I Didn’t Know I Was Stuck In a Rut Until I Started to Climb Out

(I know you might be expecting Disney pictures and stories…and trust me I have LOTS of them to share, but for now would you allow me to share a little of what’s on my heart with you? It seems important to get this out first before I post about Blissdom or The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration or any of our daily life adventures. I think it will help me as I start climbing out of this rut that I’ve fallen into.)

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a rut and you had no clue you were in one? 

Or where it started? 

Or what caused it?

Somewhere in the daily tasks and responsibilities I’ve lost sight of what life is really about…

Somewhere amidst the chores, the financial uncertainties of unemployment, the expectations, commitments, physical challenges, the disappointments of not feeling like I was doing anything well, the pressures, the failures,and other distractions, I allowed negativity to drag me into its ugly pit. 

The sins of selfishness, impatience, and pride have been far too evident in my interactions and attitude. 

And somehow I didn’t see it coming.  Somehow I didn’t notice how far I had fallen.

(Enter: Disney World. The happiest place on earth, after all!)

Surrounded by my dear sweet men for a week, away from the daily routines of life, I watched them with smiles and wonder plastered on their faces.  I worked together with my #1 teammate in life under stressful and tiring circumstances, and watched us grow as a couple.  I celebrated our family experiencing a “normal” family vacation. I was encouraged by other bloggers and positive social media influencers. I took in the pure happiness of childhood. I breathed it in….And Boy, did it feel good!

So now as I make my “re-entry” into reality it’s become apparent that I was in a serious RUT.  And now I’m bound and determined to climb my way out. 

There are changes I need to make.  Things I need to do better.  Ways that I need to grow.  Priorities that need shifted. Apologies to be made. Realizations to digest.

When did I get so serious?  When did I allow things to overwhelm me to the point of despair? When did I let tasks and responsibilities steal my enjoyment in life? How did I become so self-focused?

It’s frustrating and upsetting….but on the other hand it’s motivating.

I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of JOY ahead in this journey… along with fist pumping, uncontrollable giggling, tender moments, quiet understandings, love taps, silliness, letting go, and investing in others.

There’s more of my heart that needs filling.


 Proverbs 15:13,15b “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken…A cheerful heart has a continual feast.” 

22 thoughts on "I Didn’t Know I Was Stuck In a Rut Until I Started to Climb Out"

  1. I totally agree with you that one can fall in a deep RUT and never know it until something, or someone shows them something that turns it all around! I am so glad you had a great time in Disney and I do hope your journey out of this RUT is a fast and positive one =) Here's to you and wishing you the very best…
    P.S. Can't wait to see those Disney photos. I'm sure you guys had smiles all week!

  2. Brianna says:

    Oh, your beautiful heart. Love you friend.


  3. Rachel says:

    I think one of the best gifts you can give your readers is authenticity. Thank you for posting about real struggles all of us have. BTW – I have 3 baby blankets and 2 hats done so far for the NICU kit. More are in progress What would be the best way to get those to you. I can bring them to you if you want. I live on the westside.

  4. I am right there with you. I'm trying to learn these exact lessons. True joy and true freedom in Christ. Love ya girl!

  5. Laura says:

    Pinpointing this struggle – and having the strength to write about it – hopefully will be the first step to climbing out. Isn't this what blogging is all about? Good luck – and thank you for sharing the journey.

  6. Mama Llama says:

    thanks for sharing your heart! These kinds of posts grab some of us before we fall into the rut! So thanks for throwing us a line. I have been feeling like i am walking on the edge of the rut…getting overwhelmed vs. enjoying the blog world. I love it one minute then hate it another. It is life-giving and rejuvenating, yet i struggle to balance my time.

    I don't want to me so serious and I want to make wise decision for me and my family.

    Maybe i need to go to Disney world too!

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Remember to inhale grace – the grace that God so freely gives and yet we rarely choose to receive, the grace that helps us leave the things of past truly in the past, the grace that keeps us from beating ourselves up over and over and over again – and exhale peace – the peace that goes beyond understanding, the peace that calms our souls in light of the future, the peace that can only come from God.

