Monday, February 3, 2014

Soul Care

It snowed again today. The excellent thing about snow in the "south" is how it shuts life down. I realize not everyone is in agreement with me about this benefit, but I LOVE the snow and any reason to stay home and cuddle up. I used to dream about living somewhere where it snowed all the time like Alaska or Vermont until I realized in places where it snows all the time, life goes on as normal . . no stopping or cuddling. So I'll take my fuzzy slippers and Virginia in all its occasional snow-ineptitude.

There's a magnetic draw that occurs when it snows. It comes from my couch in the sunroom. Surrounded by windows and a view of the valley, books, journals, my laptop, a space heater and something steamy in a mug . . . well, it's absolutely futile to resist. 

So I succumb and silence my hyper-conscience's cries for more "meaningful" work. I'm learning that sitting, reading, writing and even Facebooking can be soul-care. And my soul needs care. It can only go so long without being fed. Ignore it too long, and things get ugly. 

A few weeks ago (not surprisingly, right after the holidays) I got hit with a wave of depression. I processed it by writing to a friend . . . 

I am feeling depressed off and on. After not only a holiday season and month full of company and activity but an entire year of huge life changes, my emotions and body are weary, sick even. Feelings of depression are like a fever . . they aren't the problem but an indicator of one. I know I need to do the things that will help me heal in order to "bring my fever down." For now, those are:

- lowered expectations
- being okay with low productivity
- caring for my body through diet, exercise and rest
- nurturing my soul with family, books and writing
- feeding and strengthening my spirit with my Father's words and prayer
- letting my family know how I'm feeling and that I'm okay

Depressed is where I am, not who I am.

I know my worth does not depend on my productivity. I am loved both by God and my family because of who I am not because of what I produce. Low productivity does not equal worthless and unloved. For all the reasons listed above, I am not able to do as much as I would like. The world won't end because my house is dirty, bills aren't paid, emails aren't answered. 

This time of low productivity is just that . . a time, a place. I'm not a machine. I'm a woman with ups and downs. Somedays I can be super, others normal, and others just blahhhh.

My worth is not earned but intrinsic. It was knit into me by my creator and secured by the cross. Nothing can take it away.

It's easy to be afraid when I am weak. But my weakness doesn't reveal any threat that wasn't already there. It just reveals the truth that my own strengths are not enough to keep me safe. That's why fear and weakness are an opportunity to lean harder into the truth and security of God's sufficiency. Not only is fear not who I am, but where I am, but it's also a good place to be. "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." (Psalm 56:3)

I'm learning to be okay with productivity that doesn't show in a crossed off "to-do" list but rather in a peaceful mind, deep breaths, and still heart. 

As creations of inestimable worth, you and I are worth caring for. What brings you peace? Whatever it is, I encourage you to put it at the top of your "to-do" list today. 

Now it's time for another cup of tea and that book.


  1. Oh this is so beautiful and transparent...Love your heart friend!!

    1. Thank you, Kristin! You know how scary it can be to put yourself "out there". Your encouragement means so much.

  2. I could feel every single thing you were saying here. These seasons of 'less productivity' can send us right into depression mode when really it is just a season and who knows what the Lord has next. It's a challenge when life takes us to different spots we are just not use to, I'm glad one of your points was to remember to let your family know how you are feeling and that you are ok. Us Mom's forget to do this when it is needed.

    1. Marlece, I LOVE that you use the word "seasons". The idea of rest, new life, growth and harvest are so consistent with our lives and moods. There is such freedom and peace in living in sync with these natural rhythms. Thanks for your words!

  3. Mmm,mmm, mmm. So good Kim. This grabbed at my heart-strings the most..."My worth is not earned, but intrinsic." Gosh, it's so easy to get caught up in doing, in producing, in 'performing'. Taking a deep breath this morning and saving this particular post for future reads, cuz I just know I'm going to need this again. <3

    1. Thank you, Caryn. That line speaks to me too! It's amazing how God will use our own words to touch our hearts. I'm so glad you were encouraged! XO

  4. Hi Kim! Well, first of all, just knowing you are out there somewhere doing nothing is enough encouragement for me. You - who you are - encourage me! I am struggling with the sluggishness that seems to hit when we are buried under winter weather advisories that never seem to let up. Perhaps it is God's way of drawing us to rest in him. Not do anything at all but just survive. Rely on Him to daily care for us and our daily cares. Like a bear in hibernation. I am learning to let these overwhelming feelings of depression guide me - not define me - as I experience all the various seasons of life. His glory is in it all! Praying for you to be blessed in this season of darkness.
    Love you,

    1. Kelly, I love your perspective and your words . . "guide me - not define me - as I experience all the various seasons of life." I agree, winter is a time to rest and living in rhythm with the earth's seasons as well as our own brings so much more peace. XO

  5. I don't know what I'd do if you weren't my mom. This was perfect encouragement to me today.


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