I’ll be honest with you, dear readers. Lately, I’ve been a bit off. The best way to sum it up is by saying I’ve been “emotionally constipated.” My insides are hurting a little, and it’s like I can’t get comfortable or be at rest. I feel a lot of junk up inside me but I can’t seem to get it out. You’re welcome for that pleasant metaphor.
This “emotional constipation” seems to happen every so often, and it’s fairly predictable. I go through some sort of life transition (we recently moved), throwing my healthy rhythms off kilter and I start to let them lapse. What do I mean by “healthy rhythms”? Well, some people call it self care, some people call it soul keeping. It’s comprised of all those things that keep me from becoming an insane person. So yes. One might say they’re important.
For me, healthy rhythms include things like alone time, reading, spending time outdoors, and last of all….writing. That may be perhaps the most important one for me. And I don’t necessarily mean blogging, but just any sort: journaling, letters to friends or family, notes on what I’m reading. I don’t know why God made me this way, but I try not to question it. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I can’t survive without breathing. And by breathing I mean inhaling (reading) and exhaling (writing).
So in light of all that, I can’t tell you what I’m currently reading except to say that it’s mostly school supply lists and the occasional political article (another reason, probably, for my constipation. and consternation. and perspiration. ahem, moving on). But I can tell you what’s been feeding me, nonetheless. I’ve begun clawing my way to “regularity” with music and sermons.
I’m always a huge Audrey Assad fan, especially for the contemplative moments of my day. Her new album, Inheritance, is beautiful and perfect for my morning prayer time (that has been admittedly spotty due to the snooze button and my kids earlier-than-normal wakeup times. *Note to self: buy darkening shades. Put your phone across the room at night.) It’s mostly hymns with a couple originals, and it’s beautiful and serene. Which is exactly what I need at the moment.
In the words of Monty Python, “…and now for something completely different…” I’ll admit that I hadn’t listened much to Michael Franti outside of his hit song “Say Hey (I Love You)” until my sweet neighbor told me he was her favorite artist. But now I’ve been listening to his new album, Soulrocker, on repeat. It’s perfect sunshine music to make you happy and extend the summer feelings a little longer. The first song has been added to the Fischer dance party mix, and the girls are lovin’ it.
During my lack of reading, sermons have given me oxygen. The past couple weeks, Dr. Eric Smith of Pillar Seminary has been preaching at our church, and both sermons have knocked my flip flops off (I would say socks, but it’s in the 90’s and humid right now. Ain’t nobody wearin’ socks in that swampiness). Not only is he engaging and funny, he’s a genius. He spends his time studying ancient near eastern languages that have been dead for thousands of years, in order to immerse himself in the cultures of ancient nations around the time the Bible was said to have been written. Now, this could sound intimidating to the average bear, except that he is masterful at communicating the profundity of what he learns to all of us, along with what bearing it has on our actual lives. These two sermons have been revelatory, inspiring, and hilarious. Please listen to them here and here. I mean, one of them is entitled “Take a Nap,” so yeah. How could you not?!
What has been feeding your soul lately?