Midlife: It's not time to get comfortable.
A few weeks ago I was longing for a quiet evening at home with my husband, simply watching our favorite Netflix shows together. I wanted to pull on my yoga pants and settle in for the night.
This summer felt too busy for a homebody like me: travel most weekends or entertaining guests in our home. I longed to return to the comfort of my usual, quieter routine.

Then I heard the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, “It’s not time to get comfortable.”

I wondered what he meant.

Later I looked for the word comfortable in my English Standard Version of the Bible. The search results: zero. What I did see were Jesus’ words, “Follow me.”

Then on Sunday, during our Adult Bible Fellowship class, I heard Ray VanderLaan’s message about Jesus inviting us to join him in the broken chaos of this world.

So what does this call to continue following Jesus look like in my life? What heroic activities are filling my time at home?

Nothing amazing. Right now it looks like daily faithfulness in doing the “small things” in life.

For example, during September I committed to preparing healthier meals and snacks for my husband and daughter as we embarked on the Whole30® food regime together. Instead of preparing our typical comfort foods and quick meals — or picking up an order of shrimp and Chinese vegetables — I was preparing new recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That felt like a big stretch for me — a gal who is happy to pick up a drive-through meal. Yet, it’s what God clearly called me to do to serve my family.

Another part of my life is filled with “the ministry of availability.” When a friend wants to talk, I’m available to listen and encourage. When my sister needs childcare, I’m available. When the church leaders need a place to meet, I make our home available. Again, I’m not doing anything unusually difficult, yet I’m purposefully filling my days with meaning rather than my own comfortable choices.

God showed me that I can’t live life curled up on my couch wearing my yoga pants. I need to avoid the ruts of comfort and complacency and be available to follow Jesus into this broken world.

Up next:

Day 3: Reaching Across Generations

I’m Available
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Tracie grew up with three sisters and a brother in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and relatives. She draws on that early foundation to write about her Christian faith, creative activities, and family life.

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10 thoughts on “I’m Available

  1. Tracie, Well said. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing. Your wise words challenge me. Thank you reminding me that Jesus has an exciting journey he is taking me on.

    Sue A

    1. Yes, we are on an exciting, mysterious, and sometimes confusing journey. Thank you for walking that journey with me! You have been a faithful friend.

    1. I needed the reminder myself. Sometimes what I do seems so insignificant, and then I’m reminded how much someone else’s availability has ministered to me. It’s priceless.

  2. Two things really resonated with me. First, I want to ask myself now “where can I enter into the broken chaos of this world” in a way that reflects Papa’s love. What a powerful thought/question! Second, I want a growing awareness of where self-care can morph into “ruts of comfort and complacency.” Thanks, Tracie!

    1. Good thoughts! Do you think the intersection of our gifting and the world’s needs keeps changing…possibly, because we keep changing. Sophie Hudson also talks about the real necessity of self-care. To be of service to others, we need to be in a healthy place spiritually and emotionally, and she suggests that we even ask people close to us if we are in that place.

  3. Availability is underrated, I think. I love that you have purposed to be available to others in a “ministry of availability.” That’s marvelous.

    Love your blog, Tracie.

    1. Lori, you’ve been such an inspiration to me through the years, especially in your dedication to knowing God’s word. And thank you for taking the time to talk about writing with me. You gave me the courage to take on this Write 31 Days challenge.

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