You gotta have rich, dark soil. Any good gardener or farmer will tell you that.
After years and years of growing a crop or a flower bed, the earth gets depleted of its nutrients and its substance. The ground gets stale from constantly bearing fruit.
It’s no different with my heart.
After a season (or many seasons) of output and productivity, my heart becomes depleted of its nutrients and substance. I can get stale and weary if I don’t take the time to put nourishment back.
We’ve already talked about how silence and solitude are like turning the soil and soaking in His Presence is like soaking in water. Now, we must put the good stuff back by fertilizing the soil.
I wish I could use another idea to describe nourishing the soil because fertilizer is….well you know what it is. And, I don’t want to imply that taking care of your heart is B.S, but you get the idea, right?
In my summer gardening, I’ve been fertilizing the soil of my heart through listening to and reading books.
At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to deepen my literary scope by reading some classic Christian authors and widen my scope of Christian history. However, with work and home and church and ministry, it was really hard to have the time or energy to dig into such dense spiritual nutrients.
So, for the summer, I’m making it a priority. First off, I’m reading the Bible. I’ve already worked my way through Jeremiah and Lamentations. Now, I’m reading Ezekiel. I do this first thing in the morning while the house is quiet before the kids wake up. Since it’s still kinda hard to sit down and read a book, I’m using the book app, Scribd, on my phone to listen to books while I do other things. I’ve already listened to A.W. Tozer’s The Crucified Life and am currently working through Weight of Glory, a collection of sermons by C.S. Lewis. I have a real book that I hold in my hands called The Joy of Ministry by Thomas W. Currie, III that I’m slowly digesting bit by bit.
My strategy is to rotate different kinds of works and authors to get a variety of deposits into my spirit- Christian discipline, theology, etc. Next, I hope to include some good ol’ church history and some practical ministry resources. I’m also watching videos of one of my favorite authors, Alicia Britt Chole. She has a series on TBN called The Sacred Slow. I haven’t had the chance to read her book yet, but the videos have been a great addition to my other books.
Of course, I have to add some good, yummy fiction to round out this diet for my soul. I have a few titles picked out on my Scribd account that were recommendations, but I have a physical book by my favorite fiction author, Francine Rivers. Many years ago, I read her Mark of the Lion series which is wonderful, so for a few minutes a day, I’ll read A Voice in the Wind. Delightful!
Can I tell you how wonderful this has been? The Tozer and Lewis pieces were simply inspiring and gets me motivated to exercise. The phone app has been really great because I’m still a better listener than a reader. I can’t wait to dive into the church history. Watching Alicia always draws me closer to Jesus. I feel like I’m nourishing myself well.
By depositing Scripture, authors, and ideas into my spirit, I hope to enrich the soil of my heart by teaching my mind and nourishing my heart so that I can have a more fulfilling relationship with God and hopefully, continued quality seasons of productivity and ministry.
What books are you reading? How are you fertilizing your soil? How’s your summer gardening going?
If you need a little help with your summer gardening, I put together a little e-book with Scripture meditations, reflection questions, and a resource list just for you! When you sign up, you’ll get access to other Bible studies and the WoW Newsletter. Sign up here.
Hope it helps!