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

To-Feel List, Not a To-Do List

In today’s prompt by Sky Banyes, we are to write a to-feel list, a good place to start before writing a to-do list.

It’s a challenge to think of feelings that you want to feel. I found myself reverting back to adjectives I wanted to be described with.

It is interesting to consider those big ideas of who we want to be and feel, what is our why? What are my deepest aspirations and yearnings? It’s interesting that they really do have a lot to do with feelings, as the prompt explained.

I want to be fulfilled, productive, and make a difference.

This feeling wheel has helped me to create my own “to-feel” list today.

Thanks to Geoffrey Roberts

Here is my “To-Feel” Wheel – Most importantly my feelings are grounded in LOVE–supernatural and natural. 

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14

I just put the feelings on my wheel that I want to feel, or I am mindfully choosing to feel. I know other feelings will come, and I will accept them, but most of these are ones that I aspire to feeling. (I don’t particularly want to feel lonely or exposed, but I do want to be aware of the pandemic and live with good loving decisions, like wearing a mask and using Zoom, when I would rather not. To love others and myself, sometimes it will include painful feelings.)

Sky asked: “Are your priorities, habits, and rituals serving these feelings? What steps can you take to honor the items on your ‘to-feel’ list?”

After 86 days in semi-quarantine and school cancelled for me, yes, I can say that I am learning new priorities. I’ve been given a gift of extra time in 2020, and I am doing my best to “feel” these emotions, and act accordingly. Prior to the quarantine I was running to and fro without direction, my main feeling was stressed.

This is Day 51 of The Isolation Journals with Suleika Jaouad.