How to Talk to Your Own Soul

water the flowers

It has just started pouring hard like fingers tapping on the windows. This morning hour of navy grey is when the cars have solidified their hum, and over the top is the tapping. We’re up with the grownups, and children are beginning to stir. We pray them deeper into bed and yank tight the rope we’ve slung around solitude. It thunders, and I breathe.

I am more and more impressed these days with how little I sit down. Yesterday I ate three pieces of bacon for lunch while running between children and their books, but then I sat with a bowl of ice-cream. I sat by the window and considered myself a whole person and that maybe I should eat something green. Instead I had a short thought, a leaning, a prayer toward God, because until I sit down, I don’t realize how divided I am, how hungry. His presence is all that helps me know what is within me.

My hardest work these days is to keep myself from fractioning, my mind from my body from my soul. I could ask my soul all day long, “how are you?” but usually I wouldn’t know the answer. I can ask my body how it is, and I’ll know quickly that my back hurts. I can ask my mind, and she would slur out a slow, “fuzzy.”

Even still, we are doing this thing. Rhythm is straight from Jesus. Music and season. Digging sweet potatoes and tilling ground. Morning prayer, then history, then math. Hearing rhythm and moving with it is an act of wisdom, and I know it. I am fractioned, yet comforted so much by the tempo of our life. It moves me slowly toward health in my whole person. I am so grateful to not be interrupted by visits to the hospital for Titus. I listen closely on rainy days. These are days that rhythm gives signal to slow down. Jesus waters the flowers today.

When Seth gets home from work, I am happy. This is the last movement in the song for the day. This is the first time in my life that I have feared I wouldn’t be enough for him, because I never sit down. If I don’t catch my solitude hours, I forget that I am more than a body. I think all I need is bacon. When I am fractioned from myself, I know I am fractioned from my husband.

When Seth took his first steps into recovery, his body was a mess inside. He was like electricity running backward, like energy that needed to come out but kept being caught in inner currents. We learned that if I held his body for 20 seconds at least, it seemed that the current could pass on to me, and I wasn’t caught in loops like he was. We are relief to one another.

These days, I am the one caught in the current. He comes home, and my loops unwind. I wish I weren’t so needy, and yet this metaphor of man and wife, aren’t we reflecting God? Isn’t there something of wholeness reflected between us, the two as one. Don’t we often go about life so completely fractioned from ourselves, our spouses, and our God that we forget the circulatory system running between us?

If you say to your soul, “How are you?,” but your mind responds, “I am foggy, but who knows about the soul?” Then gather up the fog. It is one of the faces of grief. Ask of God that He remove it so you can see what it actually covers. He is already there for what comes next, if what hides is a crushed soul.

To be a whole person, you have to know how you’re doing. When you go to God, bring yourself right. Bring you all the way. Bring you sad. How can you ask Him to heal the heart if you don’t even know what you are?

This is the way of sorrow, how intimately, deeply, and divinely hope and joy can intermingle in those with broken hearts. In the rhythm of tapping on the window, the sun comes through. I see my sadness, and I see my Jesus bearing up under it. My heart rises up, as real life as the hands typing these keys. My heart is not in the fog. My soul is a bird to its mountain. I know what I am. I know who I love.



About me


Anger Exchange: a Giveaway of an Original Painting from Haiti
November 18, 2014
Kingdom Come
January 02, 2013
an unspoken
September 10, 2009


Reply September 2, 2014

Oh Amber, how is it you speak my heart? Please never stop writing.

Shelly Miller
Reply September 2, 2014

I love it when I see your name slide into my inbox. I know whatever the words say, they will be meaningful and tapped out full of grace. Thank you for sharing yourself Amber, it matters.

Reply September 2, 2014

"We are relief to one another."

Never have truer words been spoken.

Reply September 2, 2014


Brandee Shafer
Reply September 2, 2014

This is all very good, but the third paragraph up from the bottom is my favorite. My mind is foggy. Thank you for giving that fog a name.

Lora Lynn
Reply September 2, 2014

Yep. This exactly. I'm right there. So poured out I worry there isn't enough of me left for my better half.

Reply September 2, 2014

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Reply September 2, 2014

These words are much needed nourishment today. Man oh man Amber- your gift is so clearly from God above.

Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies
Reply September 6, 2014

Amber, thank you so much for these words. You have no idea how they ministered to my soul this morning. You have a way of bringing out of me what needs to be brought out while simultaneously sinking truth deeper in me.

Much love to you and yours...

Reply September 7, 2014

It's 4:31 a.m. and there's no sleep as my sadness struggles to speak. When there were no more words, I came here because I can't find a place to lay my heart and just for a moment it rested. Thank you.

Christine Ann
Reply September 7, 2014

Words are special gifts and we never know where those gifts will land.
Thankfully your words landed here with me today.
I clicked on a link from a precious word gifted person. emily p freeman.. and found myself so blessed , in an especially difficult time in our family life, by reading your post 'How To Talk To Your Own Soul'.
Your words about the 'way of sorrow' and how joy and hope can 'intermingle' in broken hearts, help me through this time. What a beautiful image your words paint with ' My soul is a bird to it's mountain', to lift me above sadness.
That word image will carry me through the days ahead.
Thanks Amber

Kristi Atkinson
Reply September 7, 2014

I need this so much this evening. My mind is busy and my body is busy and I haven't checked in with my soul yet. Thank you for your words.

Reply September 8, 2014

Oh, man. I can't even form words in as straight a line as I'd like to right now.

The fog is so real. My mind is hard at work always these days, but I have lost track of my soul. THANK YOU for the reminder that my mind and my soul are not so terribly disconnected that there aren't fragments of one to be found in the other. And thank you for the reminder that God already knows why I'm hiding from my own soul, and He's already there in the mess, even before I consent to walking in.

Just thank you.

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 10, 2014

Somehow this one slipped by me - so glad I came back and found it. Yes, that 'being a relief for each other,' that's a real thing. And it goes in cycles, let me tell you. Fortunately, most of the time, we take turns. :>)

Ashley Larkin
Reply September 4, 2015

All I've got in me to say right now is exactly. Exactly. And thank you, beautiful Amber. I've been so fractured lately. Last night I felt all my electricity and reached for my husband in our bed and clung to him, and I felt him take random sparks, all that confused energy firing, and somehow he wasn't burned. What grace.

Jenni Burke
Reply January 10, 2016

I needed this today. Exactly this. Thank you, Amber.

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Reply January 25, 2016

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Dina W.
Reply February 26, 2017

Your words define the thoughts and feelings I am unable to express. Thank you for using your talent to express the aches and desires that are held in my human heart and mind.

Reply October 13, 2018

Thankful that Emily’s newsletter prompted me to read your words. It has been awhile since I have stopped here at your writing. You always speak deep truth in such a poetic way. You are loved Amber

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