When Comfortable Routine Falls Apart
“I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying for he speaks peace to his faithful people.”
-Psalm 85:8 NLT
I value routine. Our recent move has shown me how much I rely on it—and how much I miss it when it’s gone.
For instance, for the past two years I’ve done my gym workout from 5:30-6:30 AM several mornings each week. Moving meant canceling my gym membership on February 27th. Buying a membership at a new gym close to our marina hasn’t happened yet thanks to our travel schedule. As a result, I haven’t had a decent workout for six weeks. It’ll be another month before my travel schedule slows down. I’ll be able to re-establish an exercise routine then, but heaven help me in the meantime.
A little voice in my head says, “You’re losing ground in your wellness journey. You’ll never be able to get back on track.”
Prior to our move, my office was in our home. Now it’s an hour’s drive from where we live. I’ve made this trip six times in the past week. I envision writing for hours every day from the boat when life settles down, but for now I need to pack and ship books to upcoming speaking events as well as use my many file-cabinet-resources to prepare for them—and all those things are in my office.
A little voice in my head says, “Hoping to write for hours undisturbed on the boat is a pipe dream. Now you’re going to spend your life driving the #1 Highway.”
Before we moved to the boat, Gene and I enjoyed an eating routine that worked well for us. I cooked the bigger meal of the day at noon, and he’d run up the stairs from his office to join me for lunch. Now, because we drive an hour to work, we pack our lunches. We haven’t done this for decades! On the days I travel to the office, I need to plan ahead for supper—either put something in a crockpot or plan something easy to fix when we get home. What will happen to our routine of eating the bigger meal midday as opposed to the end of the day? And how will this affect our weight goals? Honestly, I haven’t had time to figure this out yet. I feel like my eating disciplines have fallen off the rails especially in light of having experienced wonky mealtimes overseas for the past month.
That little voice in my head says, “You’re know this wellness journey you’ve enjoyed? Well, it’s not going to be so easy anymore.”
Even my quiet time with the Lord has been impacted. Before the move, I enjoyed my sacred space—on my leather loveseat in our family room—every morning after my gym workout and before I began work. To say I haven’t figured out how to re-establish my spiritual routine is an understatement. It took a hit while we traveled and I feel like it’s still floundering.
That voice whispers, “You’ve become a spiritual delinquent.”
That voice could lead me down the path of discouragement if I listen too long. In the midst of my upheaval, I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit who speaks with a kinder, gentler, more encouraging voice. He says, “Don’t worry. A routine is nice and it’s comfortable, but it’s not the end-all. I am Your rock. I am Your stability. Keep Your focus on Me, and I’ll lead you through each day one step at a time.”
In the midst of change and loss of my precious routine, I choose to trust my Lord. He’s the One who led me to this change and He’ll lead me through it. He speaks peace, and as I listen to His voice rather than the negative one, I will experience His wonderful gift of peace.
Question: Are you a lover of routine as I am? How do you feel when life shakes up your routine? What helps you cope?