Monday, February 24, 2014

The Thickets: A tale of setting boundaries.

Once upon a time when miles of forest still existed, lived the Thickets. A small family in a small house deep in the heart of the trees. Each day, the Thickets gave thanks for what they had and rarely wanted more. Even a crumb was thought of and given so kindly to the little injured bird who called the Oak tree to the right of the cottage home.
    The Thickets made do with what they had, foraging, hunting, preserving and not wasting anything. They had no mailbox, cell phone, T.V., or even a computer. If they desired to converse with neighbors, they had to walk the crooked path that followed the creek and meet in person.

One day, Mrs. Thicket was feeling lonely. All the other thickets had gone exploring to find something new and Mrs. Thicket really needed to share her heart. She decided to follow the crooked path parallel to the creek to see if she would run into Mrs. Ravine or Ms. Birch, but she didn't. Where was everyone? I usually run into someone eventually, she thought. She strode a few miles farther to the vast meadow just beyond the forest and began to descend down the hill.
       She gasped when she saw the strangest trees and the chaos before her. Each tree seemed blue-gray with the sky painted on them. There were people everywhere rushing to and fro, but they were not speaking to one another nor were they even looking at each other. Instead, she noticed strange, rectangular objects of various sizes in their hands. Everyone was intently interested in these odd items. So much so that they would look up for a mere second to not bump into one another, but they would quickly return to the creature attached to their hands.
Mrs. Thicket saw Ms. Birch and gently tapped her shoulder only to be halted with Ms. Birch's pointy finger. Mrs. Thicket waited and waited and waited. She sighed. She was losing patience. She did not understand what was so much more important than a friend that she should have to wait to even be acknowledged. Finally, Ms. Birch looked up and said, "Oh, hi Ann. I am so sorry, but I must really get back home. Maybe I can text you tomorrow?"
  "Text", Ann asked? Before Ann could get a straight answer, Ms. Birch was already heading back to the forest. Feeling confused and noticing the beautiful, red sky approaching, Mrs. Thicket knew she needed to get home since she didn't bring a candle to light her way.
When she arrived home, Ann's eyes widened in disbelief! There in her quiet home, was Mr. Thicket and her two children dragging and punching their fingers across those rectangular thing-a-ma-bobs!!
No one looked up to greet her. It was if she was invisible. She thought to herself, I am going to get to the bottom of this. I will not be ignored.
     She raised her voice with frustration, "What is going on?" The other Thickets jumped and looked up quickly at mama.
    Mr. Thicket said, "Oh, hi dear. Look what we found today in the woods. Mr. Ravine called them cell phones and they have this interesting ability called, internet. We can communicate with people without ever having to walk and talk to them in person. Isn't that great?"
Ann didn't want to lose her temper so with firm compassion she said, "No, it is not great. I feel sad that when trying to communicate with my friend, Ms. Birch or my family, I was barely acknowledged. Today, just beyond the meadow I saw the most terrible and tragic truth. I witnessed people dismissing each other. Children playing on these contraptions instead of dressing up their dolls, or making forts or building sleeping bags from leaves for caterpillars. I saw people not even stopping to see the most gorgeous sunset!"

The Thickets didn't defy the modern times by giving up their devices, but Mr. Thicket per Mrs. Thicket kind request, set specific boundaries that severely limited the days and amount of time on these modern phones. THEY NEVER missed another sunset after that!

Happily linking up with a great sisterhood: Soli Deo Gloria, come join us here


  1. Hi Dionne! I had to smile at your story about the Thickets. My son was the first in our family to get a cellphone. Just him. He was in high school pretty far away, so it made sense. OY...the bills, the texting...there was a can of worms. I'm so glad we also set boundaries (although he and his sister crossed them from time to time!). I don't want them to miss a sunset either!

    Thoughtful post today :)

    1. Thank you Ceil! You always leave me such kind replies. I so appreciate it. It is so hard to balance all of life's pulls, trinkets and such. Thank you for visiting.

  2. LOVE it! What a great way to communicate your heart. I find this a battle in my own house as well (sometimes I forget the boundaries, too) and this will give me a story to remind myself of what really matters.

    1. So glad that my story was encouraging...I was worried that it might not come across in a loving way, but your comment proves otherwise. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love!

  3. Dionne, this is a beautiful salutary tale of warning to us all. In hiding ourselves in our electronic devices we miss truly seeing and hearing the family, friends and world on our own doorstep. I stand guilty as charged! My external life is limited due to health problems and (to my shame) I tend to communicate more with friends online than with those IRL.
    Time spent on devices eats into more hours than it should and I have been making a deliberate effort this year to switch off, listen and enjoy life as it is around me. Setting boundaries helps us to recharge our own batteries and enjoy the natural beauty of sunsets, clouds, flowers and every delight of nature God has provided for us. Blessings :) x

  4. Yes! Not resistance, but boundaries! There is nothing like real, human, touch and eye-to-eye contact.


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