Spring is my second-favorite season. Fall edges it out by the slimmest of margins. My soul delights in warmer weather and watching the world come back to life. Unfortunately it seems like along with green grass spring also brings with it an extra-full schedule. This past weekend we attended three birthday parties in addition to our normal church and family obligations. Next Friday I’m hosting a joint birthday party for the girls, and we are celebrating Easter with church, egg hunts, and family gatherings. We are also planning to reveal a super exciting birthday surprise trip (here’s a hint:)
I’m transitioning out of my MOPS leadership team position, which means recruiting and training new team members. Selling our house and moving is also on the horizon. Of course all this is in addition to my regular commitments and usual chores and errands.
I’m pretty sure you can relate, and I don’t know about you, but crazy seasons like this one tend to wear down my soul and leave me feeling depleted. I lose my patience more easily with my kids, I snap at my husband, and I’m more easily frustrated by the bumps and jostles of life. I don’t want to be this way. Most of the things keeping me busy are fun and exciting, but how can I enjoy them when my attitude, quite frankly, stinks?
I’m reading a profound book right now called Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. I need to read it a dozen more times in order to glean all the wisdom from it, but one major takeaway is the neediness of my soul, and how dangerous it is to ignore. If I don’t pay attention to caring for the deepest part of me the consequences are pretty dire (think burn-out, depression, addiction, etc.) I’m not very good at soul care. My tendency is to push through and just get things done, ignoring the damage I’m doing to my soul in the process. But I’m slowly realizing that path does not lead to the abundant life God promised me. Instead I’m trying to figure out how to obey Jesus when he says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
I still don’t really know how to come to Jesus. Is it through meditation? Scripture reading and prayer? Fasting and solitude? I know those are all paths to him, but they aren’t always practical in my day to day, bumper to bumper life. I do try to get up early and spend some time with the Lord before the girls get up, but in all honesty those fifteen to twenty minutes don’t really sustain me all the way through the day. Scripture tells us to fix our eyes on things above, and pray without ceasing. How to I spend every moment with my eyes fixed on Jesus when so many things pull at my attention? It is even possible for anyone other than a monk? I have to believe it is. I’m still wrestling with how, but I’m trying to take baby steps toward staying connected to Christ and caring for my soul.
But I’ve rambled on enough I think for one post. I’ll save you the eye strain and post more about my attempts at soul care slowly, over the course of a few weeks. Maybe I’ll have it a little more figured out by then. 🙂
What about you? Do you have any advice or practices you do to care for your soul? I’d love to hear them!