Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Venturing Out of My Comfort Zone

Every year our family makes an annual trip up to Mt. Baker to spend the week snowboarding, sledding, and enjoying the beautiful out-of-doors. Well, to be quite honest everyone in the family enjoys the snow sports, except for me. I go up to the mountain for fun family time, but I do not excell at snowsports. I've taken snowboard and ski lessons, but after days of slamming my face in the snow or falling I give up. Two years ago I declared to my family, “I’m done! It’s not my thing!” There are no new tricks for this old dog. I'm too old!

Each year since I declared "I quit", I have felt a sense of regret.

This year I intended to have a great get-away with the family, but skiing was not in my plans. I did ask God how he wanted to “grow” me during the week, but I thought it would be about relationships or through studying His word in a quiet surrounding. Deep down I had a real sense he wanted me to get out of my comfort zone.

The day we arrived I don’t think it was any coincidence that the lodge, was filled with gray-haired skiers. Everywhere I turned I ran into an older person geared up and ready to hit the slopes. I started to think, “If they can do it…” But still the conditions weren’t perfect yet.

The next day in the lodge an OLD man came up to me and asked why I didn’t ski. I didn’t even know him, nor did I look to him to start up a conversation. I told him I don’t ski. He proceeded to show me how to ski, “Hands on your knees, head up, and smile.” I was embarrassed by this display, but it stuck with me.

That night I wondered if there was something to these things happening, but still the conditions weren’t perfect.

The third day of our trip we woke up to beautiful sunny blue skies. This was a perfect day. I was ready to try…or at least rent skis. I rented skis and then my 5 year old gave me a lesson on the handle tow. This lasted about 40 minutes until she fell asleep in the snow. That was the end of my ski day. I was disappointed, but I had tried. I was out of my comfort zone and had rented skis.

Was that the growing God wanted to do. Did he just want me to gain courage to try or was there something more?

During the week up at the mountain, my bible study dealt with a lesson about perfectionism. I admit I struggle with that, but was that affecting my experiences with my kids and husband? I sensed that bigger than the risk of falling was the feeling of failing. If I couldn’t be Pikaboo Street or Shawn White, why try? Was that what my actions of not trying were really about?? If I couldn’t be really good at it the first time, I wouldn’t even try?

I went for a walk the next morning. We were planning on heading down the mountain after lunch. I talked to God along the walk and looked at the beautiful blue skies and listened. I felt a really strong sense to try again. This time more than renting…I was going to take a lesson. I went back to the lodge and told my family of this. They were SO excited for me!

I took the lesson and was blessed with a very patient instructor. I had a great time and really stepped out of my comfort zone. My husband said I look like a turtle coming down the hill, but I WAS COMING DOWN THE HILL! I got out of my comfort zone and allowed God to grow me and trust Him in the process.
Turtles Rock!

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