“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” Neal Donald Walsch. I couldn’t agree more with this.Get out of your house! Leave your neighborhood! Introduce your kids to people who are different than your family!
Raising world changers starts with letting our kids be who God created them to be.
Sometimes we can help them discover just who they are by leaving our comfort zones. Getting out of our cultural bubble of safety and security has taught us many valuable lessons in generosity. But you don’t have to leave the country to learn them. Serving refugees or the homeless in the heart of your city, visiting a nursing home, volunteering at a women’s shelter, fostering kids, opening your life to people who are different from you, or doing something that risks your comfort will set your family up in the classroom of life.
This summer–I dare you to leave your comfort zone and take your family on an adventure. You won’t regret it.
Here are eleven lessons we’ve learned about generosity:
1. When we leave what we know, we discover what we don’t know. The way we live isn’t the way the world lives. Stepping out of what we know is eye opening.
2. Discomfort is a great way to appreciate comfort. I can’t think of a better way to create an environment of gratitude than by being temporarily uncomfortable.
3. Fear will paralyze us if we let it. Trust will thrust us into adventure. Risk can be scary, but if we only do what we’ve always done we are limiting ourselves. With wisdom and trust in God, we can live an adventure.
4. Bad things can happen in the middle of our comfort zones too. We can’t let the fear of the unknown stop us from living. The safest place for our family is wherever Jesus leads us. We aren’t called to safety, and what’s completely safe these days anyway?
5. We really don’t have as much control as we think we do. Travel of any kind reminds us how little control we really have. It’s also true of life and especially parenting. We can’t control everything or everyone; letting go is a great way to grow.
6. Our strengths and weaknesses are revealed in the unknown. I discovered one of my kids is a natural-born tour guide. She loves leading our family to unknown places. We’ve also discovered a whole list of weaknesses (such as don’t give Mom the map) about each other.
7. We need each other a little more when we are uncomfortable. Nothing creates a family team spirit like the unknown. We realize we aren’t quite as tough or as independent when we are unsure, but it’s okay because we have each other and we discover together.
8. We change our perspective. I’m a huge fan of perspective. We need to shake things up to become more grateful for what we have. Nothing gives us a new perspective more than seeing how other people live.
9. We create memories that will outlast anything we can buy. By far our best memories have been made outside of our comfort zone. And hopefully we are teaching our kids that people and places are more important than stuff.
10. We become more compassionate. When we break out of our bubble, we open our eyes to people around us. It becomes the fertile ground in which compassion is born and grows.
11. We see God more clearly. Risk positions us to reach out to God—to ask for help, to pray for peace, and to see the world a little better and God a little bigger.
Read more in Raising World Changers In A Changing World