Life in a Rut

We all love mountain top experiences. Perhaps you’ve been on your church’s retreat, or maybe you just took a break from the daily routine for some personal time with God. Either way, you’ve been listening and He’s been speaking. There’s nothing like hearing from God!

Sometimes, He’s full of new plans for us, or He comes and comforts us in our hour of need. Sometimes, we’re reading along in our Bible and the words leap off the page and into our hearts and minds.

And sometimes life consists of a series of days so alike, you can barely tell them apart. After all the excitement of plans and possibilities, new insights and clear direction, we’re left in the tedium of routine.

Gwendolyn Elise Brown_Everett-WA_LAH_2920It’s like having a baby. You discover you’re expecting—an intensely emotional experience. You wait for months, accumulating baby things, reading baby books, talking to friends about their babies, and then suddenly, today is The Day! Giving birth is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had—painful, exhilarating, unbelievable, overwhelming.

And then you begin life with a newborn. Milk in one end and gooey, wet diapers at the other. No sleep. No time. For days and days and days. And you suddenly realize that while having children is incredibly rewarding, most of it isn’t very glamorous.

That’s what life is like right now. Pack a box. Pack another box. Discover the dirt and debris in a house you thought was clean. Add another item to the pile destined for the thrift shop. Pack another box.

It’s often hard to remember the reason we’re doing all this—to move into a new house with less upkeep and fewer belongings.

At the same time, we’ve been driving past our lot—and for a long time, nothing changed there, either. A “sold” sign appeared, but that was it. Week after week, it was a bunch of frozen dirt. Then suddenly, in two days, the basement was dug… a huge hole in the ground. And then that sat for another week. It seemed as if nothing was actually happening.

Of course, no builder is going to stay in business for very long if they just sit around. Something was happening—we just couldn’t see it. Plans were being drawn, incorporating the minor changes we’d made to the blueprints. Permits were applied for and permissions were granted. It was all necessary, just not very exciting.

And once the foundation was poured, we had to wait again while the utility companies connected pipes and wires. Again, it looked as if no progress was being made, but think how important a firm foundation is!


Here at our current house, it was much the same. Packed boxes slowly accumulated in hallways and offices. Pictures came down in preparation for painting. It got so we could barely move through the rooms. And then, in one day, all our “extra” stuff was loaded into a storage pod and hauled away. Suddenly, the house looks half empty (that was the idea).

I was asking myself, “What’s been on God’s heart lately? What has He been teaching me?” At first I couldn’t think of anything. Then I realized—the lessons have been subtle, but that doesn’t mean He’s ignoring me. Rather, I’ve been learning patience, perseverance, faithfulness. He clearly told us that it was time to downsize, and that’s what we’re doing—even if it isn’t much fun at the moment.

Monday, our builder starts framing the house. Today, workmen are here taking care of all the needed repairs on our old home. I just need to keep my focus on the goal and not get weighed down by the details. Kind of like life in general.

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