. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Safe Places and Saving Strength {Nourish Your Soul: Day 19}

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How I Nourished My Soul This Week {Day 18}

Happy Saturday, my friend! Time to check in on how God’s been nourishing our souls.

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In all honesty, this week was a bit of a struggle. Last summer when I ended my great summer slowdown, I had some pretty clear directives about how to do each day . . .

  1. Nourish your soul.
  2. Nourish your family.
  3. Point to Jesus.

It sounds really great, even has a bit of a rhythm to it when I say it out loud. And it works great when I’m not busy.

But.

Things are getting busy, and it’s easy to get them out of order and forget that if I fail to nourish my soul, I will be ineffective to feed my family and to point to Jesus. Because I’ll be all dried up and hangry and unable to do it at all.

So, now that I’ve come clean, here are some of the tidbits of soul food I found this week…

  • I went to breakfast with my dear friend. She texted me in the middle of a rough moment this week and left me no room to back out and said We are going to breakfast this week. Which day can you go? And my soul took a deep breath because I knew she knew that I needed it badly. #sothankful
  • We went to my husband’s grandma’s house and watched the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat in their pre-season match up. How did that feed my soul, you ask? Well, we are Cleveland fans in this home, by virtue of the legacy that my husband’s family has ingrained in him. And we have LeBron back. ‘Nuff said.
  • A dear friend called on one of my bad days and prayed for me out loud after listening and understanding. #soulfood
  • In the quiet of my drive to pick up my daughter one day, God showed up and reminded me of what He wants. And He started changing the way I pray. (But I’ll tell you more about that next week.)

Question for you: How did God nourish your soul this week? Tell us in the comments…

Faith in Motion {Nourish Your Soul: Day 17}

When we come to Jesus, He gives us what we need for every next step. He gives us faith. He gives us His Spirit.

And that is how we move by faith into every next step. That is how He nourishes our souls. Somehow when we move, even when we feel like we don’t have it in us, He gives us what we need for every. next. step.

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But sometimes it feels like He forgot because the fog is thick, the steps are steep and we can’t see the other side. In fact, we can’t even imagine how we’ll get to the next step, much less the top of them.

That’s when we come back to Him and trust Him for that next move, look to Him for the energy and strength to take that next step.

And always. He shows up and strengthens us enough for it. Always and without fail.

Because when we trust Him as the Master of our lives, His Holy Spirit lives inside of us. He promised.

As you go into your weekend, look toward next week, is there something that looks too steep to climb? Fog that looks too thick to conquer?

Come to Jesus. Live. By faith. Soul nourished, Spirit alive, faith in motion.

Because, really, it’s the only way.

Question for you: I would count it a privilege to pray for you this weekend. Are you facing something that looks scary or too steep? How can I pray for you? Let me know in the comments? I promise I will pray.

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Remember This {Nourish Your Soul: Day 16}

Don’t forget to remember . . . 

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Because when we forget Who it is that gives breath and life and all we need, we grow weary of life, and our souls get hangry.

Because He is the One Who holds the world in His Sovereign hand, the One in Whose grasp is everything our souls need to survive and to thrive and to really truly live.

Don’t forget to remember.

Because when we forget Who God really is, we can’t find the nourishment that will satisfy our souls. And in our overwhelmed, we stop seeking Him and find ourselves looking only for what we think we need instead of finding the real food He offers.

Don’t forget to remember.

Question for you: What helps you remember that God is God and you are not Him? Tell us in the comments. Or join the conversation on my Facebook page. For me, it’s the pausing. It’s the intentional thought before I start talking to Him in prayer. It only take a breath of a moment, but it makes all the difference in the nourishing of my soul.

**Today is the sixteenth day in a 31-day series we are doing called Nourish Your Soul. You can catch up here if you’d like to join us in the challenge!

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When You Just Need to Pause {Nourish Your Soul: Day 15}

So we’re halfway through October. Halfway through those 31 days we committed to nourishing our souls.

I am loving the challenge while at the same time finding it hard to not just cross each day off my list and forget the actual nourishing part. It’s tempting to just write about it rather than actually doing it.

I wonder if all these posts are actually helping you nourish your soul or if they make you a little bit hangry. I wonder if they add to the overwhelmed and make you feel like you just. can’t. keep. up.

Well, my friend, there is good news!

Today, we shall pause. Just catch our breath and soak in the truth that no matter how much we have to do, no matter how far behind we fall in any area of our lives, the One True and Holy God is totally on our side.

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He wants to satisfy our souls with rest.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt 11:28)

That means no more bearing the weight of the world (or our family or our neighbors or our friend’s sister’s dog) on our shoulders. No more worrying about if we’re screwing this up. 

All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. (Mt 11:29)

Just Jesus. Just grace.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Mt 11:30)

Today, we will find our rest in the trust. We will find our breath in the way of His Spirit. We will trust that He’ll lead us and show us every next step.

And we will trade in our large-and-in-charge attitudes for His easy and light hold.

So come and listen and wait and breathe and ask the God Who gives rest to let you bask in its comfort.

