Spiritual Journey – Nurturing Our Summer Souls

Thank you, Carol, for hosting the monthly Spiritual Journal Thursday this week. Her post is fully of breathing deeply, enjoying and being refreshed by nature’s bounty. Be sure to visit her post to read her reflections and summer joy.

Carol asked us to describe “the art of summering” for this month’s post. I’ve not often been one for artfully summering. I usually have a whole lot of things on my to-do and to-go lists, and I get myself very busy. This summer my list has nowhere to go, but much to do, including:


  • virtual summer camp with church children
  • tutor a new student to help him get ready for next year


  • begin organizing my digital photos
  • organize and transfer ownership of many school Drive documents
  • start a regular organize-a-closet-or-cupboard-or-two-each-week schedule
  • transfer my teaching credential to California
  • finish the portfolio for my long drawn-out TESOL certificate


  • learn some stories and illustrations for two online trainings
  • study Spanish lessons on Duolingo



  • several blog posts a week for the writing groups I’ve joined
  • Teacher’s Write, reflecting, writing, renewing with Kate Messner

So, having that list so long and detailed concerns me a bit that I will get too busy or fail; it doesn’t make me think of living artfully. While I wrote that list above, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote last year from a prompt on The Isolation Journals. The prompter reminded us to write a to-feel list first before writing a to-do list, letting the to-feel list guide our to-do list.

I have been neglecting my to-feel list, so I stopped today and considered what I want to feel this summer.

  • grateful
  • hopeful
  • joyful
  • respected
  • peaceful
  • contented
  • interested
  • empathetic
  • revolted at wrongs and injustice

I think that is a good start, and I see that many items on my to-do list can serve these feelings. I took time this week to go outside and write. Even in this really sweltering heat, it can help us feel more deeply, pray more earnestly, and remember what is most important. This small poem was inspired today by the trees.

Trees with poem -- Consider the flowers and trees The ones that don’t labor or spin But live in beauty on the breeze Here today, then gone again May these sweet trees inform, and my faltering faith, transform ~Denise Krebs from Matthew 6:28-30

Consider the flowers and trees
The ones that don’t labor or spin
But live in beauty on the breeze
Here today, then gone again
May these sweet trees inform,
and my faltering faith, transform

~Denise Krebs based on Matthew 6:28-30

14 thoughts on “Spiritual Journey – Nurturing Our Summer Souls

  1. You stay busy and seem to thrive on that, your lists give you away. However, in the poem you turn inward to a more spiritual place. That is what savoring summer is for, spending time with your inner self. Writing is good for that.

    1. Yes, indeed, writing is so good for nurturing our inner self. You said so many gems in this comment. Thank you, Margaret. And I do thrive in the busyness, I know. It’s good to make myself stop and reflect. “savoring summer” 🙂

  2. Denise, because you are preparing to leave your current post and return to the states, you are a busy woman. I like that you are now incorporating a to-feel list in your weekly routine. I find this a good tip to nurture our summer souls when life seems hectic. Stepping outdoors to commune with nature gave you the inspiration to create an introspective poem with a message. it is the calling of nature and the stepping into the present moment that allows our souls to just “Be”. Thanks for sharing the wonder that you gathered both from scripture and your poetic self.

    1. I forgot to mention that I am saving your beautifully designed digital inspiration for a future Nurturing Our Summer Souls gallery of artistic expressions.

    2. Thank you so much, Carol. I was blessed all week with that short time outside. I definitely need to learn and continue to take time to do that. Thanks for the inspiration this week.

  3. I love the idea of a to-feel list. That changes everything. I’ve been knocking off a shelf or a cupboard or a drawer to clean up and out each day of summer break. I’m a little behind. But, I do feel accomplished when there is more space and less dust in these spaces of my home. I’m glad you got outside with the trees. Oh, they just know how to nurture without even trying. I love them.

    1. Thank you, Linda. Good for you knocking off those shelves and cupboards. It is rewarding, isn’t it? We are not moving for six months, but I want to make the best of each day and not be crazy at the end, so I’m trying to get it done gradually. I love what you said about the trees.

  4. Oh, your list made me tired, but something tells me that you’re the sort of person who thrives with a list. I loved your to-feel list, a good practice that is new to me. And these lines from your poem resonated with me.
    “May these sweet trees inform,
    and my faltering faith, transform
    And this reminder is perfect: “…feel more deeply, pray more earnestly, and remember what is most important.”

    1. Thank you for sharing what resonated with you in my post. (Sorry it says Anonymous. It seems my comments are a little trouble to add sometimes!)

  5. Denise, I love this idea of making a “to-feel” list, as it is the beginning of making those desired outcomes happen: What do I need to do to feel grateful, hopeful, joyful, etc.? Thank you for sharing this approach along with your own list. And oh, the imagery of trees – they are one of my favorite symbols, for faith and strength as you illustrate here, and also a reminder to live closer to the earth than most of us do, in our times. The trees could teach us things, if we could be still enough to hear the messages…

    1. Fran, thank you so much. Yes, I need to spend as much time on my to-feel lists as I do my to-do lists. Yes and yes to the trees.

  6. Denise, I was glad to see I’m not the only one who overplans her summertime. I am in deadline phase, though, with summer school eating up some days and major life events happening that require cleaning and decluttering. I do work best at deadline, though, so I’m hoping those things get checked off my list. You are so right about getting outside, even in the heat. I need to remember to take a walk outside the school building at lunch today, since the rest of the workday will be spent in my windowless, drably lit library (the children visiting will bring some sunshine in their faces, I know!).

    1. Chris, thank you for stopping by. I will look forward to you starting up your blog again after a July break. I hope all goes well with the cleaning and big life events! Peace and all the best getting everything done. Summer school too! Wow, you are busy!

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