“I don’t like doing anything that I am not good at” or Get out of your comfort zone

 

 

Stood in front of the mirror, fresh from the shower, I had a few minutes to myself before I ventured out into the corridor again. On a winter trip with a few of the teens from my church I decided this was the year I was going to snowboard.

Pretty sure I made it up the KIDDIE hill (or Barnbacken på svenska)…oh, once.

I never thought I’d want to declare war on a tow-lift but alas even getting up the hill on that evil contraption was about as fear-inducing as going down, fast, while my feet were glued to a board.

So there I was, a few hours later, completely covered in bruises and feeling…amazing. Yet something I said to my friend B who was teaching me to board, run in my head…

“I don’t like doing anything that I am not good at.”

A few nights ago I was out with some friends for a movie when, prior to the movie, we were chatting and my Swedish skills were put to the test. One guy said to me, “Michelle, you need to get out of your comfort zone.”

You see, I can speak Swedish…and I understand so much, but I don’t speak it a lot with my friends. Why you ask?

 “I don’t like doing anything that I am not good at.”

Recently I started running again. I’m still thinking I’m going to sign up to another ½ marathon but for now, it’s just for me. I’m on day 26 of my 365 running challenge now. The first few days were a struggle. Not because of my fitness levels, but because I was pretty sure I looked ridiculous running. Have you seen those images on the internet? Those “What I think I look like when I’m running” vs “what I really look like.” One image usually involves a bikini clad super model and the other a slobbering hound.

Truth is, I don’t look like either of those but it’s amazing what our minds trick us into.

I’m in the middle of what I call my “life break”. It’s actually not a break from life, you can’t take a break from life but you can have a season where things change, where you break away from the norm, where you refocus and redirect. This is the season of life I am in.

It’s a season where I am constantly having to get out of my comfort zone. You see, I have a LOT of dreams and ambitions for life and frankly, prior to August 22 I was living a great life but I was also smack RIGHT in the middle of the comfort zone.

And with all the respect to my old life, which, to many, and even to me, was fantastic…it sucked.

I had become too reliant on norms, comforts and myself.

I was lounging in the comfort zone.

So, being…well me…as you all know I changed my life drastically and with only one focus to ensure I kept running my race well and towards the ultimate goal (Jesus, if you didn’t know). I want all of my life to focus on Him, bringing glory to Him and showing others His love and grace.

I figured if I’m running to Him then everything else will fall into place.

What I have learned though is that following Him has taken me so far out of my comfort zone that I am pretty much constantly uncomfortable.

 

Going to church…

Uncomfortable.

 

Going to school…

Uncomfortable…

 

Writing for Beyond Rubies and SoWorthLoving…

Uncomfortable…

 

Just all…uncomfortable. Although they are seemingly normal and mundane things to one person there are aspects that make all these things uncomfortable to me. There are aspects to each of these things that I am not good at.

“I don’t like doing anything that I am not good at.”

I know I have been called to a certain life, to accomplish particular things and this season in my life is preparing me for that.

But I think the greatest lesson I have learned is that it’s okay to just not be good at something.

I read this great quote…

As Christians we are called to live in excellence, to do all things for God and not for man.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

And He is going to help us along…

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

So what I am trying to say is this…

Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t step, don’t tip toe…JUMP. He has given you everything you need to accomplish all that He has put on your heart.

 

Start today. Whether it’s writing a book or getting healthy. If it’s asking that girl out or talking to your neighbor who just needs a friend.

 

Do something that you are not good at.

Do something that scares you because you really never know what will come from it or whose life you will impact.

 

I got a letter after I wrote a particularly “scary” post on SWL. Without sharing someone else’s story the letter detailed how the post helped someone through a break up. The truth? I hated writing that post. I cried writing it. I didn’t want to share it because I knew that it might get a couple people angry (if they misunderstood my intentions), it was uncomfortable.

However, as I read the words of one girl knowing that she was worth more than rubies all the uncomfortable feelings I had left me and I realized that although I didn’t like doing it…it impacted someone.

So maybe snowboarding or speaking Swedish perfectly doesn’t seem like something that will impact or make a difference but who knows? At least I’m going to try…

I will be a better me

A better me

1st of January.

I love that day. Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, January is generally crisp and cool. The air feels clean and clear and full of expectation.

Around the world people are waking up with hope and expectancy. Some have said goodbye to a year of pain and for others the year will begin with blissful memories of a year gone by. Whatever 2012 was, 2013 is a blank slate, ready for the artist to create a beautiful piece of art.

