I’ve shifted back into my routine. My sis’ family left last Monday morning, and I stepped back into my little house and heard…nothing. It was unsettlingly quiet, for about 15 minutes, until I remembered that a still house is my normal. Toby was asleep in his favorite sunning spot within moments. And before I knew it, 3 hours had passed like any usual morning off, full with tasks, refocusing myself and gentle reminders to eat lunch. 🙂
How comfortable routine can be. We don’t have to guess what is coming; we’ve planned it all out in advance. Even for creative types like me who love spontaneity, a little established routine feels like those jeans worn in just right, feels like home.
And I guess I was surprised with myself. When my nieces and their parents were staying with us, I was awakened to a new self-awareness. While it was easy for me to go with the flow and change up the way I spent my time (as we all do when we go on vacation), I was not expecting it to be so hard to yield my quiet.
Just as a refresher, I am indeed a self-proclaimed extrovert. After years of self-study, I would say with confidence I gain energy from being with people. But I suppose my introverted husband has rubbed off on me! Because I am shockingly growing to love solitude and quiet. Part of my definition of “home” now includes “still”.
In a lot of Scriptures, stories are flipped on their heads by this little phrase “but God”. We’re in our routines, humming along, loving the control we seem to have and BOOM! “BUT GOD”. God intervenes. He throws a curveball. He does something that catches our attention. He messes up our routines.
And I’m starting to think that outside of the comfortable routine is where all the good stuff happens, the really deep, character-growing stuff. At the very least, the week my family stayed with me was a mirror in my face telling me who I am right now, what I value and where I am still broken. But it was also an invitation to the good kind of chaos, where God calls us to step out and up, and rise to the challenge of the unknown. If you feel Him nudging you out of your comfort zone, look out, something amazing is lined up for you.
My definition of home did not include “still” while my family was here. It was chaotic and loud and, at times, felt way too small to contain 8 people. And though it was something I earnestly sought, because I wanted to be with my family, it was simultaneously not something I expected.
But God showed up. I witnessed my brother-in-law literally being Jesus to his girls and my sister. I witnessed my sister parenting and stepping into what God has called her to with willingness and love. I witnessed my nieces exude joy, love radically and feel free to be who they are. I witnessed my husband sacrifice and choose to engage. I witnessed my cat not maul people despite the noise. 🙂
I would have missed out on all those things if I had stayed in my comfort zone. If I hadn’t invited God’s chaos, I would have never seen what He has been up to in the lives of these people I call my family. And I am so grateful for the chaos, for the push out of my routine.
I welcome the next push, God. Make me uncomfortable so I can see You.