Come to Jesus. And rest.

 

Because Nourishing Our Souls Is More Than Just Knowing Where to Find the Food {Day 14}

I’ve been writing about finding nourishment for the soul for 14 days now. And still, it’s hard.

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Because some days I wake up and my heart feels heavy and I trip over the laundry piles that have been at the foot of my bed for three days now and my daughter doesn’t want to go to school and I have three gazillion things to do and no idea how I’m going to do them. And lunches need making and groceries need buying. And all I want to do is get back in bed for at least another hour.

I am learning that feeding my soul is more than just knowing where to find the food.

I drove my youngest to school today before eating breakfast. That never happens. So I decided to listen to a podcast while cooking and eating my oatmeal.

I ran across this one with Chrystal Evans Hurst and Dr. Tony Evans and found food for my thoughts that led to food for my soul. In the podcast, they talk about connecting with God and listening for His voice. It’s hard when we’re busy.

Let be real, sometimes it’s hard when we’re not busy, too.

So I listened to Chrystal Evans Hurst talk about finding God in the moments. How He shows up in the everyday, and if we look we will find Him.

As you might imagine, I was tracking right along. Because, hello? This is the meat of my 31 days of October. Thoughts of meeting with God, letting Him nurture my soul.

Then, at about 1:45 in the podcast, she said something that made me grab my pen and journal so I could remember it. She asked Are you positioning yourself where God can touch you?

So I asked myself the same thing:

Do I put myself in a position where the God of the Universe can touch me? Have I placed myself today where I can experience God’s hand of provision for my right nows?

When I wake up in the morning and walk to the couch, seeking His voice so He can order my day, have I positioned my spirit in a way that will hear His soft whisper or feel His gentle nudge?

When I spread the peanut butter on that bread, dip that knife into the jelly, am I quiet enough in my spirit to recognize His touch?

I’m pretty sure that’s where nourishing our souls starts.

It’s first thing in the morning prostrating ourselves before Almighty God and letting Him remind us that He’s the One Who wakes up the day, the One Who’s got this already planned out for my good and His glory.

It’s the waiting eyes that search for His hand in the middle of the night when our child’s stomach hurts and we know she’ll be throwing up soon.

He met with me today, reminded me Who He is as I came to Him ready to take what He had. He gave me that and more, and I am full in my spirit because He was ready with His Word.

I believe nourishing my soul has to start with how I position myself before my Savior. Is it humble and ready for His touch and a word? Or am I anxious to cross it off the list and move on with laundry?

**Today is Day 14 of a 31-Day Series I am doing on my blog called 31 Days to Nourish Your Soul. You can catch up here if you’d like.

 

 

 

Worship Anyway {Nourish Your Soul Day 13}

It had been a rough couple of weeks. No single major catastrophe, just a lot of little things nipping at my heels. I was discouraged. Feeling sorry for myself, really.

Find Him Thank Him Praise Him

So when I entered worship in the gym that Sunday morning, I hoped God would see it from my perspective and join my pity party.

He didn’t.

That’s not how God works. In fact, He does things altogether differently.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (Ps 100:4).

Wanna’ know how to be where Jesus is? Thank Him. Wanna’ know how to rest where He dwells? Praise Him.

If you’re like me, you know sometimes that’s easy. Like when the sun sets beautifully over the corn crops down the road, and I can almost hear the earth shouting for joy to Creator God. Or when I see God’s hand working clearly in my children’s lives.

Other times, though, it’s more difficult, this praising thing. When my kids are sick or a friend hurts my feelings. When my computer crashes and I have thirty devotions to write. Or when the cats next door rip through the screen in my back porch, and I can’t enjoy my alone time on the porch that I love so dearly.

And even then, God wants my praise.

He doesn’t change His gate-entry procedure according to our circumstances. God is always good. He still deserves our praise. Not only that, but He knows when we worship Him we remember Who He is. Funny, because the converse is also true: when we remember Who He is, we can’t help but worship Him.

Worship the LORD with gladness (Ps 100:1) . . .

True worship is that which is glad in Who God is. Period.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever (Ps 100:5).

No matter where we are. No matter what we feel.

I might not be glad about the my ripped screen. But the LORD is God. He’s my God.

I might be downright upset about not having a computer for a short time. But I am God’s. A sheep in His pasture under His care.

And we can know God’s true presence and enter into His very place of dwelling when we choose to praise Him anyway. Only then will we find true joy.

Worship anyway.

**We are on a journey to nourish our souls in October. If you’re new here and want to catch up, here’s what we’ve done so far . . .

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Day 1: Nourish Your Soul: A 31-Day Challenge

Day 2: How to Know When Your Soul is Hangry

Day 3: What to Do When You Know You Need Better Water

Day 4: How I Fed My Soul This Week

Day 5: What God Says About How to Be Happy

Day 6: How Playdates With God Can Feed Our Souls

Day 7: The Junk Food Called Comparison

Day 8: Even in the Fog

Day 9: When Waiting Is Part of the Finding

Day 10: Three Truths About Eating God’s Bread

Day 11: What God Used To Feed My Soul This Week

Day 12: We Wait For You, God

 

This post was first published at Everyday With God in August, 2011.

