought to herself. “That’s why I can understand why you don’t bring Walt and the children to see me much anymore.
How could I be entertaining? I’m just a lonely old lady who gave her entire life to her children. Who would want to spend any time with me?” “No, Mom, no, no, no!” Sherrie quickly joined the emotional
minuet she and her mom had been dancing for decades. “That’s not what I meant at all! I mean, it’s so special having you over.
Goodness knows, with our schedule, we’d like to visit more, but we just haven’t been able to. That’s why I’m so glad you took the initiative!” Lord, don’t strike me dead for this little lie, she
prayed silently. “In fact, I can do the costume any old time,” Sherrie said. Forgive me for this lie, too. “Now, why don’t I make us some coffee?”
Her mother sighed. “All right, if you insist. But I’d just hate to think I’m intruding.” The visit lasted well into the night. By the time her mother left, Sherrie felt absolutely crazy, but she justified it to herself.
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