Staying put…even in the rain {Miss April}

April 14, 2014

As I tried to steer my shopping cart through the narrow aisles of the aged grocery store with two small children in tow I became aware of a disgruntled employee in my view. I watched as he grabbed a misplaced bottle of ranch salad dressing and moved it rather forcefully out of his way.

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He had been stocking the shelves with bread and doing what is called “front-facing” or “zoning.” (Can you tell I have a history in retail?) For those who never had the pleasure (insert sarcasm here) “facing” or “zoning” is where you pull all the merchandise to the front of the shelf giving that fully-stocked, clean appearance you see when you look at rows upon rows of perfectly placed can goods.

I happened to catch him at work as he encountered a stray bottle of Hidden Valley impeding his progress. No doubt some harried shopper like myself had changed their mind or perhaps had found the bottle in their buggy at the hands of an eager child filling the grocery cart with all that her little eyes desired. (I could certainly relate to the latter.) Regardless, this rogue shopper had dropped off the dressing amongst the loaves rather than its original destination.

This development apparently infuriated the young employee in my field of vision. I had been a Sailor long enough to easily decipher the colored comments leaving his mouth. I couldn’t hear them, but I could read lips enough to know I was glad my girls couldn’t. He was practically raging over the chore of picking up a bottle and moving it out of his way. He didn’t take it to its rightful home, but rather set it on an end cap display of paper towels. No wonder he was so upset with that kind of time invested in relocating the bothersome bottle.

As I watched I’ll admit I chuckled to myself, but then I thought, “I guess I’m not the only one who has bad days at work.”

As a young woman I tended to job hop as it’s called. I never spent more than a year at any particular place, and when it got to be too aggravating I jumped ship with a quickness. My resume could have easily stretched from one side of the state to the other.

As I got older that began to change. Some of it was the military I’m sure. It was the first job I had that I couldn’t quit. When it got difficult I just had to stick it out. When you find yourself stuck in a place you begin to become aware of just how much you can handle.

As my life progressed and I started a family this became even more apparent. I found myself shouldering responsibility. My income no longer simply supported myself. There were other people depending on me. The responsibility of staying put for the sake of others can make you feel stuck in a new kind of way, beyond even that of a government contract.

You may be able to quit your job, but your good, or even decent, attitude can easily have left the position long ago.

So many times our jobs or our careers can not end up being what we intended for them to be. We find ourselves in a situation that is frustrating, lacks satisfaction, and is sometimes smothering. We feel trapped in the everyday, mundane storm of an unsatisfactory routine. It lacks challenge, motivation, or that extra special bit of pizzaz. We wonder what happened to our dreams?

We end up disenchanted at times, and often times angry. And sometimes irrationally so. A small, simple impedance (like a bottle of salad dressing, or a train making us late) becomes a huge deal in our mind’s eye that is worthy of a breakdown of emotions.

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Sometimes you may feel like the world is out to get you. Or you may feel like nothing ever goes your way. You may even think you’re the only one who deals with this aggravation on a day-to-day basis. You may see no escape from the storm cloud stubbornly positioned right over your head.

You always hear that saying “bloom where you’re planted.” If you find yourself in rocky soil you might not be very receiving when this advice comes. I think the problem often times is that we forget that we’ll have to be soaked to the bone with pouring rain before we can actually bloom anything.

Everyone wants to bloom, but no one wants to take the rain that precedes it. Everyone wants to accept the promise in a rainbow, but wants to skip the storm that comes prior.

If you find yourself stuck in a situation that seems beyond what you can handle then take heart. It’s at these times God is waiting for you to surrender your situation to Him. You see, you are stuck. But God isn’t. He’s constantly moving, going before you, and making the way. Nothing is impossible with Him, and no situation is impassable if He is leading you there.

It’s our perception that mires things up. When we view our storm as the end rather than the beginning we fall short of the realization of all that God can do in our lives.

The next time I find myself frustrated at work or in my career in general I’m going to think of my frazzled friend from the grocery store. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it; overreacted at our imagined plight. But what if instead we walked in gratitude. What if we walked in hope and faith for The Lord to deliver us from the situations where we feel stuck?

What if we started trying to view the rain as life-giving? What if we took the soaking as an opportunity to truly bloom?

brie 032.CR2Brie Gowen is our Blogger of the Month for April. Brie is a Registered Nurse and a mother to two small daughters. You can read more about Brie to the right of this page and find her at


Mandy April 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

What a gift for writing and encouraging you have!

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