Sign Me Up: Getting out of Your Family Comfort Zone

Shauna Pilgreen

You and me, we’re not moms so that we can go through the assembly line of raising a family – add a kid or two, throw in a pet, build a home big enough, and plan the best birthday parties ever. Deep down, even if it feels lost, we’re moms who have the capacity to love and believe that as a family we can really make a difference in this world.

The assembly line might feel like the everyday mundane routines of school projects or diaper changes or tag-teaming with your spouse, but let’s add some rebellion to our day. You with me? Note: What we’re about to do isn’t always Instagram-able because it’s about folks you don’t know yet and that would be a breach in privacy to post. So if you have to document it so that people believe you did this, you might as well sit this one out.

Rebellion is showing or feeling resistant to something. In our case, we’re wanting more out of life and this requires resisting what’s comfortable and refusing to keep up with the Joneses. And we all know the Joneses! Naturally we want to stick to ourselves, stay tight as a family, do what benefits us. A rebellious family steps out of what’s comfortable and natural into a realm where others are blessed, our kids learn empathy and compassion, and our gifts are put to use producing supernatural results. The stirring that is inside you and your family is placed there to ultimately be a blessing to others. We’re created for life together and the family has the potential to be a joint force.

The rebellion requirements:

      • Get clearance from above. God is the one who connects your heart and mind and wired each of you in the family for unique purposes and callings. You’ll want to make sure it is well with your soul to go for it. The shakes and butterflies are a natural indicator that you’re going against the grain!
      • Be you. What does everyone in your family have to offer? You can’t be anyone else, but yourself. It just won’t work. Your mind will be fixated on doing it like so-and-so and you’ll wonder where the disconnect is. Friend, the disconnect is between the head and the heart. You’ve got to personally feel it from within as a dream, a desire, a dare to live beyond the comfort in order to really make a difference.
      • Take the first step. Walk across the street. Find a gap in your community. Gather a few friends – all within COVID-19 protocol, of course. Whatever it is, act. When we act upon what stirs us, what frustrates and bothers us, what purpose God has woven into our family, stepping out of our comfort zone will be the natural next step. “It’s in the urging that we lean in rather than away. We’re hearing the voice of God and are in the tension of the decision. And that prompting toward faith is God.”
      • Retell the stories often. You will have stories of triumph and setback. There will be moments that are evident of God’s activity and presence and then situations that cause you to wonder if you heard God right. Whatever the case may be, you went for it, and that, my rebellious friend, is worth telling!


    Our family might have been the new ones on the block, but we were determined to be the welcome rather than wait for the welcome. God gave us a lemon tree, so we gifted lemons and homemade cookies and attached our contact information and gave these to our neighbors. We’ve done pizza nights on our block and everyone in our family used their gifts to be a blessing. Someone made signs, another did silly dances on the street to get people’s attention. A quiet one would restock the water and cookies, while the rest of us engaged in introductions and conversations. We’ve done an arcade in the driveway using cardboard boxes and invited kids in the neighborhood to come and earn prizes. We got an ice cream maker for a birthday one year and over a few weeks time stored up several containers to host an ice cream social. We’ve hosted an Easter egg hunt and no one showed up, and had over 20 people at this year’s Cookies and Cocoa.

    Rebellious doesn’t seem to fit, does it? But if everyone else were signing up to leave their comfort zones this would all be quite normal. Since it’s not the norm in our world, you and me and the families we are raising get to be the rebellious ones. Sign me up!


    Shauna Pilgreen, along with her husband Ben and their 4 kids: Elijah, Samuel, Asher and Kavita embraced new and scary as they moved to downtown San Francisco in 2010 to start Epic Church and love the people. Every day is an adventure with a million people doing all sorts of world-changing endeavors. The family loves neighborhood walks, hosting people in their home, service projects in the city, travels, and their new puppy, Hershey. Shauna is the author of Love Where You Live: How to Live Sent in the Place You Call Home.