We’re midway through summer (for us northern gals and pals), a good time to pause for a moment to take a breath before the force of autumn’s gravity takes hold too fiercely, and pulls us into its grasp of programming and schedules and commitments. This might be the last chance we have to pause and check in with our inner divine compass, the soul, and reflect on our inner life.  Here are a few questions to consider as we do so.

What is one thing bringing you joy today?

What is a disappointment you are experiencing today?

When you think about the past six months, when did your soul feel most awake?

When did you experience a sorrow or regret?

For what is your soul most longing?

Bonus: is there a word or image that succinctly summarizes how you find your soul today? Please share it with us.

Lassen horizon, photo by the Rev. Anne Fraley
Photo by the Rev. Anne Fraley

13 thoughts on “Friday Five: Taking Stock

  1. the questions and pictures make know all that i’m not feeling today:
    peace, tranquility, and reflecting (God’s image that is).
    i know prayer can heal this!

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    1. I pray with you, jantina, in that space that seems to keep us from feeling connected to God and the holy aspects of our lives. I pray especially for that elusive peace, which often opens the door to the rest. Blessings to you.

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  2. Still early here– taking forever for me to get going…last two days of vacation/medical time:
    Early morning devotions:
    1. Someone we know (young–23) is open and confided in me re. some tough stuff…and I return to my church after 4 weeks to celebrate Communion on Sunday.

    2. Disappointment: that I am watching others care for my children while I am on medical restrictions– so, so hard not to be able to hold hands on the stairs or stoop to help them with something…or even hug them easily.

    3. Soul was most awake when— when I imagine that I am somehow “held” in life…despite stupid grief, despite missing some of my closest soul-friends, despite so many things. But I have enjoyed writing in company of a new sister-hood, new friendships, and even painting on a roof to a jazz band locally…NONE of which I take for granted…I have penpals and went through a major move physically, mentally, surgically, churchwise, and bodily (change of location and major surgery). And my soul is strong, despite loss and so much change. I am falling in love with life again…and I don’t take that for granted either.

    4. See above– I have so many reflections and questions to which I may never have answers regarding relationships and family. It is hard not to wonder when you regret feeling ignorant or not sure what you did exactly and can’t fix it. But I believe that heaven is a state of being when you are reconciled to yourself and to others…and I think that will be true/be manifest someday, one-day. We experience heaven a little bit at a time….sometimes heaven comes piecemeal like communion bread…the leftovers are just as nourishing as the first bit that is torn from the loaf. I pray for that anyway….

    5. Longing– I hope my soul will smile (be radiant) to others…and my boys will always have a full and loving life despite their father’s death.

    6. Image: A picture of a kite flying…I don’t know how to upload it here.

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    1. I like your image of the kite. In spite of being at the mercy of the wind, it is tethered to a grounding source, and it is designed and equipped to be held aloft even as it may seem to be batted about. The One doing the grounding knows to bring the kite to ground for safety, and surely that same love is what is behind the holding that you experience and desire. Blessings to you as you navigate the landscape that surrounds you.

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  3. Really, it’s only just the beginning of summer here – well, climatically not, but the school summer holidays only started last week (in England, anyway).

    What is one thing bringing you joy today? The thought of our lovely new (to us, it’s an elderly machine!) motor home, which we are going to love.

    What is a disappointment you are experiencing today? Can’t think of one.

    When you think about the past six months, when did your soul feel most awake? When preaching.

    When did you experience a sorrow or regret? So desperately sad that my childhood home has had to be sold.

    For what is your soul most longing? For all the changes and traumas of 2015 to be OVER.

    Bonus: is there a word or image that succinctly summarizes how you find your soul today? Please share it with us. Tired? Or perhaps seeing light at the end of the tunnel at long last?

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    1. Ah, a motor home, how lovely! It can rough to lose ties with a childhood home, so at least this new one on wheels can help usher new memories into your life. Thanks for playing.

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  4. This is Saturday so I am “a day late and a dollar short.” I hope it is okay for me to play. This will be my first time. Here goes …

    1. One thing that brings me joy today is being with my three senior dogs who ate never happier than when I am home with them and that wasn’t as much as they liked until we moved here to Florida at the beginning of June and my life is getting rebooted.

    2. A disappointment that I am experiencing is trite but it is this: there has been way too many rainy days and not enough of the days that I had envisioned in the Sunshine State. This is only temporary (I hope) since dreary weather can drag me down if it goes on too long.

    3. In the last six months, my soul felt most awake when I was at a really good church conference (Christianity 21 in Phoenix 2/2015) and also when I am preaching.

    4. The regret or sorrow I’ve felt has been multifaceted and related to moving away from my life of 12 years in Virginia. I had to say goodbye to a congregation that I served, to my peers and patients from my hospice job, to friends and people who have shared my children’s growing up years with me.

    Hard stuff. Bittersweet as we call it. It is unsettling to feel so betwixt and between. It is a wilderness time and truly a journey.

    5. My soul is most longing for new connections and meaningful work. That will all be pieced together but it takes time. (I’ve moved a fair amount.) I have found being a hospice chaplain to be very soul satisfying for me so I look forward to being hired to work in that capacity again.

    6. The word or picture that succinctly summarizes how it is with my soul today is a cocoon. Home with three sleeping dogs at my feet, sheltered from the rain and grey sky, curled up with Harper Lee’s book, and fed by a husband who likes to cook for us here is our “empty nest” is good. In this cacoon, I await the metamorphosis that is soon to be as I find new life and ministry in Florida.

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    1. As the mother of three dogs, I understand fully the joy of being home with them (and their joy, too!). It is tough to relocate and have to begin anew, and it can be especially hard waiting on the formation of relationships and a sense of fit. I pray those find their way to you soon. Blessings to you as you transition into this new, sun-kissed life. And thanks for playing, however many days after the original post!

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