Restore. This is the word I used when I decided to take an old outdated desk that I bought for cheap and turn it into a desk that invites me to write and create. The desk used to be boring, like that long brown furniture you would find in the bank back in the ‘90s. Functional, sturdy, business-like, and a bit worn. But I wanted it to be more than functional, I wanted it to be inspiring, inviting, and fun. I wanted to walk into my creative space and hear my desk calling me to take a seat, enjoy my tea, and open my laptop or pull out my paintbrushes. It needed restoration.
While the word restoration is very much connected to furniture and room renovations in our world today, it is a word that means much more to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being than some of us are willing to admit. You may shrug at the idea that YOU need restoration. Because who has time? Who cares if you’re uninspiring, uninviting, and boring, you’re FUNCTIONAL!
But wait. This is not what God intended. He didn’t create you to just be functional. He created you with unique gifts and abilities. You have love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control inside of you! But it’s all been buried by the day-to-day stuff that spun the joy, peace, and creativity into…functionality.
Resurrection Day is around the corner. As you celebrate the day Lord rose from the grave, take time to resurrect your love for others, your peace of God, and your joy of life.
Here are 6 ways to restore your soul.
I realize that not everyone is the “outdoorsy” type. But no matter who you are, fresh air and sunlight will do your soul a world of good. We are often caught up in so many things during the day, that we forget that IT IS DAY! The sun has come up. Find a few minutes to enjoy it before it passes. Take a walk, and breath the air. Listen to the birds. Smell the flowers. Isn’t it sad that we forsake the beauty of God’s creation? I might have the mind to count it as a sin of omission. Really. We are commanded to praise God for the works of His hands. Read it for yourself:
Psalm 145: 5
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”
Why are we commanded to praise God for His works? Because praising God connects us to our core being, He restores our soul. David said it best:
"He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul."
DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE
When was the last time you engaged in an activity that made you feel, not just useful, but inspired? Yes, you CAN do many things, but what about something that you WANT to do? The things that you want to do, are often the things that you were designed to do. God created you with a special niche. And when that niche starts to itch, it means you need to give it some attention. Maybe the niche is doing something creative with your hands, like painting or knitting or building something out of wood. Or maybe it’s something with your mind, like reading, contemplating, and having a good conversation. Perhaps the niche is writing cards of encouragement. This was my grandmother’s niche. I remember when I used to work at the Christian Bookstore as a young adult, she’d call me and remind me to buy boxes of cards so she could sit and write her little notes of love, joy, and peace to send out to the world. Maybe your niche is baking. My best friend loves to bake cakes and watch her family and friends eat them. What do you love that you have been just itching to do?
When’s the last time you talked to God? And I don’t mean the quick conversation where you asked God to give you strength so you don’t strangle your co-worker or your kid. No. I mean that long-deep-pour-out-your-praise–run-to-His-arms-I-love-you-Father-thank-you-Jesus-you-are-my-all-and-all kind of conversation. If you don’t know the difference, then not only do you need to pray, you need someone to pray for you about your prayer life. Call your prayer circle because you need to figure out how you are going to make your way to the throne room for that long deep conversation, immediately. In fact, here’s a link to my book to help you get there: Kill the Busy, Save the Bee. The quickest, sure-fire way to find restoration and regain your peace is to pray.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Every so often, my mother sends out a group text message with a silly joke in the middle of the day. They’re usually corny and punny. When I am around others, I might roll my eyes and say, “pff, that’s corny”. But here’s the truth, I LOVE PUNNY JOKES. There, it’s no longer a secret. They restore my soul. For that brief moment I look at my phone to see that my mom spent a minute thinking about her loves, searching the internet, and sending a joke, I smile and laugh to myself. When my siblings and I get together, we sit and laugh until our sided hurt. What makes you laugh? Who makes you laugh? Find them. Spend time with them.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Six feet apart. That's what they said. No touching. No hugging. No shaking hands. No cheek to cheek. No. We all understood the reason. We needed to protect ourselves. But have we now been conditioned? Do we now find it awkward to hug our loved ones? To hold hands with our kids? To kiss our mamas? I know we are in a pandemic and we aren't completely out of the woods, but you need a hug. Find that person you trust has been vaccinated, draw them in close, and hug them. When I go to my parents' house, there is nothing that restores my soul more at that moment than a long embrace from my mom and dad. Or when I have had a difficult work week, and my husband wraps his arms around me for one long minute and I feel the weight of his arms on my shoulders, it's such a relief. Did you know that there has been research about the pressure of physical weight on one's body and how it reduces restlessness and stress? Just google "weighted blanket research" or, if you like scientific terminology, "sensory integration modalities". I mean, if a weighted blanket can bring calmness, a hug is all the better, right?
MOVE YOUR BODY
If you are like me, you probably spend a good deal of your day sitting at a desk. Remember when you were flexible? When you were a kid and you fell down and bounced straight back up? When you went outside and ran around in the sun playing tag until you got caught and had to catch your breath? What about when you played jump rope and your heart rate increased as you tried to keep up with the rope turners who swung in double time? Remember the way it felt to be physically exhausted in such a GOOD way that you slept like a log? You need to get back to that place. When the pandemic first hit, I was keenly aware of my and my son’s lack of physical activity. One day, we went outside and kicked the ball around which then made me aware of cobwebs that must be growing around my knees. I digress. But now as we have passed year two of the pandemic, I’ve ignored that physical need to move. Has that happened to you? We all know that physical activity improves our mood, and dare I say, restores our soul! So, find a way to get up. Dance. Play with your kid. Ride a bike. Stretch. Do a cartwheel if you can. ;-)
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
So, there you have it, 6 simple ways to restore your soul. I pray for you as John did for his dear friend:
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
3 John 1:2
Hi! My name is Yvonne Marie. I am a courageous, conscious creative, control-freak leaning on Christ! I am also an author, editor, and writing coach. Are you an aspiring author who is looking for help? Click here to check out how I might serve you. Are you looking for a trusted writing community? Click here to find out about our Writing Accountability Group!
Here is my restored desk :-)