Thursday, August 21, 2014

When your soul wants to run, count things

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? When your soul wants to run, but there’s no place to go?





For me, my instinct is to run. But, to where I don’t know, and usually it isn’t the appropriate thing to run.

That’s what my soul seems programmed to do lately. Run away from what scares me! Run, and don’t look back!

At least this is often how my body reacts.

Mostly it’s false alarms. Usually always.

I’m needing ways to reprogram my soul to stay put. To rest. Stay.
Lately I’ve been grasping at staws.

Oh, I know the old cliché’s.

"This too shall pass."

"This is just a season."

"Years from now you’ll look back on this time and….blah, 

blah, blah."

But, those tired old clichés don’t help now. I’m looking for concrete, practical answers to cope with what I’m going through and not let my weary soul take me someplace I don't want to go.

The fight-or-flight response ultimately takes me nowhere fast.

A couple of nights ago, I tried something different at bedtime. Being a stressful time for me lately, I’ve thought of different ways to calm myself to sleep.

Sounds crazy. Like I need to go back to infant-hood and learn to soothe myself to sleep.
I'm wondering, did I miss something back then?

A couple of nights ago, I laid there with my eyes open groping the dark with my gaze. I was trying hard not to think of those things that cause me fear, dread and anxiety.

I've always heard that it’s easier to focus on something good than to avoid thinking of something bad, so I started thinking good things on purpose. What a novel concept!

I decided to lay there in the dark, with my head on my pillow and count the things I was grateful for that day. I actually held up my finger for #1.

I had everything I needed today

#2 my children
#3 my husband

Whatever good thing popped into my head, I counted it. Pretty soon both my hands were open wide in front of my face. I’d reached ten things.

I started over:

my health
my bed (many people don’t have one)
the ability to brush my teeth (many people don’t have access to this—I don’t think of this often)

Pretty soon my hands were full of grateful things again.
I went through this sequence a third time. And then a fourth. And a fifth.

Pretty soon, I had counted on my fingers in the dark 50 things I was grateful for.

And then I went to sleep with a smile in my soul.
My soul was no longer trying to run away from me.
My soul went to sleep in gratitude.

Thanks for stopping by today, friend! 


Linking up today with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart and with Beth Stiff for Three Word Wednesday.


  1. It's amazing how counting His gifts really does work. I'm looking at your labels for this post and yes . . . It's soul care! Good stuff. Praying for many more nights of going to bed with a smile. Blessings to you, Anne. xoxo

  2. As always, I love when you comment, Beth! Thank you for your kind thoughts and words! Why did it take me so many years to give my soul the attention it needs? Blessings to you, friend!

  3. Soul care and soul REST. "rehearsing truth" by saying a few well chosen verses and remembering some good basic theology of God and Christ has been a mental and verbal practice that has helped me in such times. Blessings, Linda

    1. Thanks, LInda, for your comments! Yes and yes! Scripture is such a huge peace-bringer to me, too! God's Word brings peace. Amen.

  4. I love this, Anne. I've tried something similar to this when I couldn't sleep. It helps to take the focus off myself and whatever it is I'm worrying about. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that when we focus on God's grace and provision we can find peace.

    1. Thank you, Abigail, for your kind comment! It does help to take the focus off myself for sure! Hard to do, but so important! Blessings!


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