Slow Down and Simplify: Tend Your Soul

The most effective place for us to slow down and simplify is to soak in God’s Word at some point in our day.

When my kids were little, I kept a Bible in every bathroom so I could “refuel” on God’s truth in the very few minutes I might have a couple of times a day in the bathroom (yes, there were often little fingers under the door!)

Today’s assignment for slowing down and simplifying is to read one chapter in the Bible.  It will likely just take you about 3 minutes…but it will likely be the most important 3 minutes of your day!  If you need some suggestions to read, try one of these (I’ve linked them to Biblegateway.com where you can always find a Bible online if that’s easier for you.)

Psalms 91

Colossians 3

Hebrews 11

Matthew 7

One tool that is helpful for quieting my soul is using a devotional. My friends at Moody Radio’s Midday Connection have just released a new devotional that I contributed to.  I have two copies of Tending the Soul to give away.

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, read one chapter of the Bible today and then comment on how God spoke to you through that chapter.

May God’s truth sink into our heart and soul today.

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34 Responses to Slow Down and Simplify: Tend Your Soul

  1. Viola Saldanha says:

    Mathew 8 ‘Jesus calms the storm’ and Mark 1 ‘Jesus drives out an impure spirit’ has had a profound impact on me.
    On several occasions, when my faith has wavered, the above two chapters remind me of the mighty powers of Jesus. Even the destructive waves and the legion of impure spirits know who Jesus is and me having the privilege of being born in this beautiful faith needs to be reminded often.

  2. Kristin says:

    I just read Psalm 91 and it reminded me that God promises to take care of me as I trust him with everything I do, including taking care of my family and friends. He is the source of our compassion and kindness and will rescue us from our fears and concerns.

  3. Sunny says:

    Thanks, Jill. I read all of the ones you posted and Matthew 7 really jumped at me. My day started with a critical remark to my husband, which I didn’t mean in anger, but he took in anger (and rightly so). And, after the first verse of Matthew 7, it was a bit of a smack in the face. Thanks for the reminder. . . . which was clearly not your doing, but God’s doing, meant for me through you today.

    • JillSavage says:

      Sunny, Matthew 7 has spoken to me many times for the same reason! I like to say that God takes the plank out of my eye and hits me over the head with it! That’s actually a good thing!

  4. Suzanne Deeren says:

    Oh, how I needed to read Psalm 91 again and let the truths invade my heart. He is my shelter. He is my safety. I will find my rest (only) in Him. It has been a difficult month juggling our busy homeschooling family with a rigorous training schedule for the foster care licensing process. I will not be afraid because I trust in the name of the Lord!

  5. Samantha says:

    Thank you so much for this challenge. Too often I get wrapped up in taking care of my family that I forget to take time for myself to draw closer to Godm I read Psalm 91 and it spoke to me in regards to the fear I get regarding the increase in natural disasters and that I just need to remember He is in controol and and as long as I draw near to him all will be ok.

  6. Lisa M says:

    I am reading through Proverbs currently. Today I read Proverbs 14. I am going in for some health-related tests later this week and have been feeling anxious. So these 2 verses spoke to me: Proverbs 14:30: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. For the most part, I have been at peace with the upcoming procedure, knowing that God is there watching over me. Proverbs 14:10: Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. This reminded me that everyone has their own story. That everyone has gone through trials and tribulations and we cannot judge them, as we do not know what they have been through in their life. Thanks Jill for your moments of reflection. They have really given me pause and calm the last week or so.

  7. Joanna says:

    If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
    10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
    11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
    12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
    13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

    14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
    15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.

    These verses jumped out at me- we have had a tough last 48 hours and seems everything is going wrong…I am encouraged by these verses to continue calling on the Lord! Thanks so much for the message today.

  8. Becky says:

    So funny….I do my devotional reading in the bathroom too :) Usually with someone knocking on the door! I read Psalm 18 today and to sum it up God is so good, so for us, and “all the Lord’s promises prove true”. Thankful for His words and His ways. Thank you for your encouragement.

  9. Jen Crouse says:

    I love my YouVersion Bible App. I have been doing the Life Application Study Bible Plan since the beginning of the year. For each day, there is a short paragraph that pertains to daily life, plus a verse from Psalm or Proverbs. I highly recommend it! If you don’t have a phone that supports apps, you can also go to youversion.com, sign up for it, and use it on your computer, too.

    • Erin says:

      Jen,
      Thank you for posting about youversion.com. I have joined the same plan that you are reading and trying to get a friend of mine to join in with me. Thank you again.

      • JillSavage says:

        Jen, I will check it out myself! Thank you for sharing! I have the youversion app but I haven’t done anything with the Bible study plans.

        • Jennifer says:

          That is a great idea! I have the app but have not it for that. It is something so easy to use especially with being so busy!

  10. Kim Thompson says:

    I read Psalm 91. What a great reminder that whatever we face God is there to guide and protect.

  11. Jennifer W. says:

    I read Hebrews 11-13 – LOVE thinking about fixing my eyes on Jesus, as He is the author of my faith and the reminder of laying aside my sin so that I will have the endurance to run the race He’s set before me!

  12. Erin says:

    Thanks, Jill. Your message couldn’t come at a better time. It was such a reminder in a troubled day. I read Psalm 91 because the Psalms are always such comfort to me. I loved the chapter in the New Living Translation that was provided through your link. It reminded me so powerfully that He alone is God. He will cover and protect me and as verse 15 said, be with me in trouble.

