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God Didn't Put Us Here to Be the Best Boring Version of Ourselves

When we made the move to our farm nine years ago, it was a given that the change in our lifestyle would be immense. Not only did we now have to drive more than five minutes to the grocery store, but we also switched churches, crammed four kids into one small bedroom, dealt with a bathroom door that didn’t latch until dad rigged up a hook, and worst of all, the bugs. Bugs way out in the middle of nowhere seemed so much bigger and nastier, as if they had a personal bone to pick with anyone who invaded what had been their home until a bunch of pesky humans showed up.

Things weren’t all bad, despite the bugs and the doors that refused to close. We had magical woods to explore, a field perfect for frolicking, a pond to splash around and chase frogs in, and sunsets to ogle at. The change was not perfect. In fact, it was a little messy and frustrating at times. We had expected challenges, and we sure did find them. But we found a simple glory in life on a farm. Not much is needed to make your life happy; we might have been perfectly content with living in the suburbs. But something had needed to change. Why not almost everything?

Our family remained a chaotic and entertaining bundle of six very different people who had decided that a farm was where we would spend most of our time together. Looking back on those early years, I can see the influence the change had on us. Who would we be if we still lived in the city? Who would our friends be? Where would I work? Would my faith be as strong as it is now? Stronger? Weaker?

I’ll never know, I suppose.

Change is scary. But if humans don’t change, our lives become very boring. Sedentary. I’m sure everyone has felt it at some point. The need to move, to fidget, to shed old skin and pull on something that has never been touched by who you used to be. The beautiful fact is that change doesn’t have to be dramatic to be effective. We moved from a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood to an even littler house on enough property to build a kingdom on—or so it seemed to a kid like me with her head in the clouds. Since then, this life has become my norm and my constant. And I still feel the need to change. To try new things so I don’t grow tired of myself and this life that so strangely belongs to me.

So, I try new things. I dare myself to eat the chicken gizzards that mom prepared for dinner. I spontaneously read a random article on why rain smells the way it does. I find a new song to listen to on repeat for the next week and a half. I learn how to throw a solid punch and scar my knuckles in the process. I research business ideas and how to do your finances.

Maybe next month I’ll try something bigger. Bolder. Who knows? How exiting is that?

Our need to change provokes growth. If you’re tired of where you are, try something new! Something you’ve never done before. Even if it’s small. Make a new dish for dinner. Go to a new park and find a new favorite bench. Try doing a few pushups or stand on one leg for as long as you can.

God didn’t put us here to be the best boring versions of ourselves. He put us here to be bold and interesting and a little unpredictable. Go grow that tomato plant and fail spectacularly. Talk to someone at church that you’ve only made eye contact with. Go camping at a new location and wake up at four in the morning to question your sanity and write in your journal about how faith is reminiscent of the golden sunlight mingling with the blue sparkle of the water.

Don’t live to regret the changes you could have made and didn’t. The best time to try something new is right now. So, count your blessings and start a new day!

-Emma Schaub

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