Circle of Life

 

My husband doesn’t want to join a gym.

So every morning, he comes down the stairs in his workout clothes. After a kiss ‘good morning’, he snaps on the TV, and I hear the marching feet. He walks in place until the commercials.

Then he walks around the first floor in circles.

It struck me that he was doing all this walking, but really not getting anywhere. Around and around he goes until the program comes back on, and it’s time to march in place again.

Puzzling this idea in my head, I finish my breakfast and gather my things. Another kiss, and I’m out the door to the gym.

It’s cardio day for me, so I step up onto the treadmill. Adjusting the settings, the machine comes to life and I start my own marching. It becomes clear to me that I am doing the same thing as my husband. The runner below my feet is making it’s own circles, and I am propelled forward.

Around and around it goes. And I’m not going anywhere either.

My husband and I are doing the same thing. Yes, we’re performing our workout routines. But it sure looks like we’re not getting anywhere.

Isn’t life like that? Go to work, exercise, drop the kids off at school, start dinner, clean the bathroom (yet again). Just about anything I do in my day can look repetitive and pointless.

The Circle of Life can start to look a lot like my husband’s laps around the house, or the gym treadmill. Get up, do the same things, go to bed. Rinse and repeat. It’s very easy to get into this negative way of thinking.

And the sad thing? It can lead to a feeling of hopelessness too.

I know sometimes I wonder why I keep doing the same things. But the saving grace for me is that I have eyes of faith. And I have goals. It keeps me from any kind of discouragement.

 

Work gives the satisfaction of using my gifts and talents.

Exercise helps maintain the body given to me by God.

Dropping the kids at school shows them that I prize their education.

Preparing food is my labor of love in feeding the family.

Cleaning shows respect for the gift of my living space.

 

God didn’t make my life a ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’ Everything I have and everything I do has meaning and purpose.

So the next time I puzzle at how it seems like I’m just not getting anywhere, it’s time to think again. The daily ‘to-do’ lists might not be very exciting or innovative. But it’s anything but empty, repetitive motion.

These ‘burdens’ are really blessings. They are my joyful, meaningful assignments from God. But how I ultimately see them is up to me.

If I choose, my heavenly chores will look like a vicious cycle. But that’s just the surface. I don’t want to accept that shallow view.

A blessed Circle of Life. Yes. That’s my choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

66 thoughts on “Circle of Life

  1. Sometimes we may feel like we are going around in circles and not really accomplishing anything, but God is working beneath the surface anyway…speaking words of life into our hearts and minds, giving us inspiration to do what we do, write what we think, and speak the words of life He gives us to share with others. So, even when we think we are going nowhere, God is actually leading us somewhere. Good thoughts today that you shared that made me think! See what I mean?

    • Hi Pam! I love what you wrote Pam. We really do have to look deeper than just the movements. There is purpose and beauty in life, no matter how repetitive.

      “even when we thing we’re going nowhere…” Yes, God is leading always.

      Beautiful!
      Ceil

  2. I often feel like the Queen of endless to-do lists, so I love your perspective. How easy it is to see things as meaningless and mundane! But if we will give our tasks to God and ask Him to use them (and even to let us see how He uses them), how that transforms our day. I’ve found that praying through my day’s schedule in the morning, along with any concerns I may have about the events to come, often results in direct answers to those prayers. And suddenly my “mundane” day is exciting, and I see how much God is interested in my routine activities.

    • Hi Diana! What a great idea. Praying through your chore list and talking it over with the Lord? That really places your life in his. And you get answers too. How God must love your little chats!

      Thank you for sharing your routine. It has blessed you, and given me a great prayer idea too. Thank you!
      Ceil

  3. It’s so true that our “burdens” are really our blessings. Sometimes I can think I don’t have it so good (this doesn’t happen very often). I stop myself because I know there is always someone elsewhere who has it much tougher and would dearly love to have my life with all it’s comforts and burdens. God bless you Ceil!

    • Hi Joyful! I heard once that we think our crosses are so heavy, but we’d never switch with someone else. We all have problems and moments of discouragement. But hiding underneath everything we do runs the river of God’s grace sweeping us forward.

