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

When Waiting is Part of the Finding {Nourish Your Soul: Day 9}

I wake up early because I have to. But lately I’ve been realizing my need to actually get up before that. (!!) Because there is a hole in my prayer life that needs mending, and I believe the only way to get it mended is to ask God to mend it and then wait for Him to show up.

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That word wait is such a strange one to me.

It’s not passive in its nature like being verbs are. In fact, to wait is an active verb by definition of active verbs. (Grammar nerds like me enjoy this stuff.) But it’s meaning seems to imply not doing. Just. Waiting.

So how can we intentionally wait for God to show up and nourish our souls when the word itself means not doing anything about bringing forth whatever it is we are waiting for?

In Hebrew it can mean to wait or look eagerly for.

Could we then safely say that waiting on God is hope and expectation? Can we say it’s actually actively looking for God?

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Ps 27:14)

Oh, how I love what Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says about this:

Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting.

And this is why I wait. Because no matter where I am, no matter what time of day or night, because of God’s mercy, I can find a way to the throne of grace. And that, I know is where I find nourishment for my soul.

So I wake up and wait. At the throne of grace. For God to mend this hole in my prayer life. And I’m starting to think that maybe the waiting is part of the mending.

Question for you: Why do you think it’s so hard for people in general to wait? Tell us in the comments.

**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

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. 🙂

Even in the Fog {Nourish Your Soul: Day 8}

Ps 119147Sometimes the fog feels scary. Because I want to see where I’m going, want to see where I will end up.

But all I really have to know is where I am. All I truly have to be able to see is where to put my next step. And trust that He will clear the way for every next step after that.

 

The Junk Food Called Comparison {Nourish Your Soul: Day 7}

I sit down to write, and my heart is excited for what I am doing and how I know I’m right where God wants me today.

I am finding my groove after my time away. It’s good.

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So I sit down at the table, type in the password and open up my email before setting sail on today’s blogpost. I find no less than 193 messages awaiting my click in my primary inbox (don’t judge; no haters here) and who knows how many in the other two tabs that I rarely open and actually check.

Among them I find an invitation from a friend to Like a Facebook page. So I click the link and find the page before heading to the website it represents. When I get to the website, I find a whole bunch of followers and wonder at its author.

So I check the About page and find familiar faces filling the contributors’ list. Colleagues with blogs similar to mine, and I find my heart catch on what feels like a hook as I scroll down the page.

Why was I not chosen for this? My heart feels like crying. Why can’t I put words here too? I recognize my envy as soon as it catches me, so I kick myself under the table.

Because I’ve had this conversation at least 438 times. The one where I tell God I think He should do things differently where my writing is concerned, and then He leads me to His truth that tells me to be faithful with what He’s given — no matter the size. The truth that reminds me I was not created for fame, I was created for Him. The truth that says that I am enough and He has way better plans than any I could think up.

But the hook keeps on jabbing, and I can’t shake it off, so I get on my knees with my face in my palms, and I offer it up again to my God. Open hands that give Him these words, those thoughts, this open wound.

I stand up, go back to the computer, and logoff of Facebook before starting to write about food for the soul and how Jesus fills us up.

The truth is, I find comparison to be like a candy-coated rocks when it comes to food that my soul wants to eat. It looks pretty from far away but once I get hooked, it’s impossible to chew. Like break-your-jaw-and-your-teeth kind of hard.

And it does absolutely nothing to satisfy my soul. In fact, it only leaves pain from the chewing I tried to do. Pain and broken teeth.

My soul only needs to remember what God did when He gave me this life, this grace, this Bria-shaped assignment. The truth of His grace lavished all over my me that wants nothing more than to delight over me just because I’m me.

And this remembering is the nourishment no candy needs to coat. Because all that I need is in Almighty God Himself. All my soul needs is the real food that is Jesus Christ.

A question for you: What is something God has created you to do? Is it plant flowers? Hug children? Leave comments on my blog? 🙂 Tell us in the comments.

**This is the seventh of a 31-day series called Nourish Your Soul. Wanna’ catch up? Here’s what we’ve talked about so far . . .

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Day 1 – A 31-Day Challenge to Nourish Your Soul

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

How Playdates With God Can Feed Our Souls {Day 6 : A Book Review}

I’ve heard the call a hundred times.

