Getting out of a Rut

It’s been a dumpling of a week: one of those swampy, lumpy January bogs that feels like swimming through porridge. Things to do, but no poop for doing ’em. A series of ever-decreasing circles: grey routines and baggy pants.

But that’s quite enough wallowing.  Truth be told, my little rut’s gotten too cosy – time to strap on a rocket and blast out!

Here’s The Plan:

1. get the Bible open.  So far I’ve been dipping my toe in a couple of devotionals/sermons (and they’re great), but not enough.  I’m thinking maybe Isaiah – but perhaps that’s too ambitious.  Titus? nice and short …?  At the minute I’m coasting along on a couple of verses – out of context and hurriedly scanned – but it’s the nutritional equivalent of a Mars Bar: a short-term holding measure. I’m dissatisfied because I’m hungry for gospel meat.

2. thankfulness.  This is not something I do very often.  I’ve got a grief sheet that I tick off before God – but as for celebrating my blessings … er, not so much.  And it’s not like there aren’t hundreds of those bad boys clamouring for acknowledgement.

3. start reading books.  I stopped over Christmas and I miss them.  Nothing too hard or worthy: just a rip-roaring yarn that puts me in someone elses’ head for a bit. A mental holiday  where I can dip into a completely different culture and situation.

4. shake-up some routines.  This is a real challenge: I hate change and I like knowing where things are and doing them in a certain order, (the ‘right’ order, naturally).  But here’s something I’ve noticed: as my habits become more important, other people become less.  Safety is not my friend. My friend is my friend.

5. talk to God.  Actually talk to Him  – about the little stuff and the big stuff.  (I’m sure you’ve been doing this for years, but in my case the stuff that spills out onto friends often gets stuck in the prayer loop). Then I’m going to try to listen.   I’ve been struck recently by the Bible’s emphasis on waiting for God.  Not to retreat or race ahead, but be still and wait.  So here’s my prayer: that I’ll talk, and then shut up.

6. throw out the mouldy spices that have been making me feel guilty for the past year. (Juniper berries.  What do they even MEAN?)

7. talk to myself instead of listening to myself.

8. align my chakra.  (Not really, but it sounds kind of impressive)

9. fewer box sets, more conversation (is this an elvis song?)

10. more elvis.

How about you? What do you do to get out of the hole?

15 thoughts on “Getting out of a Rut

  1. I don’t have the choice as to whether or not I want to get out of my hole. I’m being dragged out against my will by my manager who is doing everything in their power to get me out.

    I have to make the conscious effort to get myself out of my flat and not sleep all day. That’s how I help get myself a little bit closer to the top of the hole.

  2. Exactly what you’ve said here (minus the elvis). Pretty frightening, in a confirmation sort of way. Thank you though! Very encouraged.

  3. ‘Talk to myself, instead of listening to myself’ – that is quite something! I like it. Now to find something interesting or clever or witty or moving to tell myself …. :)

  4. great list…. have linked to my blog… lots of great and godly provocation… I’m doing post-Christmas chocolate-free living and it hurts, more scripture, prayer, study and journalling and that’s helping!!

  5. Emma, love your list. I decided to do new years resolutions after all but there’s only one thing on my list:
    #1. Be still and know that I AM NOT GOD!

    So far this has really helped me put my own small world in perspective. Also every January I like to read Jane Austen all over again, almost as good as Dan Allender for understanding people! But I think I read once that you didn’t care much for Austen? Stick with Elvis maybe. January is hard for most of us. Have a great day.

  6. Hi Sarah

    Lovely to hear from you – I can relate to the temptation to stay in bed. Like you, I find getting out of the house helps – otherwise the duvet is too easy. Also getting out and seeing other people and ordinary life can give me a fresh perspective.
    ..Hope your manager is nice as well as demanding.

  7. Caroline, I’m afraid you’re on your own with Jane – but if you have any advice on being still, I’d love to hear it!

  8. And I had to spent all week on my rotten old bench in the middle of dump and boggy field with no access unless you don’t mind getting soaked and dirty, weeping and thinking I’m the only one in the world…?

    So comforting to be proven how mistaken I was!
    I’ve chosen the same way out except cant depart from my mouldy spices just yet.

    Thanks Emma.


  9. Being still is VERY hard for me. Unfortunately the only breakthroughs I’ve ever had came through night after night filled with lonely sleepless hours staring at the ceiling light fixture in my bedroom. I have struggled with insomnia for many years and this has been a great spiritual battle ground as I usually prefer to worry and regret during this time. A lot of “friends” have given advice to rid me of this affliction. Everything from diet changes to rooting out secret sins and even casting out demons. But I have found that this is often where God meets me, in the silence of the dark night. And this year I am considering it the greatest gift. I don’t know if you think this good advice on being still but you’re welcome to try it!

  10. I love this list! Hmm, fewer box sets more conversation is a very good call… I’d add walking in the countryside with a friend and singing (though perhaps not to Elvis… not such a fan either!)

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