Tag Archives: Soul Care

2017: Sue Reeve’s One-Year ‘Soul Care’ Discovery Journey…

Discovery #9

‘Soul Care’ – Not About ‘Control’—All About ‘Stewardship’

     John Ortberg wrote about a concept I believed intellectually prior to reading Soul Keeping. I don’t think, though, I was totally convinced of it emotionally and spiritually until I began pursuing seriously the matter of my own ‘soul care.’ Ortberg explains one of the important aspects of Christ-centered ‘soul care’ is the realization I am not the “captain of my soul” as the 19th Century poet William Ernest Henly declared in his famous, influential poem, Invictus.

     No, God is my soul’s captain, but God has entrusted me with the tremendous responsibility of being the ‘keeper’ of my soul. I am my soul’s manager—its first mate—tasked by God with its stewardship.

     This realization is tremendously empowering. Imagine, the God of the Universe says, “You go, girl!” Okay, perhaps God doesn’t use that exact verbiage, but I am able to imagine the Captain of my Soul—composed of the trinitarian Father, Son and Spirit— saying:

  • You don’t need to be afraid about making “the absolutely right” decision or doing a task in “the absolutely right” way. Remember, it’s not you, but I—the “absolutely right God”—who has ultimate control.
  • You don’t need to remain a victim of your past, your:
    • youthful perceptions,
    • family of origin,
    • betrayals,
    • mistakes,
    • insecurities,
    • less-than-best decisions,
    • deeply engrained patterns of behavior.
  • While you do not determine your days–those are in God’s hands—your stewardship of those days is critical. You have been given authorization to:
    • take care of the wellbeing and appearance of your physical body,
    • manage ‘soul’ draining stress,
    • allow the renewal of your mind from ‘stinkin’ thinking’ that has held you captive,
    • use generously every gift and ability and resource I’ve given in the best way possible.
  • You do not need to allow the manipulation, moods or choices of those close to you govern your moods and decisions. You have authority to set healthy limitations. It’s all right to say quietly and decisively, “yes” to what’s best; “no” to what doesn’t work for you; and “not right now” when in doubt.
  • You can forgive those who have offended, misunderstood, mistreated or ignored you. I understand cruelty and unfairness. I will judge in the perfect way, according to perfect understanding at the perfect time.
  • You can trust me even when you don’t ‘get it.’ I’m for you. When you mess up, my discipline will be done according to your God-design and will lead you into gentle ‘ah-ha’s.’ The fruit of My Spirit, such as self-control, will begin to develop from the inside out.
  • Don’t be afraid. Even when the road ahead seems dark and uncertain, I’ll always be with you. I know what lies ahead. I’ve prepared the path.
  • Never forget, the Captain of your soul is kind and trustworthy, who’s always with you, and I will also send friends in the flesh to help guide and support your journey, a journey I know requires a whole lot of faith.

     Friend reading this post, I hope as I’ve shared my insight with you concerning my ‘soul care,’ it’s helped you gain clearer understanding of YOUR ‘soul’ care and encourages you to consider more fully that you are the steward rather than the captain of your soul.

I’m joining with you in prayer…

Sue Reeve

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While walking with our friends, Dave and Norma, at Kathryn Albertson Park in Boise, Idaho, we came upon a mom photographing these two lovely young girls. We stopped and made a couple suggestions regarding poses. They agreed graciously when I asked if Ron could take this photo. This picture reminds me of God’s faithfulness to send friends in the flesh to help guide and support our ‘soul’ journeys—journeys filled with a bunch of unknowns that undeniably require a whole lot of faith.

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2017: Sue Reeve’s One-Year ‘Soul Care’ Discovery Journey…

Discovery #3

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‘Soul Care’ Discovery: Lent began last Wednesday, March 1st. Although observing the Lenten season wasn’t emphasized in my faith tradition, I’ve found the observance to be extremely meaningful. During this year when I’ve committed to paying particular attention to the matter of ‘soul care,’ Lent seems a good time to focus on tending more intentionally to my soul.