We Wait For You, God {Nourish Your Soul: Day 12}

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We wait because we know You are worth it. And we trust that Your way is better. So, God, show us Your way this week.

Amen.

What God Used To Feed My Soul This Week {Nourish Your Soul: Day 11}

It’s Saturday. Time for another check up on how we’re doing with the whole nourishing our souls thing. Only this week, I changed the title from How I Nourished My Soul This Week to How God Nourished My Soul This Week. Because, really, He’s the One with the soul food, not me.

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In all honesty, this week was more difficult for me. Because I struggle with knowing exactly how much time to put into my writing and how to be faithful to the role I play in my husband’s and my kids’ lives. Because I believe God has entrusted me with both jobs. But I’m still figuring out how to do it.

  • So I started getting up earlier in the morning to spend a few intentional waiting moments… Waiting on God. Listening for His voice. Handing Him my day and my kids before it all starts and I forget to wait.
  • My husband and I spent a whole day alone on Tuesday. Our anniversary was in August, but this was the first day he could take off work since then. So we got our kids to school and then spent the day re-connecting and sharing our souls. And God used that time to work wonders in my soul. Amazing how He uses people to do His work! Especially husbands. 🙂
  • I got to spend all day Wednesday alone with my oldest. She was home from school with an injured knee, and we had three different doctors’ appointments, but the time in between was like chocolate for my soul. So thankful for that girl and who God made her and how He is shaping her for His her-sized-assignment.
  • I helped a friend launch her new book Playdates With God (that’s an affiliate link, btw), and God used that to help me delight in His work. It’s such a good book. And she’s such a Godly woman with a spirit that shines His goodness and love. And I love that she’s doing this and that He let me help her soar in her success.
  • I watched this video from Voice of the Martyrs, and God reminded me that what He wants from me is no less than total surrender. That’s where my soul will find the most satisfaction. (**It’s terribly graphic, so be careful who’s around when you watch it. And probably put your earbuds in.)
  • Last night, I went with some super fun friend to an Eric Church concert and had a blast! Not sure it actually fed my soul, but man was it fun!! That guy sure loves what he does. And so do the 20,000 of us who were there at the concert.

So — how what did God use to feed your soul this week? Tell us in the comments. See you there.

Three Truths About Eating God’s Bread {Nourish Your Soul: Day 10}

If Jesus is the bread of life, how exactly do we go about eating? How do we take what God has laid on the table in Jesus Christ and let Him fill up our souls?

Tacos of Life

According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, to come to Jesus is to commit oneself to the instruction of Jesus and enter into fellowship with him.

So it’s not just knowing God’s Word and following His ways. It’s actually knowing Him. Committing to be with Him so we can know Him and love Him and better commune with Him.

If you ask me, it sounds kind of ethereal . . . to fellowship with Jesus and commune with Him. It sounds like something Christians would say and expect everyone around them to just automatically know what they mean.

So let’s break it down into smaller bites so it doesn’t sound so high and mighty. Let’s understand what it means to come to Jesus and eat the bread that God gave us in Him.

1. Fellowship with Jesus means spending time talking with Him. It’s prayer. But more than that, it’s a way of living in our spirits that constantly expects God to be present in the moments. It might happen while we drive, as we pull weeds, when we’re singing our hearts out in the car on the way to work. It’s the kind of prayer that looks to God from deep within and asks Him to show up, asks Him to let us know what He wants today and tells Him the things that are on our minds.

2. Communing with God can sometimes be hard work. Because it’s easy to throw around words like “Lord, please bless this food I’m gonna’ eat,” and “Jesus, please show me where my keys are,” but it takes work to actually wait and find what He wants in all of this. To seek Him as the One He is rather than throw requests at Him like He’s a Wizard from Waverly Place.

3. Committing ourselves to the instruction of Jesus requires total surrender. It takes humility to come to Him and actually want what He wants. It takes a yielded spirit to ask Him to do His work in us and through us rather than always just letting Him know how we think it should be.

When we come to Jesus, we offer Him our what-we-have for His eternally amazing what-He-gave. And we can know, because He promised, that He will satisfy forever us in His perfect way.

And the Bread of Life never clears off the table.

Question for you: What’s one thing you can do to get to know God better today? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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**Are you new here? Why not jump in and nourish your soul this month? We would love for you to join us! Here’s what we’ve talked about so far . . .

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Day 1: Nourish Your Soul: A 31-Day Challenge

Day 2: How to Know When Your Soul is Hangry

Day 3: What to Do When You Know You Need Better Water

Day 4: How I Fed My Soul This Week

Day 5: What God Says About How to Be Happy

Day 6: How Playdates With God Can Feed Our Souls

Day 7: The Junk Food Called Comparison

Day 8: Even in the Fog

Can you do me a favor? If you like what you see here? Why not tell someone? Share it on Facebook. Or Twitter. Email it to a friend. I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