Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comfort Zones

Wow, I was asked to do something WAY outside of my comfort zone for our church today. I'm not entirely sure how the whole project will turn out in the end, but I gather that part of our message this weekend is going to be about hypocrisy.

The idea is that they are going to have people milling around our lobby before the two services wearing t-shirts that say things like "my spouse makes me come to church" or "My marriage is a complete wreck"... the interesting part is that the person wearing the shirt will be actually talking to people saying the opposite of what their shirt says. Sort of like the person wearing the shirt that says My marriage is a complete wreck will be walking around telling people how wonderful their husband is and how married life is great.

Anyway, we'll see how it plays out - and the message for the week will explain exactly what's going on... it ought to make for some interesting information to think about. (Hopefully a good follow up post as well).

The point of this post though was to tell you that they asked me to be one of the people wearing a shirt this weekend. I can't do it because of my commitments to the children's ministry and helping with the 2 year olds... but boy would that have put me WAY outside of my bubble of comfort.

For starters, I am not a mingler - you might think so... but NOPE! I am a wall flower of the worst kind - even if I know you, I am too shy to go out of my way to just make small talk. If I need to ask you something - I'll do it, but just to stand there and chat... not really something I'm good at. So I avoid it. At. All. Costs.

This is the same shyness problem that made me absolutely terrified - TERRIFIED - of going to our women's retreat last year. I wasn't given an option to back out - our pastor's wife is cute like that... got to love her! So I went, and honestly loved it... I got to know Renee there a bit more, and the part that I truly loved was that they had a way for us to leave each other encouraging messages that we read when we got home... it was fantastic.

What they'd done was hang these envelopes along the wall in the main meeting cabin and gave us these little pieces of paper to write notes to them on - it could be about anything... and it was so great... and of course - I'm a note writer, emailer, letter writer... whatever kind of writer... I am just completely terrified of the spoken word - when it comes to communicating with people.

How many of you would have guessed that, if I hadn't told you? Honestly... it's bad - my mind goes completely blank, sometimes I can't even catch my breath, and I can't string two thoughts together if my life depended on it. It's an illness - for sure... but it's completely true. Even with John it happens - if I get really flustered. I think that I've gotten better with him, but only slightly... and only with him. This would be why I could NEVER be a debater...

The interesting thing though - for those of you thinking... okay - how did she ever think she could have become a teacher... is that with children - I'm completely at ease. Amazing... I guess the pressure goes away when I'm not wondering if they think I'm an idiot. So I would have been fine with them in the classroom... now when it came time for an evaluation... that day would have scared the living daylights out of me!


  1. You're right! I never would've guessed that about you. You seem to be so social.

    Maybe it's another little "note" from God to give you the courage or push to try to step out a little bit? I don't know that it would help, but maybe taking tiny steps in that direction and things would change? Could be an interesting experiment.

    I, honestly, can't wait to hear about the message that goes along with the activity!

  2. I told J to ask you...you could do it for the first service. Get out there girl, if I can do it so can you :)


  3. Neat idea - I assume this isn't a Baptist church? I can't see them being so...controversial.

    I can see how this would be very uncomfortable for you and give you *snaps* for graciously declining.

    I think in order for something like this to have the intended impact, you need people who are hams that will play it up so that it packs some punch.

    You know when something is too far outside what you're okay with. Now if you were secretly dreaming of being a speaker or voice for some great cause but didn't pursue because of your fear, I'd be more inclined to urge you to do this.

    But to put on that tee shirt and mingle with the crowd when it's such a departure...well, I think it's okay to say "no thanks".

  4. I am guessing this is about transparency. You know, like how you can be having a screaming arguement with your husband on the way to church. Yet as soon as you see someone at church, you turn into Mr. and Mrs. Perfect-Christian-Couple.

    What an awsome idea. Not that I would want to put on one of those shirts. Too shy for that. I don't blame you one bit.

  5. I think it is so important that we push ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, because it allows us to grow as individuals. I understand that you have the children's ministry on Sunday, but I would love to see you do more things like this because I think it would help you so much to manage your shyness. I used to be the same way, but it was theater that helped me to overcome it, so I speak from experience. There are still situations where I feel very backwards, but they are much fewer and more far between now. I still want to know how this church experiment goes on Sunday!


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