“I get s0 busy that I forget to eat.” For most of my life I haven’t been able to comprehend that sentence when it’s been said to me. Sure, I understand the words. It’s the concept that had no basis in my reality. When I heard it, the only words that would ricochet around my brain were, “How in the world do you forget to eat?!?!”
In the past few years I’ve stopped questioning. I’ve even let those words escape my lips a few times. 1:30 in the afternoon rolls around and I’ll start to wonder why I’m so crabby. Then I’ll think and realize that it has been about 7 hours since I’ve had more than a cup of coffee. Getting some protein into my system at that point makes a world of difference. After some nourishment, the world seems to be a better place. People are smarter and less annoying than they were moments before. The insurmountable problems now have a path to the summit. Getting fed is pretty important for my general outlook and for my well being.
What’s true for the body is true for the soul. At least it is for me. As much as my body needs to be fed, so does my soul.
Multiple times through the year, I listen to a talk on making sure my tanks are filled. I tell people about it who haven’t heard it. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s a necessary and strategic part of thriving in both life and ministry. I fail to do it more often than not. I easily become spiritually anorexic because I forget to feed my soul.
I don’t use that term lightly. I know anorexia is a serious disorder. While God is gracious to keep me from the point of death, he doesn’t always stop me from starving myself.
Even when I’m on top of spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, and journaling, it’s not enough. Even when I’ve been in church and at small group consistently, it’s not enough. There are other parts of my soul that need to be fed. Those are excellent things to do and places to be. They keep me from starving, but they’re not always enough to help me thrive.
Finding the places and activities that feed my soul beyond basic nutrition has taken me years to do in Colorado. My go-to’s for soul care aren’t available or are in short supply here, but I’m learning new things. Some of the things I’ve needed reminders of, others are new discoveries. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered that help me thrive.
- Crafts . . . I need to create. When I take pieces and make a whole new thing that has beauty and perhaps purpose, I feel better about life. It can be scrapbooking, card making, rubber stamping, coloring, quilting . . . or a myriad of other things, but there must be a creative element to it. I get to create programs and lesson plans regularly, but this is different. Recently I found Pinterest. It’s kind of addictive, but the excitement that builds in me is palatable as I merely think of creating some of the things I see on there. I can hardly wait to actually make more of them. (If you think you might get a present from me for Christmas, your birthday, your baby or wedding shower–don’t try to find my boards on there. Really.)
- Splurging on a cup of frou-frou coffee. I’m generally of the opinion that I can make a great cup of coffee at home for a lot less than it costs me to go out for one. However, I’ve learned that there’s something very nice about buying an overpriced cup of coffee and sitting in a comfy chair while I read, journal or just watch the world go by.
- Nature . . . I should be in it from time to time. I’ll never be Nature Girl. I appreciate the finer points of flush toilets and hot showers. However, an occasional foray away from them (for a limited amount of time) is good for my soul. I went leaf peeping in Rocky Mountain National Park a few weeks ago–it was rejuvenating. While I miss the variety and richness of an East Coast fall; the Rockies have their own particular majesty that I’m learning to appreciate.
- Order . . . ahhhhhh, that elusive concept! I’ve learned I need it. My life tends more towards organizational chaos than order. I do well with chaos–to a point. To really relax, order is becoming more and more important to me. Clutter needs to be vanquished. I’m moving home soon. “Vanquish clutter and chaos!” will be my battle cry.
Those are my goals for vanquishing anorexia of the soul. Feel free to ask me how they’re going in a few weeks.
What are you doing to feed your soul?
photo courtesy of Columbine
I’m jamming with Bonnie and the others on the Faith Jam at faithbarista today. Jump over and see what everyone else has to say about feeding their soul. You know . . . after you leave some comment love.