“You need to love God more than your comfort zone.”
A few months back my pastor said this during one if his sermons and it has stuck with me. Your love and trust for and in God must be bigger than your comfort zone. A mantra that has run through my head frequently since hearing it. So powerful.
Some of the personal prayers I had for my family in 2022, included having a third child, finding a community with shared values and starting to take small steps towards creating our humble homestead.
As we start a new year I look back to our life from just a year ago. We were a family of four plus our two dogs, having lived in our home less than a year. I prayed frequently about finding a community for my family that held similar values. January 2023, we are a family of five, plus our two dogs, six chickens and expanding garden beds to become more self sufficient. Other than the birth of our daughter, the next best highlight was finding a church that feels like home.
Your trust in God has to be larger than you comfort zone. I think sometimes Christians become complacent with their prayers. It’s me. I’m the problem. We pray and pray for something and because we are meant to trust God, which we should, we leave it at that. However, I feel pretty confident stating the majority of our prayers require tangible action on our own part.
Many times this action requires us to trust God and leap out of our comfort zones. Let me use myself as an example. I am an introvert in every way. I am easily overestimated and stressed by crowds, noise and new social situations. I have prayed for years to find a community. Believe it or not God did not send a community knocking at my front door. It took me really, really getting outside of my comfort zone to find that community I have prayed for since becoming a mother.
My family began attending a new church through a friends recommendation, I also joined MOPS and a weekly Bible study. Guess what? That community I was praying for my family to have was on the other side of my comfort zone. After the birth of our daughter in October, many of those individuals did actually knock on our door to bring us meals.
Have you prayed for health? I do so every night. I pray that our bodies function the way God designed them to so we can overcome illnesses that inevitably come our way and avoid chronic diseases. I also do my best to provide nourishment to my family with foods that make us strong and move my body as much as my three littles will allow me to. You cannot eat fast food, prepackaged food filled with preservatives or binge on sugar regularly, pray and cross your fingers for optimal health. I am not just referring to whatever number is on your scale or clothing tag either.
I am sure we could all come up with several additional examples. I am also sure most, if not all of us, are guilty of being complacent with our prayers. I certainly catch myself doing this.
So allow me to share my prayer for myself, my family, my friends and all of those reading this.
I pray that this year, you are bold in your prayers and your actions to work alongside God. I pray you trust God enough to find the courage to step or even leap out of your comfort zones. I
I pray you see yourself worthy enough to prioritize your mental, physical and emotional health. We were blessed with these bodies and it is our job to take care of them.
I pray as Christians we proudly share the truth of the Gospel and inspire others by our actions and grace. Let us not fear judgement, or eye rolls or “cancel culture” for spreading God’s word.
I pray we learn to lay down our heartache and anxiety with Him. To control what we can control and let go of what we cannot. To focus on our family and community so we can see the ripples of change come from our homes.
I also encourage us all to find patience in our prayers. To not become discouraged when we do not see instantaneous answers. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11, ESV
Wishing you a blessed 2023. I can’t wait to hear what the Lord does in your life this year.
Amazing how things change in a year, below are some pictures documenting our 2022 growth.