“I feel stuck. Every time I look in the mirror, all I can see are my past mistakes. I am filled with anger and don’t know how I can move forward.” As I spoke with Ann (not her real name), her eyes filled with tears. She is only in her mid-forties, but she described a life of pain and regret. Her relationship with her husband is crumbling, she feels trapped in a career she hates and interactions with her children are strained. I hear versions of this story every week as I talk with women. Are you feeling stuck in a rut? Would you like some simple tips to help you start climbing out of that rut TODAY?
I have some old patio furniture that I thought was un-salvageable. It was worn out, weather-beaten and even rotted in spots. No one ever sat on the bench because it looked like it would fill you with splinters if you got too close. I did use the wheel barrow as a planter, but the rotted spots made you think twice before putting in too many plants. At the beginning of the summer I debated if it was worth fixing them up or if they should just be trashed.
After some scrubbing and a few coats of paint, I think it was worth the effort. Once dingy and ignored, they are now some of the focal points of our backyard.
Many times, our lives can be like these old pieces of furniture. We see the problems, frustrations and ruts that we are living in. We then start debating if it is worth the effort to fix the problem and climb out of the rut – maybe it would be easier to just start over.
Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Let me urge you today not to give up. (Please note, this is general advice. If you are in an extreme situation which requires counseling or intervention please seek the help you need.) In most situations, though, there is hope. Climbing out of a rut takes work just like we had to spend many hours cleaning and painting our furniture out in the hot sun. If you put in the effort, though, it can make a tremendous difference.
Here are four simple steps to start seeing real change today:
Admit the reality of where you are. If you are stuck in a rut, there is probably a lot of emotion tied to your current situation. Try to take the emotion out of it and factually evaluate your issues. What are the good points and the bad in your life right now?
Pray about these issues. God loves you and He knows everything going on in your life. Please note that this is not a sure-fire way to get what you want. Sometimes God lets us stay in hard situations to build our character. Ask God for guidance as you complete the next two steps.
Pick one area to start working on. It is unrealistic to try to address every issue at once. Resist the urge to tackle everything and just pick one to start with.
Do one thing today to address the issue. It may be a huge situation that may take a while to completely solve, but you can start seeing progress if you take one action step today!
Finding balance and fulfillment in life is a never-ending process. Please join me on this journey. By signing up on the form below you will receive a free e-book which gives more detail about this process. Please sign up; then share this blog with others who may benefit from it.