      I just don’t notice it sometimes. You have such a beautiful attitude Joyful. Thank you for sharing it 🙂

      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

  4. I have a cleaning “routine” and it can very easily feel more like a rut. Thanks for the new perspective! Have a great day, Ceil!

    • Hi Pam! Oh I agree. Cleaning often seems like an exercise in futility, doesn’t it? It’s only going to get messed up again! But each movement is a grace. Taking care of my blessings can be a joy. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

      Thank you for your kind comments. Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Dayle! I was just writing about the word ‘focus’. I have come to realize that I really like to have that in my life. Focus is about the same as goals. It does help to keep me on a good path. I understand what you are saying.

      Thank you for your visit! Have a good night,
      Ceil

  5. Great analogy with a spiritual lesson! I’m cracking up a bit that your husband marches in place and walks circles around the house. Of course, I have my own “unique” behaviors so to each his/her own! 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth! It’s not my preference to exercise at home, but he likes it. Whatever gets him into taking care of himself, I’m all for it!

      Thank you for your visit today. I’m glad you liked the post. I hope you have a good Thursday 🙂
      Ceil

  6. What an interesting perspective, my dear Ceil. You have opened my eyes, friend – thank you 🙂

    It’s so good to pop in . . . when I am busy and don’t get around to visiting your blog is one I greatly miss. Enjoy the remainder of your week.

    Hugs and blessings!

    • Hi Stephanie! How nice to see you! I know you are crazy busy with your Etsy Shop and helping your Mom launch her blog home. You are a good daughter!

      I’m glad you liked the post. And I hope you have a great day 🙂
      Ceil

  7. Great analogy here, Ceil! I have never been fond of gyms…however, I love nature! I enjoy taking long walks while appreciating all the things God made…the birds, the trees, the river, squirrels, etc. I find it to be therapeutic! I (most of the time) bring my camera with me and share my photos on my blog posts. I do my best to live in the moment and to appreciate everyone and everything in my life.
    Thank you so much for this thought inspiring post.

    • Hi Linda! I really enjoy your photos, so I’m glad you get outdoors to walk. That is my preference too, but it’s just been a miserable winter here. The gym is indoors, which was a real plus with all the snow and cold. Things are starting to look up here, so I’ll get outside soon.

      It is a great way to appreciate what God has given! I’m sure he loves watching you enjoy his creation 🙂

      Blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lauren! Thank you for your generous comment. I’m so happy you liked what you read.

      Blessings on that ‘to-do’ list today. I hope you will fly through it with grace!
      Ceil

    • Hi Elizabeth! I’m sure you are feeling that ‘circle’ these days, taking care of your husband. Seeing all my chores as ‘blessed’ really is a game-changer for me.

      I hope today is a day of blessing for you my friend,
      Ceil

  8. You have a beautiful way of looking at the simplest things Ceil! I too get on my treadmill each morning. But I have my Kindle positioned so I can read my Bible app with the One Year Bible. I feel like I’m doing two good things at once. 🙂

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! You are doing two really important things at once! Building your mind and your spirit. That’s really great.

      I, on the other hand, watch the news and talk shows! You have made a better choice 🙂

      Thank you for your encouraging comments today, I really appreciate them.
      Have a blessed day!
      Ceil

  9. OK … this I’ll remember when I tie on my brand new NIKE lightweights and head out the door! And I’ll thank God that even though so much of the dailyness of life seems routine, He is gracing every step with His presence.

    Have a wonderful day, my dear!

    ;-}

    • Hi Linda! Nothing like a new pair of shoes to get you going. Good for you!

      It’s a wonderful thing to always remember that God graces every movement. Sometimes it’s hard to see when the skies are gray in our day…but he’s always shining no matter what.

