REPOST (Originally posted in January 2016)
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Your soul is a living entity. It has life, and it experiences levels of health. It, therefore, needs to be nourished – talked to, rested, fed.
Nourishing our soul requires thoughtful planning. In the busyness and activity of our daily lives, without intention on our part, the nourishment of our soul can easily become neglected.
Practicing core spiritual disciplines helps us create plenty of space for God – disciplines such as prayer, engaging with Scripture, practicing solitude and silence, searching our soul through self-reflection, developing soul friendships, and living a life of simplicity.
- Journaling Bible – This is a Bible with wide margins. (There are even some out now with every other page blank!) I love this Bible for engaging with Scripture. Sometimes I illustrate my interactions in the margin (with stickers, stamps, and lettering); sometimes I simply write. What a way to spend time with God and His Word. One of my favorites is taking out my Sunday sermon notes one day later in the week, opening my Journaling Bible to the appropriate Scriptures, and digging in. For more information on this tool, see the post Creative Journaling: Part 2.
- Journible Method –This method is based on Journibles: the 17:18 Series by Robert J. Wynalda and available through Amazon and other outlets. The idea is to write out the book of Scripture you are studying and then reflect upon it. Using this method, you write out the Scripture on the right-hand page and record your thoughts, questions, and reflections on the corresponding left-hand page. I recently used this method as our small group studied the book of Philippians and simply cannot say enough about it! For more detailed information see the blog post Creative Journaling: Part 3.
- Praying in Color (Praising in Color, Digging into Scripture in Color) – Three previous posts on this blog have been devoted to this particular tool:
Perhaps this is an indication to just how much I value this tool. If you haven’t made the discovery yet, be sure to check out one of these posts. Then grab some paper and coloring utensils and give it a try!
- Prayer Resource Guides – One of my all-time favorites is “31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Grandchildren.” This list can be found on our free resources page and is an adaptation of “31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children”* downloaded from Revive Our Hearts. Prayer Guides help me pray more specifically and consistently for those I love.
- Squish-it Journal – Find beautiful, meaningful things that help turn your attention toward God and “squish” them into a journal. Then find a quiet place, open your journal, and spend time with Him. We discuss this tool in more detail in the blog post Creative Journaling: Part 3.
- Verse Mapping – Dig deeper into Scripture by mapping verses. (Reminds me a bit of the old diagraming of sentences from Language Arts class, but NOT rules-bound and so very nourishing for the soul.) Simply write out the verse you have chosen being sure to leaveplenty of white space around it. Then go to work – define words, locate synonyms, make connections, ask questions, etc.
- “Consider Your Ways,” 31 questions to ask at the start of a New Year by Donald S. Whitney – A wonderful list of thought-provoking questions for searching your soul.
- “Thanks” Journal – No matter how one sees it – having “an attitude of gratitude,” harnessing the power of “eucharisteo (thanksgiving),” or seeking to focus on “the gifts from God,” – there is nothing like counting gifts. Sometimes I simply list them, sometimes they are the subject of a photo collection, and sometimes I record them on an app on my phone. “Thanks” journals are briefly described in the blog article Creative Journaling: Conclusion.
- Spiritual Markers Bracelet – Exercising Spiritual memory is crucial in the Christian life and in the nourishment of the soul. Gathering your Spiritual Markers is a wonderful way to exercise that memory. The gathered list is also a unique tool for sharing your journey and personal God-story with others. More on Spiritual Markers can be found in the post, Spiritual Markers: Remembrances and Opportunities.
- Soul Friends – A soul nourishment tool with skin on!! I treasure my few intimate, life-giving relationships that help me pay attention to the activity of God in my life and help me to respond.
- Online Bible Study Tools – Sites such as Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible certainly make the “digging” easier.
- YouTube Playlists – Music ministers to my soul. Life needs a soundtrack. I have lists for times of journaling, exercising, and cleaning. And recently playlists have been added for turning my focus to specific topics such as The Cross and Grace. Here’s one of my absolute favorites — Jesus, Only Jesus (Billingsley, Penrod, Cottrell, O’Brien). To be honest, it shows up on several of my playlists!!
There you have it. My Top 12 Tools for Nourishing My Soul. How about you? What tools do you find invaluable as you intentionally engage in talking to, resting, and feeding your soul?
Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Granted permission to copy and use freely via the Revive Our Hearts website.
©Copyright Bob Hostetler. Used with permission of the author. (www.bobhostetler.com)