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Thursday, April 11, 2013

good for the soul.

If I were to be honest with you, I would tell you that lately, my life has held a heck of a lotta crazy. With a bit of confusing, and more than a dash of overwhelming. But mostly, I've been up to my eyeballs in cough drops, tissues, and NyQuil. And in the midst of it all, there's been time to think. Especially from my perch this week on the couch. To think about life and love and where I'm going, and just the now. And you know, in my prayers and quiet moments of prayer, the Lord has been really speaking to me - in His still, small way - about my soul. About how I treat it, how I neglect it, and how sometimes, I abuse it. We as a culture tend to be so conscious about our bodies and our minds. We exercise and eat "clean", we try to get enough sleep and drink lots of water. We attend school and read books to stretch our minds. But what about our souls? My soul gets lost in the shuffle most days, and I want to change that. Yet, souls are tricky. They're that deep down place far beneath the surface of our outer clothing and skin and hair and bones. Our souls are intangible, really - we cannot see them. But oh, can we feel them. They are the basis, the core of who we are. And they will last far beyond these physical bodies. I remember a friend of mine used to say, "That was good for my soul" after a particularly refreshing walk in the park, a fulfilling and complete conversation with an old friend, or even a song heard on the radio. And you know, these past few days of confinement to the house in my "sicky" state, I am determined afresh to tend my soul. Like an invisible garden... which is oftentimes dying from lack of care, water, and good food. That's gotta change. I'm tired of neglecting my soul, my inner self, the part of me that only God sees - that holds all my hopes and dreams, pains and fears, faith and past. 

I don't think caring for your soul is just going to church or reading more Bible. Those things can be some of the best food, of course. But I think caring for our souls is so intricately tied to every part of our lives, really. Our souls are woven in and out of the fabric of the every day. So I want to start asking more purposefully, "Is this good for my soul?" And friend, I want you to ask too. Is the music you listen to good for your soul? Is it feeding you? Pushing you further, making you happier.. better? Are the words you read good for your soul? Do they send daggers of lust and discouragement to your heart or do they build you up in truth and strength? What about the images you view on the Internet? The websites you read, the blogs you visit? The TV shows you watch on Netflix every night after work? Are they feeding your soul, making you more beautiful inside? 

Something to think about. 

Today, I unexpectedly fed my soul. At the sea. And it felt good, healing, free. Watching the waves methodically yet freely play on the shore, dancing back and forth. The sun gleaming on the foamy water. A boat lazily passing by. Chatting with the ones I love. The soft, cool sea breeze. These things are good for my soul. 

                                                      You Can Close Your Eyes by James Taylor on Grooveshark


What are things that are good for your soul, friend?
For me, things like journaling and reading the She Reads Truth Plan.
Lemon tea with honey.
James Taylor music.
Cleaning my desk and lighting a candle, 
and then sitting down and writing a real letter to a friend.
Playing the piano, like I used to.
Reading the Psalms.
Talking a walk in the afternoon sunshine.
Eating a bowl of strawberries.
Mod-podging something, crafting something pretty.
Calling my grandma.
Blasting the country music radio and singing loud, alone in the car.
Making a healthy smoothie.
Watching an old romantic black and white movie.
Painting my nails red.
Maybe we can't always go to the beach or have some fabulous vacation, but those extravagant things are not what really truly feed our souls. 
Our souls are really fed by the simple things. By enjoying the small things.
By embracing the good, the bad, and the ugly - and giving it all to God,
who wraps us up in all our messiness and holds us close.
May your soul find rest in God alone this Thursday.
Love y'all.


"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from Him.
Truly He is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God, 
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; 

pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." 
Psalm 62:5-8

28 comments:

  1. This made me cry.
    Today I'm feeling lost and alone but this post helped.. Thank you.
    Liane x

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  2. Oh how I love this post. So true and such a wonderful reminder.

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  3. I was actually thinking about writing a list of things that are good for my soul. Would you mind much if I borrowed your idea?
    I know what you mean on the sickness end of things. It has been a month of the flu and colds in our family. But I think it has been the catalyst for me in my journey to rest and refreshment. Sometimes God stops us in our tracks because we won't stop.

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  4. The California coast is gorgeous!! Wow!

    As always, another great post Erin. :-) Definitely good things to think about!


    xoxo Miss ALK
    http://missalk1994.blogspot.com

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  5. what a beautiful heart you have, my dear. this is one of my favorite posts of yours for sure! i'm inspired to make a list now. love ya!

