About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Mary,
    Maybe I’m a cat at heart…yes, I’ve had trouble moving outside my comfort zone and that’s probably why God has called me to do that over and over again in my life. From physical moves around the country, to being called to serve in positions that I felt soooo unqualified for, God has continually nudged me off my couch. Why? So I could learn to totally depend on Him. Nothing makes us run to the Father faster than feeling uncomfortable. But, you said it…it’s about the “calling” not the “comfort”. Though I have always felt called to write, I dug my claws in for a long, long time (50+ years to be more exact). Good writers allow themselves to be vulnerable, transparent. Who easily does that? What joy, though, we find when we actually DO move outside our comfort zone. God has never let me down or failed to hold me when I do, so it’s built trust and hope. It’s outside our comfort zone that we really grow in relationship with our Lord and ultimately that’s where I want to be. What a great analogy and wonderful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Oooh, Bev, I love your point about how we learn to depend more on God when He moves us out of our comfort zone. That’s a great reason to follow Him!

  2. A good encouragement! Sometimes it’s so easy to think of all kinds or reasons NOT to do something. But waiting until I am totally ready, will never work! And it is so true that the joy after stepping out into what God wants far outweighs anything! Rachel

    • Amen, Rachel! Waiting until I’m ready…well, your comment just slapped me upside the head! (Yep. I’m still SUCH A CAT even after writing this!)

  3. Such a great analogy!
    Yes, there are some definitely areas I need to be less my cat as well. God has been calling me to stand in a situation and be Christ-like to a specific person with whom I have daily contact.
    I must admit, there are often days that I’d really like to RUN, but I know in my heart that is not God’s plan for me or that person… this person is God’s child and I have been called to love them ~ even when it’s uncomfortable ~ especially when it’s uncomfortable.
    I heard the Holy Spirit tell me 2 days ago… Jesus was pretty uncomfortable up on that cross… that has really helped me gain the right perspective in this particular circumstance.
    Thank you for you’re great insight, I so enjoy reading your work!
    Blessings to you and your precious family,
    Suzanne

    • Suzanne, thank you for sharing what God’s placing on your heart right now. He does ask us to walk into the uncomfortable sometimes, but He blesses us when we follow, too. Praying you find the blessings among the discomfort as you minister to this person in your life.

  4. I LOVED this metaphor!!!! i have two cats as well, and i can TOTALLY relate!! I am struggling with what God is trying to tell me, either i am not listening at the right time…(have a hubby and 3 teenager GIRLS…plus a chocolate lab who thinks he is a small human)…or cant hear HIM or i am not patient enough to listen..whatever the reason, I don’t know if I am even where he wants me…I am questioning CONSTANTLY…and if its even close(probably is) to how my girls sound..MAN, i really hope God has more patience with me than i do with my girls…thank you for writing….and i will continue my bible studies in the am, I DO like getting up in the am, to me its peaceful and its only me, God, my bible/notes/thankful journal and animals…before the chaos starts again.

    • Being a parent is so eye-opening for me, just like you said, Kelly. “Is this what I sound like to God?” Um, yes. 🙂 Good thing he’s a more patient Father than I am a mommy!

  5. Once I went to a seminar and the man who spoke talked of how he ended up as a pastor. He went to college, grad school, and ended up as a teacher. He was very happy for a long time, but eventually he began to feel unsettled. He loved his job but the lack of peace made him feel like he was dying each day. God never forced him to do anything about it, but after much prayer and many tears, the pressure drove him to quit his job, re-consider his career, and go into full-time ministry. Right now, I’m experiencing all these same feelings — struggling hard to live outside my comfort zone in so many ways, though I know I am not called to be a pastor. Sometimes God nudges us, and sometimes He gets our attention instead by slowly applying pressure on all sides that we shift our perspective and allow ourselves to be more open to Him. We are afraid sometimes, afraid to trust God with all of our little worries and fears about what the path ahead holds, but when has He ever failed to provide or work all things for our good and the good of others? I say all this confidently but even still I know when decision time comes I’m still going to be a little wary. A product of being human! But thankfully we have a very faithful God whose power is displayed even more in our weakness!

  6. Wow!!!! This post was extremely timely and applicable to my life right now. Thanks so much for being obedient to first write it and then share it. God is so amazing!

  7. When I saw this cat I could NOT believe it, looks like a twin to my own ‘Smudge’… who is age 16. I love a tortoise shell calico and mine is not quite as stubborn as yours but we do share the computer chair. I nudge her over but she stays and purrs and hangs over my leg as I type.

  8. I love the word picture! I’ve never had a cat but I still completely understand and relate to this. Thank you for reminding us to listen and act on God’s calling.
    Seeking an obedient life,
    Jennifer

  9. I hear you, God. I hear you loud and clear – can you hold my fear while I take the first step?

    Thanks!
    Rachel

  10. I really like your comparison… it fits for me too! I used to have an continual prayer “God please nudge me in the way that I need to go, and If I don’t get it than hit me with a 2 x 4 when necessary”

    It worked! Thanks for sharing!

  11. God did use a donkey to nudge a prophet in the Old Testament, so it isn’t too surprising He would use a cat!

    It is always initially a struggle to leave the comfort zone, but I want to be obedient to God and that is where the battle has to end and I focus on what God would have me do in a given situation.

    but, sometimes, it is very hard…

  12. So timely. I am a very private person. I am usually not comfortable sharing my thoughts, feelings or ideas with others. (If fact, I have followed (in)courage for quite a while and this is my 1st post.) Yet, God has laid it on my heart to lead a new discussion Sunday School class. I begin this Sunday. Believe it or not, I feel prepared and not nervous. If we follow his nudging, He will provide peace.

  13. Mary,

    Well put. This speaks eloquently to cat owners. 😉 We’ve definitely been pushed off our proverbial couch this year. The “one more kid” we could afford and were ready for turned out to be twins… and just when life started getting back into a predictable (if exhausting) rhythm, I got another nudge from the Spirit. Spoken word poetry has thrown me for a loop. I know that sounds odd, but my writing simply came in a new voice one afternoon in April. It was obviously testimony… and very personal, and as much good as it did to simply write it, I’m pretty sure that spoken word is supposed to be… well… spoken. So I found myself at open mic night with nothing but words. Me. It’s not that I’ve never been on a stage before, but it turns out that a microphone is much harder to hide behind than a drum set or a piano.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d chime in with my own observations on how strangely, uncomfortably and powerfully the Spirit moves.

    Thanks
    Heidi
    Thewordspoken.org

    • Heidi, that is so cool! I love it when God does the unexpected! Thank you for sharing your story with us (and congratulations on those babies!).

  14. I can totally relate to this post! I’ve struggled with wanting to move on to a new/different job for almost 2 years now. Each time God says no not now–your time has not yet come. Although I’m not a patient person– I have to rely on His timing and the fact that He knows what’s best for me.