During this season—Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday…

I will care for my soul by:

  • “throwing off” some things that I have a hunch are hindering my soul’s well being[1]
  • “adding to” my faith in increasing measure: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection, and love.[2]

‘Soul Care’ Practice:

     Ruth Haley Barton is a writer whose book Sacred Rhythms and periodic eReflections[3] have challenged me to pay closer attention to my soul’s interior life. About Lent, she says,

     “It is the doorway into a space in time that calls us to stop whatever we are doing, no matter how important it might be, and enter more intentionally into the disciplines of prayer, self-examination and repentance…I have learned that as we give ourselves to these (sometimes) strange rhythms they guide us into a way of seeing and being in our lives that we might not otherwise choose or even know how to choose.”[4]

     During this season of Lent, I plan to focus on a couple areas in order to “throw off” and “add to.”

     The first relates to adjusting my sleep schedule. Even though my Fitbit assures me I’m getting enough sleep, I know I’ve formed a habit of going to bed too late, which makes it more difficult to get up early. Experience has shown me early morning is the optimum time for me to focus on soul-nourishing spiritual disciplines.

     Secondly, during Lent, I will avoid adding any new responsibilities or projects to my already busy schedule. Although I’ve made significant progress in this area, I still have a tendency to take on too much, which can mire me down in doing what’s ‘good’ and prevents me from doing what’s ‘best.’

     What about you? I would truly like to hear about any experience you’ve had with Lent in a way that changed you “somewhere deep inside where it matters.”

     Blessings on your journey of caring for your soul during this holy season…

Sue Reeve

  1. See Hebrews 12:1
  2. See 2 Peter 1:5-7
  3. Ruth Haley Barton <info@thetransformingcenter.org>
  4. Ruth Haley Barton eReflection, 2/28/2017, “Preparing for a Holy Lent”

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2017: Sue Reeve’s One-Year ‘Soul Care’ Discovery Journey…

Discovery #2

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‘Soul Care’ Discovery:[1] In spite of ‘the passing years,’ caring well for my soul will reflect from the inside out. I will care for my soul by:

  • tending first to my own soul—body mind and spirit. This is prudent, is not selfish, and only I am responsible.
  • caring with loving, healthy boundaries those my soul encounters.
  • courageously and unashamedly living out the passion God places in me.
  • focusing less on the way I look and more on the legacy I’ll leave.
  • committing to grow old with grace, dignity and a sense of humor.
  • scheduling one to two personal retreats each year for reflection, assessment and dreaming.

I will seek to avoid:

  • saying “yes” to that which is not my soul’s best.
  • slacking off on self-care.
  • worrying about wrinkles.
  • thinking negative, cynical thoughts or speaking careless, critical, harsh, insulting, words.
  • focusing on what is wrong with others, including the culture in which God has placed me and has called me to be “salt” and “light.”
  • fear of any ilk!
  • accepting a victimization viewpoint.

‘Soul Care’ Practice: The matter of ‘soul care’ in a way that honors God is one about which I’m serious, even though, honestly, I have more questions about life, God and my soul than I have answers.

     In spite of that, I believe in the absolute goodness of God. I have caught a glimpse of God weaving together the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of my life into a tapestry that’s worthwhile. And, while we will never see fully the beauty of our tapestry on this earth, I believe this life isn’t all there is. With every year that passes and with every loved one who passes, my hope and assurance of Heaven grows stronger.

     Recently, I attended a leadership seminar conducted by Terry Gurno.[2] I’ve known Terry for several years. I know he’s the real deal, and when he talked about a moment that was pivotal in his journey of ‘soul care,’ I sat up and took notice. Terry described his introduction to the concept of a “No Victims, No Excuses” mindset, and, as a result, he purposed to take full responsibility for every single aspect of his life, including a childhood filled with abuse at home, negative messages at school and bitter adult professional disappointments.

     That’s the kind of ‘soul care’ I want to practice.

     That kind of ‘soul care’ will result in beauty reflected from the inside out!

     That kind of ‘soul care,’ like fine wine, becomes even better when aged!

Blessings on your journey of caring for your soul…

Sue Reeve

 

  1. Audrey Hepburn quote taken from Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
  2. Check our Terry Gurno’s new book, Leading is Art.