02 December, 2018

How is Your Soul?




How is your soul?

I asked myself this question one night through week, and the answer surprised me. Neglected. I hadn’t been giving it much thought. Friends asked how I was going, and I replied with ‘I’m well, thanks!’ Physically, I’m feeling fine – a little more exercise and sleep would improve things, but I’m well. Life has been good, I’ve been busy seeing people and doing housework and scheming plans for the future (and planning surprises for my sister’s birthday because she’s awesome). But the question of my soul came as a surprise. I realized it was a little bit forgotten, lost in the hum of life. And I hadn’t noticed enough to miss that deeper experience.

I sense I ought to define what I mean by soul. But I don’t have a clear answer. I’m talking about deeper satisfaction; the things that make your heart feel full. It might be moments shared with friends, a long journaling session, music that touches somewhere deep, watching the waves at the beach. It’s observing the sunrise or sunset, absorbing the beauty of nature. It’s aha moments where the Bible comes alive, it’s conversations with God. I guess what I’m talking about is communion with God, however, wherever, you feel Him closest. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life gets busier. I can’t think of anyone, including older retired people, who have told me they’re getting less busy, less committed, less hurried. So while I dream of sometime in the future where life slows down and I have opportunity to really live in the quiet spaces where God is closer, for most of us that isn’t going to be reality. We can’t wait until some elusive future date to finally have time for God, to finally devote attention to filling our souls. We’ve got to find a way to do it in the busyness, throughout the hectic seasons, right there in the middle of the madness. 

We don’t know how long we have to live. We don’t know what the future holds. We can’t guarantee that a more convenient season will come for us. We can’t just keep putting God off. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says now is the best time, now is the day of salvation. Now is all we have. 

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is a hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkenss, and let us put on the armour of light. Romans 13:11-12

Friends, we were made for more than an existence, a mad scramble through life, always searching never finding, always empty never filled. We were made to thrive. It’s not going to just happen, but we absolutely can choose to walk in the fullness of life God has prepared for us. Jesus says in John 10:10 He came so we could have life, and life more abundantly. 

It hits me hard too. I don’t want to admit I glorify busyness to excuse myself from taking time for God. I wish I didn’t have to confess that good and meaningful pursuits have become idols in my life because they’ve taken from quiet moments I need to spend with Him. I’d rather not say my soul’s been a little forgotten amid the excitement of life. But that’s the truth.

I want to close with a challenge. It’s the beginning of a new week, and it’s the beginning of a new month. We can start again. This busy time of year is actually a reason to consciously carve out space for our souls. So, I want to encourage you to pause right here, think about the things that refresh your soul, and choose a couple to implement this week. Information and head knowledge is great, but it’s useless if we don’t put implement it. I’ve made a little journaling worksheet you can download for free, to help put it into action and consciously make a change. And I will be doing it too, absolutely.

Although we have a responsibility to steward our time well, I’m not trying to shame you into something or add more pressure to your life. This weighs on me because I know each of us was made to thrive and we can’t afford to wait. A better time will never come, and for each moment we intentionally make time for our souls, God will repay us with peace and blessings that outweigh any sacrifice. Let’s get back to the beauty that makes life worth living, the quiet places where His still small voice can be heard, the refreshment our souls need.

What about you? How’s your soul been recently? How do you combat the busyness of life? Will you be joining the challenge to create soul space this week? And please do let me know if you use the worksheet and what you think of it. Keep striving to stay close to Him, friends! You are so loved. xx

23 comments:

  1. Loved reading this post, Jessica!! I like the chart you came up with. <3
    -Brooklyne

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    1. Thanks Brooklyne! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) xx

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  2. This relates so much to what I wrote in my journal this morning. I've been thinking about how humans are more inclined to feeling things rather than remembering every detail of the day. I was writing about how my soul would be content living a slow and simple life if I felt loved, cared for, content, joyful and peaceful. I'd rather a simple life like than than an adventurous one where I am unhappy and not fulfilled. Looking for fulfillment in the things I do rather than how I feel.

    I love the words in this post. I would copy and paste the whole thing and tell you that it was all my favorite part. The print out is so cute! Adore it. Have a good week!
    Simply Me

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    1. Wow Vanessa, it sounds like we've been thinking similar things! That's a great idea to focus on finding contentment in the things we get to experience rather than our transient changeable feelings. A slow and simple loved life is my dream as well. Thanks so much for sharing and for your encouragement! xx

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  3. thank you for this reminder. life has been insanely busy for me, so I always need the reminder to calm down and take care of my soul. I need to slow and live in today. my life sure doesnt seem to be slowing down any time soon. haha.

    thank you for sharing your thoughts and the reminder. I needed it.

