Soul Food


Nourish  {nur-ish}


1.  to sustain with food
or nutriment; supply with
what is necessary for life,
health and growth.

2.  to cherish, foster,
keep alive, etc.

3.  to strengthen, build
up, or promote.


As I tucked into
a lovely salad of
baby greens at a
cozy restaurant 
with some of my
pals, nourish just
floated to the top
of my mind.

One of my most
favorite words.

But it wasn't only
the fresh greens and
purples of the lettuce

that made me feel
healthy and alive.


As I surveyed the
table, I realized that
it was the laughter
and the animated 
discussions, which
ranged from college
searches to current
events, exercise
regimens to what are
you making for dinner?

Soul food.



Like our bodies,
our spirits also need
nourishing, or they
starve.

Do you recognize a
soul that is starving?

I bet you do.

It's the grumpy mail
man who tosses my
package in the snow
bank rather than 
delivering it to my door.



It's the receptionist at
my vet's office who
doesn't return my smile.

It's the friend who keeps
score of who called who
to do something the last
time we got together.

It's the relative who is
always unhappy, then
complains because no
one comes to visit.

Starving, all.



For friendship or
affection....

For days filled with
purpose or meaning.....

For fresh air and
sunshine....

For unconditional
love and acceptance.....



For something.

We can buy food,
but soul food has
a different currency.

gratitude
kindness
exercise
helping others
nature
praise
affection
self-expression
rest
laughter
prayer
music

We each have our own
recipe.  What feeds my
spirit might leave you
hungry for more, and
vice versa.



But like vitamins and
minerals, there are basics
that every spirit yearns for
to feel fully nourished.

My recipe includes
laughter, doing for others,
prayer, nature, music,
reading, writing and
a lot 
of hugs.

Soul food.

Nourishment.

Yum.



What one relishes,
nourishes.
~ Benjamin Franklin

What's your recipe?


Happy Valentine's Day,
from my heart
to
yours.

xx
Suzanne

42 comments:

Debby said...

Such a cute post.

Biz said...

smiles, hugs, laughter, waving at neighbors during daily walks, and music.
I'm sure there are other things, but these are the ones that help keep me going each day!
Biz

Terra said...

Suzanne, I agree with your delightful soul food recipe. So many hurting and grumpy people need a touch of friendliness or other soul food, and we are blessed when we provide it.

The enchanted home said...

This is fabulous. I love your recipe and the one I try to adhere to is similiar with a healthy dose of "no judging' which I tend to do but am working on it:) The first step to self improvement is recognition, right? Your recipe is perfect and if everyone would give themselves a healthy daily dose of that, our world would be a much more harmonious world! Fantastic post!!

Marti said...

Happy day to you and wonderful ideas to feed your soul.

Olive Cooper said...

We must feed some folks with kindness. hugs and much love, olive

Becky C said...

Love this sweet post. I need all those things, too :)
You are such a great writer! Love how you put thoughts into words...

Sylvia said...

Brilliant writing! I share your recipe, but I think you already know it; kindred spirits ...One of Mother Teresa's wise seeings often cross my mind ; there is again : " There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread ..."
Much LOVE

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

You and I both have the same recipe, but I have run out of some of my ingredients; this weekend, I hope to do some "shopping" for those most pure of ingredients that only come from those things you have mentioned. PERFECT RECIPE DEAREST! Anita

Julie said...

yowza...grumpy mailmen must be the pits!! :-) I am always so grateful for my coffee machine that makes the coffee ahead of time (programmed) and has it hot and ready...the aroma of Dunkin wafting back to my bedroom to wake me and have me anticipating it before I even pour...just makes getting up something to look forward to. :-) :-) beautiful post and so true! hugs to you Suzanne! xoxo

Farmgirl Paints said...

Wowza friend you blow my socks off with your writing. I ow all those unhappy selfish people. So much rather surround myself and be like the complete opposite. Life is just too short.

Felicity said...

You are one of the master soul food chefs in my world Suzanne and visiting your space is always a nourishing experience.

Those people who keep checks and balances on relationships are operating within a mode of scarcity and are always surprised that this is what they receive in return.

Others like yourself hold a strong abundance mentality and others look on in wonder that your life seems so full and happy.

A little grace card that we regularly share goes like this:

The more you give
The more you get.

The more you laugh
The less you fret.

The more you do unselfishly
The more you live abundantly.

Amen to that!

Marie said...

It seems to me that the world is filled with starving souls today. Sad really. How did we lose the skill of feeding our souls? I feed mine regularly with my faith, my love and my ability to find joy in even the most minute possibilities. xxoo

Rozmeen said...

Hi Suzanne,

How are you?

Lovely words and pictures as allways!

Have a nice weekend.
xoxo Rozmeen

T's Daily Treasures said...

Weekends with no plans. Pajama days where time is mine to do with as I please. Crafting, crocheting, baking, cooking, blogging and the occasional cleaning. All done without a schedule or time constraints. Leisurely, quiet time is what I crave for soul restoration. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

Tricia said...

You are such an amazing writer, Suzanne. I wish I had your way with words. Your recipe for soul food sounds wonderful, I would add napping, photography, quiet contemplation and feeling appreciated. Hope you have a good weekend!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I think your blog is soul food because I always feel so nourished when I've stopped by for a visit. Thanks Suzanne for shining your light in the world!

