africa · Five Minute Friday

Comfort in the Sameness {Five Minute Friday}

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to write with the Five Minute Friday community. Each week, we gather on Twitter for the Thursday night #FMFParty, and then we write together on one common theme. All the lovely details (and the link up) are over at Kate’s blog. We’d love to have you join in!

Today’s prompt is: Same.

Go.

water boy

No matter how crazy it seems when you start something new, eventually routine becomes comfortable. The sameness of a day to day rhythm becomes normal, no matter how different it looks to others. The days become the same, day in and day out, providing structure and normalcy in a crazy world. And we become too comfortable in the sameness. We begin to rely on the routine, and anything else becomes scary because it’s change.

“Sometimes you must leave the comforts of what is to embrace the potential of what will be.”

Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change

This is my take when people comment on how brave I was to live in Africa for over two years. I tell them life was pretty much the same there as here, it just looked a little different in the details. I got up (to roosters crowing outside my window), took a (bucket) bath, made breakfast, walked (past various cattle down the sandy desert roads) to the school I worked at, spent time teaching (classes of 45-60+) kids, worked on the computer, went back home, cooked dinner, washed dishes (in a basin on my table), and went to bed. On the weekends I would go (hitching to the next village and then taking a bush taxi) to town, buy groceries, and hang out with friends.

My life there was relatively the same as my life in America, though the details were different. And people get caught up the details. But as time went on, those oddities became routine. Things that had once been difficult were now normal.

And when it came time to leave, I didn’t want to go.

[bctt tweet=”I knew that routine, and I was comfortable. I wanted to cling to the sameness and not shake things up. “]

And so I stayed until God brought me home after and accident and an injury. All that I knew to be normal was tossed out the window, and my comfortable routines were shattered. In some ways, coming home took more bravery than leaving ever did, and nothing remained the same.

I had allowed myself to dwell in the comfort of routine, unwilling to embrace the urge to return and live a different life. In a world I had known for 22 years, which would never look the same to me again.

Stop.

If you’re facing a change from “the same” to “radically different”, however that looks for you, I highly recommend you pre-order yourself a copy of Kristen Strong’s Girl Meets Change. She speaks beautiful truths in her book, and if you are facing a season of change, you need to hear them. It comes out on Tuesday, and I know you want a copy! Get it here: http://amzn.to/1XSCWRB

Also, keep tuned in October for my 31 Days series on Living Brave!

31 Days

-Jen

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8 thoughts on “Comfort in the Sameness {Five Minute Friday}

    1. Thanks Beth! I did a bad job at noting my start time this week, so there’s a chance I might’ve written for a little more than 5 minutes…oops! Not enough coffee in me to manage timing yet! 😀

  1. Returning the visit, neighbor! So glad we were parked next to one another. Isn’t it amazing what we would consider “hardship” living (in Africa) became normal to you. THAT intrigues me. We are quite adaptable, aren’t we? I think of a blizzard we had, no power, no going anywhere and learning a new normal those few days. I remember encouraging myself “I can do this.” And, we did – we actually thrived. I would like to sit in your wee house one day and share a cuppa and hear all about your adventures. I believe you may be a younger version of myself! xo

    1. Aw I would love to have you over for coffee/tea! 🙂 Too bad our homes are a little ways away from each other…

      And yes, we are quite adaptable when we’re forced to be, aren’t we? And yet we avoid change like the plague!

  2. Oh friend I’m so excited for your 31 Days series especially since my one word is brave this year! So much THIS: “In some ways, coming home took more bravery than leaving ever did, and nothing remained the same.” I’m parked over in the #9 spot this week!

    1. What a scary word for the year! 🙂 I’m just hoping I manage to get this all written and scheduled, because I don’t like not finishing things. 😀

  3. Interesting point about our lives being the same aside from the details. I’ve never thought about it that way before. I think there’s real wisdom in coming to understand that.

    1. I think we get so caught up in the changes in small details, when really life is still mostly normal. It just looks a little different from time to time.

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