I pulled into the parking lot about 11 minutes early.  Just enough time to slowly walk through the lobby, notice the gallery of artwork, and wait a bit for the elevator doors to open.  There it was the ding announcing the elevator’s arrival, the doors opened and invited me to enter the vault like interior.  I took the few short steps in, turned around and pressed the button for the second floor.

Why does time seem to stand still when we are uncomfortable?  Seconds of waiting for the inevitable discomfort can stretch as if days.

It was long enough for me to notice the padded walls and the cardboard taped down to protect the marble tiled floor.  “They must be moving furniture or boxes or something” I thought.  Anything to keep me from thinking about what may come next.

As the doors heaved apart I reluctantly put one foot and then another in the direction of my destination.

Suddenly, there I was, seen, there would be no turning back.  They greeted me with smiles and handshakes, and sign in sheets, and agenda – it was all a bit overwhelming.

There is an extraordinary amount of protocol to participate in this group.

Protocol is not my strong suit – I’m casual, laid back, informal – I lack pedigree.  While I’ve spent years scoffing at such ceremony – I now revere it.   I respect the effort.  In all honesty, it takes a level of self control and discipline to be ceremonial that I have yet to possess.

Maybe this will get absorbed into my soul?

I have metaphorically jumped into the deep end – will I sink or swim?  These are the feelings of a girl getting outside of her comfort zone.  But I want the BIGGER vision I have for myself and my life – and for that I must be stretched, transformed, and become a BIGGER me.

The hour was intense.  It required me to graciously receive the encouragement extended by those who were veterans of the endeavor.

I borrowed their courage to endure.  First we borrow, then we posses.

Wanna know what it was that I did?  Have any guesses?

I attended a Toastmasters Club meeting – my intention is to join.  Not familiar with the Club?  In a nut shell, it’s an intense hour of practicing the art of extemporaneous public speaking.  Sounds like stressful fun right? Ha! Even so, I already have week #2 under my belt.  Which was a bit more intense than week #1. 😳

Here’s the thing… I had just enough courage to email the club for info and make myself get to the meeting.  Not enough to get me through the meeting or attend again or join shall I dare.  But enough to start.

I used their encouragement to supply me during the hour.  And wouldn’t you know… as I rode that same padded elevator back down to the first floor… there it was.

New courage.

A fresh supply deposited in my spirit.  Enough to put a slight bounce in my step and have the audacity to commit for a second week as a visitor.

Attribute #1: COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE – Get outside of your comfort zone, make trying ‘new’ things a habit.

This attribute of courage stretches you – makes you BIGGER than you currently are. The courage to try new things increases your ability and your capacity.

What about you?  Did you brainstorm ways that you could get outside of your comfort zone?  If so, would you share with the rest of us?  We wanna hear from you.

That’s this week’s conversation starter.

Now it’s your turn – share your ideas 💡 in the comments and let’s support one another in the attribute of COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE.

Until next week my friends…be strong and courageous.

6 thoughts on “First we borrow, then we posses…

  1. Ugh! Melissa!!!! That club sounds like one of my worst nightmares!!! For me, I find myself worrying about other people’s opinions of me or worrying that I might offend someone. So I just keep my mouth shut and don’t speak! I guess it’s more comfortable for me to stay quiet then to speak up.

    1. Allison- Thank you for sharing. I’m always impressed when I spend time with you how kind you are. We need that kindness to have a voice. We don’t all need to speak to a group in order to use our words. Maybe just having a kind word ready at any moment is the way you can leave the quiet and speak up? Love you friend.

  2. Ah! I always find it SO STARTLING how much conversation I made up in my head in worried anticipation…and 1: How excited I am to discover the lesson about a “bad neighbourhood” – the lies that kept me in bondage are NOT TRUE. 2: How surprised I am to discover the effort to “push through” had its very own validation, as a life lesson to be re-applied later on. CHRIST has installed the most magnificent software in each of us. No more viruses! He is the Divine Programmer. When we are His, He boots up the DIvine Design, and we run wonderfully for HIM. ah, IMAGINE! Living life leaning forward, expectantly into the future.

  3. Toastmasters! Good for you! My husband did it for years (before I met him) and it has held him in good stead for both his work and personal life.

    Get comfortable with uncomfortable. Ugh. As much as I hate it, a couple of things come to mind:
    1. I signed up for an 8-week writing class, which began Jan. 17th. An actual real class with actual real people who share writing and ideas and critique. Can I tell you how hard it was, not just to sign up but to actually go?! So hard. It’s one thing to twiddle around with my computer at home and post an occasional blog in relative anonymity. It’s quite another to be accountable to complete some exercises and put them into the hands of real people in the room. Uncomfortable? Yes. But I’m seeing the value in it early on.
    2. One of my ongoing conversations with God is about “seeing” the people around me and meeting needs where I can. I know that throughout the course of a day, God puts many opportunities in front of us to minister in big and small ways. I know that he nudges me to be generous and give in many ways and for years I have fought him on it, talking myself out of acting on his nudges with excuses like, “I don’t have time.” Years ago in a Starbucks drive-thru he nudged me to pay for the car behind me. And I had all manner of arguments like, “really? pay it forward? so cheesy.” “Maybe next time, this is too much pressure.” After I had talked myself out of it I pulled up to the window and the barista “accidentally” gave me the total for the car behind me. Lesson: don’t argue with God.

    You’d think I’d have learned my lesson, but no. I still argue with him when he nudges – I even have a stash of gift cards in my purse – local coffee shops and grocery stores – to give to panhandlers or homeless people in need. I tell him, “I’m in a rush.” “It’s inconvenient.” – One time I told God to give me more notice… and so he showed me a guy sitting out front my favourite bookstore while I was still parking my car. No excuses to not get a card out and ready. (Which I did… because, again, you shouldn’t argue with God.)

    I know it’s so important that we SEE all the people in our lives, not just the ones we are comfortable with.
    Get comfortable with uncomfortable. Trying…

    1. Janine- Thanks for the encouragement about Toastmasters…it’s funny, I actually had two people who responded to by FB post that it’s on their 2019 bucket list/plan. It is already stretching me in unusual ways!

      I have to agree that I too have ignored the nudges at times. I don’t know why sometimes I’m open to the randomness and sometimes I am totally closed to it. You’re perspective that this is a way to get comfortable with uncomfortable is like fresh air. The unexpected in human interaction can be very uncomfortable. I hope God blesses you with rich and memorable experiences as you are open to the nudges. Which by the way is a great way to have volumes to write about!

      Congrats on the writing class. I took Marion Smith’s memoir class where she actually critiqued the summary for my manuscript – it was painful yet valuable. I really enjoyed your IG posts for the writing prompts… you have a sound voice and I enjoy the pace of your words. Thanks for being a friend in this community. I knew I had to re-launch a blog of some kind to give my book a chance – but I have to say, just having the interaction here where we can all spur one another along to be more courageous has already been worth the effort.

      Happy weekend💛

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