God’s quiet call to come and just be. To enjoy what He has for me today. To quiet myself and wait. To notice the moment and read it like an invitation from God Himself . . .

Come and listen and sit with Me a bit. Let’s dance together. Let’s do this life thing the right way — together.

Yes, I know it well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill, how many times have I ignored it? How many times have I brushed off the nudges of God for the busy self-importance I’ve convinced myself I deserve? More times than I care to admit, I’m afraid.

If only I would stop, and tend to the moments God offers with joy. If only I would see the holy in the moments that I discipline myself to attend to. (Playdates With God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, p 170) 

That’s what author Laura Boggess writes in her refreshing and challenging memoir, Playdates With God : Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World.

She uses the beautiful, deeply thought-out words of her heart to paint pictures of playdates with the Author of Life. She urges us to live in the wonder of any given moment, to let God command the time and trust Him to show us the sacred.

What might happen if you and I would actually seek out the wonder and the playfulness of children as we approach God in the everyday?

I would venture to say we’d find the kind of nourishment our souls need in the deepest way.

Laura’s story begins with a challenge to meet God weekly. To schedule playdates with God in order to know Him more deeply, love Him more intimately, and live more fully in the wonder that is relationship with Almighty God.

The book comes out tomorrow, but you can order it today. I got to read it early so I could tell you about it here. 🙂 (Woot! Woot!) And I’m telling you it did not disappoint. In fact, it spoke to the parts of me that want to find the kind of nourishment we’re looking for in these 31 days of October.

(Seriously. How perfect is that?)

Because finding our souls’ food from the One Who made them and knows what we need can be more than just sitting quietly, Bibles open, pen in hand. Sometimes it’s jumping on a trampoline wondering at the awesomeness the God Who let you be right here. Right now.

Truly, what if we quieted ourselves enough to let God lure us in to play with Him regularly?

Didn’t He make us each unique? What might happen if we let Him lead us in the way we were made and feed us with that? What if God wants to meet us at our favorite place doing what we love to do most? What if that’s re-finishing a dresser or planting some flowers or twirling on top of mountain like Maria Von Trapp?

And what if we actually looked for God inside those moments? What if we met Him right inside the play?

It’s a question worth asking if we want nourishment for our souls. A question I’m so glad Laura Boggess asked when she started her adventure to find God in the right now.

Speaking of questions, what might it look like for you to meet God on a playdate? What would you do together?

I think I would go on a photo expedition at the OARDC or somewhere outside where we’d listen for the birds and try to find the tree that displays the most fall colors in its leaves. (Hmmm… I think I may have just planned my next playdate with God.)

 

**Laura’s book is on amazon right here.  (It’s an affiliate link, so if you use it, you’ll help me get some coffee cash *at no extra cost to you*. So thanks.)

You can find Laura at her website, www.lauraboggess.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @LauraBoggess and on Instagram: @LauraBoggess. Seriously, you should check her out. She’s really great!

Are you new to our challenge to Nourish Our Souls during the month of October? Welcome! Here’s where we’ve been so far on our journey:

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Day 1 – A 31-Day Challenge to Nourish Your Soul

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

What God Says About How To Be Happy {Nourish Your Soul: Day 5}

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How I Fed My Soul This Week {Nourish Your Soul: Day 4}

It’s been a good week. Granted, we’re only four days in to our Nourish Your Soul Challenge. But I thought since I’m leading this charge, I should probably keep it real. So each Saturday, I will give you an update on how exactly I nourished my soul for the week.

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Then it will be your turn. So get ready . . .

How I nourished my soul this week:

  • Even when I had a lot to do, I took my journal and my Bible (and, of course, my pen) out to my porch and sat there. All quiet-like. And I asked God to meet me there. Then. I waited. #sogoodformysoul
  • When I went to my new office my new favorite place to get some writing done on Wednesday morning — because I had too much crap clutter in my house to focus on anything writing — I made a new friend. We’d chatted another time I was there, but this time I got to see Don as a real person. And God used him to remind me of my grandpa in so many ways. #soulfood
  • I cleaned my bathroom and finally put away the basket full of stuff that’s been sitting on the floor next to my dresser since the day we emptied our bedroom boxes in June when we moved in. Amazing how getting rid of clutter helps my soul breathe.
  • I spent an entire morning with a dear friend who loves Jesus and His Word so deeply I can’t be around her and not want to know Him more. So thankful for friends like this. #coffeetime
  • I turned on my Crowder Band Pandora station and let Matt Maher lead me in worship in my car while I sang Lord, I Need You at the top of my lungs and with my whole entire heart and soul. (You can too. Click the link and crank it up, man!!) #itsagreatsong

Okay, your turn. How did you feed your soul this week? Tell us in the comments.

