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BLOGWORDS – 15 January 2018 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

 

 

Soul Restoration
by Carrie Schmidt

 

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘restoration’?  Thanks to Chip & Joanna Gaines, I bet a lot of us think of a home restoration. And shiplap.

Maybe you think of an old photo that was damaged but has now been repaired. An old clunker car now gleaming like new. Or maybe a reputation being restored after it’s been dragged through the mud. A family reunited, old wounds slowly healing, forgiveness and grace extended. A season of life best forgotten, now redeemed in the Hands of your Savior.

In preparation for this post, I refreshed my memory on Robin’s beginning of the year post about restoration. And you know what? That little stinker took ALL the Bible verses on restoration! 😉

I nearly despaired, y’all.

BUT WAIT! I found one… one that sneaked by her, one that nearly sneaked by me.

It’s a little phrase tucked away in the most familiar Psalm in the Bible – “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3, NIV)

I think so often we rush over that part. At least I do. But let’s camp here for a minute.

In the context of the Psalm, this phrase is reflective of Jesus as our Shepherd. As the One who leads us beside still waters. And then the One who leads us in paths of righteousness. And right there in the middle – between the peaceful water-sitting and the righteous walking – is the restoration of my soul.

Do you notice anything about the first part of ‘restoration’?

 

How about the word REST?

 

While ‘restoration’ is Robin’s word for 2018, ‘rest’ is mine.

I’m a busy gal. I read a lot. I blog a lot. I do freelance writing for a couple of magazines. I have a part-time job that becomes full-time depending on the time of year. I have family responsibilities, too. When do I rest? Not often, I gotta admit. I sleep, sure. When I’m not caught up in a book. But resting? When I ignore the responsibilities that are demanding my attention and just sit at the feet of Jesus? Or even just sit in a relaxing bath? It doesn’t happen very much.

But I know it needs to. After all, He leads me beside those still waters so that I’m in a position to allow Him to restore my soul. Because, you see, walking down paths of righteousness, doing stuff in Jesus’ name, won’t be effective long term unless I have embraced the rest He offers before the path, during the path, and after the path.

Why? Because I’ll burn out. I’ll become cranky instead of grace-filled. I’ll become anxious instead of embracing the peace that passes understanding. I’ll be doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. And while Jesus leads me to the still waters, I’ll be trying to figure out how to build a bridge and move on to the paths of righteousness. Soul restoration? Who has time for that?!?

Can you see Him bemusedly shaking His head at me? Or maybe at you too?  (rem: oh, yesss…. )

For such a little phrase, it sure packs a punch. “He restores my soul.” When was the last time you let Jesus restore your soul? When you let Him renew your strength? When you made time to just rest in His grace?

And while we’re asking questions and shaking our heads at each other, what do those still waters look like?

I think ‘still waters’ can take many forms. What brings me peace may send you into a panic. And vice versa. But there are a couple of consistent trademarks.

  1. Time in God’s Word.
  2. Time worshipping God

Notice the key word there? Yep. The worst four-letter word I know. TIME. There’s never enough of it, is there? And that’s why ‘sacrifice’ is also a key step in soul restoration. Because Jesus can lead us beside the still waters but if we don’t take the time to notice them and let them nudge their way into our soul? There won’t be much restoring going on.

A sacrifice of time – with Jesus, by the still waters – will put you well on your way to that renewal of your soul. Even if you just sit there with Him, letting His Presence wash over you. Even if you just put on a playlist of songs that point you to Him … and maybe sing along. Even if you just read one verse and reflect on it all day. Because you’ve given Him your most precious commodity – time – He will give you restoration of your soul.

Are you weary? Are you overwhelmed with life? Would you just love a nap? I’m with you. I get it. And so does Jesus.

Do a quick google search for ‘Jesus went away by himself’ and you’ll find a bevy of Scripture references that show us that He made soul restoration a priority. Don’t miss that. JESUS made soul restoration a priority. The Son of God. The One who was there when the world was spoken into existence. THE Word. He knew how important it was to REST. A rest from labor, yes, but it always involved prayer. His time of rest was intentional – to restore His soul.

(I confess, I don’t know exactly how that worked with Jesus. I’m a blogger. Not a theologian. Lol.)

