Begin with the end in Mind

1/6   Ideally- if you could describe the status of your soul at the end of 2017 in three words- what would those three words be?

I am a huge believer in my soul. The reality of it, the tragic neglect of it, and the power of wholeness that flows from a soul saturated in the goodness and promises of God. Do you think about your soul? Ever? In the average day? I don't. We live in such a tangible, visible culture that the invisible parts of our spiritual lives are left forgotten. Do we even know what our souls are? One of my faves, JO, can help us out a little:

Your soul is the deepest thing about you. Jesus said that the soul is move valuable than the world. So why would we not value it? Two things are true: 1. You have a soul, 2. It is the only one you will ever have. For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God. Our souls were made to walk with God.
— John Ortberg

So on this 6th of January, looking forward at a shiny, new and pristine 2017 ahead of us, let us try and imagine the ideal status of our souls come December. Obviously, there will be things in our year that sideline us, surprise us and sober us- but what if we got serious about soul-keeping?

I believe the status of our souls can operate independent of our circumstances because our souls are the most connected part of us to God. And God operates independent of our circumstances. 

So even though 2017 will have its ups and downs, glorious triumphs and unnerving defeats, even though it will feel slow and centered one minute and swirling and tumultuous the next, I am praying in the one and only name of Jesus that my soul would resemble these three word come December 31st...

FRESH. DELIGHTED. QUIET.

I long for the truest parts of Kristin to be fresh. I know this will happen only with a healthy, refreshing dose of God's word, deep meditation on his promises, and authentic, audacious prayer. When the alarm goes off and all I crave is thirty more minutes of sleep, but instead I wake up (often a little pissed) and shuffle to my spot to open God's word and fill my head with his thoughts and his ways over my own... I leave fresh. Every. Single. Time. Freshness in my soul takes an alarm and the ability to open the Bible. It also takes praying out loud. Especially WITH PEOPLE. A couple weeks ago, my mom and sister were here helping with the new baby. For the first time I can ever remember the three of us circled up and prayed big, hard, real prayers for each other. Out loud and together. Immediately refreshed, each of us asked through tears, why don't we do that more?

I long for the truest parts of Kristin to be delighted. The only way this happens is in a slow pace to notice the delightful parts of my life and surroundings. Ry has the most amazing (but ever so subtle) chin dimple. When I am slowed and lightened enough to notice Ry's chin dimple, the status of my soul is one of great delight. 

I long for the truest parts of Kristin to be quiet. Quiet, by nature means less talking. It means more listening. It means taking the time, energy and stillness to open my heart to the voice of God. It means throwing away pre-assumed conclusions about Austin or others in my life because I spent the whole conversation giving my opinion. A quieted soul is a listening soul. A humbled soul. A contented soul. Quiet in a loud (and getting louder) world is such a prize. It's hard work but I don't care. I am desperate for a quiet soul. 

So with that in mind, I am centering my year around this verse. I will commit it to memory and beautifully arrange it in several locations in our home. I desire for these words to describe my soul and believe this verse will be the fuel and refocus to remain there. 

Your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.
— Zephaniah 3:17

What are your three words? Think of the deepest, truest parts of you. Describe what you want the status of your soul to be at the end of the year and then find some scripture to ignite those words into full-blown reality. 

Share below or with your people today.

For additional reading on soul-keeping, click here.