The Comfort Quandry

Maybe I blame it on the American Dream.  Maybe I blame it on the path my generation was set out on.  Even as a young girl there was a plan for my life, a path that I merely needed to walk on and do my best.  I needed to work hard in school.  I needed to get into a good college.  I needed to get a good job.  I needed to have enough money to support my family.

The end.  Good day.

Imagine my discomfort now, as none of those plans seemed to actually lead me anywhere of worth.

Or maybe I blame it on my newly defined view of worth.  Once the Bible opened up in my hands, at the age of 20, the idea of worth start morphing into something new and now I live in a constant tug of war between what I was bred to believe in and what the Bible tells me is true.

Its not about me.   Its definitely not about paving a perfectly painless and easy path for my family.  And its definitely not about being comfortable.  So what is a lady to do??

Everything in me wants to send my kids to the best school, make sure our house and things are perfectly aligned, and prevent discomfort at any turn for me, my husband, and my children.  Its what the American Dream taught me to strive for and its a difficult ship to turn around!

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Us Furloughs love us some vacation time.  We look forward to it all year and soak up every second!  This year Dave and I had lots of chats about balancing all our vacations with going together on a missions trip.  I think having a little bit of both as part of our family will be an important part of our kids growing up and, for that matter, our growing up too.

But I cannot close my eyes, my heart, or my ears to the truth I know now to be true.  Its about Gods Kingdom and Jesus came teaching everything but comfort.  Jesus came to teach us to serve and serve tirelessly. Jesus came to teach us that the lowest are the highest and that the poorest are the richest.  Jesus came washing feet, not ruling earthly kingdoms.  Jesus came to teach us that to die is gain.  Jesus did not teach anything about the American Dream.  

Friday is SheSpeaks, the writing conference where I will sit across from publishers to share with them my 50,000 page book proposal (its not really 50,000 pages, its really 50 but ya know!).  Its the moment that I have been praying about for almost three years now.  If I were writing this post a month ago, I think it would have sounded much different.  Begging, pleading for prayers of calm nerves and successful appointments.  Gods provision when I meet the publishers and for many great conversations to take place!

You know what?

Today?

I don’t even care.

That sounds completely wrong at the get go.  I realize this.  But I don’t mean it in the way that you think I might mean it.  God’s just been working in my heart about comfort and ease, and while I will not be praying for a terrible time, if its hard and nerve wracking and “unsuccessful” and what-on-earth-am-I-doing-this-is-so-terrifying I’m fine with it!  I don’t care if its all of those things!

Its a small, tiny way for me to budge out of my comfort.  The kids are great, Dave is content in his work for the first time in 10 years, we are blessed with a home and food and honestly we need a little shaking out of our comfort.  During times like this we should be looking for every opportunity to give to those who need it, sacrificing for the sake of others, and teaching our children that actually its not all about the American Dream.  Its about God’s Dream.  His dream is way better.

The way I look at it there are two types of times in life: comfortable ones and uncomfortable ones.  Both actually feel uncomfortable!

During comfortable times of life, things are running pretty smoothly.  Obviously life is never perfect and stress and responsibility about, but for the most part, things are good.  It is during these times that I am to pour out in abundance and take every opportunity to love those around me in the name of Christ.  Even if it costs some comfort.

Uncomfortable times of life, well we don’t really get control over when those come.  During these times, we are blessed and taken care of by those in a season of comfort.  It is during those times we rely on the fullness of others to fill us up, when the bottom of the barrel of hope and joy run dry.  Someone we love dies, someone we love is very sick, someone loses a job, a house, a hope and dream and then we then need love and support more than ever.

You can never be in both places at one time.

Both times of life are eternity linked and reliant upon each other.

For, what if there was no one to water when the harvest runs dry?  What if we all just soaked it up, hoarding comfort like a hound, never offering to others the comfort that we have received?  The world is already ugly enough.  I don’t want that to be me.

So this week its art camp and SheSpeaks.  Next month is volleyball coaching (what on earth, that is another post for another day)!  I am not doing to lie, on paper all of these things freak me out.  “Its too much,” cries my inner crazy voice!  “You can’t do this,” cries my other insecure inner voice!  Truth is both are probably true, but nothing is too much for God and He can do anything.

If lack of control and ability is my greatest form of discomfort these days, bring it on.  Life is not always that easy.

Today I think of many sweet friends of mine that are in a time of extreme discomfort.  I pray for Natalie and Jim, who just lost there sweet baby boy at 18 weeks pregnant.  It has been a long road for them leading up to this pregnancy and they went in it with caution.  The worst that they feared came true.  Pray for them in their grief.

I think of sweet baby Edric in Pennsylvania, friends of my brother and sister in law, he is in the Children’s Hospital with health issues that they are yet to find the answers for.  At 3 and a half months old baby, Edric is the youngest of four kids, please join me in praying for him and his family.

Always for the Cooney family and our brave Titus.  The cancer remains in remission, but Titus has now started his three year term of chemo.  Pray for endurance for their family and renewed strength for Titus.  And, of course, Cancer stay gone!

These are those around us in dire uncomfortable times.  The type we cannot escape or avoid.  Thank you for walking alongside of me, praying for them and taking care of those right now who need it most.

I’ll let you know how SheSpeaks goes 😉

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