Are you intentionally nourishing your soul?
If not, I want to encourage you to take some time today to think about the things minister life, peace and joy to you, then set aside some time to pursue them on a regular basis.
When I speak about the soul, I am not referring to your spirit – the hidden man of the heart that 1 Peter 3:4 talks about – I am actually referring to your mind, emotions, creative center, etc. (If you want more information on the difference between your spirit and soul, then I encourage you to listen to this podcast episode. It will help you distinguish between the two.)
As women we are often pulled in every direction, stretched well beyond our limits, and expected to keep our emotions – and everyone else’s – under control. And that’s not always so easy to do.
But if you can learn to disconnect from the busy-ness and stress of everyday life to invest a few moments in yourself, then you’ll find that you are better able to handle all the craziness that life throws at you.
When you nourish something, you supply it with what is necessary to sustain life and growth.
What fills your soul with life?
Which hobbies, activities, or daily rituals bring you joy or a deep sense of satisfaction? What whispers to you and beckons you to make more time for it in your life? Pay attention to those whispers or gentle nudges to come away and refresh yourself.
I have compiled a list of things that help me nourish my soul. I encourage you to use them as a springboard for nourishing yours.
10 Ways to Nourish Your Soul
1. Make time each day to be alone.
This time for solitude and quietude doesn’t just have to be in the early mornings (though that’s when I prefer mine), grab snatches of “alone time” whenever you can. When you are alone, you are able to think, feel, dream, commune with the Father, and receive His wisdom and guidance. You are able to shut out all other voices and hone in on the voice of your own spirit. If you will learn to do this, you will tap into the inner well of riches that God has placed within you.
2. Take a tea break.
Even on the busiest days it is possible to pull away for a few moments and sit down with a nice hot cup of tea (or coffee, if you must). During this time you can sit quietly and let that lovely beverage warm your body and soul while your mind can wander (if only we women had a “nothing box” like our husbands do)!
Sometimes you just need to let the dishes and laundry wait while you curl up with a good novel. It is important that you read books on spiritual growth and personal development, but I believe that it is also important that you spend time with the “classics” as well. Why? Because classic works of literature will enrich your mind, stir your emotions and passions, fill you with new ideas, and awaken your soul.
Do you have a strong desire to write, to express the deepest thoughts and ideas of your heart through the written word? Are you the type of person who finds it much easier to journal or communicate in writing rather than verbally? Perhaps you have a deep desire to write a book or poetry or worship songs or even start a blog. What is stopping you? Someone needs to hear what you have to say. In fact, you may be the only person who can reach that one person with your heartfelt words. You must find your “voice” and give expression to it.
5. Listen to your favorite music.
Music has a tremendous effect upon the spirit and the soul. Because of its incredible power, it can bring healing, peace, inspiration, joy, hope, and exhilaration on one end of the emotional spectrum. On the opposite end, music can produce sadness, turmoil, fear, aggression and other negative feelings. (I’d encourage you to choose the former rather than the latter.) There is a certain type – and most likely, many types – of music that will resonate with your soul. Think about the kinds of music that minister life to your spirit. Which types of music soothe your soul? Make you feel happy and carefree? Bring back sweet and pleasant memories? Energize or exhilarate you? Feed your soul with your favorite music.
6. Make your own music.
If you are a singer or musician or long to take up music lessons once again then make sure you’re pursuing your gift on a consistent basis. Even if you never learned to play an instrument but have a desire to, then do it! Music is an art like no other. It helps give expression to the deep emotions of the human soul.
7. Be creative.
Tapping into the creativity that is on the inside of you and expressing yourself with something made by your own hands will cultivate and nourish your soul like nothing else can! There are many different areas in which you can use your artistic abilities. I encourage you to find a hobby that you enjoy and pursue it. Carve out a small work space and a block of time each day (or once a week) to create in some form or fashion. Then be fierce about pursuing it on a regular basis – without guilt. This is one of the best things you could do for yourself as a mom.
8. Commune with nature.
Have you ever wondered why the Lord placed Adam and Eve in a garden instead of building them a nice little home in which to dwell? Perhaps it’s because He knew just how much our human souls would need the beauty of His creation. There is nothing like spending time in the great outdoors to put all of life’s problems in perspective. Nature can awaken your soul and stimulate your senses, making you feel more alive. Then on the other hand, it can quiet and still your soul, bringing you immense comfort, tranquility and peace. You need the beauty of the natural world and God has generously given it to you.
9. Create a personal growth plan.
One very important way to nourish your soul is to never stop learning. In fact, I encourage you to develop a “lifestyle of learning.” We mothers are always eager to invest in our children’s education, but it is vitally important that we continue to invest in our own as well. As Christians, we should be continually growing, changing and progressing “from glory to glory.” If we are not moving forward, then we will begin to stagnate. The Bible is all about growth. We are encouraged to grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, grace, and more. There is always room for improvement in every area of our lives. Cultivate your mind and intellect and your soul will thank you!
10. Create a peaceful atmosphere in your home.
Your home should be a sanctuary for your soul – a haven full of love, laughter, and the peace of God. It should be a refuge from the rest of the world for you and your family, and a place of encouragement and gracious hospitality to others. It should rejuvenate all who live and visit there, and refresh their souls when necessary. Decorate and organize your home in a way that pleases you and your family. Make sure it is filled with beauty, pleasant sounds, delicious aromas, and most of all, love.
When the Lord created us, He gave us these amazing souls to allow us to articulate our own uniqueness, to express our innermost passions, to think, to feel, to reason, to imagine, to dream and to grow. By taking time to you nourish your soul, you will be a more satisfied woman, wife and mother. Not only that, it will also affect all other areas of your life!
To expound on any of these areas of nourishing your soul, check out my book, A Life That Flourishes, from which much of this post was excerpted.
I would love to hear what you do to nourish your soul. What things bring rest, refreshment, and a deep sense of satisfaction to you?