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Romans 12:2
Encouragement to fulfill God's purpose through Practical Life Application and Navigation

Finding SANITY with Boundaries

What does SANITY mean to you?


To Allison Bottke, it means:


  • STOP your own negative behavior
  • ASSEMBLE a support group
  • NIP excuses in the bud
  • IMPLEMENT rules and boundaries
  • TRUST your instincts
  • YIELD everything to God


This woman is genius.


setting2bboundaries2bwith2bdifficult2bpeople[1]I was browsing an airport bookstore and noticed Setting Boundaries with Difficult People by Allison Bottke on the Christian rack. BINGO!

Currently in the midst of some monumental challenges with a few difficult people in my life, this instantly grabbed my attention. Thank you God! Additionally, Lindon and I are always looking for life coaching tools and book recommendations which will further enhance the material we present in Declutter Now!, so Setting Boundaries seemed to be a perfect fit all the way around. I wasn’t disappointed.



Can I tell you the biggest surprise? Right out of the gate, Ms. Bottke plants the responsibility for setting boundaries and managing difficult relationships squarely on our shoulders – on MY shoulders. I LOVE THIS!


You might wonder why, when I believe others are being awful to ME, I’m glad for the responsibility of managing it? You see, I really dislike what I can’t control.   Ms. Bottke immediately began talking to me about what WAS within my control and this felt like home. Most of the time, we feel confused when dealing with nasty and mean-spirited people who don’t have our best interests at heart. It’s especially unnerving when they are family and the ramifications from the conflicts are far reaching and multi-faceted. It’s easy to develop a victim mentality pretty quickly and throw some extravagant pity parties. Ms. Bottke will have none of that and I love her for it. You see, I want no part of this either, and Ms. Bottke was going to equip me on how to manage the difficult relationships in my life with healthy control. I’m really, really good with this.  


Ms. Bottke also asks readers to evaluate their relationship with God and the role he plays in their lives. This is paramount to the process and she makes no bones about speaking to the accountability we have to God.   


“We will have to make some “on purpose” life choices and then change our priorities and behavior. Only then can God transform us and use us to change the world.” Richard Stearns, quoted author in Setting Boundaries.


While the primary goal isn’t to comfort the broken-hearted or coddle the victim, this isn’t to say Ms. Bottke doesn’t show an abundance of empathy and compassion. She spends plenty of time nurturing and loving on the reader, but it’s not done with overprotective and disabling sentiments. Instead, she trains the reader to handle challenging relationships while encouraging them to grow closer to God, thus finding peace in their lives. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is!


Chock full of quotes and stories from other authors, it’s akin to a dozen books in one. A clearly comprehensive effort, she strikes an impressive balance all the way around.


What did I come away with?

  • I must invite God into this process and look for His guidance and wisdom.
  • I am called to examine my own responsibility in every relationship and honestly assess my role in the challenge or problem.
  • I have no one to blame but myself if I don’t set healthy boundaries. No matter how awkward or uncomfortable this might be, it’s vital.
  • There are times when boundaries aren’t enough and relationships must be severed.
  • Regardless of how justified I may feel with my anger, hurt or pain, how I choose to respond to the difficult person is all on me.  My actions can make or break the success of the effort.


There is really so much more, and I’m tempted to quote the heck out of             Ms. Bottke, but instead just grab a copy of the book and check it out for yourself. You’ll be glad you did!


Do you have a specific challenging relationship? Ms. Bottke has also written:

  • Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children
  • Setting Boundaries with your Aging Parents
  • Setting Boundaries for Women
  • Setting Boundaries with Food


You can find these books and more by clicking here. When on her site, look into the Sanity Support Group which is an incredible resource to help you with whatever difficult relationships you are facing. 

Many blessings to you! 


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