Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Steppin' Out

What an awesome morning!! Not only did the Lord bless me with a great 10-mile tempo run and special time of prayer with the Mighty Man, but I also did the first of several upcoming radio interviews about the new book. It was just such a blast! SO much appreciation to Christy and Scott at Daybreak USA. What a fun crew and great conversation! :) If you've never tuned into their morning show, I totally encourage you to check it out: And if you reeeeeeeeeeally wanna have fun, you can listen to my interview here: haha! :)

It's been an interesting week so far. You know, I joke about my OCD all the time, but sometimes it's totally legit. haha! This week, almost every day has something that breaks my normal routine. Monday and Tuesday we did a staff retreat for our FCA Communications/Events Department. It was AWESOME! Such a great time of connecting, planning and praying. But, it took me out of my daily routine, which is a real challenge for us OCD'ers. Then, today, I had to be at the office by 7:30 in order to do the radio show interview, which meant pretty much hot-footing it into the office sans makeup and hairstyling in order to make the call. (haha! Good thing this is radio and not TV.) I haven't had my standard oatmeal and peanut butter breakfast for three days, and I had to tote in three (count 'em: THREE) travel mugs of coffee this morning because I don't have a big enough thermos, but I still wanted to have my normal full pot's worth. haha! :)

By now you might think I'm just a touch crazy, and that's totally fine. I definitely have my quirks, just like we all do. But isn't it great?? Especially considering that God loves us anyway! Rock on!! It's totally okay for us to be who we are and still experience His amazing love! Now, the challenge to that is to really pay attention to the Holy Spirit's leading and be willing to obey Him even when it challenges our personal style/agenda/routine/lifestyle, etc.

For me, routine is huge. Love it. Thrive in it. Live in it. It's part of what one of my favorite spiritual gifts mentors calls a "Task/Structured" personality. Folks like me love to know details and plans and we function best when given specific instructions and are asked to carry them out. This totally plays into how I operate in my personal life. Total scheduler and planner.

But here's the thing. While this can serve an AWESOME purpose--especially when it comes to the successful execution of producing a deadline-operated magazine--it can also facilitate great spiritual lessons when the routine is challenged.

Everyone talks about getting out of their "comfort zone" and why that's so important. But most of the time, I just want to smack those people in the back of the head. (PPB, you know you love this.) My Papa Bear thinks it is absolutely HILARIOUS when people like me have to break their routines. I mean, seriously! He laughs so hard at it! This coming from a very Task/Unstructured person, of course.

But, as hard as it is for me to admit, they do have a point. Getting out of the comfort zone is certainly necessary if we want to experience all that God has for us. And, of course, if we ever want to grow as Christians. While I don't think it's necessary or healthy all the time (there is purpose and rest in periods of routine), I do believe that we can only experience God as He wants us to when we are willing to follow Him outside of where we are comfortable.

Think about it. How would you ever know that you had the ability to run a marathon if you never did one? Yes, it's scary, but you might just discover that you have a talent for endurance running. Or, how would you ever know that you had a talent to draw if you never picked up that sketch pad? How would you know you could paint if you never picked up the brush? How would you know you could play tennis if you never picked up the raquet?

All of these things are outside the comfort zone at first. You step onto the tennis court for the first time having never been there, and it's going to be intimidating. But, you'd never know you had a great cross-court forehand if you didn't do it.

For me, the radio interview was a blast today, but it totally was uncomfortable leading up to it. I had no idea what to expect. But I never would have known how much of a blessing it would be if I didn't break the routine and comfort zone to do it. Praise God! Now I know that there's the awesome channel of communication out there that will really help bring a magnifying glass to this book project, which was carried out with the hope of reaching thousands for Christ. Praise God!

So, here's my challenge to you today. . . If God is asking you to break a routine or step out of your comfort zone, maybe you should consider saying yes. Okay, let me rephrase. If you know that it's GOD asking you to take a risk that goes beyond what you feel you are capable of, just do it. haha! :) He's all-knowing. He wired you specifically with gifts and talents that you will never realize if you don't follow Him on the path of discovery.

Pray about it. Seek Him. Ask Him, "Lord, is this You? If so, give me the courage to walk forward even when it's uncomfortable." Then, trust Him and actually (maybe) get excited about what He will show you! The God who promised to work EVERYTHING out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) certainly has a great plan for the adventure. Live it up! :)

Ciao, friends! :)

P.S. If you're praying, please keep me in prayer for tomorrow morning's radio interview with WKNT in New York and Sunday's TV interview with KCTV5. GREAT opportunities to share God's love and truth!! :) Praise Him!

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