Feed Your Soul


I lost my voice. My written voice, that is.

In the chaos two small children bring. In the day-in, day-out supporting of a husband getting a degree and working. While managing a home, it went missing. While shopping and cooking and washing endless dishes.

In the awesome existence of being a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, I forgot I had a “voice.” I forgot what it sounded like coming through my pen. I stopped using it, and now struggled to find it again.

Frantically, I was scanning shelves in our new house, shoving aside boxes, shuffling through drawers, trying to find just a single piece of lined paper on which to write. “Where are all my notebooks?” I yelled at myself.

Let me start over.

I used to carry little notebooks with me. I was always ready to record fleeting thoughts, snippets of conversation, and prayers throughout my day. The act of scrawling a pen across a paper allowed me to reflect on everything from the lady acting oddly in the coffee shop to whether I could actually marry the guy I was dating (I did!). None of it was terribly profound, and my attempts at poetry were just plain sad, but it was mine.

I turned to blogging for a while and even recorded the birth of my daughter. Everything from the joy to the difficulties we experienced. I still reread that post. It still makes me smile. I wrote about my dog. I wrote about faith. I wrote about writing.

Then life got busier. I stopped using my voice to write and forgot even what it sounded like. I lost my voice. The loss hurt my soul.

It is too easy to lose myself in the incredibly beautiful but exhausting role of being wife and mom and taking care of everyone else. But then I find myself impatient; yelling and frustrated.

My desire is to be patient and loving, the very opposite of what happens when I let my soul go hungry. When I stop feeding my soul — doing the things that energize and restore me — I suffer and everyone else around me suffers too. My kids get a cranky mommy who yells too much over little things and my husband gets a wife with a self–righteous, martyr complex (is that even a thing?). Ironically, he encourages me to write. And then I look at him like he is crazy, because, “Have you seen the dishes and laundry around here? And our son is about to wake up to eat, again! I don’t have time!”

Last night, however, it suddenly hit me that Jesus took the time. He left the crowds. He went to be alone. While I do a great job raising kids and cooking, I have never raised the dead or healed sick people, unless we are counting homemade chicken soup. So, if Jesus, who probably felt the urgency of His work here on earth, decided that stopping for a few minutes was important, then I probably should too. Do I honestly think I have something on Jesus? That my work is more important than His? Not so much.

Writing allows me space to reflect, to be alone. It often sends me to my Bible. Sometimes it reminds me of things I desperately want to remember. Small moments that might otherwise be lost. Sometimes it also sends me to a thesaurus for new words, or to grammar checks because, semi-colons, what? Engaging in writing, my creative outlet, stops me from being consumed by busyness. I am able to see the truly important through the demanding. I am quicker to notice my daughter making her brother belly laugh by “beeping” his nose over and over.

“Write this moment down,” I tell myself. “Capture it to savor later.”

God designed me this way. He knew I needed to write for my sanity and my soul.

The harder you work, the more you must play. I heard this once. Doesn’t it ring so true? The harder you work, the more you must play so as not to get burned out by even the most enjoyable work.

Go run or write or have a dance party in the kitchen while your baby looks at you like you have lost it.

Do the things the feed your soul and energize you for the work ahead.

Don’t neglect time to “play” as I neglected my writing for a time.

Even if it’s just for you, that is enough! More than enough, because God made you for these things along with the work He has put before you.

I am off in search of a notebook!

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Rachel Broderick has most recently found herself living in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, and dogs and loving it. She adores her family, coffee, and God, but not necessarily in that order. She is still not sure what she wants to be when she "grows up," but thinks being a wife to her hard-working husband and mom to active toddlers are pretty great jobs. She is passionate about encouraging those she meets and is just plain curious about other people. She has recently gotten back into writing in her non-existent spare time and her blog is a work in progress (just like she is) so stay tuned!

  • Brandi

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been praying today and searching and came across this. I’d like to share my facebook post here because your post truly spoke to me about making time to do what lifts me up!

    Why do my knuckles freeze up the minute I sit in front of the keyboard ready to punch out letters, to string words, to share stories of my heart with others, even those closest to me? Fear has a way of pelting down hard, stinging my skin, and holding me back from my true desires to share words with the hearts of others that may, in some small way, help them to see the beauty in the ugly and rejoice in the mundane. I’m struggling friends. I have words inside of me, but I keep them quiet, afraid my message will somehow get lost once it hits open air. Part of me struggles to even know what my message is. Start a blog – maybe? A writing ministry – maybe? But isn’t my calling to mother my lovelies and disciple them and didn’t we just decide to homeschool; and isn’t the hubs away at work all the time already so when does that leave time for this tired mama to find the steam to reload and speak into the hearts of others when my own heart runs dry lots of days? Share my heart and it lays open wounds for the world to pour salt in, or, maybe, it pours out the salve to soothe the wounds of others and teach me something in the process, too. A lot for this introvert to process right now, this pulling outside of my comfort zone to reach far beyond myself and let God lead me to the next chapter. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I know I am a writer. I just have to find my voice.

    Again, thank you so much! beautiful and encouraging post!

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Feed Your Soul

by Rachel Broderick time to read: 3 min