• Debbie Slaughter

What's Been Feeding My Soul Lately

This week I want to share a few things that have been feeding my soul lately. Things that have made me think. Things that have inspired me to want to do better, be better. Things that have made me slow down and things that make me want to keep going.

To start on a simple note, two things that have been feeding my soul lately are:

The idea of slow homemaking (by LoveMeg) - this concept is so simple and nothing profound, but it makes me think of loving my home, caring for the home, but not treating homemaking like it's a frantic marathon. When did we lose the love for our homes? Sometimes I think people merely exist in their homes and live for the moment they can walk out the door. But that's an entire subject for another day.

Choosing a book every day - for the past few months now, I've been intentionally choosing to pick up a book or magazine at least once a day (usually in the afternoon) and sit for about 30 minutes to read. Reading has always been a passion of mine, but I've caved to the instant gratification of social media for so long now, that I was neglecting the slowing down and enjoyment of reading a good story. Not only is this feeding my soul, but it's getting me back to a simpler time and habit, which is so satisfying.

On that same note about reading....I've been reading my Bible at my own pace, at various times of the day, rather than first thing in the morning, as I was always taught in church. There's no right or wrong time to open God's word and spend time with the Lord, so put away the guilt-ridden notion that if you don't do it at a certain time, you're wrong. As an empty nester now, I love getting up in the morning and using up some energy for a few hours before opening up the Word. I find that my mind is more focused later, mid-morning, and I can truly study and pray the way I desire to, when I'm not still trying to wake up. I believe that the Lord is sensitive to our seasons of life and he's not looking for your scheduled devotion. He's after your love and a relationship with you. So, reading my bible guilt-free is feeding my soul these days.

Life and death - over the past two weeks, two people have passed away and left me feeling inspired. One was a lady I never knew, but attending her funeral was such a blessing and inspired me in many ways. Her life was hard, but in the midst of all the pain, she was known for her smile and her kindness and just hearing the testimonies of her family made me want to be a better person. The 2nd death was of a great friend of mine. I've known her for close to 20 years and in life and in death, she was such an inspiration to so many. I've always said that you preach your own funeral, and I still believe that to be so true. What people see of you in life, is what they will say about you in death. These two women have inspired me, even as their lives were taken, to be aware of the person I am and what I want to be known for.

Budgeting - Yes, my budget is feeding my soul these days. WHAT? Yes, I'm that nerd weirdo that loves personal finance. But listen...when you can manage your money in such a way that it works for you and not against....that's something to get excited about! I love budgeting because it's like working a puzzle. When you find a way to put all the pieces together and they make sense, you can accomplish great things with your money. Having a budget that works and making progress in the financial part of life, is feeding my soul.

Catching up with old friends - this always feeds my soul and reminds me that everyone is going through things. I think sometimes we get so focused on our own struggles that we forget to look around and see when someone is hurting or just trying to keep a smile on their face. It's such a blessing to run across an old friend and hear their stories and be reminded to pray for people. Even when we don't know their struggles, God does.

Thoughts of the future - this is a tricky one! Thoughts of the future can feed my soul, but only when kept in check with God's timing and his plans for my life. I think it's great to dream and plan (loosely) and get excited over the "one day" topics. For us, right now, it's thoughts and dreams of getting our own place and not being in a rental for too much longer. But, that could take years and the tricky parts are not getting ahead of God and not becoming discontented with what you have at the moment. So I hold my dreams close and trust that God will show us when it's time to move on. But, in the meantime, dreams of that forever home are feeding my soul.

Knowing how to balance "busy" - As an empty nester now, I'm having to find a balance between slow days and busy days. I've never been good at relaxing. I like to have a project to conquer, I love meeting with friends, I need to have a purpose for the day. But the reality is, some days are just slower and I'm still trying to find my way through those days. When you're used to having kids at home with you 24/7 (as a homeschool mom), it's kind of a shock when the days get quiet. But, the truth is, I need those quiet days too, because they allow me to slow down and create, think, dream, and care for my home and my own soul. Busyness can become a crutch sometimes and we use it to avoid things, like loneliness or sorrow or boredom. But, do you know that some of the greatest songs or stories or pieces of art have been created out of the slower times, the darker times, the saddest times? All I'm saying is that life is a balance of busy and slow and to embrace both with the same passion can be a good thing. Praying more on the slow days is feeding my soul right now. God is teaching me how to appreciate the quiet.

Family Dinner - one day a week our family gathers for a meal. It's loud and chaotic and sometimes hard to hear with 3 babies running around, asking for more juice or more food. But, you know what? I love it! I look forward to it! I cherish it, because not every family gets to do this! I watch my boys talk about all things business, music, equipment and the latest musical tool they "need." I hear my beautiful daughter-in-loves talk fashion, what's exciting to them and roll their eyes at their husband's latest toys. David and I are worn out afterwards, as we pick up toys, straighten things and fall on the couch at the end of the night. But, it's a privilege I don't take for granted. Family dinner feeds my soul every week.

Purging books that put pressure on me - as a book lover, I've bought too many books over the years. I've bought fiction books, books about creativity, biographies and memoirs. But, the one type of book that I'm determined not to buy anymore and already have way too many, are the books that want to tell me how to be a better person. Recently (and multiple times over the years), I've felt a strong conviction about self-help books. They sit on the shelf, calling my name and pressuring me to learn something, change something, do something - all in the name of being a better person. These books do not feed my soul anymore. They taunt me; making me feel like I'll never be all that I need to be, without the so-called expert advice of each book. I'm going to write more on this later, but I wanted to include this in today's list, because purging something that no longer feeds your soul, is so liberating and I wanted to share the goodness of it. Self-help books no longer feed my soul, but getting them off the shelves does!

That's my list for today (and I know it's a long one) of all the things that are causing me to pause and take notice of that feeding of the soul feeling.

As always, I can't write without encouraging you to think about your own story...What's feeding your soul right now? What draws you closer to God?

I hope this list inspires you to make your own list and discover those things that are feeding your soul right now. Do more of those things and purge the things that are not leaving you inspired.

Thanks for sticking around for this post.

Until Next Time....


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