Now that the New Year has settled in a bit and we are gradually becoming accustomed to writing 2019 rather than 2018, our daily lives ease back into our old routines without an awareness that the New has already worn off the Year. The cold days and dark mornings tempt us to snuggle under the covers for just 5 more minutes. I find it harder to stick with my exercise routine when I have to add another layer of clothing to keep out the chill of the day.
Along with the slow drift back into my old routine, I notice a small twitch in my heart. There was a little too much “together time” over the past month and my patience has worn thin. It is easy to imagine that the cure to what ails me is a little “me” time filled with pampering and high calorie treats. But, I find that the quick fix does not address the real problem which is my failure to dedicate time to tend to my soul.
Does any of this sound familiar? Did you start the January with dreams of dedicating more time to slow down and rest in the knowledge of the unfailing love and mercy of Jesus? Did you hope to spend more time reading and contemplating the living Word? Have you lost track of your soul because of tending to all the needs of the ones you love?
Here are 5 easy things you can do to Tend to Your Soul over the next few weeks. These simple things are a gentle shift in the way you already move through your day, but may help you find more moments to rest with Jesus.
Make an Appointment
If you are committed to your calendar, make the appointment each day to have coffee with Jesus. I like to pray with the readings of the day from the lectionary. You can also have reflections from the Gospel of the day sent directly to your inbox. I love Bishop Barron’s insights as well as the ones from Blessed is She.
I need visual cues to get me started each day in my Soul Tending Time. I keep my bible, journal, and pens together near my tea pot so that they are one of the first things I see when I walk bleary-eyed into the kitchen. What visual cues do you have that could remind you that God is waiting patiently to reveal Himself to you? Do you need to move a cross or a picture into your bathroom so you are reminded of Jesus’s love when you brush your teeth?
Listen and Take Note
Keep a set of index cards with your Soul Tending starters. After you spend time in prayer, reflection, or contemplation- make a note of one thing that stands out to you. It could be a word, a question, or a verse that stirs your heart. Put this card somewhere you will see it later in the day. This will remind you to pause and allow the Holy Spirit to stir more deeply in your soul. This might be especially helpful if journaling does not work for you.
Allow White Space to exist
There have been times in my life when this was difficult, but I find that more space in between appointments and a shorter list of tasks to accomplish in the day increases my awareness of what is happening in my heart and my soul. When I allow more time to ponder, it is easier for me to recognize the person in front of me as a beloved child of God.