Messy Bun Ambition
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
We live in a sweatpants and messy bun generation, and I don’t exactly dislike it. We search for comfort and the cozy feeling of the hygge lifestyle. I’ve been known to brag about how many sherpa-lined socks and cute animal pajama pants I have. These days, embracing and striving for comfort is just as much a sign of a successful life as getting the dream job. It seems if you can afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing, you’ve made it somehow.
My super soft, sloth PJ pants are a prized possession, but I’ve seen the dark side of comfort. The desire to spend a few hours doing nothing is a powerful one, and that desire will always win unless you fight it. There’s nothing wrong with coziness and peace, but we can’t shut down our minds and ambitions every time we have a free moment. Even if you’re mommin’ all day or moving non-stop at your job, there are still goals, desires, and plans for you outside of the daily routine. As with everything, relaxation needs its own moderation. If the sweats and streaming movies are calling you every day, you’ve got to push passion and zeal back to the forefront.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
You can rest assured that, somedays, God’s going to call you to the couch. We all need times of restoration. Letting our bodies and spirits renew can be entirely glorifying to God. But, a personal life lived in inactivity is hardly self-serving — much less glorifying. Though your cup of cocoa would look super cute on social media, God has plans for your personal moments. If you have a dream. If there are thoughts and plans in your heart that excite you, they are not there on accident.
Five years ago, as I got ready for church, God gave me an idea for a novel. One moment I was having the “do we really have to go to church today?” talk with myself and, in a flash, I had this idea. This concept began to form — and, within the next year, I had written about half a book. And then, almost nothing. It’s been four years since I made any real progress on it. I’ll add a page here and there, but I constantly fight the urge to just sit still. I’m an adult and a mom. Being tired is kind of a requirement. Still, I have reached a point that the exhaustion dictates my life. I have a heart for words. I even started a second book that is currently stuck about halfway through as well. I used to think my inactivity was just a byproduct of life, and I had no choice but to accept it. But, two half-written books prove otherwise.
You always think of the enemy acting in or upon your life to steal, kill, and destroy. But what if he didn’t need to do anything? What if your lack of ambition or willpower is doing his work for him? All the enemy needs to do is give a little nudge here and there to affirm my tired, comfort-seeking self, and I’m on the couch again. I’m comfy but unproductive. I made the mistake of thinking the enemy would work hard to make me uncomfortable — but, friends, in a crazy grown-up world, he will often do the opposite. Comfortable complacency might feel nice amid a stressful life, but it’s a prison against spiritual productivity and growth.
So, what do you do? What do I do? Do I have to get rid of my super soft, sloth pajama pants? Of course not. My answer for me and for you is to be patient for comfort. Put yourself in front of that journal, your Bible, or that project after you finish dinner. Give yourself an hour each day or at least a few times a week to work on that passion project God has put on your heart. If you’re like me, new puppies and demanding kiddos will probably drag you away from your work a few dozen times, but it’s your intention that matters. Through the tiredness and the stress, make a choice to reconnect with your ambition. Be patient for your comfort. Push yourself. Add an hour to enthusiastically pursue your calling, and then, grab those comfy pants. Believe me, they will feel even more majestic after you’ve earned them with some God-glorifying, call-pursuing, boss lady, sanctifying work.
I’m praying for all of us to feel that boost of ambition again. It’s such an empowering gift from God. This year, let’s be a part of a movement and a progression for God’s kingdom. Let’s get up off the couch, and move for Him.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.