If you get nothing else from all my ramblings today, please get this: When you sacrifice time to sit beside the still waters (figurative or literal) with Jesus, HE RESTORES YOUR SOUL. Guaranteed. Every time.

Rest and restoration so often go hand in hand. So go ahead. Get some rest. Your soul will thank you.

 

What about you? Where do you most need rest in your life?

GIVEAWAY: One commenter will win this cute ‘He Restores My Soul’ mug from Seeds of Faith Designs on Etsy. (US only. If for some reason mug is no longer available when winner is selected, a comparable substitution may be made with winner’s approval.)

 


Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and is a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat. She blogs at

 

http://readingismysuperpower.org

https://www.facebook.com/meezcarriereads

https://twitter.com/meezcarrie

https://www.pinterest.com/meezcarrie/

https://www.instagram.com/meezcarrie/

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Carrie Schmidt, Rest, Restoration

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BLOGWORDS – 15 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

 

Mother’s Day has come and gone now.

And if you’re like me, the day is always a little bittersweet.

 

On the one hand, I love the chance to celebrate my Mom because a) she’s awesome and b) we’re great friends as well as being mother and daughter. This year, we attended a high tea just for something girly and fun!

On the other hand, I’ve been married for nearly 17 years and have no children. Given my age and my health issues, it is almost a certainty that no one will ever call me “Mom”. Except my dog Zuzu, of course, but she doesn’t really count 😉

I adore my nieces and nephews (a total of almost 10 now between my husband’s side of the family and my own) and I have fully embraced the “cool aunt” title, promising to always have gum. (To date, none of them have asked me for a piece of gum. But when they do, by golly, I’ll be ready!)

Still … being called “Aunt” doesn’t quite complete the heart like “Mom”, does it? And so Mother’s Day for me is always a bit painful in spite of the sweet. Maybe it’s the same for you. Or maybe your children are grown and gone and never with you on Mother’s Day. The ache is still there, either way, isn’t it?

 

Maybe what makes Mother’s Day bittersweet for you is instead the loss of your mother. Whether too soon or after a life long-lived, I’m told that ache never quite goes away either. Especially on days where everyone is treating their moms to special dinners and flowers and hugs. You would give anything to give (and receive) one more hug from your own mother, and so – while you enjoy the accolades from your children on Mother’s Day – you feel like something is missing. Like someone is missing.

 

If at least one of these scenarios applies to you, then today you may still be feeling the sting of the bittersweet. The emptiness of wanting to belong – to a mother or to a child – and having no one to belong to. Our hearts were created to never say goodbye (to people or to dreams), so it’s no wonder they break with every cruel reminder of this broken world.

 

May I encourage you, my sweet girlfriends?

God sees. And He cares. He loves you so tenderly.

You already belong to Someone.

Did you see those last few words? “You are mine.”

 

I can hear you though. The words forming right now on your lips. “Yeah, that’s great and all… but belonging to God isn’t the same as having my mother back. Belonging to God isn’t the same as having a child of my own.”

I know. I get it. I do.

 

But Isaiah wants you to know that God knew you would be missing your mother, missing her hugs, wanting the kind of relationship other daughters have with their mothers.

And He wants to draw you close and whisper these words to you –

He has not left you alone, my sweet friend. He longs to bless you beyond your imagination.  He takes great delight in you.

 

And Isaiah wants you to know that God knew you would be longing for a baby, for a child to call you “mom”, for a prodigal son or daughter to return home.

 

Listen, dear kindred heart. He is whispering words of purpose to you –

You may not have children that are physically or legally your own. But He longs to fill your heart – and your arms – to overflowing all the same.

And sometimes… in His great graciousness … He brings together someone who needs a mother’s hug with someone who longs to be a mom. As empty arms slip around empty hearts, both become curiously full.

A portrait of grace. A reminder of belonging. A glimpse of heaven.

A promise that one day all the sad things will come untrue.

And all hearts will be full forever.

 

 

Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and is a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat. She blogs at http://readingismysuperpower.org

 

https://www.facebook.com/meezcarriereads

https://twitter.com/meezcarrie

https://www.pinterest.com/meezcarrie/

https://www.instagram.com/meezcarrie/

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Carrie Schmidt, Zuzu, Cool Aunt, Mother’s Day, You are Mine, Portrait of Grace

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