On Fire Tending and Soul Tending



Monday was a bummer day.

Nothing intensely “bummer” took place on Monday, I was just in a funk.

This melancholy may be the result of just returning from a vacation on which we climbed a massive Mayan Temple after zip-lining into the jungle . . . not to even mention scuba-diving 25 feet down into the Caribbean Sea to hang out with the fishies in the reef . . . Yes, this must be the problem. 

REGARDLESS . . . Monday was a bummer. 

Do you ever have those days in which you can’t seem to shake the feeling you are missing something or forgetting details or offending someone . . . that last one may just be me 😉

I came home on Monday feeling especially “not finished” – “undone” – This feeling only became worse when I saw the massive pile of undone dishes, the undone laundry from travel and the unfed kids who “JUST WANT MAC AND CHEESE, MOM!”

Is it easy for you to admit when you have been defeated?

This was my hands-in-the-air-tone-of-voice-untameable-I-just-can’t moment. My sweet husband saw the look in my eyes (or my slightly irrational behavior . . . let’s stick with the look in my eyes, it sounds more romantic and sweet) and he gathered the children up, heading to I really didn’t care where. #honesty

Just me. Just me and my “undone.” 

Then, I answered the call to tend to my soul. SIDENOTE – When you feel “undone” you probably are . . . There is unfinished business in your soul with your Creator . . . We are not intended to be complete, healthy . . . ok . . . without soul-tending time with the Great Soul-Tender. 

So, I built a fire.

It’s always a bit frustrating how NOT HOT a fire is when it first lights. It’s pretty and the flames are big, but the heat just isn’t there. It always takes a while for the heat to build, for the flames to consume enough . . .

When I’m fire-tending, I spend most of my time shifting, adding, arranging so that the best flames can catch. I want to SEE the fire.

One hour in, the fire got so hot I had to physically move back. I looked at my fire and realized something really incredible.

The flames were all but gone, but the heat was SO intense.

There were some charred logs in the fireplace that had not yet turned to ash, forgotten, and as I watched, they caught fire again – and something I thought was over, done, unable to burn was alive with new fire.

The most productive fire – the hottest fire – the most DANGEROUS fire – isn’t the flames. It’s the coals. Molten ash and pure heat gathered in one place. It’s what is produced once the fire has almost satisfied itself with the fuel offered.

It’s immaturity in me that always wants the flame. It’s like the kid who thinks the soap is gone from the tub when the bubbles fade . . . I want the excitement, what appears to others as productive, or special. I want to SEE, and when I’m really honest, I want OTHERS TO SEE what is in me – what can come OUT of me – the flame of the fire inside of me.


Here’s the deal. I don’t want to be a nice show. I don’t want my family and our lives to be something that makes people feel warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. I don’t want to be a nice fire in a fireplace.

I want to be the real thing. The true thing. The most productive and mature thing.

It’s the molten hot coals that provide sustaining heat – food – life. Not tended properly, it will go out. Not tended properly, it will never get hot enough . . .

Tended properly, those charred, unfinished logs in the fire will light again.

That’s what I want for my soul – and for yours. To tend our souls in a way that EVERY BIT OF WHO WE ARE gets to burn and shine and provide life – none of us content to leave parts of our souls untended, unused, forgotten.

When you feel “undone” you probably are . . .  There is unfinished business in your soul with your Creator . . . We are not intended to be complete, healthy . . . ok . . . without soul-tending time with the Great Soul-Tender.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8



2 thoughts on “On Fire Tending and Soul Tending

  1. A resounding YES and amen for this powerful post. We need more honesty about coming undone. Instead of shaming and stigmatizing each other – and let’s be honest – ourselves, we should be exchanging ideas on how to tend to our souls. May the fire within you burn hot. Grace and peace.


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