As many of you are aware, a few weeks back I crossed over that "monumental" birthday point. I realized, as many of us do, that I was getting pretty comfortable in a variety of areas in my life. Some of them I consider to be good. I am very comfortable in my home with my family. I enjoy the wonderful, comfy feeling I get when I come home at the end of the day. I am comfortable in my kitchen and taking recipes and changing them a bit to what I believe my family will enjoy for a nice dinner (sometimes that works out - sometimes it doesn't)! Where I felt I needed to "step out of my comfort zone" was when I would receive those gentle nudges from God - and actually moving when He told me to move.
Over two years ago, I believe our Dear Lord provided very clear messages to me that writing a book was where He wanted my life to go. I found many excuses; time, work, energy, etc., that led me astray from that path. Trust me, He didn't just provide a whisper - He practically YELLED at me - and I still didn't follow. It wasn't until this past April that He banged me over the head with a bat (okay, not literally, but you get the picture), that I decided there was a happy medium - hence, this blog! Yes, there are bigger plans. Yet, for now, I pray that we are both going down the right path.
There are times I think God is trying to share with me to do something REALLY BIG. If it happens to be outside my comfort zone, I realize I steer clear from this nudge. If it is something that I can find the time for, or that I am comfortable with - I do so with a cheerful heart. If it is something I am uncomfortable with, I am able to find a million excuses. I decided, though, it is time to listen and move to ALL the things God is nudging me to do (or hitting me over the head to do)~~
It is time - it is time to listen to these nudges and to move - regardless of my comfort level. Why? Because this blog was out of my comfort zone. Social media and this entire aspect of writing seemed larger than life to me. Yet, I have heard from many who have read these words over the last few months. They have shared that Simple Faith Today has comforted them, helped them, encouraged them - which was the intent. I have been blessed far more than I could have ever realized. The other day, I really stepped outside my comfort zone, to people I have never met!!
Every day I pass by a series of apple orchards. I love this part of my commute, especially as the seasons change in New England. Last spring, one of the orchards saw the influx of bulldozers and trucks. No, I wasn't a happy camper and, to be very honest, unpleasant thoughts certainly passed through my mind. I was convinced it was more condos being pressed into a lovely countryside. As the weeks passed and the building became more concrete, I realized a church was being built. Each day, as I passed, I said a prayer for the new church and all of its parishioners.
Weeks turned into months and a couple of weeks ago, the parking lot finally was paved. It is beautiful - the church amongst the apple trees. I felt God's nudge to share my thoughts with the new church. I felt l needed to write a note to the church, letting them know God was with them in a special way and how much I prayed for their church to be a blessing for each other. It was way outside my comfort zone - to blindly leave a note to people I didn't know on their doorstep. I shared my "nudge" with my family. They told me to "go for it". So I did! I carefully crafted my thoughts and delivered it to their doorstep on my way to work one morning, before anyone was there.
What was gained? An incredible sense of peace poured over me that morning. God, once again, blessed me. I stepped way outside what was comfortable for me and reached out to others, people I will probably never meet (although there is a nudge to step inside their church one morning), and felt God's hand on my shoulder. I encourage all of us to step outside our comfort zone. Listen for God's voice, His nudge, to do something that we don't typically do, something that we might not have time for, something we might struggle with. Reach out to someone in need, someone that God may be pressing upon your heart, to give to. Maybe it is a note, share a cup of coffee, a plate of cookies. Maybe it is something "larger than life" that is far outside your comfort zone. Pray to God, ask Him for the nudge. Listen and do - the rewards of peace and blessings are immeasurable. Say #Yes to God
"... for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (NIV) Philippians 2:13