Thursday, February 04, 2021

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Take Heart


These are difficult days. If your life is like mine, you have to encourage yourself often, or be encouraged by someone else, or encourage someone else. 

(I'm not talking about severe depression. If you've got that, you need to see a doctor, not just try to work yourself into happy feelings. Maybe you need counseling, or a prescription, or both. In my case, as I've written about before, I had a vitamin deficiency, not so difficult to fix.)

Here are some things that help me take heart. Nothing here is revolutionary, but maybe something will spark an idea in someone else!

1. Pray.


2. Scripture. "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7. "But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.'" Matthew 14:27. Lots more. 

3. Reflect on times in the past when God has helped you.

4. Have a snack. Have a cup of tea. Take a nap. Exercise. Maybe you're physically depleted and a physical response is the answer.

5. Talk to a friend. Zoom is good for this if necessary!

6.  Read something encouraging. In addition to scripture, there are many great choices. I have folder on my desktop marked "Mantras" into which I put encouraging quotes I come across. Here's one, from Thomas Merton: "You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope. In such an event, courage is the authentic form taken by love." 

7. Read a children's book, especially one that you loved when you were younger or that you read to your children. Some of my favorites: anything from the Narnia series, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, any of the Poppleton books. 

Take heart! You can read the other SJT posts for more ideas! Here's Fran's roundup!


Fran Haley said...

Dear Ruth - every one of these suggestions breathes courage into the heart. The verses you chose are exactly the reminders we need, especially, to me, never being forsaken. My childhood pastor once told me, as he helped my young husband prepare to enter the ministry: "God always takes care of His own." We do have to live each moment and embrace the courage, faith, and hope it contains - or we are not fully living. -Narnia! One of my great life loves! We are all meeting there today. <3

Ramona said...

Thank you, Ruth, for this wonderful list of things that help you take heart. I would add The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse to your list of children's books. And I love the Thomas Merton quote. These words from your post ring true: "If your life is like mine, you have to encourage yourself often, or be encouraged by someone else, or encourage someone else."

Linda Mitchell said...

I love these vitamins, I know I should do all. But, sometimes, I get behind in what I need to keep up with. I haven't been good about keeping up with scripture these days. When I page back through my journals over the past year, I used to be much better! I need to take some of those vitamins again. Thanks!

Margaret Simon said...

Good suggestions for getting out of a rut. Setting aside time for ourselves and our own creativity is important and too often last on my list. A friend's daughter posts affirmations each day on Instagram. These are always good to read and reflect upon.