      It’s been a good day so far! Hope it’s the same for you 🙂
      Ceil

  10. I admit, I had to chuckle..a circle is never ending..that is how it was told me to me..like a marriage..like a ring. That is why we wear a ring..never ending love, and unbroken vow. I know that is not what you mean. I was just making a comment (smiles)–as I lost my train of thought (giggles). –yep..a circle of life..I prefer that view as well..Blessings

    • Hi Linda! Your comment makes me smile 🙂

      Isn’t that how bloggers are? We see an idea and start playing with it, seeing where it will go in our minds. Putting our own spin on it. It comes naturally I think.

      Love the marriage ring analogy.
      Blessings to you, my thought-filled friend!
      Ceil

  11. Good call, Ceil. It’s all about perspective and we have the under appreciated gift of free will to choose. It can be a double edged sword, especially for the ones who refuse the free gift of salvation…

    • Hi Floyd! I agree! The gift of free will is under appreciated. We all have a choice to see things in a good light, or a negative one.

      I know it’s hard for me to see the light of Christ at times. I get feeling down at routine. But I have to remember it’s my choice to see God in everything. Even the routine.

      Thanks for your visit brother!
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! Well, my average for remembering that isn’t 100% either.

      But it’s a good way for me to remember how much God loves me. I have my own space to live and move and have my being. That is a huge gift not given to everyone. A reason to rejoice!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  12. Yes, it may look like this on the surface. We never know what is happening behind the scenes, but we can trust that it is happening. God is faithful. So is your workout benefits! Blessings to you.

    • Hi Kim! Thank you for your thoughts. I like the way you said that we can ‘trust that it is happening.’ Even if it looks like an endless loop, there is grace!

      Have a good evening 🙂
      Ceil

  13. “Rinse and repeat” That’s funny and exactly how I feel much of the time. The hopelessness comes from feeling stuck, like I can’t get ahead. There is so much of the “routine” that seems to keep me from accomplishing all the things that I think I should. I often have to stop myself and give thanks that I have a home to clean, clothes to wash, food to cook and that I woke up this morning with the opportunity to exercise and eat well. (though I struggle with the “want to”) It’s funny how different you and your husband get your workouts but at least you do it! Here’s hoping we all get somewhere, even in the routine!

    • Hi Peggy! Or should I say “soon to be a grandma!”

      Yes, you make a good point about how the routine blocks from doing other things. Lately, seems like life is getting in the way of writing, and it gets really frustrating to carve out some time to do that.

      But I know God is in those chores and unusual pop-ups that jump into my day. I am learning to accept these detours with grace (because I need the grace!). He knows what I should do.

      It is weird that he likes indoors and I like to be out. Well, to each his own I guess 🙂
      Great to see you today!
      Ceil

  14. I don’t like to go to my weekly Keep Fit classes either. They have one little step there and they make you go up and down up and down that step for a few minutes. I do the same exercise at home. I go up and down the first step of our stairs … takes me ages to go up to the toilet!

    I also march on the spot whilst the TV adverts are on. Or walk on the treadmill. I take it easy though and walk width wise rather than length wise with the treadmill switched off. I once switched it on accidentally and flew into the opposite wall. The newsreader on TV laughed at me!

    One good prayer routine is to pray whilst on the treadmill. I find it difficult though holding the Rosary in one hand and a glass of whisky in the other whilst walking. I’ll fix a small tray on the handle-bar for my drinks, I think.

    God bless.

    • Ok Victor…you were the kid sitting in the back making everyone laugh, right? And driving the nuns to distraction I’m sure. When I read about your walking ‘width-wise’ on the treadmill, I just busted out laughing! But I know that wouldn’t work for me, because I want to face the TV. I need the distraction. Easier to drink wine that way too.

      Always thinking, always improving my friend. Good work on the small tray. (Don’t forget to apply for a patent too.)
      What joy to read your comment 🙂
      Ceil

  15. Ceil,

    Don’t you know that I’ve been thinking of this everyday! again EVERYDAY lol 😀 well, I just feel sometimes that maybe I’m stuck in one place – I need to move find something new but it seems that I do the same thing everyday and nothing change.

    I’ve been reading my Bible , I just finished read proverbs like 2 days ago and now jump on Ecclesiastes. So tonight I read on chapter 2. I think the Preacher had same perspective with you here. Life is circle and it all is His gracious.