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    1. Aw, you're welcome, girl! I for sure need the reminder often too. I hope you're able to find rest in the busyness of this season. Stay strong! xx

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  4. Souls are kind of easy things to neglect, aren't they? Care for them seems so elusive. Sometimes it seems like I get further away from caring for my soul by considering it, and don't get closer until my thought life is consumed with God, so I appreciate your definition. In any case, care for our souls certainly doesn't come with business!

    I also wanted to say, it was nice to see your face in this post. Not to intimidate you, be we don't see you too often, and I thought it was lovely to see you today. You're beautiful.

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    1. Yes, precisely! I relate to your experience too - the best thing we can do for our souls really is to redirect the focus off ourselves to Him. Thanks for adding that point!

      Aw girl, you're so sweet. Thanks for the encouragement! xx

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  5. Woah, great post Jessica!
    Our souls are very easy to neglect in the busyness of life. But in the end it's our souls that will remain for eternity, not this world. We are to live with eternity in view.
    I looked at the template... I'm probably not going to use the actual template (I would prefer to use my journal) but I will think through those questions.
    Thanks for sharing this! <3

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    1. That's so true. They should, in fact, be of the highest priority!

      I hope the questions were beneficial to you - and don't worry, I mostly use my journal too. :) Thanks so much for your comment!!

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  6. this is so good. honestly, i've struggled sometimes because i wonder if i'm really living my life to the fullest. this was so good and so thought provoking. i'll check out the chart and see about doing it, either way, you've got me to thinking! <3

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    1. Yes girl, same! It is a struggle sometimes. I'm glad this could speak to you! Thanks for your sweet comment. xx

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  7. ohhhhhh such beautiful photos!!!! the colors are gorgeous.
    i loved this post so much. it was super encouraging. "We can start again." —love that!!
    that second corinthians 6:2 verse is lovely. it goes with your post so well!

    sophy of sophyslighthouse.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much!! I'm glad this was an encouragement to you, Soph. And yes, I thought that verse was so good as well. :) Thanks for your comment! xx

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  8. oh this is good. like really GOOD. I like this. a lot. and I needed this today, so thanks for that.
    I FEEL THAT when you said about not knowing anyone who is getting less busy and less committed. that is ME right now. everything feels so full, which is good in a way, but I also have the feeling that I'm holding out for rest. here's to learning now and also learning balance :)

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    1. Aw, you're so welcome! Praise God. :)

      Yes, amen! That's what life is apparently like, but we can learn to manage it rather than it manage us. Thanks so much for your comment! We're in this together! xx

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  9. First of all, love the photos! Second, that Harper Lee quote on your side bar is so wonderful. And third....this post is so needed.

    "But the question of my soul came as a surprise. I realized it was a little bit forgotten, lost in the hum of life. And I hadn’t noticed enough to miss that deeper experience."

    Wowza, I love the way you phrased this. I totally feel you on this, I have been sort of going along with life, too, and not really delving deeper. I remember times where I really used to dig into Bible study and spend moments more at peace, just in the Lord's presence, but my soul has been honestly a bit wrung out these days. I miss that time with Him, I crave it - but my soul is just a bit tired.

    You are 100% right about carving out time for this peace - life isn't going to slow down anytime soon, especially not around Christmastime. I will definitely be downloading the worksheet and spending some quiet time today going over my answers. Love your wise, wonderful soul, Jessica. This post was perfect!

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    1. You are such a kind sweet human - thank you!

      And yes, I like how you pointed out that we can even still crave a deeper connection, but be too tired to seek for it. The problem is, I think, when we get used to that and no longer feel the lack. Aw, I hope the worksheet was helpful to you!

      Thanks again for your comment! I relate so much to your experience too. May we both keep maling time for our souls, however intense life gets. xx

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  10. This is special. <3 My soul has been neglected lately too. Heavy and confused. Thank you for this. <3

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    1. Aw, I'm glad it could speak to you. And I get it, girl. I hope you're able to find rest and peace in Him throughout this season. Keep holding on! xx

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