Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: Stretch Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do you feel s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d???

It's a good thing to be stretched and to learn new things and to develop new skills, no matter where you are in life!  If we aren't willing to be stretched and grow, we can become stagnant. Also, if we aren't willing to stretch ourselves and learn new skills, how can we expect our children to stretch themselves and tackle hard things?

I started thinking about this because my youngest daughter, Bethany, did something that was hard for her on Sunday.  I didn't even realize it, until she told me later, "Mom, I went out of my comfort zone and talked to {the girl}who was visiting our church today."  Wow! Do you know how happy that made me??  Obviously, she had been listening to our conversations about stretching ourselves out of our comfort zones and had been willing to give herself a nudge and do something hard for her!  Isn't that amazing??

I know some people who refuse to do things that are hard, or uncomfortable, or outside their comfort zones.  They miss out on so many opportunities and blessings in life!  Sometimes that person is me.

But, I've been learning to step out of my comfort zone and do new things.  As a Mom, I stepped outside of my comfort zone 24 years ago when I chose to homeschool my children.  Homeschooling was pretty strange and unfamiliar to most people back in those days, and I wasn't totally sure that I could really do it, but I stepped out in faith and was willing to be stretched and challenged in this new lifestyle.

I really stepped out of my comfort zone when I followed the Spirit's leading and agreed with my husband to give God control of how many children we had. I'd already done the Math -- I figured I could have ten children!  That was a pretty scary thought to a girl with one sister!  But, I stepped out of my comfort zone and lived a life of faith . . . with no regrets!

I stepped out of my comfort zone again when I agreed to take a cross-country trip back in 2006 with 12 people in a 12-passengar van pulling a pop-up trailer!!!!!  Were there some uncomfortable moments??  Yes!  But I would have missed many blessings and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I had refused to go along with my husband's wild idea!  :)

I also stepped out of my comfort zone two years ago when I signed up to be a Lilla Rose consultant.  I've never been good at selling, and I've had to learn how to push past my fears and talk to people about hair jewelry!  :)  I've learned how to approach people at vendor shows and how to demonstrate a flexi clip in my own hair or a potential customer's hair in front of a crowd. I've even learned to love doing these shows and to love meeting new ladies and introducing them to the amazing flexi clip!  I even leaped out of my comfort zone and flew by myself to California last February to attend the first ever Lilla Rose Convention!! I roomed with a lady I had never met, made lots of new friends, learned new skills, and had a grand adventure!  :)

Because of my success with Lilla Rose, I had enough confidence to stretch myself a bit more and I recently signed up to be an ambassador for Plexus Worldwide.  I am so excited about this company (which was recently named the 8th fastest growing private company in America) and their life-changing products!  But, I'm definitely being stretched again as I educate myself about the products and how they help with the leading health issues of our day, and as I learn how to share the amazing products and opportunity with others.  I often find myself wandering around outside of my comfort zone, stretching myself as I learn new skills and develop new abilities.

It can be both exhausting and exhilirating to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones.  It can also have far-reaching effects, because as we stretch ourselves we are able to do things we never thought possible, and we model this for our children and grandchildren as well!!

So, today's tip is to Stretch yourself out of your comfort zone!  

{Please share how you are stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone in the comments. I'd love to hear your story!}


Patti said...

I found you through Sarah Coller's Homemaking Party, and I wanted to respond to your statement about letting God control the size of your family. Most people assume if they do that, they will have 10 or more children, but I am proof positive that that is not the case. My husband and I gave the Lord control, and we had only 2 children. While we longed for more, the womb remained closed, through no action we had taken. To say that it was agonizingly painful is the understatement of the century. Adding to the pain of our unfulfilled longing for more children, were the unkind comments we received from "quiver full" families. I was told more times than I can count that "children are a blessing, barrenness is a curse, so you must be under a curse of some kind."

People need to realize that God can limit families if He so chooses. Trusting him doesn't always mean you will have dozens of children.

Patti @ Magnolia Cottage

Beth said...

Thank you for the encouragement and challenge. My comfort zone at this time would be to just stay at home where no one hears me talk and hears my accent. Well, go shopping and to church but not get involved much. I am really working to get involved so I am going to ladies Bible study, staying and chatting with the other mom's during kids club. I know it is for my good and know that God has put us here and so I need to dig in.

busymomof10 said...

Thanks for sharing Beth! I peeked at your blog and it sounds like your life is a great adventure! Of course, adventures always require leaving our comfort zone behind! May you be blessed with much JOY as you follow the Lord!

busymomof10 said...

My heart goes out to you! And you are so right -- not everyone who trusts the Lord with their fertility will have ten children! Some will have 19 (maybe only the Duggars!), some will have 10 (me for example), some will have 2 (you for example) and some will have 0 (I know some in that category too.). How many children we have is not a test of our spirituality! But our Faith is! God will test our faith in different ways. Perhaps by giving us fewer children than we desire, perhaps by giving us more children than we think we can handle, or perhaps by taking our little ones home to Himself. It can all be heart-wrenching and very STRETCHING! don't you think??

Pamela said...

Ah, stretching for me who wanted a house full of kids meant trusting God with my three -- even when one of them went to live with Jesus. It meant talking to others about grief when I just wanted to hide in my home. Our comfort zones may look different but we all have the option to move out of them. I love that your daughter is learning that at a young age. ~Pamela

busymomof10 said...

Thank you Pamela for your sweet comment! You are so right! You know what I've discovered? If I don't choose to stretch myself, and I allow myself to get "too comfortable" then I can be certain that God is about to send a stretching experience into my life! Isn't that true?? Thanks for taking time to leave a comment here!

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