Teacup Moments said...

suzanne, i loved looking at your recipe for soul food. self-expression, laughter, kindness, gratitude and prayer are in mine, too. oh and that heart-shaped wooden spoon with LOVE stamped on it, it's adorable. love it!

Mary Timmers said...

I have a group who meets each week to study the Bible. On top of putting God's word into our hearts, we give each other support through prayer, laughter, being vulnerable and honesty. I'm real with other people, and I feel genuine friendship with others when they are real with me. Nurishing is an ongoing continual process.

michele said...

it's funny. with my crohn's, my battle often involves malnourishment. my body cannot seem to get the nutrients it needs to function and thrive from food. malabsorption issues. to be nourished, we need to be open and ready to receive the fruit that comes our way. i guess the soul can have malabsorption issues too, and i am grateful mine is healthy and tender.

love to you, valentine!

michele

julieann said...

Beautiful Post. Really Beautiful..
Im feeling a bit like the mailman. Im going shopping for some soul food with a friend next week. I cant wait to fill my cart....
Just reading this filled the baby seat!! :)

followingsplendor.com said...

Beautiful post, Suzanne-I did drink in these words--I can tend to fill up my soul with so much junk food that I don't feel nourished-you are right-balance between my time spent for others and the time I spend with God-balance...thank you...

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Oh how we need soul food to survive...I always get it here. XO, Mona

Gretchen said...

Loved your post Suzanne. As you and I have already discussed by recipe.... It still remains the same for me.
I pour a whole lot of sugar and cream on these lonely, depressed and sad souls...through this active practice, which I believe Jesus has prompted and called me to do, I have witnessed amazing results. It takes rime, but lots of sugar and cream, eventually sweetens them up and/or cheers them up.
Gretchen

Jemsmom said...

So lovely! Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

Joanna said...

Beautiful post, Suzanne. There are plenty of starved souls around, sadly. Some of them, however hard I try, just will not accept any soul food preferring to starve.

x

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is the sweetest post, Suzanne...it always amazes me how a little bit of kindness can transform a person. Your writing makes me think and inspires me to do more. Your writing nourishes me...as does our friendship! Can't wait to see you!

Ivy Clad said...

Suzanne,

This is beautiful, and it has given me some much-needed insight into a situation I have been pondering. It has just dawned on me: that person in my life who seems to try to suck the energy from me is searching and needy.

Thank you for another beautifully thoughtful post!

Have a wonderful week!

Keri

Hindsfeet said...

What a *beautiful* Valentine, thanks, my dear....lovely, *nourishing* food for thought...as always : )

Happy Valentines Day to you too : )
Liz

Jane said...

Such a divine post, Gorgeous. I can only echo Felicity's sentiments. You nourish so many with your huge heart and gracious ways. J x

Sylvia said...

Hi Susanne,
I am back for more soul food and to wish you and yours a lovely Valentine's Day . You are such a Valentine treasure, spreading love, warmth and inspiration.

pollydove said...

What a great post! Love all of your images of the hearts ... so creative! My nourishment, as of late, is little Libby time! I can't get enough of the sweetness of my little grandbaby girl!!! :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Suzanne, your posts always give us nourishment and inspiration. I use that word "nourish" often and love and agree with your soul food recipe. It is amazing how far a smile and kind word can go. To give is to receive...we all need an abundance of nourishment and we all need to give an abundance of nourishment. Wonderful post.
Happy Valentine's Day, Suzanne!

Palomasea said...

Suzanne, this is such a timely and beautiful post. Amen to everything you write here, I so agree with you!
Food for the soul is what we thrive on, I believe. Because when the soul is nourished, one feels the motivation to nourish all else.
Your writing is just magnificent...thank you for always feeding my soul!
Hugs and A Lovely Valentine's Day!
xoxo,
- Irina

lisaroyhandbags said...

Smiles, big hugs and laughter keep my soul fed. I think there are too many starving souls out there. And the unhappy relatives who always complain that no one visits definitely rings true for me. I wish more people would adopt the "to give is to receive" motto to live a happier life.

Cindy said...

I always love reading your posts. This one is especially beautiful and spot on.. (I love the song playing in the background too!) It is a good reminder to nourish your soul with beauty that is all around! Happy Valentine's to you!
xo Cindy

Burlap Luxe said...

Thank you Suzanne for your beautiful visit, please come for another comment or two it will ensure a better chance at a win :)
xoxo
Lots of hearts to you and yours.
~Dore

June said...

You rock Suzanne???? You are the kind of person I love to surround myself with and hope that I am for my own friends. I think our lists are very similar : )
Beautiful post from a beautiful heart!
hugs from me...

Patty said...

What an amazing post-so perfect for my "group"... how I wish I could meet you in person. That just might nourish my soul. :)

Lili said...

Oh I could surely relate to this post Suzanne. Here's to hoping the grumpiness we come across from time to time has a hard time getting a hold on us! xoxo ~Lili

Jeanie said...

Loving all your hearts and treasuring your soul food. Oh, they make me smile! Belated Valentine Greetings! But then everyday should be Valentine's Day!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I ran into several grumpy airline folk on my recent trips. My attempts at offering a little bit of nourishment ... weren't enough. :-)

Sweet nourishing post.

Fondly,
Glenda