Sunday, June 06, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Encouraging your own soul

Thus says the Lord: stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.  Jeremiah 6:16

I am thankful that this season of busy-ness should be ending soon.  After a cold early spring, it seems everything needed attention all at once, coinciding with various medical appointments for both of us.   

Sometimes I miss being able to run a three-ring circus.  Just like I miss the kids living at home.  The feeling usually passes as I have come to need peace and quiet... and I do enjoy not having to share TV time as often.  Except when the Chicago White Sox are televised.  Which is every single day.  What happened to travel days?  But I digress...

All of the outdoor work has been good for me.  It is true that everything done just a little at a time takes longer but the results are the same as when the work is finished sooner.  Of course, trying to do anything perfectly was not a good idea even when more energy was available.

I have been tweaking the front porch flowers, moving a couple flower pots from the deck and purchasing an inexpensive Boston fern at Aldi to hang on the iron scrolled hook at a corner of the porch.  It looks very colorful and peaceful now.  I know, it only looks that way for a few months but the investment of work and budget is well worth the feeding of the soul they provide.

Early this morning, as I walked down the gravel road to the newspaper box, Mouse met me close to our driveway and plopped on her side once the gravel lane ended.  She obviously had been spending time elsewhere but now was in great need of her second breakfast, fresh water, and some scratches behind the ear.

Once these were taken care of, I sat in the wicker rocker that I had rescued from my neighbor's trash many years ago and enjoyed the flowers as well as the breeze.  I could see Mouse lapping up the cool water I had provided.  A rooster was crowing in the distance from a house somewhere in the forest but out of my eye sight.

The forest is in full form now, which is when I find it most beautiful.  Well, except for a couple weeks in October but that is a very brief season.  It wasn't too long ago that from my porch I could see the various houses in the forest, as well as the neighbor's red barn across the county road. That won't be possible again until around November.

I needed that time of quiet, with a cool breeze and lovely things to gaze upon.

There has been bad news for so long that I found the need to concentrate on encouraging my own soul... filling it with faith filled music and words, lovely videos, and getting lost in a novel on the Kindle.  Lately, there have only been ten or fifteen minutes in the evening after dinner to read but even a little reading is better than setting aside a book until there are great periods of time available.

I changed around some of my tea cup/saucer collection, moving a few of them to the shelves where I keep coffee mugs to make it simpler to reach for their fine china loveliness when choosing tea over coffee.  A few were sent on to Goodwill for others to enjoy as I decluttered and downsized "stuff" a little more. Both a solitary tea time and getting rid of clutter soothes the soul.

Although I prefer reading from my Bible, which I keep on the Living Room coffee table, I decided to bring up the Book of Psalms on the Blue Letter Bible app for those times I have the tablet nearby instead of my print Bible.  I need to make it easy to keep God's Word in front of me as I get distracted so easily.  Sigh...

It is kind of amusing what can feed our soul, those little things that perhaps only make us individually feel at peace.  My favorite vintage Pyrex bowl that I use a lot is one that looks decent on the outside but shows signs of a lot of use on the inside of the bowl.  It makes me smile from time to time, thinking of the homemaker(s) who owned the bowl previously and the many recipes that had come together in that bowl.

It is much the same thinking that is behind my love of old books.  I can't help but wonder about the men and women who held them before, as well as how beautifully so many of the old volumes were crafted.  Recently, I was watching a video by Malcolm Guite on YouTube and he was showing some of the very old books in his library.  I admit to coveting.

Perhaps the Bible verse on the side widget of this should remind me of my love for the old things, the old places, the old ways.  There is something about knowing the world has faced trauma and stress, economic collapse, famine and wars, and very difficult times before and people came through them with God's help.

I still glimpse at news headlines and click on a few that I feel need further investigation.  I continue to watch my favorite prepper videos but not every time a new one becomes available.  Yes, I study Bible prophecy and at times listen to a teaching.  But I don't live there, anymore.

This past year has taught me many things but perhaps the most important is that one must fill their soul with the good stuff God has given us such as His Word and music and beauty and good writing and flowers and delicious food and talking to the people we most care about... before we even begin to ponder the evil that is in the world.

If I am filled with the good stuff and all prayed up, then His light so shines in and around me that the darkness can no longer hover as it did so often this year.  I encourage you, my friends, to strengthen your own soul with all the good stuff our Creator has given.

Note:  To be able to enjoy family time, I will not be writing next Saturday or Sunday!


Ann Stevens said...

Oh, how right you are! And how much I needed to hear these words. To fill my own cup of peace and tranquility before I venture to deal with the world as it is these days.

I was reading A. W. Tozer's book, "Man, the Dwelling Place of God" last week and came across a line that instantly made me think of you and your ponderings that often match my thoughts though I don't have the ability to write them down in such a way as you. "That writer does the most for us who brings to our attention thoughts that lay close to our minds waiting to be acknowledged as our own."

Thank you once again for sharing your ponderings.

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Your post, Brenda, is a breath of fresh air. I love visiting your corner of the world. There is always something thoughtful, something refreshing, something lovely to fill or settle my thoughts, especially if my mind has gone a-wandering a while on the upside down things of life. Your posts always gently encourage your readers to keep focused on what is true and good and lovely - a lifelong goal I have for my own life. There are just so many little things all around us that are gifts to refresh our souls - you jog our memories to keep aware of them.

I hope your week is pleasant as you anticipate your family being together, and I hope it is wonderful in every way.

Brenda L. xo

Sandy said...

Your last two paragraphs are spot on. Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the way you do, especially the latter part of this post. Months ago I too realized the overall atmosphere now is to crush our souls. But no, I decided the same thing you did. I will continue to strengthen my family and ignore the outside world. I am a lot happier. I truly appreciate your profound posts!! Thank you so much!

Melissa said...

Lovely words. I know you will enjoy your family time! So excited for you.

Deanna Rabe said...

Enjoy your sweet family time!

I agree with you friend about the feeding and caring for our own souls. We must take care of them or we’ll have no resource to give to others!

Mrs.T said...

So very well said, Brenda, and so encouraging. I couldn't agree more, especially with your last two paragraphs. Thank you for sharing!

"Joy" said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing it!