Things That Refresh a Weary Soul
Feels like we’ve been sort of coasting all summer long. Maybe it’s the record-breaking heat or the lingering head cold/sinus infection that knocked us all off our feet and zapped our energy for the better part of a month. Or maybe it’s the way our little town seems to shut down during the summer months while everyone vacations elsewhere or hides out indoors. Add to all this the waiting game we’ve been playing as we’ve tried to get things moving on Alyssa and Matt’s attic loft renovation, meeting with subcontractors, waiting for bids, reworking plans and budgets. So many hours spent on this with no tangible evidence yet to show for our efforts.
My morning walks to the park with the sun blazing off the concrete leave me longing for one of those babbling brooks poets write about. For some kind of fresh artesian spring hidden among these mowed-down cornfields, daring me to take off my shoes and splash around with my bare toes. It’s so easy to feel dry and uninspired in these drawn-out days.
So I’m on a mission. A treasure hunt of sorts. Seeking out things that refresh my weary spirit. Perhaps you’re feeling a bit soul-weary yourself and could use some refreshing too. Here’s what’s working for me.
Learning from a child.
My 2-year-old grandson teaches me so much. He finds pure delight in walking barefoot in the soft grass or running through the sprinkler or snuggling for a bedtime story. He lives close to the ground and he sees everything. He reminds me to open my eyes and take notice. I had forgotten how to play and he’s bringing that back into my life.
Stopping long enough to see the beauty.
Every Monday morning I write in my journal my biggest concerns about the upcoming week. The Bible says to shape our worries into prayers, so this is my way of documenting that. When I go back the following week and reread the list, it’s amazing how many of the items have usually already resolved and weren’t even worth worrying about. But so often I don’t go back and look because my mind is too occupied with the next week’s worries. It’s so silly. In my search for babbling brooks, I’m becoming more intentional about stopping to give thanks for last week’s solutions and today’s unexpected gifts.
Spending time with life-givers.
You know who they are. The people in your life who inspire you, make you laugh, refill your cup. These are the people you walk away from just feeling better about life. People who manage to find joy in even the toughest circumstances. I feel blessed to be surrounded by life-givers and equally blessed by some people I don’t have face-to-face contact with but whose stories refresh my faith and make me want to go deeper. Sweet Anosh, the 28-year-old teacher daily laying down his life for 72 impoverished school-kids in the literal desert of the Middle East. Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who has spent almost two years in a Turkish prison for sharing his Christian faith and still finds the power to forgive and keep pressing on.
When I think my life feels dry, these men are daily reminders of just how easy I have it. They, along with so many others, become babbling brooks where I can be refreshed and restored. They incite me to BE life-giving to others. And let’s not forget The Life-Giver Himself…Jesus. The One who promises to become in us a fresh, bubbling spring that wells into eternal life and refreshes everyone around us.
Just as I am bemoaning how slowly things are moving, a couple of calls change everything. One says our building permit is ready. The other says the framers are ready to start next week. Which means there will be six adults and a 2-year-old living in our house for a bit while we tackle this renovation. Did I mention our little bungalow has two bedrooms? It’s about to get crazy and I love it!
We’ll keep you posted with pics of the progress.