Hi friend! Welcome to episode 19 of Tending Your Soul Podcast! I’m Mariel and I want to welcome you to my little backyard garden and my time of tending my soul by the Word of God.
In early spring, when the ground is still cold and the air cuts through me, I begin preparing my garden for the new season ahead. With expectation of warmer days and spring rains, I make certain preparations to the soil, the fencing and even my mulch path in the garden to lay the ground work, so to speak, for the coming season.
Our souls are so similar to the garden, that I can’t help but pause in these few episodes and offer a few tips for preparing the soil of our heart. As we seek to cultivate time with Jesus, we must be intentional. Our flesh seeks the usual path, the worn ruts, we have carved by our rhythms. So if we want to create new rhythms, we begin with intentional preparation and practice.
The first and most important and motivating preparation to have in place is our WHY.
When I took on the journey of homeschooling my sons when they were small, I began with a WHY.
Why did I feel called by God to homeschool? Why did I think it would be best for them? What was my motive?
I prayed about this and asked the Lord for clarity. If he was calling our family to go against the current and homeschool our sons, I needed to know WHY.
I needed a verse of Scripture to anchor my soul to when the going got tough. And boy did it!
There were seasons of frustration over learning to read and tears over math problems, mostly mine! Not to mention the battles and sharpening over character development…for both them and for me!!
But the WHY that God gave me as we launched our homeschool was from Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
The idea being that regardless what I taught these boys academically, my calling from God was to teach them to build on the rock of Jesus bc when life comes at them, as it does for all of us, they will have a firm foundation, should they decide to practice what is taught.
My WHY was to disciple my boys in Jesus. Now, that did NOT ensure they would take up the mantle of faith for themselves, but it was MY WHY, My part, my responsibility was to build on the rock.
That helped me make decisions when it came to curriculum choices and even in the daily choices. If we all woke up in a disarray and out of sync, there were days I would remember my WHY and cancel our typical school day plans and pitch a tent in the yard and act out bible stories or read books together.
The motive of building on the rock was my filter.
And so even when it comes to our time with Jesus, we must know our WHY.
Like a mama who endures labor knowing the outcome of a baby, we can often find our strength in remembering our why.
So when you spend time in the Bible and yet seem to not come away with any BIG takeaway or when your bed feels more comfy then opening your bible in the morning, you can remember the big picture WHY and persevere in this holy invitation to lean into the Lord.
Jesus Himself knew His purpose and even in weariness, exhaustion and a deeply troubled soul, He kept that anchor before Him and endured, even unto death.
In John 12:27-28 He says: “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father glorify your name.”
Knowing our WHY will bolster us to persevere when our flesh, the world and the enemy of our soul comes against us and seeks to draw us away from time with the Lover of our soul.
As the psalmist says in Psalm 42, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Let’s recognize the thirst of our soul and where we can be satisfied.
What might be your WHY?
Why do you want time with Jesus?
What do you desire to tend your soul by the Word of God, friend?
Ask God to show you WHY He is wooing you to draw near to Him. Then write it down. Write the verse or the statement He gives us and put it where you can see it, remember it and draw perseverance from His wooing.
Father, the world, our flesh and the enemy of our soul is continually tugging at us with distractions, comforts and even selfish desires to keep us from drawing near to you. Would you reveal your heart for us through your word? Would you give each one of us our why for coming to meet with you and help us to tether our hearts to you, even when the tugging away comes, that we might find stability and peace in the Word of our Savior and the Lover of our soul? Amen.
I pray this has been helpful for you as you consider the ways to prepare and cultivate time with Jesus through his Word.
I hope you will join me next time as we consider preparing the place where we meet with Him.
Also I invite you to join my online community, Tending Together, where we continually encourage one another to keep cultivating intimacy with Jesus as we tend our souls by His Word. Find out more about our community on my website, marieldavenport.com You’ll find the link with details in the show notes.
Until next time, my friend, keep tending your soul by the Word of God.