  13. Erin says:

    Jill, thank you for the gentle nudge to get into God’s word. I, too, read all four of the chapters you suggested, and I, too, was particularly challenged by Matthew 7. My co-worker is repeatedly and excessively tardy, and all I want to do is scream, “It’s not fair!” I’m frustrated that she isn’t being held accountable for her tardiness. Jesus’ lesson about criticizing others has caused me to look at my “plank”, which in this case is ways in which I could be a better employee, instead of focusing so much energy on my co-worker’s “speck”. It is not my responsibility to discipline my co-worker for her tardiness. My time and energy would be much better spent obeying Colossians 4:23-24. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Thanks again.

    • JillSavage says:

      Erin, that sounds like it was a great way for God to speak to your heart about that issue. Doesn’t it just help us to take our eyes off the sins of others and look at our own heart?

  14. Erin C. says:

    Thank you Jill for posting about this. I read psalm 91. I ditto what Kim Thompson(timestamp April 19, 2011 at 11:09am) wrote.

  15. Katie Geiger says:

    One of my favorites is Proverbs 31. While is gives me something to strive for, I also find myself comparing my life to that of the woman referenced and sometimes that is not a good comparison. But, I know that God is faithful and he will use me for whatever purpose in whatever manner he sees fit. I try to be the best version of me, instead of trying to be like someone else.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a devotional!

  16. Kate says:

    Matthew 7 (great suggestion!)– It’s increasingly difficult to be authentic and sincere in this world of status updates and sound bytes, but this chapter reminded me how unbelievably important it is. Also, I always need a reminder to tone down the criticism…

  17. Amanda C says:

    I read Psalm 91. This part got my attention: For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
    Last week as I was driving to town, I looked both ways and made a left turn onto a major highway. An SUV came over the hill at a high rate of speed, and I barely avoided being rear ended. I didn’t have my kids with me that day, so I was taking advantage of the quiet time to pray. I had just prayed that God would protect us in our travels. That SUV should have hit me, she didn’t even have time to brake.

  18. Kim says:

    I am currently reading through Luke, so I read Luke 18 today. This chapter has several parables that are good reminders for me of how Jesus would have me live–humble myself, come to God as a little child–fully trusting and depending on Him, and let go of my attachment to possessions so I have more resources to help those less fortunate. I really struggle with that last one (Luke 18:18-29) sometimes, wondering does Jesus really want me to sell EVERYTHING (or even not buy anything)? So often I buy stuff I don’t need because I want it when I could use that money to help others.

    • JillSavage says:

      Good question to ask, Kim. I love your last statement, “So often I buy stuff I don’t need because I want it when I could use that money to help others.”

  19. Tanya says:

    Colossians 3. The first couple verses jumped out at me. Our family came through a traumatic experience in February and I am still quite stressed, definitely self-absorbed, and often irritable. The admonition to quite shuffling along and instead recognize my real life in Christ and attempt to see how He is at work, was a gentle prod for me. I receive the exhortation to cultivate thankfulness (vs. 15-17) and lighten up on my children with a saddened heart as I look back at my irritableness. It reminds me of Psalm 37:3 which can also be translated “cultivate His faithfulness”… looking at His faithfulness helps me be more thankful. Thank you for the brief moment for my soul.

  20. Sarah says:

    I’ve fallen in love this year with bible.org and the netbible, as well as biblegateway… they are such good tools to read a different translation, link to a commentary, or just examine a verse from many translations…
    I have made a commitment the past few weeks to read at least a verse each day before I look at my cell or email… and rush into my day…It’s really helped to keep my heart perspective in a better direction…..
    today I read Colossians 3 and the be content with 2nd best is really resonating with me…I’ve caught myself really trying to deny self and die to self, but I’ve even been selfish enough and arrogant enough to think in my head when interacting with others…I guess I have to be the one who dies to self here and give up…that is certainly NOT what we were commanded to do in the NT….

    Thanks for the challenge… typing with the squirmy 16 month old helping… but my priorities are better!

  21. Pam says:

    First, I want to say…I just put a Bible in my bathroom. What a great idea–even if I do know I too will have little fingers under the door! ;o)

    Second, I followed your link to The Message version of Colossians 3. I was especially touched by verses 5-8 and 12-14. It’s sooo easy to get “in a rut” and just go through the motions without giving a second thought to what our lives really SHOULD look like. *sigh* Thanks for the reminder…and the nudge to get some time with God in every day, even if it is a few minutes here or there in the bathroom!

  22. Tylette says:

    God reminded me that His word is powerful and practical for my daily living. I read Col 3 and Psalms 91.

  23. Barb Cline says:

    Ps 91 is the bit Satan quoted to Jesus in order to tempt him to throw himself down from the temple heights. I never knew where that was from. Thanks.
    Barb

  24. Beth Lee says:

    I read Col 3. I am so grateful for how God’s word is always so helpful for what I am going through. I had a challenging day when it came to patience with my 2 kids. This chapter was about how we are new creations in Christ. I loved these verses: 12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
    My hearts desire is to love the things that God loves. Only by His spirit (especially on days like today) is this possible.
    Thanks for the challenge.

  25. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this whole week of encouragement so far! Slow down and simplify! I find myself saying it to myself throughout the last few days! Today was a great– I often don’t give myself time to be in the word as I should. As I was reading the verses you suggested I just kept thinking about He does have plans for me. If I am so busy doing what I think I should be doing I miss out on what He wants for me.

  26. suzanne says:

    I read Colossians 3…just randomly clicking on your link, I just got baptised this last sunday – Palm Sunday. This chapter just spoke to me of the instructions of my new life. My life with Jesus in my heart. I copied the entire chapter and emailed it to my husband and titled the email “after baptism…here are our instructions”

    Thank you I will put a bible on my iphone and one in the bathroom, line ups at the grocery store are a good time to read too!