Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nourishment For The Soul

The "prompt" read:  What I love to do that feeds my soul...

There's a list a mile long for that one!  Just as I began reviewing my mental list, it hit me like a ton of bricks...again.

It was during the summer. The group of friends that had quickly become my community were each sharing their answers to this very same prompt. As I listened to the responses, my eyes wandered out the windows that lined the wall toward the horizon filled with hills and trees and sky and all of nature.  Words started coming to me--dancing, writing, nature walks, walks along the beach, indepth studies, photography--but as soon as I processed one word, I realized~~after each one~~I don't do that anymore!  My turn came, and I could barely spill out the words, "I used to dance...but i just realized that i don't anymore..." without choking back the tears. I was surprised at the spark of emotion that filled me from the inside out!  At that moment, I resolved to become more purposeful in nourishing my soul. And that was that.

Now here I am in the midst of winter and there it is again~~What nourishes my soul?  My spirit laughs at God's humor in His ability to capture my attention!  But how do I write about what I love to do that feeds my soul without just making a list...?  So, I went to some of the other bloggers and looked at their writings as if looking for a new answer to an old question. The first post I stumbled upon slapped me square in the face with my answer--but it was an answer to a different question: How can I be purposeful to incorporate those things that feed my soul?

Aimee, on her blog, Becoming Esther, atteded a conference in which part of the message included asking everyone to draw up 3 lists:  what made them feel good, what made them feel great and what made them feel ecstatic. The speaker then challenged them to each day to do one thing that made them feel good; each week to do one thing that made them feel great; and each month to do one thing that made them feel ecstatic.

I felt God's laughter as its truth sunk in...Three categories?  My list just expanded another mile...because there are those simple acts that nourish the soul~~lighting a candle, being still and just knowing, reading the lyrics to a song I just heard or just reading a new book, writing a REAL note and mailing it using a real stamp, exercising, cooking, gardening, singing to the top of my lungs (don't expect it to be on key!), taking a bath, going out for lunch with a friend...The time is ripe in this new season of my life to find nourishment in these old places.

Now, it's in print for the whole world to read and even hold me accountable! 

May my cup overflow with refreshment and nourishment of my soul!

Linking up with Bonnie Gray on Faith Barista!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Word

I realize i've been doing this all wrong...i've given the names of my years at the end...letting life happen to me instead of me happening to life.

Ann Voskamp has dubbed her past years with such terms as koinania, eucharisteo, communion, rest, no fear...and now Bonnie Gray is challenging those of us who long to write~~who long to use the written word to share that which is deep within~~with a prompt: what is our one word for 2015?  Ha!  There's even a book titled "My One Word" by Mike Ashcroft...

Oh the humor! How could I have known when my friend, Terry, sent me a link to Faith Barista's blog about Spiritual White Space that this would be the "thing" to catapult me back into a writing habit...?  But here I am, and I am wondering what ONE word does God choose for me to influence my 2015...

Could it be "Forward"...when the last couple of years have been stuck looking "back"?  Empty nesting can be such an empty place...filled with changes that are so foreign and overwhelming that moving left or right is impossible and moving forward is a black hole of vast nothingness.

But now...words that, in scripture, indicate something new...something is about to change.  And it refers to the NOW, not the past nor the future.  It carries with it the connation of cultivating, encouraging, nourishing...

Out of the blue, "lavish" comes to mind...i actually just spent some time in scripture meditating on Mary and her alabaster bottle of perfume lavished on Jesus.  What would a year of "lavish" look like?  Extravagance, generosity, abundance, elaborate, splendid...

Here I sit contemplating what my Lord might be saying to me, as if I must choose...and I realize He's telling me "but now, it's time to move forward and live lavishly!"

So my word for 2015 will be "lavish!"

We can define our year with a focus that leads us closer to the One who holds us in the palm of His hand...what will you allow Him access to in this new year?  :)

My cup overflows just knowing His plans for me are more than I ever could dream or imagine...!

Linking up with Bonnie Gray and "Faith Barista!"

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