Replenish the Soul

If you know me, then you know I like Lent, Advent, a New Year, and any opportunity that has the potential to bring growth. Although Lent is now over for this year, I wanted to share a bit of what my Lent looked like.

Fasting

Many people fast from something during Lent. The intent is to sacrifice something that you love in order to honor God. It is a way of saying that God is more important than anything else in your life. And it is also a way to lay aside things that pull your heart away from Him. Many people fast a specific food or beverage, such as sugar or coffee. Others might fast from things like radio or television, if they know they spend too much time on something like this.

These days are worse than ever when it comes to distractions. We have so many things at our fingertips to pull our eyes, our ears, and our heart away from the Lord. With our smartphones glued to our hands, it can be all too easy to get sucked into social media, games, streaming, Amazon, and so much more.

Personally for Lent, I did not get on social media. Also, I did not purchase anything online for myself, unless it was a necessity. And I was deliberate with what books I read during this time.

Ironically, my smartphone died during Lent, so I was forced to spend two days without one. It was a bit strange, to tell you the truth. I felt like I had lost a layer or protection, yet I also felt liberated. I appreciate the technology and having access to everything so easily. But I also know that I don’t want to feel tied to my phone.

Mainly I just tried to slow down and not do so much. I know you have heard me say this before. But I am bringing it up again, because it can be so easy to fall back into the busy trap. We don’t always realize how many distractions are taking our focus. The things that crowd our lives aren’t necessarily “wrong.” However, if they keep our eyes from the right things, then it might mean we need to reevaluate certain areas of our lives.

Adding

During Lent, or a time of fasting, we can also add things into our daily lives. Examples would be adding prayer time, adding in more Bible reading time, or adding in a devotional. During these weeks, I added in several things to my routine, which helped me to keep my mind in the right direction, and to focus on God.

During Lent I read a devotional called The 40-Day Social Media Fast by Wendy Speake. This book touches on so much more than social media. It touches on anything that might pull our hearts and attention away from God. I highly recommend it if you are planning any kind of fast. (This author also has a book called The 40-Day Sugar Fast, which I have not read. But I thought I would mention it, in case you are interested.)

I also worked through a Write the Word journal by Cultivate What Matters. These journals each have a specific theme. For each day that you work through the journal, there are pre-selected Bible verses. You look up the verse(s) and write them out by hand in the journal. There is also room to journal about what is on your heart and mind that day. In this space I usually wrote out a prayer pertaining to the Bible verse for that day. This journal helped me to spend time with God, in the Bible, and in prayer, in a fresh way. If you feel your time with God could use a boost, I highly recommend these journals.

Results

During this time:

  • I could think more clearly. My brain was sharper and more capable of handling challenges.
  • I could hear God’s voice over the noise of the world. I had clearer discernment when making decisions.
  • I could better absorb and remember the things that I read.
  • I had more peace and contentment in my life.
  • I had less anxiety. Things that would normally cause me to worry now seemed less severe.
  • I got more out of my Bible reading.
  • More time was devoted to prayer.
  • I felt a fresh connection with God.
  • I spent more time on things that mattered and less time on things that didn’t.

If you feel the lure of all the world has to offer these days, if you feel that some things could be taking your focus off of God, or if you feel that you want to draw closer to God, then I encourage you to prayerfully seek fasting or cutting back from anything that is keeping you from a wholehearted relationship with Him.

I love how 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” That is my goal. I want to lead a quiet life. This allows room for the important things. There are things that leave our souls feeling parched and there are things that replenish our souls. I want to focus on the latter. I want to spend my days walking with God by my side. I want to grow closer to Him and become more like Jesus each day. I want to make God my default, not my last resort. How about you?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

Photo by Darius Krause on Pexels.com

© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas

19 Comments on “Replenish the Soul

  1. I love this post!!! So refreshing…love the results you listed that you experienced…the journal sounds like an awesome way to dig deeper too!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this and providing links.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I am on a pursuit to live a simpler life. This includes decluttering the home and the body. Neither one is easy, I admit. But I strongly believe if we can get “there,” our lives will be transformed. I was amazed at the results I saw in only a few weeks. And it makes me want to keep going on this journey. By the way, I have also been trying to purge stuff at home. Like I said, it is not easy. But I wanted you to know I was trying, especially since we had talked about it when you posted on minimizing. Thanks for being an inspiration! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so neat because I’ve felt here lately that I should write another post, a bit more in depth, on decluttering the home…there’s something about spring that just always makes me want to have that “breath of fresh air” feeling inside the soul and in my surroundings and I can’t help but think others probably want that too!
        I’m excited for you as we venture the same mindset.❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you do decide to write another post, I will definitely love reading it and getting some inspiration. You are right, spring is a great time to declutter! It is so freeing to let things go and create space in our lives and homes! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    • I admit that in the beginning of the fast, I felt a little “itchy” to pick up my phone. But since I had deleted the social media apps, there wasn’t much for me to do on my phone. It didn’t take long to feel relief and like I could breathe more freely. And I really love the journals. This is the second one I have gone through. It is a special way to spend time with God. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your desire to pursue a quieter life that lessens distractions so that Gods voice is louder in your life. The journal sounds like a wonderful idea.
    You mentioned that you probably have mentioned about distractions before but this is something we constantly battle with and so we need constant reminders.
    Blessings to you my dear friend 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be so easy to allow distractions in, without our realizing it. And I strongly feel that the enemy likes when we are distracted, if it means it takes our attention away from God and our loved ones. You’re right, it is a constant battle. I am still trying to maintain a balance, but it can be challenging. We just have to be intentional about it and remind ourselves of our boundaries. In the end, we definitely will draw closer to God and be able to hear His voice above the noise of the world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Blessings to you too, my friend! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “I could better absorb and remember…” with so many distractions, I feel like this is something that’s a struggle for all of us right now. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that this is a problem area for so many people these days, due to the endless distractions. I was stunned to see how my mind was clearer, and it helped in various different areas of my life. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I sometimes wish I owned a smartphone, and then I remind myself that I own my phone; it doesn’t own me. 🙂 However, before I get too uppity, I remind myself that I’m on my computer all day, and it’s sort of the same thing, even if it is part of my work. I also notice a difference when I spend my time more wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! I love that! “I own my phone; it doesn’t own me.” Yes it can be easy to get sucked into any number of things these day. For some it’s television or video games. And when we use these items for our work too, as you do, sometimes it is hard to find the right balance. Everyone is different. But I do think everyone should evaluate their own limits and boundaries. With prayer, God will help light the way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Judy! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post Bridget. You’re so right. There are definitely a lot of distractions especially now. It sounds like you had a wonderful lent and gained so much. Amazing how that works. We’re always so afraid to give things up. I know I am. Makes me think. Thanks for sharing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a good point – there is a lot of fear when we think about giving up different things. Some of those things disguise themselves as a security blanket. But when we can recognize that Jesus is the only true security, it helps us to let go. Thank you for sharing your insight! ❤️

      Like

  6. We do have so many distractions. We have to be intentional about guarding our hearts and minds. I decided to take a break from Facebook in October and have not been back since lol. I may return one day but right now I am enjoying the freedom 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that sounds wonderful! Good for you! I get on some here and there to keep up with old friends and such. But I don’t get on it like I did before. I can definitely understand how free you feel! And you said it perfectly: “We have to be intentional about guarding our hearts and minds.” So true!! 🌸💕🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Prayer ~ Part 5 – Bridget A. Thomas

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