I shifted uncomfortably in my chair while my eyes scanned the room trying to carefully formulate my response to the question, “How are you doing with soul care?” You know when you are asked a question like this, if you’re like me, you want everyone to know that your fine, your doing great. After all, there wasn’t any drama going on in my life and I was spending time in the presence of God, but honestly, I was still wore out.
I tried to answer the question with a list of all of the things I had been doing that I enjoy, but was quickly redirected with, “No, what are you doing to tend to the needs of yourself? You spend so much time taking care of everyone else, what are you doing to take care of you?”
After a long uncomfortable silence, I said, “Nothing, I just don’t have time for me.”
If your like me, between the daily routine, the daily needs of my family, and all my other responsibilities and obligations, rarely do I find time to just do something for me.
And if I did find something to do for me, I usually will struggle with feeling guilty because there is always a list of so many other things that need to get done. I get sucked into believing that those other things are more important than tending to myself.
Sure, I know that exercising and having your quiet times are ways to take care of yourself, but the soul care my friend was talking about, was the time we spend doing the things that we really just love to do.
The reason we need soul care, is because it helps us to live and love out of fullness rather than operating on empty. When I am trying to parent on empty, I get easily irritated and frustrated. When I am trying to cultivate a friendship on empty, I’m draining and selfish to my friend. When I am trying to be a spouse on empty, I begin to nit pick.
When you and I try to live out of our emptiness we become stressed. We feel like there just isn’t enough. There’s not enough time, not enough energy, not enough patience and everything sucks the life right out of us.
But you and I were meant to live from a state of abundance. In John 10:10 Jesus says,
I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.
Honestly, Satan wants you and I to operate out of a state of emptiness, we tire ourselves out that way. He also wants us to believe that taking time out for ourselves is selfish and frivolous.
But in Proverbs 31:27 it says,
She watches over the ways of her household and meets every need they have.
You can read that proverb and think, See, I have to take care of everyone and meet all their needs. But can I suggest some insight? You are a member of that household as well. You too need the same attention and care that your family needs.
Galatians 6:9 encourages us to “…not get tired of doing good,” but in order for us to not get tired, we have got to take the time to take care our soul needs.
So have you ever slowed down and asked yourself, “What do I really enjoy doing, what energizes me, and makes me feel like I have paid attention to me?”
Try it. Were you able to come up with something?
For some it may be antique shopping, or standing barefoot in the grass (if you have sticker free grass), it may be taking a bubble bath, sitting outside enjoying the day, painting, etc. The key is to find the activity that is not a chore or a need to thing, but a want to thing.
And if you couldn’t think of anything, don’t worry, ask God to show you what those things are. He knows you better than you know yourself, and I believe you will be surprised in what he shows you.
What are some of the things you do for soul care? Would you considering sharing them? Your soul care could inspire someone else.
I can’t wait to hear from you…