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  6. beautifully said Erin! We really should spend more time refreshing our souls. What a lovely thought.

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  7. I have been challenging myself with similar questions lately. It really puts into perspective what matters most! When we keep in sight the end goal, it makes everything we do now (or "sacrifice") seem so small but truly worth it. :)

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  8. I love this post, especially the James Taylor song. God created us to live and love extravagantly but, I agree, sometimes our souls seem to get neglected and we're so eager to seek the extravagant things. It's the small little everyday blessings that make up our lives!

    jorie

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  9. I hope you start feeling better asap, lovely!! The beach and a good meal with a good friend ALWAYS cheers me up :)

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  10. A to the MEN girl! I have been feeling the same way lately. I haven't been nourishing my soul like I should be. I haven't been doing all of what makes me happy and what is pleasing to God. But I'm trying to change it, to better myself and my relationship with Him. So glad to see you got some soul-refreshing time in! Love you friend, hope you feel better soon!

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  11. This is so true...

    We were talking about this recently when we were discussing how much it cost to take a family to Disneyland(like $90 per person just to get in the door, not counting hotel,food and such, and for most the cost of driving or flying there too)and I was thinking how much more a family benefits from just doing simple things together, having a backyard barbeque, going fishing or to visit the beach, playing board games and such.

    The extravagant stuff is just stressful and expensive in the end, and instead of life lessons sometimes it makes people more spoiled instead and doesn't feed the soul...it's more like junk food for the soul.

    It's amazing how the simple things can make us more content if we can just stop and realize they are there in the first place.

    Hope you are feeling better and back on your feet. I was talking to my family recently and they were raving how they hadn't gotten sick this year. I thought they were just lucky, but my Mom said they put a container of wipes in the car. She said when they go somewhere they would get back in the car and wipe their hands. She found the sensitive skin wipes that aren't so harsh in the baby section at the store....(she was a nurse so she is always telling us to wash our hands).

    This time of year is rough for me too anyways because of allergies, all those plants waking up and producing pollen. I am actually thankful for the harsh spring winds only because it helps blow away all that pollen.

    Well, I'm rambling and better stop, so I hope you get well soon, your blog post was totally awesome once again, so inspiring I might just have to make a list of my own.

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  12. I love me some James.

    This post is so point on.

    Praying for you <3

    Pray for me, too <3

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  13. Thank you so much for this encouraging post! It was just what I needed to hear and be reminded of. I love your blog too!

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  14. Love this & you! Get well soon my sweets. Oh, I so wish we lived closer...or I could at least visit you!

    xoxo,
    Jessica
    www.proverbsliving.org

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  15. Oh how I love this. I am going to work on asking myself "Is this good for my soul? Is this making my soul more beautiful?" Now I'm writing the things that are good for my soul :) Thank you Erin :)

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  16. This was so beautifully said! I try to go to the beach once a week (I live in San Diego). I take my kids and my sister. We leave our phones in the car. After an hour or two I feel so much more at peace and happy. The ocean is truly a place that's good for the soul.

    I think a lot of the time I'm trying to fit so much into my day, as a mom and wife and sister and the things I want to do, school, and work, that making sure my soul is taken care of definitely gets lost in the shuffle.

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  17. This is exactly what my soul needed. I love the questions you asked and I'm going to start asking those same questions daily. If it's not feeding my soul, then I don't need it! I hope you feel better soon sweet girl :)

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  18. Yet again friend you inspire me to be better. I really think THE PEOPLE who I surround myself and our family with makes a HUGE impact, especially who I put directly in contact with M&M. You rock my face off :)

    Kristine -The Foley Fam {unedited}

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  19. This encouraged me so much! loved the verse!

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  20. i love that you are sharing that feeding our soul can be so much more than just church & reading His word. He wants us to live life full and rest fully and I think you are so right that we forget to do that.

    thanks for the reminder. :)

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  21. beautiful, just beautiful.

    i just got back from a run and that definitely was good for my soul. ;) just me and God...

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  22. It is well, with my soul! Love how God has been speaking to you about soul care and for you sharing it with us.

    (And P.S. as a fellow James Taylor fan I just read that Amy Grant has a duet with him on her soon to be released album.)

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  23. Beautifully written. Some things that nourish my soul are pouring my heart out in poetry, listening to folk music, learning to play the guitar, taking quiet walks, eating ice cream, soaking in the beauty of nature...and the list goes on. Thanks for sharing this Erin.xx

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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