What To Do When You Know You Need Better Water {Day 3 in the Nourish Your Soul Challenge}

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If only it weren’t so easy to forget the only real kind of food that will truly nourish our souls comes from Jesus Christ. From believing Him, following His ways, letting Him be the actually Lord of our lives.

The lady in John 4 didn’t know. That’s why she kept drinking from the cup called approval-from-men. Looking for deep soul satisfaction from the men she thought loved her. The men she believed could be the answer to her do I really matter to anyone questions.

That’s why she kept having to come back for more. But Jesus showed up and rocked her world with the truth. She totally matters. That’s why He struck up a conversation with her.

You and I have questions too. Questions we’ve tried to answer with whatever we can find to put into our styrofoam cups and drink. But the bottom of the cup only shows us how much more thirsty we are.

The only way to never thirst again is to feed on the truth that is Jesus Christ. His life. His words. His gift of deep intimacy with us that He offers if only we will take it.

That’s why this morning I sat on my porch with my Bible and asked Him to show up. I wrote a note to Him in my journal and asked if He’d please let me hear Him, please help me be quiet so I can hear.

Because my soul needs real food.

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My porch is my favorite place to have it out with God. When my soul feels hangry, and I actually respond to God’s nudge, I take my journal and my pen and my Bible, and I sit there and wait.

What about you? Is there something you do, some place you go, when you know you need God to show up? Maybe you don’t really ask anything. Maybe you just sit quietly. Or find a worship song and turn it up super loud. Or maybe you go for a run. Or a drive. Or maybe you clean your bathroom. Will you share with us in the comments?

Can’t wait to hear from you!! 🙂

 

How To Know When Your Soul Is Hangry {Nourish Your Soul Day 2}

I get out of bed early five days a week. Because my oldest has to be ready for the bus before the crack of dawn. Or 7:12. Same thing.

It’s a new thing for me — this getting out of bed earlier than the last possible minute. I am no morning person.

But the last few days have been more difficult for some reason. Today especially. In fact, I made myself a deal this morning that I’d return to that beloved warm place between the mattress and the covers before lunchtime. That’s what finally got me up.

I am tired, and I need more rest before I interact with people, and my not-nice side shows up and ruins my persona. I have learned to listen to my body when it needs things like rest. Food. Water.

The truth is, I’m pretty good at recognizing the signs. My stomach growls. I yawn a lot. I get grumpy, thirsty, hangry. So when I feel it coming on, I know I need to take care of it before things get ugly. (Because they will get ugly — just ask my husband. Or my kids. Or my parents. Or anyone who has really ever interacted with me at such a time.)

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It has taken more time, however, for me to recognize the symptoms of my soul’s nourishment needs. I wonder if it’s the same for you?

When my soul is hangry, I don’t like people. I lack the desire to be around, well, anyone, and I desperately seek alone time every minute of every day until I get it. And then all I can think about is when I can get it again.

When my soul is hangry, I tend to look to things like TV, Bejeweled Blitz, Diet Coke, shopping for nothing but a good deal, to satisfy me. Like sugary soul-snacks, somehow I forget what my soul really needs and try to fill it with things that make me happy for like two seconds before leaving me still wanting.

Maybe it looks different for you. I don’t know.

I do know, though, that if we don’t nourish our souls, we will end up like that dried up mum on my porch that can’t do anything but look horribly thirsty. It can’t be the beautiful God created it to be because it doesn’t have the nourishment it needs to do it.

Same goes for us.

That’s why we’re looking to nourish our souls this month. Because we want to be the beautiful that God designed us to be. And we can’t do that unless our souls get real food, real water and real rest — the forever kind that satisfies deeply and only come from God Himself — the One Who designed us for a purpose.

