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Letter #78: Hawaii: Comfort Zone?

December 17, 2010

Dear comfort zones,

You are easy to get caught up in. It’s comfortable for me to go to work all day, then make a sandwich for dinner. It’s challenging for me to think through what I’m going to cook, have already grocery shopped to have the ingredients and make a home-cooked meal. It’s comfortable to have Chili’s be my go to restaurant in Branson (I love their salsa!). It’s hard, umm…ok, more of an out of my norm, to try a new, local Branson joint. It’s easy to lay in my bed until 7:30, throw myself together and make it to work by 8. It’s SO hard to get up at 6, do Insanity, then go to work. It’s comfortable for me to simply maintain the relationships I have in my life currently. It takes effort to branch out and make new friends in a new place and to be honest, it’s awkward at times.

(Institute friends at Sam’s going away party. Top row: Sam, Marissa, Me, Laura. Bottom row: Joy, Rachel, Caroline.)

We say we want to avoid you, but if we’re honest, we enjoy how easy life can be in the middle of you. You are hard, inconvenient and challenging to distance ourselves from, but if we’re going to grow into the people the Lord intended us to be we have to branch out. Taking steps of faith, getting to a point of being uncomfortable and experiencing newness or change allows us to see God working rather than relying on ourselves.

Today, my friend Sam Pace leaves Branson. I knew Sam from OSU, but we weren’t great friends. Then, we went to the Kanakuk Institute together and became better friends. Then, she decided to stay in Branson for a semester to nanny and apply for law school, and our friendship solidified. Today, she departs to go home for the holidays, then she’s moving to HAWAII for the semester before starting law school! This is the epitome of stepping outside of you, and today, I am inspired to get out of mine. She is moving there knowing one person. That’s it. Now, don’t get me wrong…it’s not like the beauty of the island is going to be trying, but not knowing people, not having a job lined up, not knowing the culture…this is a leap of faith. Plus, I now have an excuse to vacation in Hawaii!

(These are pictures from her going away party. We even decorated brownies! I made this! OK, Frosty is a bit deformed, but this is a big step for me in my craftiness!)

I don’t know who Neale Walsh, but I love this quote from him: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I don’t know if my life began because I started Insanity, but I do know that often times when I’m outside of you, I see the Lord working more in my life than when I’m in the middle of you. Sam, enjoy ‘beginning your life’ in Hawaii, as I learn to step out of being comfortable here in Branson.

Inspired to branch out of you while exploring a trip to Hawaii,

Attempted comfort zone avoider

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