I wrote in my previous post that 2012 was nothing that I imagined it to be; change was the word of the year. Truthfully, I spent most of 31 December excited to say goodbye to 2012. It was not that it was the worst year in the world or that nothing good came out of it, so much good came out of it. It was simply that there was little rest in 2013.

So this year, I plan to rest.

REST

Verb 

1. Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or to recover strength

2. Remain or to be left in a special condition

Noun

1. An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity

2. The remaining part of something

For me, resting does not mean doing nothing. Instead of being the instigator of more change I will build. A house stands because it is built on a firm foundation and this year my resolutions/goals are based simply around building…

I simply plan to be a better me…in all areas of my life.

I look forward to 2013, with great expectation. I know that there will still be change, that life will move forward, that the unexpected may knock me off guard and I’ll celebrate the joyous moments as well…but I also know that this year is not a year to instigate but to rest, to pause, and to consider…to Selah…with hope and expectation that He who created me, brought me to exactly where I am now and my responsibility is to honor that.

I wonder what YOUR 2013 will be. Is  it a year of change? It is a year of rest?

Why not take some time to stop, think and pray…and consider the year ahead.

do not just let life happen around you.

love x

dear past

A year can change a lot

TWO WEEKS!!!! Yesterday I had dinner with three of my dearest girl friends and as we stood in the kitchen of our newly-married friend’s flat we were all shocked that it in just two weeks I would be settling into my new home in Stockholm.

One year goes by so quickly. In one year I have gotten promoted again at work, been to Stockholm (x4), Las Vegas, New York, Ottawa, Toronto, Paris (x5), Mexico and Italy. Two of my best friends got married. I went into and out of a relationship. I decided to move from the only home I have ever known as an adult. I helped write a book. I started a blog again. I started my own business. I met some of the most amazing people ever in all those cities I have visited. My best friend in Paris told me she would be a mom. I got to be in the greatest city in the world during the Olympic games (and more than once have been squished up between athletes and players on the street or public transit).

That’s a lot…and that’s not even going into how much I have seen God work in my life. I have gone from what I thought was whole, to broken to whole again. I have reached levels of intimacy with God that a year ago I would have been amazed at and now just realize I’m barely scraping the surface of the goodness and mercy and grace and love of our Lord. I used to think I understood the desire to know Christ better and to be in a deeper relationship with Him and now I only understand that I barely know him. My heartbreak made me understand His. His compassion flooded over me so that I may be more compassionate. His love overwhelms me on a daily, even hourly basis. It’s truly humbling.

One year. Just one.

I’m at the point right now where everyone is asking me about what I’m going to be doing in Sweden, how long I’ll be there and what my plans are while I’m there. Sure, I have a few things worked out but honestly, with all the choices and doors that could be open I can’t even begin to think what one year from now will look like…

My eyes have been opened to the truth that we simply need to be thankful for the days we are given and honor that which is in our hands today. Because trust me, the God who can do exceedingly, abundantly more than you ever hoped for or imagined is just waiting for you to let Him take you for the most amazing ride you have ever been on…

xx M

I’d prefer not to be a pillar of salt

“I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye”

Two weeks ago I sat down at my computer and wrote an email. I wrote that email to my ex. I wrote every last thing I was feeling, I edited it, I cried and prayed over that email and then I hit save and hid it from my eyes. When a dear friend of the family lost her husband very suddenly and couldn’t say goodbye her therapist told her to sit in front of him and just say everything she wanted to say to him. So she did…And when a friend of mine had to deal with the pain of his past he wrote his father a poem and never sent it.

Goodbye, Adios, see you later.

I was listening to music at my desk today when Wishes by Superchick came on. I immediately stopped and thought…WOW you’re singing a song I could have written.

The saddest thing is you could be anything/ That you could want We could have been everything /But now we’re not /Now it’s not anything at all/ The hardest part was getting this close to you/ And giving up this dream i built with you/ A fairytale that isn’t coming true/You’ve got some growing up to do/I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

After all the things you put me through
Tell me why i’m still in love with you
And why am i, why am i still waiting for your call
You broke my heart
I’m taking it back from you
And taking back the life i gave to you
Life goes on before and after you
I’ve got some growing up to do

I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye

I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye

Closure is incredibly important, whether it’s the end of a relationship, a sudden death, a move away from where you lived or a step forward in a new role. Saying goodbye draws a line in the sand and allows you to move forward. For whether it was good or bad we are told to look forward and not back in life. In Genesis 19 Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt…Isaiah 43:18-19 reads “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Job 17:9 states, “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.” (NLT)

We are to keep moving forward in life. What is it that you need to say goodbye to? What doors do you need to close and not look back on? Let’s move ahead and look to the future with new plans, new corners to uncover and new people to reach…