    When I was little girl I wanted to be success and rich in everything, so I studied hard to always get the best result – my parents were so proud of me and they liked to comparing me and my 3 others siblings. I met God when I was 9 my life totally changed and I started to know Him. Well, the more I know Him, the more I leave things in this world, I was thinking in my third year of college, I decided to follow God and not my dreams but He put another dreams ;). Things in circle life is vanity what’s the point if we always get to do the same thing. But God reminds me to do everything in love just like what you put above – things are always new when His mercy poured out in our gracious heart. Thank you for sharing Ceil I want to enjoy my circle life and I learn to be grateful for things that He has given me. But someday if God take me to another circle then I must have more faith and be ready for it.
    Can I share you some gems that I got today. I thing they are related with your this post. 🙂

    Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

    24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

    25 for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

    26 To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

    Dont be worried Ceil we always please Him and so we are in a good circle 🙂

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    P.S. I might send you an email for next couple days. I just need time to write it.

    • Hi Delvalina! Thank you for sharing these heart-felt Scriptures. How can we find enjoyment without him? Wonderful question.

      God has a way of leading us in the right direction. I read something recently that said if God wants something for you, he will not be denied. So even if I run all over, or try to ignore him, he will get me there. Our roads are sacred things. Even if it’s a circle, a square or a straight line.

      I’ll look forward to hearing from you. Anytime!
      Ceil

  16. I think if you find yourself going in circles at least change direction once in awhile…so as not to get in a rut. Be thankful you are still able to get up and go…even if it is a circle.. Fortunately our road to Heaven has no circles.

    • Hi Dee! You are so right. At least I have a path, a job to do. Some of my most unhappy times were when I just didn’t know what to do.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment today. It’s nice to see you 🙂
      Ceil

  17. I call it “a rat on a treadmill”—laughingly. Thankful here in the deep South all my walks-runs can be done outside -where I admire His workmanship. Always mindful where ever I am and what ever I do that-
    In all things–done for His Good Glory–we show our love for Him!

    • Hi Lulu! Oh my, you are lucky indeed. It was really nice here today, in the 50’s so I was able to take a nice walk outside. But…snow in the forecast for Monday. Give me a break!

      Love your last sentence. Amen. It’s all about our attitude and intention.
      Have a restful night 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Kitty! I had to come around to that image slowly… But I’m getting better at it. Thank you for your kind comment!

      Enjoy your soup tonight (asparagus and all!) 🙂
      Ceil

  18. Oh, it’s like you read my mind….well, except for the part about exercising!!! I’ve felt so often “what’s the use”…..and I know that it’s not “what”….but “WHO” that matters!!! Thanks for the reminder!!!

    • Hi Deb! You made me smile reading about the exercising 🙂

      I like the way you phrased that…not what but who. You are very wise!

      Have a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  19. Dear Ceil
    I do love your thoughts on the day to day things in our lives.
    You have just reinforced my beliefs that everything we have or do is indeed a blessing.
    I am grateful as you are.
    Wonderful post, I love your attitude

    Blessings to you, always

    • Hi Margie! I’m not surprised that this isn’t news to you. Well, I think we all ‘hear’ it, but it’s tough to apply sometimes.

      Our gratefulness and thanksgiving is exactly what God wants!

      Have a wonderful Friday 🙂
      Ceil

  20. I can relate to that since I thougt of it before. Thanks God for the reminder just to be alive and do things and enjoy God’s given opportunity:)
    anyway, I now began my exercise home through following a gym by internet.
    Wonderfully written sister!

    • Hi Joy! So you have thought about this point too? I think it’s something we all wrestle with at one time or another.

