Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
Rut #1- Location, location!
I have often thought of myself as somewhat adventurous. Not too crazy, like jumping out of an airplane or anything (maybe someday). But I do like to stir things up a bit. While living in Colorado, I often found it much easier to change things up when things started to get a little…mundane. We could easily go to one of the many nearby trails. We also loved exploring the many parks in our area. There was no shortage of dog parks either. We would often take our pug Latte out and enjoy the scenery together as a family.
I don’t like ruts. I don’t like things the same for too long. I get bored and I know my kids do too. We all need a change of scenery from time to time. Its fun to go exploring our town and the different events it has to offer. Last year I moved to Brownsville, TX. I then started working Monday through Friday, and found myself getting into a little bit of rut. Ever been there? Work, pick up kids, after school snack, homework, dinner, sports, home, bath, bed… and you guessed it, repeat tomorrow.
And while it has been a little bit harder to find places to explore, it really is worth it. And while the weather may be a little warmer, being outside as a family has so many wonderful benefits! I also look up things going on in the community. Check your local community calendars- you are sure to find some fun events to change things up. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find fun things to do. The best thing about our particular location is that we are 45 minuets from South Padre Island (oh, now you want to visit me!). Go ahead…explore the land!
Rut #2- Physical
Before you skip over this section, just stay with me for a moment. Hopefully, you’ll be glad you did! Before I started working five days a week, it was also much easier to work out on a regular basis when I had a job of like six hours a week. Then, when I moved here and started working, I noticed a little more wiggle in my step. A little more bounce in my pounce. I thought surely our scale was broken because the numbers just kept going up! (The Mexican food here is not only fabulous, but can be very damaging to the waistline). Finally, I realized I had to stop beating myself up. I somehow picked up the mindset that I was either going to be working out five times a week or not at all. And, with my new crazy schedule, not at all won.
I had to take a good look at my ‘physical’ life and how I was feeling. I remember how good it felt to run or ride my bike. I remember how comfortable I was in my skin. I decided that I wasn’t going to beat myself up any longer, but that I was going to do something if I had some spare time and the hubby was home, or even if I just went to the gym once that week, it was better than not at all. And you know what, I do feel better (regardless of what my scale might say!). But the most important lesson I have learned through all of this is to change it up. If you have access to a pool, swim once in a while, then maybe jog next time you go out. Go for a bike ride with your kids. I love a change of scenery! This will help you not to get bored and instead of seeing working out as a negative, it will actually turn into a positive. You will be amazed at how much better you feel! Go ahead and mix it up!
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
Rut #3- Spiritual
I have heard people before talk about their quiet time as somewhat stale. Boring. And I think the main reason is that sometimes we get in a rut. Wake up, read daily Bible, pray for people on our little prayer list. Move on. I read a great article recently by Rebecca Pfortmiller in Gateways Studio G Magazine. If you get a chance, I highly recommend you read this article too! She says, “I try not to be too rigid on how I approach this time”. There’s no ‘set’ way to have your quiet time. I like to get up early, make my coffee, and then tip toe (so I can keep it ‘quiet’ time) to my closet. I usually start by asking the Lord to speak to me before I read His Word. Then I read from the Bible, sometimes from my daily Bible, but other times I might be reading through one of the books from the Bible. I always have my journal handy in case I read something and feel like that’s specifically for me that day. And really it just depends after that. There are times when I turn up praise and worship, and just worship Him. There are also times when I will download different podcasts from some of my favorite speakers and listen to them as I’m cleaning or getting ready. There are some mornings when I just feel the need to thank Him, and I begin to list all that I am thankful for. And of course, I’m a big journal girl. Write it down! Whatever He’s doing, whatever you’re going through- it’s your journey with Him. Hab. 2:2– 2Then the Lord replied:“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets”. That’s what I love about God- learning about Him never gets boring, and growing in Him isn’t dull. Loving Him and allowing Him to love on me is absolutely priceless. Go ahead, shake things up a bit!
I know there are many other areas where it is good to get out of your rut. These are just three that that I was impressed to write about. The biggest lesson with all of this is to not get legalistic with your schedules- whether it be your time with the Lord, exercise, or going places. Have fun! Life is a gift from God meant to be lived! And if you start to feel like the rut is sneaking back up on you… jump in the car and go anywhere! Grab a book and head to your local coffee shop, grab a board game with the kids, throw the kids in the car (not literally) and go for a hike somewhere, go sit somewhere with an amazing view and read, journal, hang out with God! Mix it up ladies! For this New Year in 2012- let’s put our ruts on the shelves! Say no to ruts and yes to life!
Lord, as we begin a new year, would You help us to keep our lives filled with awe and wonder. Would You fill us up with the joy of the Lord, that can truly be our strength. Help us to live this life to the fullest, that others would see and want what we have…and that’s You! Thank you for the gift of life. Help us to not take it for granted, but to enjoy the journey. It’s a new year Lord- We commit it to You in all that we do. In Jesus name, amen.