Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. We were blessed yesterday as we went to the funeral of our friend Helen and heard of all the lives she touched by her love for the Lord and her caring ways. She lived her faith in a beautiful way and is now with the Lord.
This morning I made a couple casseroles and cleaned our apartment and now I am going to fry some sun fish that a friend caught and shared with us.Emoji
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  We all need to take care of our soul! Sometimes we get so busy doing things for the Lord that we neglect taking time for our soul; that results in losing our sense of purpose and meaning and we are left feeling joyless.
   I am reading James Smith new book, “The Good and Beautiful You” and he differentiates the self from the soul. He explains the self as an isolated individual, interested in surviving and finding value in how it looks and what it possesses and accomplishes etc. The self can become like an idol, but our souls on the other hand, are real and eternal and know what really matters. They care about integrity, harmony, connection and what is true and good. Our souls hunger for God and also want to be loved without conditions. God breathed our soul into us and our soul is a gift that needs be nourished. It is the most real part of us and the essence of who we are most deeply.
   When we neglect our souls, we pay for it as we may get depressed and feel unloved and lack purpose, as Smith himself experienced. He got so caught up in his work that he lost his joy and felt empty; he ended up at a Christian therapist where he got restored and learned to guard his soul thereafter.
    Our souls do not want to be unwelcomed, ashamed, or disconnected to God; but they want to soar and have meaning. As it says in Psalm 42:1-2a (ESV), “As a deer pants for the flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”  James writes that our souls desire is to be loved, forgiven, have purpose and eternal life. Only the Lord can provide the deepest needs of our souls and only He can provide the love we crave. Let us quiet ourselves and receive His healing love to our souls.
   Challenge for today: Spend some quiet time with the Lord in nature and let Him nurture your soul.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy