I own several kitchen appliances. Making good food is something Mark and I are passionate about and the right appliances make it a lot easier. So we’ve invested in a well stocked kitchen. One appliance I’ve never owned, and never plan to, truth be told, is a juicer. First of all, I think juicing is wasteful. Second of all, you get way more sugar in a cup of juice than you do by eating fresh fruit.
I rest my case.
But as I was trudging through an exceptionally exhausting week I made a surprising discovery. I am like a juicer. I need 5-10x the amount of grace and wisdom poured into my heart than I am able to squeeze out of it. I need to constantly be saturated with it. Otherwise, when I attempt to train my children in godliness, build up my husband, or sit down to write, I am drawing from an empty well.
Like you, I am intrigued by the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s so graceful and capable and accomplished. She’s perfect. And, if you ask me, perfectly intimidating. But lately, I’ve been drawn to one specific trait of hers that I desire for myself. If I could pick one thing to be said of me, it would be this:
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26 NLT)
I deeply desire kindness and wisdom to mark my life. I want it to overflow into my husband’s life, my kids’ lives, and to all my friends. But it’s hard! Like I said, I quickly become an empty well. Yet I believe this desire honors God and was put there by God, and so I try to nurture it. I seek wisdom. I seek to be kind. I do it by writing God’s word on my heart and seeking God’s face daily.
Several years ago, I was touched by a family who lost their wife/mother way too early. As I sat through the funeral, I was moved and inspired by all the stories others shared of her. The one that has stayed with me, chased me even, is that of this godly woman booking a hotel room so she could be alone with God. She would go to a quiet place, get on her knees, lift up her hands, and say, “Jesus, I seek Your face.”
I seek Your face.
Not long after the funeral I stumbled on a Bible verse that likely prompted this in her and I quickly adopted it as my own life verse.
“When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalms 27:8 NKJV)
Seeking God’s face is why I’m here. Knowing what the Bible says about God isn’t enough, I want to know what God is actually like for myself. I need to know Him so I can become more like Him.
There are three main ways that I seek God and each of them have been incredibly useful in nourishing my soul. Whenever I neglect any of them, the well of my heart starts to dry up. If you feel like you’re running on empty, these are things that I encourage you to try.
3 Ways to Nourish Your Soul
Listen to podcasts and read books provided by godly men and women with more wisdom than you.
I contribute much of my spiritual growth over the past two years to podcasts and books. There are men and women out there speaking to the lies in my heart, shining truth on the sin that I didn’t realize was hiding there, and encouraging me to do things God’s way. My two favorites of the year have been the Spiritual Simplicity book by Chip Ingram and the By Faith podcast by Christine Hoover.
Spend time with people who help you see life through the lens of the Bible.
Never underestimate the power of keeping godly friends. You don’t want to limit the people you are friends with; we should open our hearts and homes to everyone around us. But you can’t allow just anyone to have a place of influence over you. Carefully selecting the people in your inner circle is important to your spiritual growth. Pick friends that encourage you to honor God, not merely please yourself. (It was a friend who recommended the By Faith podcast to me!)
Start each day with Jesus.
I try to get up early every day to spend time blogging before the kids are up. Sometimes I do this, and sometimes I’m too tired. But without fail, I get up early enough to read my Bible and pray before the kids are awake. I have learned that my day will go better if I skip the early start on my to-do list and seek God instead of skipping my time seeking God in order to check items off my to-do list. As someone who has several mental to-do lists, this is hard for me, but I try to not compromise the only uninterrupted time I have with Jesus.
That’s it! This is what works for me in my current season of life. What works for you?