    Grace and Peace to you my sister from another mister. 😉

  8. I never comment but felt I had to tonight. It could have been me writing to this. I remember telling my husband the other night, "Do you know what it's like to go to bed everynight thinking that you failed at the only thing you've ever wanted to do? I'm stuck in a rut and don't know how to get out". I struggle everyday to remember, that it is OK if the laundry is not all the way done, or the floors and counters are not perfectly clean. And it is soooo hard. I'll keep you in my prayers every morning when I say mine.

  9. Lorri says:

    I completely understand. These past few weeks for me have just been about trying to venture out from the cave again.

  10. Stacey McCastlain says:

    Hey Jen,
    I was recently in a major rut myself and was exhausting myself trying to climb out. I couldn't fight off the dark cloud hanging over me no matter how hard I tried.
    This last weekend I was blessed to go on a Walk to Emmaus. It is a Christian "conference" that is not associated with one particular denomination, but rather several coming together for the kingdom. Anyway, I will never be the same. I sort of feel like I've been married to Christ for most of my life, but I'm just now falling in love with Him. It has given me unspeakable joy and peace.
    Whether you ever feel called to go on the Walk or not hold tight to His promises. He is always with us and loves us more than we could ever know. Also His grace is sufficient for today.
    Stacey in FL

  11. Novabella says:

    No matter what your mental state has been of late, you have one of the best blogs around. I don't mean best mommy blog– I mean best blog period. You are always frank, refreshing, reflective, and your deep love for your family shows through both in your dark days and in your bright ones. The word for you is GENUINE. Thank you for sharing your world with us. I follow your struggles, victories, and insights with interest!

  12. KSDallas says:

    I haven't felt like I was in a rut, but I have been so frustrated lately with everything and everyone. Your post really hit home. Thanks for sharing. It was worth waiting for a Disney update. :o)


  13. This is a touching post. I think many of us mamas fall into a pattern and forget to enjoy life sometimes! It seems to happen when we get caught up in the everyday tasks that we need to do to keep everyone safe and cared for, and sometimes we miss the joy. Disney was great for my family in a lot of the same ways. 🙂 I am truly loving being a mommy again(not that I ever really DIDN'T love it, ya know!) Now, I wish I had gotten to meet you!

  14. Emily says:

    Our God is so Faithful. He knows when we are struggling, and he takes us out of the miry pit, and places our feet upon the Rock. I'm so thankful that He is there to constantly remind us to look up and out, instead of merely in. May He continue to remind each of His children that we have unspeakable blessings through salvation and sanctification!

  15. Krystyn says:

    The rut is so easy to slip into..so very easy. Especially with the responsibilities and uncertainty.

    It's good you were able to identify it and start to find your way out. Baby steps, right? And, of course, it is okay to get there and be there.

  16. My2Gs says:

    We never really got to chat at #DisneySMMoms outside of exchanging a few words as we waited for elevators, etc. Despite that, I can tell you that just from observing you and your hubby interact with your darling little boys…made me want to work on my patience level with my own kiddos. You and your husband seem like awesome parents and truly an example of God's love!

  17. teachmama says:

    Hey Jen–
    No worries, my friend. You were out of the norm, you realized you were in a rut, and now you're moving forward. Don't forget that we, as women, have a boatload of hormones to contend with on top of it all. Your boys are not that old, so it could be your body adjusting, leveling out, who knows. . .

    Shake the guilt, be happy for your new-found clarity, and keep on truckin'.

    Cheers and many hugs from MD,

  18. Beautiful post Jen! And thanks for sharing your heart with all of us. I know you can refocus your direction.

  19. Meg says:

    Hang on a second…before you are too hard on yourself, you might want to see if you are depressed. From what you described, that sounds like a possibility. If you can't turn it around and feel better within a couple of weeks, you might want to see your doctor.

  20. Emily says:

    I love you… It's a bit scary how closely this resembles something I just journaled about…

    So glad you all are back. Can't wait to see you Sunday!!

  21. Christina says:

    I think we are get stuck in a rut from time to time. I think self reflection from time to time is a great thing!

  22. Praying for you that you begin to feel better soon.

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