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To Feed the Soul {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is food.

This week's gifts...
917. Feeling better - not cured, but well enough to clean things and do laundry
918. Time spent on the balcony journaling and praying, after putting Brooklyn to bed
919. Adam making it through a long day at work, with the bug he caught from me
920. Him coming home for lunch - Brooklyn was delighted to see him, and slept for three hours after he put her down for her nap
921. A nap for myself on the couch (which I was able to take because he tidied up and cleaned the kitchen while he was home)
922. Having cash to pay for needed gas when my worn, overused debit card failed to work
923. Leaving the back door open all morning to let the fresh cool air in
924. Cell phones with unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes - I put Mum on speakerphone for a few hours and it was (almost) like spending the morning together
925. Creating a food experiment for Adam's morale - that he actually liked and found encouraging (both purposes accomplished!)
926. Adam home before Brooklyn's bedtime
927. Her patience and adorability in waiting quietly while I told people at church about knitting
928. A sermon that was convicting, uplifting, and aligned with 7 for 31
929. Groceries for the week on less than half the week's budget
930. Brooklyn bringing me books to read aloud, one by one
931. Cabinet-shopping lunch and perfecting gluten free toast
932. Getting Brooklyn's closet reorganized to create storage space
933. Adam home by 5
934. A game of Yahtzee and a cup of tea
935. Spotting a bald eagle circling over the river, two days in a row
936. A beautifully stormy morning that kept Brooklyn and I at home
937. so that Adam was able to join us on our erranding after her nap

If thou of fortune be bereft,
and in thy store there be but left
two loaves, sell one, and with the dole,
buy hyacinths to feed the soul.
[John Greenleaf Whittier]

I am an avid seeker of beauty. Forced to choose between anything-else and flowers at a Farmer's Market, I will always choose the flowers. I know that they go away, but if we never invested in anything because it would fade, falter, or fail, then we would never enjoy anything... in this fallen world, everything is temporal. "Feeding the soul" is something that I wholly understand (I read Adam that poem and he thought I was a little crazy - but tried to say so in a kind manner).

As part of this week's focus on Food, I've cabinet-shopped lunch and for the next until-it-runs-out (probably week or two) I'll be having hot cereal. Brooklyn and I eat breakfast and dinner with each other, but she doesn't "get" lunch, so she has a snack and a nap instead and I get to eat one meal a day in relative peace, and that allows me to make something that is a bit more involved (like, "I can't leave the stove because this will either boil over or turn into a solid brick").

I say "relative" because I generally choose to multitask the little uninterrupted time I have - either setting my plate on the counter and taking hurried bites while cleaning the kitchen and living room, or sitting at my desk and writing, reading, and catching up on things. So while Brooklyn may not be demanding my attention, plenty of other things are waiting in line to do just that.

But this week I've been forcing myself to eat lunch on the back porch, even if the weather isn't perfect (it's still really nice). There's a chair and a wooden barstool acting as a side table, so all I can really take is my lunch and Bible or journal - there wouldn't be a place to put anything even if I didn't mind making multiple trips. The first day I just did it. The second day I resented it - thinking of all the things that I could be doing, should be doing. But the third day I looked forward to it, and relished the time spent outside, undistracted, in peace.

So often I seek rest, plead for it, wonder why it eludes me and how on earth I'm supposed to find rest with a toddler and a husband and a baby on the way. But this made me realize that I have been throwing away an opportunity for rest - a chance to sit down and feed my body at a calm, comfortable pace, and to refresh and nourish my spirit with prayer and Scripture and journaling. The gift of rest has been sitting, ignored, in an empty chair, while I tizzied around, thinking that the sky would fall if I didn't empty the dishwasher while also scooping bites of fried rice into my mouth - forgetting that the One who provides my daily bread also desires to feed my soul.

And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
[Deuteronomy 8:3]

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will trust in Him.
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us each week to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other:
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons

What gifts in your life have been sitting unopened? Also, don't forget to check out Tuesday's post for a giveaway!


Rebekah Ellis said…
I love the hyacinth quote here - this is one that my mother shared with me years ago. It's always near me in some iteration - hand written on a note, on something I've crafted, or in one of her letters. So true. We can't pass up on beauty and graceful things in our lives just because they won't last.

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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

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