Thursday, December 8, 2016

On Finding Inspiration

I recently came across this quote that spoke to my soul:

"One of the marks of a godly woman is that she takes responsibility for her soul's need for joy and delight. A woman is a conductor, who leads the orchestra of her surroundings in the songs and music of her life. God is a God of creativity and dimension, and so He is pleased when we co-create beauty in our own realm, through the power of His Spirit." -Sally Clarkson

The part of this that really jumps out and grabs me is "a godly woman takes responsibility for her soul's need for joy and delight." I whole heartedly agree with this.

When I was pregnant with Oliver this year I was set back physically. The first trimester I was sicker than I had ever been on a continual basis. I felt crummy around the clock, day after day. I had never experienced this before, so I never understood how taxing chronic sickness is on your mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. Later on in my second and third trimesters I didn't feel as sick, but I definitely wasn't my usual self. My energy was limited. My strength was weakened. I had aches and ailments and discomforts every single day.

At some point during my first trimester I discovered something that I tried to apply throughout the rest of the pregnancy. By reference I began reading a book entitled, "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It inspired me. It was thought provoking and interesting, and stimulating for my mind and soul. I couldn't believe how good this inspiration felt. I had found myself unmotivated in many ways, because the little positive energy I had I was trying so hard to channel toward my children. I wasn't motivated to seek spiritual experiences through studying because at the end of the day I just felt done.  Keeping up with life seemed to be just about all I could manage at that point, so when Big Magic came around and my spirit and mind were truly fascinated by something again, it just felt so good. I clung on to this little bit of new found wisdom. I realized that while my life couldn't be my regular or old life for a time, that if I could just find something little, something manageable every single day that spoke to me, or stirred, or was enlightening to me, that would be the endorphin kick I needed to feel like myself. I couldn't believe the staying power that just little bits of inspiration gave me.
So I'd take little walks, or read something motivating, or just try to pay greater attention to what I was doing and search for beauty in the mundane moments.

Painting I love by Brian Kershisnik entitled, "She Will Find What Was Lost"

So now that I'm not pregnant (hallelujah), and now that my physical health is returning and I feel like myself again, I'm finding other sources of inspiration. I recently listened to "The Magnolia Story" by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I downloaded the audiobook on Monday, and finished it last night while I was cleaning up the kitchen. You guys, it was gold. It was a ticket in the fast lane to the land of inspiration. I cannot possibly recommend this book enough to you. I'm also feeling jazzed about my new Audible subscription. I told BJ that I wanted this for one of my Christmas presents, and then went ahead and signed myself up yesterday cause I just don't want to wait! Why did I not do this sooner?! Audio books and podcasts are the best, you guys! I love that I finished this amazing book in three days. It's so nice to listen to while cleaning, or driving, or exercising. I am seriously thrilled about all the books I'll be able to "read" that I would have never found or made the time to actually read.
Identifying ways that you're inspired is one way you can "take responsibility for your soul's need for joy and delight". What are ways you find inspiration? What have you found that brings your soul joy and delight? I'd love to hear. Here are some of mine:

-going on walks
-writing in my journal or blogging
-reading/listening to a good book or poetry
-looking at inspiring art (I've been googling different artists lately and looking at their works on my phone, and I love it. I screen shot the ones I really love and use them as my screensaver.)
-spending time at the beach
-waking up early and having quiet time to myself
-doing something creative with my hands, like rearranging my decor or cooking
-having a good quality scripture study with prayer, my journal, scriptures, and talks

(I took this picture while I was pregnant and feeling terrible. We were waiting for a friend to swing something by, and the kids were playing in the front yard. I sat on the front porch and watched them, and it was such a tender and beautiful moment for me in its simplicity.)

I hope you can find ways to feel inspired in your life on a regular basis. Hugs.

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