Taking Stock

“What do you want me to do for you?” (Jesus, as quoted in Mark 10:36, 51)

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The promises, intentions and hopes of January are sputtering like a short-wicked candle. February pounds in my heart, pushing me to find where I left off and to take stock.

This blog, titled soulPantry, stores various reflections and ideas and prompts that have risen in my own heart; and naturally (for me) I share them here. In the beginning, it was called Nourishment for the Soul: A Place to Feed on Words¬†and to this day, it’s still a place for words, and lately a place for artistic prompts, as well.

I started typing out these inspirational musings in the wee hours of the year 2000. I felt compelled to share “words for the weary.” (See Isaiah 50:4) And that phrase truly defines the intent of my blog to this day. Many readers tell me that these posted reflections arrive just when they need them, and that humbles me and thrills me at the same moment.

I wander away from these digital spaces for months at a time. Then other months, I am here daily pouring out words that flow out of my own personal journey. Today, I come back with the resolve to post more regularly, but realistically, too. I hope/plan to post once a month. (And if more often, so be it.)

When I am away for an extended time, I struggle with wanting to catch you (the reader) up with all my inner musings and the adventures of life. But that’s not realistic, either. So, I’ll just jump in right here.

Last Friday, I enjoyed sharing journaling tips with a small group of women, who gathered for some fun and food, for both their bodies and souls. Seventeen women passed through the space with me. I had an hour per session (two separate sessions) to give them a taste of a few journaling appetizers.

We started with this prompt: “Right now…” I set the timer for two minutes to demonstrate that they could write for a contained amount of time. (Many admitted they didn’t feel like they had time to keep a journal.) I gave them a moment to read over their musings, and then invited them to write a short sentence about what surprised them or what they noticed in their quick writing jaunt.

With their writing juices flowing, I challenged them to ponder a question, as their prompt. As I prepared for the class, I remembered that in Scriptures, Jesus often asked questions to get his audience thinking. The question that came to mind was “What do you want me to do for you?” I did a quick search online to recall which situation he asked this question. I was surprised that he asked the same question twice. First, he asked two of his disciples. And then, he asked a blind man. The disciples asked for position, prestige and glory. The blind man asked for sight, for healing.

Since the question was asked twice, I thought why not ask the question to ourselves with pen in hand, answering Jesus ourselves. I set the timer for five minutes, and the women, even if they didn’t really know Jesus or had much experience with journaling quickly poured out their answers. It was such an honor to hold this space with them.

Right now, I invite you to ponder this same question, as if Jesus was asking:

“What do you want me to do for you?”

Even if you’re not familiar with Jesus or comfortable with answering questions in a journal, would you ponder this powerful question?

Knowing what we want can be so insightful and freeing.

I will be back soon, with more words, prompts and nourishment for our souls! Enjoy!