Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Why Cultivating Your Soul is Essential for Every Woman

This is a busy season of life for me, and I realize the blog has been quieter than normal. Life is lived in seasons. Some busy, some slower, some exciting and some mundane. Time is measured for a mother by meal making, laundry days, children’s birthdays and family traditions.

Sometimes actual days are a blur, but the big moments on the calendar seem to ground me: Church on Sundays, violin lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, gymnastics on Wednesdays with prayer meeting to follow, Fridays are daddy’s day off.

Thriving, well placed, not withered, prosperous, fruitful. That’s the picture in Psalm 1 of the blessed life.

Seasons of life can be troublesome, financially worrisome, full of people problems or family crisis. Other seasons come and go in a carefree, orderly way, free of problems and full of blessing.

Despite the season, cultivating our own soul is an aspect that needs to be consistent. God tells us that the way to be “blessed” (Ps. 1) is not a mystery. In fact, it is pretty easily mapped out for us.

Psalm 1: 1-3

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners, or sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

God gives us this picture of a green tree, lush and full of seasonal fruit, with leaves that don’t wither. Why? It is planted in the right place (beside the water) and the constant source of water supplies its innermost thirst.

Notice, the man/woman in Psalm 1 who wants to be blessed first starts with a negative. She separates herself (vs 1) from the counsel, advice, mindset, philosophies and agendas of those who walk in opposition to God’s word.  She doesn’t have close friendships with the ungodly or scorners. Not only does she not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, she doesn’t stand or sit in their company looking for their wisdom either.

Next, after evaluating negative influences in her life, she saturates her soul with God’s word. She delights in knowing what God has to say to her: she seeks it out, she desires it above all other things, she loves it wholeheartedly. And after she finds out what God says by saturating her mind, she meditates on it, recalling it throughout the day and night.

What is the outcome of all this delighting in God and meditating on his word? God’s word changes her by degrees, from glory to glory. She isn’t the woman she used to be.

She then becomes steadfast, like a tree with deep roots. She has fruit to offer others, supernatural fruit as a result of her deep connection with the living water. She offers shade and refreshment to those who are weary. She can be a blessing to others and her own soul is sound and steadfast.

Have you ever met a woman who is double-minded? They change their opinions with the wind, and their behavior is controlled by whomever they are around at that particular moment? She looks for value and approval from those around her and it affects how she acts outwardly. This is the total opposite of a steadfast woman. What is the problem?

“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”  John Piper, Hunger for God

A steadfast woman knows “her roots”–knows the source. Her “inner man” (ahem, woman) is peaceful and satisfied in Christ.

We’ve all had days when we are not stable– perhaps those days when everything and everybody seems to be against you in your own mind, or your head is spinning with problems and worries, or you simply don’t desire God as you should. (BTW, if you just read that previous sentence and cannot relate, you are, most definitely, a MAN. (MALE) Every red-blooded hormonal woman reading this knows exactly what I am talking about! Mkay.)

I know the Lord has prompted me over and over again with this admonition: “Sarah, trust me and treasure my word!” Maybe you are having a hard time getting into God’s word, not really valuing God as you know you should, but you want to change that.

The big secret: tell the Lord your desire and open His word. It’s not jumping through hoops. No penance. He knows our frames are weak, and He is the God of the second and third chance. :)

His Holy Spirit gives you the desire to seek spiritual things in His word, and to draw you closer to Him, so on days when you feel weak, but you are still feeling the draw to get to know God more intimately, know that this is His grace and be encouraged that He is drawing you back where you belong: close to Him.