Chapter 6 Application:

Swapping "Self-Care" For "Soul-Care"

Hey Mama, Have you heard the Term self-care but just cant seem to find a way to indulge without guilt? Does anything focused on you feel too selfish to make a priority? What if its not about the act of caring for oneself, but the label we put on it? What if we changed the way we think about caring for ourselves?

There is a way to embrace this movement without feeling guilt. Change the motivation and focus on the soul, I call it soul-care.

An Excerpt from Chapter 6: 

     "You have a soul. The word might not be something you use in every day conversation, you probably don’t encounter people at work or home and say, “How’s your soul today?” But the truth is, we’ve all got one. It is the part of us that lives on when we shed these earthly bodies for our heavenly ones. On this side of heaven, it represents who we really are, what we think, what we feel, and what makes us so uniquely different. As Christians, we often refer to our soul in the heavenly context; it will live on in a way we can’t quite comprehend with our earthly brains. But how often do we stop and think about our current soul state? We spend time with our emotions and our thoughts, but how much are we investing in our earthly soul? This world we live in is making deposits into our soul every minute of every day. So much of what filters through our mind and makes its way to the depth of who we are is not the kind of truth we find soul-satisfying joy in. This world feeds us lies, empty promises, and fleeting happiness that keep us constantly in search of something to quench our deepest thirst. Although we will not find true soul fulfillment until we are face to face with Jesus, we can be well with our soul this side of heaven."

Shifting from Self Care to Soul Care

Chapter 6 talks about your soul and how it is being fed every minute of every day whether we are consciously filtering what it consumes or not. An act of soul care is guarding your heart, your mind and your soul from what you ingest. It is about sorting through the lies the world feeds, the ones that will never sit well with our soul, and replacing them for truth. Have you struggled to embrace the self care movement? I see the term and no matter who says it or how it's read or heard, I cringe. Not because I am against the act of caring for yourself, that part is totally biblical. It's the label. I don't know about you, but I just don't think I'll ever be able to get totally behind a movement that by root of the word is "Selfish" in nature. I need to think differently in order to embrace the idea. If caring for my body or mind is only for me and my benefit, then there are a million other things I'm going to feel like I should be doing instead.

But if I make one tiny adjustment to the label, if I embrace it as soul-care and realize that my body is a temple on loan from God and caring for that temple is in fact, an act of worship, then wouldn't it be sinful not to care for it? There is no guilt in obeying one of God's commands. 

Swapping Self- Care for Soul Care, Replacing the Lies with the truth:

I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of some of the lies the world tells us in Chapter 6. I chose these examples because they were the most recent encounters and my personal struggles. But I have others, and so do you.

I know that when you’re asked on the spot to fill in a blank, it’s hard to think of something, so what I would encourage you to do is bookmark this page,  and the next time you find yourself living out something that doesn’t feel right, that doesn’t settle your soul, come back here and complete this exercise.

Soul Care 101:

Your Body: If caring for your body is now viewed as an act of obedience and a commandment to preserve your temple, make a “soul-care” commitment today to form a daily habit. What is one thing you can implement each day to focus on your health? Write it because there is accountability in seeing your own words. If you need some inspiration, think of the following: • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water

• Eat out one less time this week

• Have a meatless Monday where you load up on your veggies (this doesn’t fly in our home but a girl can dream!)

• Take a 20 minute family walk two nights a week

Now your turn: ________________________________________________________________________


Your Mind: Replacing the Lies with the truth

I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of some of the lies the world tells us. I chose these examples because they were the most recent encounters and my personal struggles. But I have others, and so do you. I know when you’re asked on the spot to fill in a blank its hard to think of something so what I would encourage you to do is fold over the corner of this page. And next time you find yourself living out something that doesn’t feel right, that doesn’t settle your soul. Come back here and complete this exercise.

The Lie:

The Lie that plagues me and derails my joy is:

The truth:

The truth I need to replace it with:

This is where you get in the word and find your truth. If you don’t know your way around the Bible, no worries! Flip to the back and search the index or Google it! Countless times, I have googled “bible verses on anxiety,” or, “bible verses on self- worth,” and the likes to give myself a place to start. Write down your truth, memorize it, live it. Embrace the freedom!

For many years I believed the lie that I was not enough. I gave into fears and anxieties and I found my truth in            2 Timothy 1:7. I wrote this verse on post it notes and placed one on my mirror, on my dashboard, and on my desk until the words were recorded in my memory. When the lie would creep in to infiltrate my thoughts and attempt to rob my joy, I spoke the words "For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and sound mind." 

Filling your soul with truth is like igniting a flame, it may start out as just a flicker but the more you speak it, the higher it grows. For some additional truth on what your soul longs for and how to translate that into soul care, look up the following verses:

  • Psalm 62:1A soul would not seek rest if it did not long for it. We have the promise of salvation for our soul found in God, but what about rest this side of heaven? God is still the source and the way to seek Him is to invite Him in to your heart and mind and space. I struggle with stillness, I am conditioned for noise and fast pace. I know that it is difficult to take refuge in him in the midst of the busyness of life. So I need to retreat, and quiet my mind. This is environmental and mental. I retreat to my closet which is about the only quiet place in my home sometimes. Or I take a yoga or trapeze class. During the quiet intervals I meditate on a verse or I use the time to connect in prayer. Where can you practically find rest for your soul? What about physical and mental rest? Where can you quiet your environment and your mind and enter into a prayerful connection with Him?

  • Proverbs 16:24Gracious words come from relationship, interaction with other people. Sometimes you are the deliverer and other times the receiver. You can not give graciously or receive if you live in isolation. Soul-care involves a concept we have already visited, creating your village. Spending time in the presence of other people builds the relationships that blossom into honeycomb for your soul.Where can you apply the gracious words principle by pouring into the lives of others? Are you connecting with people face to face? Who is God putting on your heart right now to speak gracious words too? You might just find they have some to share with you in return.

  • Psalm 19:7The law of the Lord is God's word. If you want to get in touch with it, you need to spend time in it. Reading your Bible is the best daily practice you can adopt. Maybe you do this in the morning with a cup of your favorite coffee in hand, or maybe you wait until the end of the day when all is quiet and you bring the Word into a bath with your favorite soaking salts. Maybe you have a favorite chair, the one that is so cozy that it hugs you as you crack open the word. What would motivate you to enter into the word daily? Can you find your chair or your bubble bath or your favorite coffee and prioritize those few minutes in stillness?

  • Psalm 71:3Your soul finds joy in singing praises. I cannot agree more with this one, I have seen this lived out in my home. I recently made a decision to fill our home with the sounds of Christian music even if it is a low volume soundtrack to our life humming in the background. Daily, when I enter the kitchen for the first time, I speak the words, "Alexa, play Christian music". It fills the place and delights my soul. I catch my husband humming along or my kids singing the chorus and there is no greater joy. You don't have to be the best singer to lift your voice in worship! How can you fill your own life with singing more praises? Where can you introduce praise music into your routine? 

"For what does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?" Matthew 16:26

"Buying into the idea that you deserve self-care opens the door and invites guilt in where it does not belong. If your motivation lies in what you deserve or if you consider rest an entitlement to a specific amount of time and attention to your own person, you will consistently battle the internal turmoil each time you partake in these activities. Chances are your schedule is packed, you already spend 40-some hours a week at your job, and then squeezing in time for your spouse and your kids leaves you with very little left over. If you are taking an inventory of your week and counting and measuring the time you get for you, you might be left feeling pretty disappointed and short changed. We have to change the label and shift the thinking if we are ever going to be able to embrace this concept guilt free." This One's For the Working Mama, Chapter 6