Being Stretched

My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”

I feel like a dude.

Correction:

6 hours ago I felt like a dude.

I was standing on the porch roof of a mansion, drenched in sweat, fried to a crisp, and covered with paint. (Since then I’ve climbed down off the roof, gone home, showered, and changed my clothes. So I no longer feel like a dude. Yay! I like being a girl!)

Today was the third day in a row I spent on that roof, first scraping paint, then today priming. I never thought I’d be that girl. Working construction. It’s not exactly my dream job.

But my brother offered me the chance to help out on this job he’s doing, and I took him up on the offer. Partly because I didn’t have anything better to do, and could use the money. And partly to prove to myself that “I still got it.”

I’m not actually sure what exactly “it” is, but apparently I do still have it. He told me that he’s never had anyone else (except for my other brothers) work as hard as me. Oh yeah!

I shouldn’t be proud of that… he actually told me that during a “girl, you need to slow down! You push yourself way too hard!!” conversation.

What the big deal is?? I took a full 15 minutes for lunch!

(Yeah… a highly overdeveloped work ethic runs in my family, and I’m afraid I’ve inherited it).

Anyway. (Bunny trail over).

The last few days really pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I’m not used to being out in the sun 8 or 9 hours a day. I’m not used to doing physical labor all day. I’ve never scraped paint before (as my aching shoulders could tell you…).

And the ladder… I view ladders and heights much the same way I view mice and snakes. I can and have dealt with them when need be. But I far prefer to ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, and hope they choose to stay out of my life.

So climbing up (and down) that ladder (in a skirt) multiple times a day “stretched” me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. Made me uncomfortable. Quite frankly, it was awkward. I don’t like being in situations that make my discomfort and uncertainty glaringly obvious.

And ladders do that. Climbing up or down a ladder is a very slow and timid process for me. I am just such a girl about them (haha, that’s supposed to be funny, you know, “I’m such a girl about ladders,” because I am a girl, so of course I’d be a girl about… oh, never mind).

It hasn’t just been the ladder and the “dude” job, though. A lot of other things have been stretching me lately.

My sister’s graduation party last week…

It’s always tough for me to be in big groups of people, because I am inevitably the person hiding in the corner by myself. “Socalizing” is way out of my comfort zone.

I wish I was that person who could put others at ease, effortlessly converse with anyone and everyone, and pretty much just play the hostess to perfection. Unfortunately I do not have that skill (yet). Hiding in the corner is way easier. Talking to people is a lot of work for me. It “stretches” me!

This blog has stretched me. I love to write, but writing about my health issues has been a challenge. I don’t usually tell people about that stuff! I don’t like others to know that I have issues I struggle with. I’d way rather they think I have my act together and know exactly what I’m doing.

I don’t care for situations that are out of my comfort zone. But lately I’ve been seeking those situations out anyway.

I want to be “stretched.”

Well…

I want to grow. And without “stretching,” there is no growth.

See, I believe that God wants me to be a better person than I am right now. I think he wants more for me that what I am right now. He wants me to be happier, healthier, and more “alive.” He loves me the way I am right now, but he sees how much better my life could be, and he wants me to experience that fuller, happier, more joyful life!

So he gives me opportunities to stretch and grow.

You know, when I step out of my comfort zone (or out of my corner) and converse with someone – even though it’s not easy, I end up having great conversations. I am blessed by the fellowship, and it builds relationships and friendships I otherwise would never have.

When I step out of my comfort zone and write about my struggles and health issues, its like I’ve stopped hiding. I am free, and the more I am able to talk about my own issues, the more I’m able to help others with whatever they’re going through.

And climbing that ladder… yes, the view at the top was amazing (I knew that’s what you were thinking), but, also… If I didn’t climb up that ladder I never would have been able to do my job. I can’t paint the second floor wall while standing on the front lawn.

I think God has an awesome “view” in store for me, and a job he is wanting me to do that requires me to “climb that ladder” and be “stretched” a little before I can do and experience it.

So I’ve decided to try to be a little more willing to step out of my comfort zone and accept opportunities to be “stretched.”

And that decision was out of my comfort zone… (I think it’ll be worth it, though).

So how about you?

How have you been “stretched” lately? Are you (attempting to) step out of your comfort zone willingly, or are you fighting it tooth and nail? I know it’s not easy!

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go anoint my scorched skin with coconut oil. (Hippie remedies are so in my comfort zone… ahhh… I sure do like my comfort zone…).

Love, N.

P.S. It was good being stretched for a few days. It was good hanging out, talking and working with my brother, and watching him at work. He gets up on that roof and this “I AM MAN!!” look comes over his face and he’s all like “I love my job!!” But I told him “You can have your job!” Put me back in the kitchen and give me some meals to cook, laundry to do, diapers to change or something! My aching muscles aren’t going to put up with having to be a dude any longer. I’m back to being a girl for the time being, and that makes me really happy… 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Being Stretched

  1. Good post. I love reading your blog. As you can see, I am starting from the old posts and working my way to the present ones. 🙂

    Hmmm, my comfort zone. That is something I really have to think about. I have been stretched in many ways. But I’m a fearless person and I try put my comfort zone behind me when it wants to be a problem.

    Haha, thinking about the going up and down the ladder in a skirt thing reminds me of my lifetime’s biggest stretch. Growing up I HATED wearing skirts! I never wore them unless my Mom forced me to for special occasions and school uniforms. But when we started to believe the way we do now, we dived head first into wearing skirts. So my biggest stretch was wearing skirts and being ‘a girl’, being feminine. I was the total opposite. That was 10 years ago and now I love it. People ask me sometimes “Why are you all dressed up?” I’m like, it’s just a skirt. I’m not dressed up. LOL. One time a random guy just looked at me and said, “What are you supposed to be?!?” I told him, “A WOMAN!”
    Society has it implanted in their minds that skirts are for dress-up only. And that’s what I grew up with in my mind. I tell you, wearing skirts was the most embarrassing and humbling thing for me 10 years ago.
    If you ask me today, I’ll tell you that “I LOVE WEARING SKIRTS! And I’ve wrestled chickens out in the pasture wearing them.” The biggest stretch in my personal life was the best one!

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    1. That’s funny – for me it was just the opposite. Growing up I ALWAYS wore skirts, so now on the (still somewhat rare) occasions when I wear pants it’s way out of my comfort zone, makes me feel very self-conscious and “stretches” me. I still am way more comfortable with skirts, even when I’m climbing up and down ladders in them, haha!

      Like

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