Maven and I can hang. We’re comfy sitting in the same room, with her lounging on one end of the sofa and me on the other, reading, writing, drawing. We share the same space, if not the same orbit, without saying a word to each other. All alone…together. The Earth and Mars.

Sadly, there hasn’t been much tent pitching around here this week. She’s had to go out a lot for classes, field trips, museum visits, Bible study, and play dates, and I’ve been spinning crazily right there alongside her. It’s all good stuff, and it satisfies the needs of the extroverted among us. Maven and I, on the other hand are done, physically and emotionally. The sofa is surely calling our name.

But God has been calling us by our full name, like what my mama uses when she really wants my attention.

He knows how I like my comfort zone. I’m productive there. And my voice and index finger work quite well from there—there’s even wi-fi. But if He’d left me in my comfort zone I never would’ve had seven children, I wouldn’t be homeschooling, I wouldn’t have some of the wonderful—and not-so-wonderful—people in my life, I wouldn’t be counseling other homeschool moms, I would never have tried hummus, I wouldn’t have ridden a horse up a mountain while holding an infant, I wouldn’t have been inspired to work on another book. I wouldn’t have had the courage or the means to tell you all about any of this.

Perhaps God is calling you to step out of that safe place, to start traveling in different circles, or maybe even to draw others into your world. As a writer, you may need to explore another genre or employ a different type of social media to get your message across. As a parent, you may need to join a homeschool co-op; avoid “teachable moments”; and have fun with your teen by learning what “trolling” means, the difference between “meme” and “vine,” and how to appreciate winged eyeliner (yes, I’m telling on myself). As a student, you might need to join a club, admit you enjoy Friday nights with your parents, or put down the phone for a minute. As a believer, you’ll need to love and interact with people who don’t look, talk, think, act, or vote like you do.

God has certainly stretched me—not quite like the little boy in You’ll Grow Soon Alex—by plunking me where I’m not quite happy, in situations I wouldn’t have chosen for myself. He’s brought unexpected success in some ways and unforeseen failure in others. Yet, they’re all blessings. It’s all working together for my good. They’re all growing my faith so that I can become the person God wants me to be. For isn’t the Son holding us all in place?

“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

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