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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Comfort Zone

Once a month, age 12 Joshua and age 9 Abigail go to a drawing class. I send my Abigail because she loves to draw. I send my Joshua because he hates to draw is drawing-challenged.

My days are filled with me leading my children outside The Comfort Zone, firmly but gently encouraging them to rise to become more than they think they can be. It seems that parents continually walk a fine line as we try to discern when necessary testing might become unhealthy pushing or an unfruitful battleground.

The above situation is easy. Others not so much.

The culprit was not me when a different challenge was presented last week to my age 17 Michaelle, an accomplished classical pianist. This spring she received an unexpected opportunity to play with a philharmonic orchestra. One to shun the spotlight, she didn't mind in the least that the pianist sits far left upstage, behind a grand piano and the rest of the orchestra.

One of the pieces presented during this week's concert was the well known Pink Panther theme song. Moments before they were to go on stage, the conductor asked for a volunteer to walk a 4-foot stuffed Pink Panther to the conductor's podium just before the music started. Despite numerous other musicians' eager requests and Michaelle making herself as small as possible, she was selected.

(I shudder to think of the discussion if I'd have suggested her for the role.)

Bad enough that she had to emerge from her niche and walk across the stage in front of the entire audience in unfamiliar heels. The moment of truth arrived when she stepped forward to perform her unrehearsed part and suddenly realized that the musicians' chairs arranged along the front left only a tiny strip of stage for a person to walk.

Have I mentioned before that Michaelle is afraid of heights?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
~ Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)

There's no drama or disaster to report. When she had to do what she had to do, Michaelle simply did it. Everyone in our family was tickled ... pink, and I thanked the Lord for accomplishing what I would not have attempted.

(You may have already guessed where I'll take this ... )

God does the same thing all the time as He stretches us well beyond The Comfort Zone. He puts us in situations we'd never in a million years choose for ourselves so that we'll grow.

I know that. You know that.

But it never hurts to be reminded that wherever you and I are being stretched right now, it's all part of His good and perfect plan.

"Our prayers are answered not when we are given what we ask,
but when we are challenged to be what we can be."
~ Morris Adler

Note: Let the record show that Michaelle is not afraid of heights, she simply doesn't like them. [Does that work for you, baby?] ; )

Comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are welcome. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Bravo,Michaelle. God is good.

  2. Oh I hope so. I hope I'm being stretched for perfection.

  3. Good example ... and good for your daughter!

  4. Natasa ~

    God IS good. Thanks for the kudos, for Michaelle and for Him. :D

  5. Tana ~

    Perfection? It does feel like perfection in publishing, doesn't it? I like what Michael J. Fox says:
    "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."

    Go easy on yourself. (Not too easy, mind you! ♥)

  6. Susan ~

    Thank you. I'm pretty sure I learn more from my children than they learn from me.

  7. Ah. Stretching is good, but it hurts! The older I get, the less willing I am to try something new. Why is that?

  8. David ~

    It's a good thing, I think, to exercise more discretion about new things, and still remain pliable to God's stretching. As with all things, balance ...

  9. These kind of posts are my favorite by you. ;)

    So full of personality and they tell me a little bit more about you and your family Anne. :)

    As David said, we all need to be stretched once in a while. It's God's way of keeping us trusting Him... and in my case, humble. :)

  10. Anne, I've followed your blog at a distance, but this post was aimed right at me. For years my writing has been an outlet, something personal, but God has been prodding me out of my comfort zone with it. I pray for the kind of courage God gave Michaelle in this situation. Thanks for sharing her story.

  11. Duane ~


    You remind me of the "Multiple Jumpers" post I did in July about our trampoline for Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays. I get lots of good feedback on the personal posts. I'm working on having an interesting life for more of them, LOL.

  12. Carol ~

    I'm smiling to know that the Lord is "prodding" you out of your comfort zone. I must be hard-headed, because I think He pushes me just a little harder than that.

    I'm sure you already know it, but I'll remind you that He never prods us in any direction He doesn't intend to bless more than the prodding. I've been with Rachelle for three years, and we're still working on publication. [My story isn't normal. : / ] I've nonetheless been INCREDIBLY blessed along the way--and still have high hopes for publication.

    I pray that the Lord gives you clear direction and peace. :D


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