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So — how do you know when your soul gets hungry?  What does it look like for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments. (You can click that word, and it will take you right there.) I’m curious to know how different it looks for each of us.

Nourish Your Soul : A 31-Day Challenge

The first time I read it, my heart got excited at the prospect.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:1-2)

It’s God’s covenant promise to His people. Faithful God promised His children the richest of fare if we will just come. If only we will look for real food that will satisfy our souls.

The idea of soul satisfaction makes my heart jump inside. Makes my mind remember times when my soul has been nourished for real.

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Sadly, that is not always the case.

I’d be embarrassed to admit how often I forget what real food is . . . the kind Jesus offers. The kind that doesn’t just pretend to give me fuel for my dailies but that actually nourishes.

Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy?

That’s why for the 31 days of October, I am challenging myself to nourish my soul, and I would love for you to join me in the mix of it.I am convinced that a large number of people who follow Jesus Christ have forgotten their souls’ need for real food.We do our quiet times in the morning and check it off our list. We pray when we sit down for a meal, but forget the One we’re talking to. Like rote spirit words that our souls haven’t quite gotten a hold of.

So let’s remember this month. Let’s go back to the true nourishment that Jesus Christ offered when He told us to come to Him.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Everyday in the month of October, I’ll post something that will hopefully challenge us to remember where to find it . . . True food. True drink. True nourishment for our souls.
  • Come back tomorrow, and find some more words that I pray will help point you to Jesus and real soul food.
  • Join the conversation. Something you’re finding that helps your soul breathe? C’mon, you can tell us. Anything. Please. Let’s act like a community that helps each other find true food for our souls. Let’s chat in the comments. Or on Facebook if you’d rather. (Follow me on Facebook at Brianna Wasson Writer.)

I’ll get things started by asking you a question. (Hint: Here’s your chance to join the conversation!! ) Is there a verse in the Bible that makes your heart jump and helps your soul breathe? Ok, so now it’s your turn. 🙂

 

**You can follow along by subscribing to this blog so you don’t miss one of the days. Invite your friend, your sister, your cousin, your dad. You can pin the graphic at the top. Or share this post on Facebook. Or tweet it out. Or forward it to someone’s email. The more the merrier. (If you’re reading this in your email inbox, you’re already subscribed.)

How Complete Surrender Helps With Suffering {What I’m Learning From 1 Peter 4}

I do not like to suffer. At all. That’s why I’ve always wanted to be a runner but have never actually done it.

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But Peter seems to have this obsession with hope in such a real and crazy way that according to him, suffering is just part of life as a follower of Jesus Christ. (It’s actually the Holy Spirit using Peter to say this, but . . .)

And this is what I am learning through 1 Peter chapter 4.

Suffering for following Christ, he says, is actually an honor, reason to rejoice. It gives deeper cause for celebration when the hope of Jesus’ return becomes reality. It’s called living hope. Hope for living.

If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed . . . (1 Pt. 4:14)

I wonder if Peter recalled those pre-dawn moments as he wrote this. Did he play out in his mind a different ending to that interaction with the slave girl outside the courtyard where Jesus was being beaten? Did he wonder what might have happened if only he had entrusted himself at that time to His faithful Creator? How would he have done differently if only he had clung to that living hope?

It’s possible, you know. To live according to this all-consuming hope. To suffer through even the most horrifying trial and persecution.

It’s possible because what God has for us in eternity is way better than any comfort we might enjoy here on this side of it.

Hard to imagine, though. I mean, I like comfort. I like easy and nice and can’t-we-all-just-get-along. And I don’t want to face icky and hard and fiery trials. (Yes, as a matter of fact, I did just use the word icky in a theological discussion. You are welcome.)

That’s when it comes back to that whole complete surrender thing. It just keeps coming back to that.

Complete and utter surrender to God’s ways, His hand, His mercy, His life. It’s all about surrender. This summer. This year. This life. It’s all about surrender.

Because when I am living entrusted to my faithful Creator (v19), I am okay with whatever may come. When I honor Jesus Christ as Lord in my heart (3:14-15), I am more than just okay, I can rejoice in the fact that He knows what I need and is somehow blessing me through it. 

So what do you think? There is so much depth and hard stuff here in 1 Peter. Let’s talk it out. Let’s ask questions and help each other find God’s truth in it.