Stuck in a rut…Rescued by a Story

Allow me to be a little vulnerable for a moment…

This morning Princess Bella and I were doing her reading work. After we completed the ‘pre-work’ we dove right into the reading selection for the day, Lesson 21: A Strange Dream.

Princess Bella already read the selection the day before and this time she asked me to read it. A little shocked (Princess Bella hardly ever wants to share reading aloud – she absolutely loves it) I picked up the book and settled into the chair and began to read.

I started off the story being very deliberate about following all the right reading rules (stopping at the ends of sentences, quick pause at commas, reading with emotion, etc). For me, reading the story was about teaching her reading strategies—but God had something else in store for me.

The other day I found myself in a bit of a rut (and boy do I hate being in a rut—they are so not fun). But nonetheless, I was there—right smack in the middle of it. And I was not alone, Khari  was right there with me. We were so in our collective ‘woe-is-me’ rut that Princess Bella asked at the end of the evening, “Mom what was wrong with you and dad today?” Wow, we had no clue our rut was even noticeable.

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.” Psalm 40:4

So what put us in our rut? Well, a healthy dose of reality. We are at the very beginning stages of house hunting…the qualifying stage. Living on one income with three children in a high-price area such as the Washington, DC Metro area is…well some would say tough…I say impossible. And yet here we are. After talking to a loan originator we were presented with the truth about our reality which was the simple fact that the price range of house we thought we would be able to shop for is not the price range we will be able to shop for…and that left us—well, not exactly sure what we should do.

It also had me second guessing all our decisions thus far. Should we be homeschooling? Should I be staying home instead of out working? We were left in an emotional rut.

By mid-afternoon, life’s duties of cooking and cleaning (for me) and conference calls for Khari distracted us. But we still were imprinted by the news and we walked around a bit more slowly and with less smiles.  My stomach turned in knots—it is just how and where we were.

By the evening, before bed, after us both having some quiet time to reflect and step away from the problem, we came back together and found ourselves on the same page. All we can do is trust in the Lord, Khari said.

Trust He has a perfect plan. Trust in His provision. Trust that He will bless us.

And so we went to bed still in a rut, but trusting in Him together.

This brings me to today and the story I was reading to Princess Bella. The story that I shouldn’t have been reading. The story that honestly, if I didn’t read aloud I would have half-listened to.

The story was all about Gideon and the battle he had to face against the Midianites. I was not very familiar with this story. And again, I was more interested in modeling reading skills rather than actually taking in the story. But as I read on, the words began to pierce my heart. I found myself forgetting all the rules and started devouring the words.

Gideon was faced with the impossible: an enormous army so much more powerful than his own. He felt overwhelmed and started to give in to defeat.

But the Lord said to him when he called out, “There are too many people here with you to fight. If so many people fight, they might think they are the ones who won, instead of knowing that I helped them.” And so He instructed Gideon to send men away until Gideon was left with 300. Gideon stood looking at his 300 in comparison to the Midianites’ many.

God wanted to show His people that He was able to do great things. He told Gideon to “Get up and go” and fight with the 300 men He left him with.

When I came to the end of the story I stopped and starred. Princess Bella grabbed her workbook, ready to tackle the comprehension questions, but I was frozen. I felt myself suddenly lifted out of my rut—it left me…or I it. “This story is what Mommy needed,” I whispered to her. And she smiled back, so unaware of the gift she offered me this morning.

We talked about how God used little and did a mighty impossible thing.

But not only did God used little, He chose little. He wanted to make sure that people knew who was Lord and who their blessings came from. And turning an impossible into possible sure did do that—God got a stronger and truer name with those people.

And then my memory started offering up story after story of God choosing the least, the fewest, the smallest to achieve and do and conquer the greatest of things: Noah, Moses, the loaves of bread and few fish, Rehab, Jonah…Jesus Himself, born as a lowly babe…poor and in a manger.

He can take the little that you are and the little that you have and do amazing things with it all for His glory.

And so, I have hope that this can be true for me and my family. Maybe God has chosen to take money away and block job promotions to make sure that we know He is truly our provider and Lord.

And the truth is (as ugly as it may seem), I don’t know where my relationship with God would be if everything were so easy and money were not a challenge (or rather, short supply). Honestly, Khari and I have talked many times before that maybe we are on the exact path that He needs us to be so that He can be the only one to get the glory. Perhaps, this is part of the lessons we need to learn in order to mature in the Lord.

The Lord is so loving and gentle, He offered me manna in the form of a story from long ago. He confirmed our choice to stand firm in Him, and trust.

And we resolve to wait in thanksgiving, believing like Gideon, He will win this battle—despite the very real and big and scary realities we face.

Oh, and by the way, this week’s Bible memory lesson Princess Bella pointed out as we wrapped up the lesson, is: “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.” Psalm 40:4.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

Stay Encouraged my friends & Be Blessed!

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