Cultivating a Healthy Soul

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2

“Never tell a child, you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.” George Macdonald

 

  • Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying with a friend regularly will truly change your life!
  • Grab your Bible, a pen, your journal, something delicious to drink, and go to the place where you meet with God. He longs for you to know He is with you and never tires of hearing your voice. Calm your heart as you begin, and focus your mind on the fact that Jesus is right here with you.
  • Read Psalm 42:1-2, Psalm 84:1-2, Psalm 63:1, and Isaiah 26:9. Ask the Lord to speak to you about cultivating your soul.

How is your soul?

What is a soul, anyway?

Down in the deepest part of you lies your soul. It’s the part of you that’s you—your mind, your emotions, and your will. It continues to live on, even after you die and it’s the inner part of you that is as real as the ground you stand on and as necessary as the air you breathe. It’s the deepest part of you, and it has longings and desires that need attention.

An unattended soul is like a body that is uncared for. It breaks down similarly just like your body would if all you ate was candy and soda. Like our bodies need fresh air to breathe and water to drink, your soul has needs too. These desires are just as important as our bodies’ needs. A lack of soul-filling sustenance will cause your inner man to become ill and weak, and your life will begin to reflect its unmet needs.

How on earth do you feed a soul? I mean, we all know what to feed our bodies to stay healthy, but what do our souls need?

To find the answer to this question, you must look to the “Shepherd and Overseer of your souls,” Jesus (1 Peter 2:25). He knows what is best and invented our faith in the first place (Hebrews 12:2).

Before we examine this list, I want you to know, dear mama, that the Shepherd of your souls knows you have children in your home, and would be eager for me to encourage you to feed your soul well, even in this busy season of your life. A busy mama needs to cultivate her soul in a way that doesn’t require her to get a sitter or have complete silence in her home.

Don’t get me wrong, you need a soul retreat at certain times in your life, but real life must be lived in a real fashion, which doesn’t require perfection and a life apart from your family.

That said, here is my list:

  • Jesus made time with God a priority (Mark 1:35). This is the most important piece of tending your soul. Your inner man needs to be with Jesus; it longs to be with Him (Psalm 42:2). Don’t neglect time with God. If at all possible, get up a half an hour earlier when your house is a bit quiet to pray and read your Bible. If the baby awakes, hold her while you feed on the Bread of Life, the Holy Scriptures. If you are in a season where your children get up at 5 am, invest in a waterproof Bible and read it when you have a moment in the shower, or you could always read a beautiful children’s Bible to your precious ones as you snuggle on the couch together.
  • Jesus worshipped (Matthew 26:30). Keep worship music on as much as possible in your home and your car. Sing along with your children in worship together. Play fun songs such as Wee-Sing Bible Songs and revisit the hymns of your childhood, or do like I did and learn them for the first time alongside your children.
  • Jesus told beautiful stories. Read beautiful books so that you may draw from a deep well. Read them out loud to your children to feed their souls too. I love the book, Honey for a Child’s Heart and Books Children Love. Both of these titles feature a wealth of beautiful books that bring beauty and joy to your whole family!
  • Jesus gave thanks to God and knew He was with Him (John 6:11, 11:41-42). Notice God’s presence and goodness in your life. Get in the habit of “checkpoints” throughout your day—when you wake up, at lunchtime before you eat, and when you lay your head on your pillow at night—when you ponder His goodness throughout your day. Take a moment to thank Him, and fill up your soul at the same time.
  • Jesus Forgave (Luke 23:34). This was perhaps His most amazing example to us. Even after He was crucified and hanging on the cross, He still forgave the ones who put Him there. Forgive. There is no room for unforgiveness in a happy soul. Let. It. Go.
  • Jesus made time for people and community (John 15:15). Jesus spent lots of time with his friends—the 12 disciples. All across the Gospels, we see Him eating, traveling, and having meaningful conversations with His dearest companions. We need community as well. If you don’t have a friend or two with whom you can share your soul, ask God to bring them to you. Be an initiator—ask people over or schedule a playdate or coffee with a new mom at church. Put yourself out there. Who knows, maybe you’re the answer to someone’s prayers for a friend too!

Blessings and Love,

Deb

Questions to Ponder

  • Ask God to show you any soul-draining habits in your life which might be discouraging your soul. Write them down and pray over them. Ask God for help to change any habits and avoid things that do not bring life to your soul. Examples of these might be:

1. Comparing yourself to other moms who seem to have it all together. You don’t know how they act on their bad days with their kids. No one is perfect!

2. Prolonged internet surfing. Reading anything which causes fear to arise in you or makes you upset or discontent with your life or your children.

3. A constantly messy house. Your home doesn’t need to be “House Beautiful,” only what is the right standards for you and your family. But a house that is in a constant state of disarray can bring you down. Even adding one positive habit, like the 5 o’clock pick up, where you set a timer, play fun, energizing music, and everyone runs around cleaning everything everywhere for 15 minutes.

4. Watching violent or sexual movies. Your soul needs peace and goodness in your life. That said, we all know what feels right to watch and what doesn’t. If you don’t know, ask God (Philippians 4:8).

5. Marital disharmony or an uncultivated marriage. Plan time with your husband whenever you can. Try to put the kids to bed early once or twice a week and have a special time together. Pray for God to bring you moments in your life where you can spend together talking, laughing, having fun, cuddling, or being intimate.

Faith-Filled Ideas

Ask God to show His goodness to you and to help you to be aware of His presence throughout the day. Plan to establish three times a day where you intentionally stop and look at how God has worked in your life that day. Did you save money at the store? Was your child extra cuddly? Did you get a phone call from a supportive friend? Thank God for every single good thing you notice. This habit will help to increase your faith.

 

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Deb Weakly
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10 Comments on “Cultivating a Healthy Soul”

  1. I can’t just keep this for myself . I love your teachings. What a gift its to me from heavings getting to read your post. Thank you Mrs Deb. May the Lord multiply back all of what you poured into our aould by allowing the Lord glow through you. What an example of a faithful and willing servant you are. I bless you and pray covering over you and you house.

    1. You are SOOOOO sweet Paola!! I am so thankful for you!! I hope to meet you someday. You are such a sweet encourager and I am so very thankful for you! 🙂

  2. Thank you for this wonderful Bible study! It is encouraging to know that as a busy mama, it doesn’t take long to cultivate my soul. The Lord is always eager and available to listen. I just need to make Him a priority in my life. 🙂

    1. It’s so wonderful that we don’t have to have all of our circumstances perfectly to fill up our souls! I’m so thankful that we have the presence of the living God each and every day with us!

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