Browsing Tag


Faith, Family, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Don’t wallow

Yesterday my  husband Ray and I were having a conversation about a relative who has basically gone “no contact” with our entire family, out of hurt and offenses. Although we have done our best to make amends with this person, and to ask forgiveness for any wrongs committed, relationships remain strained. My fervent prayer (daily) is for reconciliation.

I was sharing with Ray how deeply hurt I am over the situation, and Ray’s frustrated response was, “I know it hurts. This hurts me, too. But we can’t wallow in the hurt, Beth! We can’t stay there for the rest of our lives. We need a future!”

hurting woman

hurting woman
Source: Psychology Today

I knew Ray was speaking the truth. His word wallow bothered me a lot. The definition of “wallow” is:

  • to roll oneself about in a lazy, relaxed manner (like a pig wallowing in the mud);
  • to take unrestrained pleasure in something (like silk sheets);
  • to become abundantly supplied (like a family wallowing in sudden wealth);
  • to indulge oneself immoderately (like wallowing in self-pity);
  • to become or remain helpless.

No, I don’t want to be a victim, wallowing in hurt, anger, and self-pity! I want to be free in Christ. Jesus died for this freedom and for me and those I love to have an abundant life!

rhinoceros wallowing in muddy waterhole

rhinoceros wallowing in muddy waterhole

Pigs, hippopotamuses, elephants, rhinoceroses, warthogs, and bison instinctively wallow in dirt, mud, snow, or water. They do this for temperature regulation, parasite removal, and sun protection (their skin can get sunburned). They may also rub their scent glands around wallowing areas, possibly to mark their territory.

But as humans, our protection is in God. We can’t control what other people do or don’t do. But we can be responsible for ourselves and our own growth. We don’t have to stay stuck in the devastating hurt, or anger, or confusion. We don’t need to wallow in anything. 

She did not do wallowing

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

“For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.” (Psalm 91:3-6, NASB)

In the article, Sitting with your stuff vs. wallowing, Coach Kate Swoboda writes that “wallow” conjures up images of being stuck, hopeless, sad or defeated, and “perhaps even a little pissed,” yet being a total victim and doing very little about making any changes whatsoever.

It’s like you being seated on a plane to fly to your eagerly-anticipated vacation destination, but the plane is still sitting on the tarmac, going nowhere. Or you sitting on a train, yet the train is not moving on the rails.

It’s important not to avoid your “stuff,” since whatever you repress just gets stronger. But blowing up at whoever you’re upset with and telling him or her exactly what you think might not be wise, either.

My story

Kate says the difference between “sitting with your stuff” versus “wallowing” is in the Story. Some stories, like people are generally full of good intentions and do their best, serve you.

But a story that people are just mean and selfish doesn’t serve you well. In these situations where you believe that people are always mean, you might think, “Why does this always happen to me? My life feels like it will never change. It never works out.” You are, yes, wallowing!

In the first story, sitting with your stuff instead of wallowing, you might think, “I don’t like how this feels. I’m so sad. Yet this where I’m at right now. This really sucks. But it won’t last forever.”

Kate encourages us to make space for the parts that make us human (where we might be inclined to wallow, i.e., the emotional pain), but not let it define us. And as my husband Ray said, to not let it be our future.

I personally believe forgiveness is a large part of not letting hurts define us. Forgiveness takes time, God’s power, and our will. It is not an easy or quick fix, but necessary for spiritual growth and maturity.

Understanding our true identity in Christ also helps set us free. No one and nothing else defines who we are: a royal daughter (or son) of the King!

The future

Are you wallowing about anything right now? I encourage you to bring it to God and let Him help heal you so that you can move forward with your life and God-designed purpose. One day at a time.


A good resource to help you with this issue is Coffee with God: Starting Your Day Right With Prayer & The Bible. You can get this encouraging eBook at Amazon here.

Coffee With God eBook

Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Let it go

Let it go.

Three little words, yet so powerful. Not always easy to do. 

Some people have a really hard time letting things go. 




Material possessions.

The past.

Sisyphus-Greek Mythology

They carry these things around their entire lives, crushed under their weight, like Sisyphus in Greek Mythology, who was punished for deceitfulness and pride by being condemned to spend eternity rolling a boulder up a hill.

Each time he succeeded in rolling the heavy boulder near the summit, it’d roll back down and he’d have to repeat his task all over again…an act that has no useful purpose. 

Rick Garlikov writes in The Value of Labor and The Myth of Sisyphus:

As a metaphor for frustrating and futile labor, the point of this being a punishment for Sisyphus is that it is an eternal waste of time and energy. That it is repetitive makes it frustrating because it is the repetition of something boring and useless… His work, his success, his effort is all in vain because the task is worthless.

Not all work is noble… To spend time doing something of absolutely no value is to waste your time and that part of your life.

Of course, sometimes we need to do less worthwhile acts in order to be able to do other more worthwhile acts.

Eating, sleeping, vacationing or taking breaks may be unproductive and not particularly gratifying in themselves (for some people) but may be necessary in order for one to have the energy and focus to do what is worthwhile and satisfying.

Sometimes we have to work at less productive work in order to be able to have the resources, such as financial resources, to do more worthwhile things. That is a sad and inefficiently wasteful situation, but a bearable one.  However, Sisyphus does not even have that luxury.  He always and only pushes the rock up the hill…Pushing the rock is all he does and all he gets to do.  It is his only act. And it has absolutely no intrinsic or extrinsic value for him. It is a totally useless and meaningless act, and it is all he gets to do.  That is why this punishment is so terrible.”

Not letting things go is a waste of time and energy.

You have to let the past go in order to make room for God’s new and abundant blessings. 

Let it go. 

“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.” – Isaiah 43: 18-21, The Message

Listen to the song “Let it go” from the Disney cartoon movie, Frozen, in the video below.