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Posts Tagged ‘comfort zone’

There is a wrestling that comes when responding to tension in life. Living out of a comfort zone requires no wrestling at all. There is a want for both. There is a need for both.

What do we do in the stretching?

I struggle with both tension and being comfortable. I say out loud that I don’t like being comfortable. If I am being most honest, I like my own routines. I appreciate things that are known for me. There is a certain exhale that resides in comfortable. However, the downside of being comfortable can also lead to the shackles of complacency.

Tension keeps me restless and wrestling.

There is a huge tension in my life that I wrestle through every day. Andy Stanley defined this kind of tension as a “need for wanting more.” I do. I am feeling the tension of wanting more.

I live in the tension of the “not yet.” That is my season of life at the moment. On paper, I am considerably comfortable in place of living and job. Honestly, both make me restless. I could choose to settle for life as I know it now, but I would sorly miss out on life all together.

Tension is healthy.

Tension reminds me that God is working on what is in the “beyond me” kind of things. God is great at providing hunger and tension to enable dependence on him. Comfort requires no dependence or movement.

Tension creates a place where faith and ability merge.

Tension can feel maddening, and requires a conscious fight. I am more aware then ever that my response in the tension matters. There is some serious character building in the tension that not everyone is willing to enter into.

There are certain fears that rear their ugly heads in my tension. I know I have a tendency to let them respond for me. I am bittersweetly thankful for when my fears and insecurities surface. Tension builds character. It’s hard.

Choosing to sit in a tension that is unresolvable is so hard. There is nothing quick about tension, and there is no time line for the question of “how long.” I am learning that the process that the tension brings is priceless and worth the hard.

How do you deal with your tension?

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I love traveling. I am a total wanderer at heart. I love new experiences and new places to see. I love basking in the nuances of other cultures and languages. My feet have been on dance floors all over this world. I love having stories that really require the experience to get it. I am so grateful to have seen places where my finger can’t seem to snap the camera fast enough to capture the essence.

No matter how much I travel, or even how long the trip duration is, there is something about home. I always smirk when I get to this point of traveling. The excitement of getting away from home was my motivation in the first place! Before every trip, my eyes get wide with the joy of escaping my “normal” routine and doing something new.

What is it about comfort zones and known places?

Makes me think about the Israelites who were wandering around the desert longing for the place they were just freed from.

The Israelites were held captive under brutal slavery by the Egyptians. God heard their groans for help and led a mass exodus to freedom. In the beginning, the Israelites were all about the excitement of something new. They were free! No more beatings from slave masters. No more long days of hard labor.

They were free – free from harm, punishment, exhaustion, brutality, oppression, and terror of enslaved life. So why would they long for that again?

Somewhere in the desert the Israelites nostalgia of the being freed wore off. Everything in the desert was unknown. Everything required trust and obedience in God who was making himself known.

Now they didn’t relocate back to Egypt physically, but in every other way the Israelites created their “knowns” – their Egypt. The Israelites kicked God to the curb and worshipped what they could control. They became enslaved once again.

I know home has its comforts, but what about when those comforts are harmful?

I read this story and think, “what the heck were they thinking!? How could they want Egypt again!?” I realized that I do the same thing. God has freed me from so many things in my life. His truth amazes me over and over again. God is matchless in every way, and yet I kick him to the curb.

Reverting back to Egypt kept the Israelites enslaved as a nation. I revert back to my own “Egypt” too often. I revert to placing weight on my fears more than truth. I respond out of lies that are on repeat in my heart instead of out of who he says I am. His truths are like signs post on the highway – truth that I let pass by so fast.

There are still areas in me that groan in cries for help. Parts of my heart are in need of a second exodus from my own self-imposed shackles. So I am offering up my comforts to him in search of real freedom. I want to experience rubbing my wrists like they do in the movies after the handcuffs come off!

In what ways do you long for your “Egypt?”

 

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Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

 

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