      Nice work on the exercise! I used to do a tape too, but it was a long time ago. On VHS! but whatever I do, it’s good to keep by body in some kind of shape 🙂

      Happy Weekend!
      Ceil

  21. Almost 30 years ago when I met Jesus one of the first Scriptures that He brought to life for me was Colossians 3:17…”Whatever you do, in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord.” It made all the difference in my life when it came to “purpose”. Enjoyed your perspective here today because it took me back to those early days of being a Christian and caused me to pause to thank Him that after all this time I still do it all as unto Him. 🙂

    • Hi Dianna! So great to see you again 🙂

      You can be my role model then. I still struggle with ‘what am I doing?’ from time to time. I know that God will give me the grace to move forward always, and be more aware of his movements in my life. I can’t wait to be stronger.

      I am sure that the Lord loved your thanks to him. You are his precious child. He loves to hear from you.
      Have a great weekend!
      Ceil

  22. I loved this! I was thinking the other day how your blogs are so easy to read and I started to wonder why. Why do I read yours, but I don’t read any books or other daily reflections. Is it because your my mom? Maybe. But there’s more. It’s because you take faith and make it relatable. You take daily events that everyone knows in some way, and you tie faith and God into them. You help us see everyday things in a whole other light. And I love that! I don’t always comment, but I’m always thinking, “Yeah, that’s so true!”

    • Hi Favorite Daughter! Thank you for taking the time to comment, I know you are crazy busy. It made me so happy to think that you read the posts here and can relate to them! I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your words today.

      I think some of the reason you don’t read books now is that you are a full-time worker with two little kids. Who has time to read? But I’m glad you make time to come here. You made my day 🙂

      Kisses,
      Mom

  23. Hello friend!!! Oh my, it seems that everything in my life just swallowed me up and I have *missed* you! So grateful to be on your blog today and catching up. You are always such a blessing.

    I had to laugh at the imagery of your husband walking in circles….and then you. Hahaha! It’s kind of amusing the things we do for exercise sometimes, isn’t it?

    Lately, my spiritual life has gotten a HUGE dose of revitalization and I am feeling Jesus’ love on deeper and deeper levels and it is so amazing. I’d been in a little bit of a spiritual rut since my Mom died and this FEELS like spring and I can tell that Easter is fast approaching. 🙂

    • Hi Anne! Oh my gosh, I have missed you a ton too! It was so nice to see you on your blog and on FB.

      How wonderful that you feel so much closer to the Lord. And that you feel that so close to the Easter Season! You are such an encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing your heart and spirit my friend.
      Hugs 🙂
      Ceil

  24. A thought-provoking post, Ceil. Sometimes, our blessings come wrapped up in black packages. But we don’t want to open them to find what’s deep inside. You are so right: it is up to us how we view them. The more we go around, the more we fight it when we should be praising that we are able to go around! Thank you for another great post! Blessings to you!

    • Hi Lynn! How nice to see you today!

      You are so right…I need to be thankful that I have the ability to wake up and dive into the day that the Lord has planned for me. And that includes developing a heart and eyes for him.

      Life often seems so rote and repetitive, but there are blessings everywhere. I love that.

      Have a good night my friend,
      Ceil

  25. I am so blessed by this Ceil. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. Sometimes I feel like all my efforts, my daily ins and outs of being a homeschooling homemaker are insignificant. You’re so right though… everything matters. Everything we do is our “ministry” and if we’re listening to Him, our glory and praise to God.

    Thank you so much Ceil.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! I am so happy that this lifted your spirit. Young mom’s are especially vulnerable because most of the time they are serving others. Their families! Such important, exhausting work. It is definitely an important ministry, just as you said. Filled with blessings and grace.

      I really enjoyed your comment my friend. It’s always so good to see you 🙂
      Ceil

  26. Hi Ceil,
    I have to admit that sometimes it feels as if my life is stuck on the “spin cycle”. And this is why God draws me to people like you 🙂 Thank you for being so upbeat, my friend! You are very wise, you know.

    • Hi Mary! Join the club! I also feel like it’s an endless, meaningless circle sometimes. That’s how I can write about it…I experience it!
      But how blessed we are to have faith, right?
      Thank you for your kind comment Mary. I think we all have wisdom, because we all have the Spirit. But it was so nice of you say so. You are such a great blog-friend!

      Have a good Palm Sunday 🙂
      Ceil

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