Can I Get My Life Back? With John Eldredge [Episode 93]

How many times a day do you check your phone? Oh, girl, I know I check mine far too many!

Here are five ways to take back your life and allow your soul to be human. [Click to Tweet]

It turns out that the average American checks their phone 80 times a day—and 70 percent of us keep it within reach while we sleep. We’re barraged with information at a frantic pace. So, it’s no wonder we often feel numb and burnt out.

Well, today, that begins to change! Author John Eldredge is on the 4:13 Podcast, and he gives you simple, ready-to-implement practices so you can regain control of your life and heal your soul.

John’s a bestselling author, a counselor, and a teacher. He’s also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their hearts in God’s love, and learn to live in God’s kingdom. John’s married to his lovely wife, Stasi, and they live near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

So, sit back, relax, and take a deep breath because hope is on the way. You’re going to get so much from this wise and gentle man!

5 Daily Habits to Help You Get Your Life Back

  1. Pause for one minute. John reflects on how, in our culture, we never stop. We just go, go, go. When we do have downtime, many of us are on our phones. We might be waiting in line at the movies, but we’re on our phone while we wait. Or, we’re in traffic and, even though we’re not supposed to be, we’re on our phone. John shares how the Lord prompted him to learn to slow down by taking one-minute pauses.

    Sister, you can do the same. What do you do during that pause? Nothing. Don’t work on your grocery list or answer an email in your head. Instead, just be. Let all of the craziness of life stop and allow your soul to come back to the present moment. If you need a practical tool to help you, check out the One Minute Pause App.

  2. Our souls weren’t meant to carry the burdens of the entire world. So do what you can and then give the rest to God. [Click to Tweet]
  3. Practice benevolent detachment. Caring people are experiencing empathy overload right now, John says. It’s because there’s way too much information available. The trauma of the entire world is delivered to us hourly on our devices, but our souls weren’t meant to know all the suffering of the world. Because of this, John encourages us to practice benevolent detachment. This means we can care about and pray for the people we’re able to, but ultimately, we need to release everything and everyone to God.

    How can you do that? God has big shoulders, so you can give your cares and the cares of the world to Him (1 Peter 5:7). One way John and his wife Stasi do this is during their bedtime prayers. They pray, “Jesus, we give everything and everyone to you.” They then name their loved ones and their work. Letting go of these things has helped them sleep better.

  4. Get outside. While John was researching, he came across a report by the World Health Organization that said we spend 93 percent of our lives indoors. But our souls are shrinking and drying up because we weren’t created for artificial environments. This is why we go to the beach or a cabin in the mountains when we go on vacation. We go to beautiful outdoor places to be restored.

    You don’t have to go on vacation to get outside. John says you can do this daily. It may be a lap around your office building at lunchtime or walking your dogs in the evening when you get home. But even a small amount of time outside can help heal your soul.

  5. Drink in beauty. During John’s early years as a therapist, he remembers a woman who had suffered severe trauma. He didn’t know what to say to her, but he remembers the Lord prompting him to ask her about the flowers embroidered on her shirt. She brightened up, smiled, and said, “Only beauty helps.” He later researched the power of beauty and learned about how beauty heals the soul. This is one reason we send flowers to others when they’re hurting or sick.

    Today, whenever you encounter beauty, receive it. Take a moment to appreciate it, and thank God for it. When you do, you’re letting it into your weary soul. It’s ministering to you. Beauty comforts and soothes souls. Plus, it’s not only free, but it’s everywhere. God saturated the world with beauty.

  6. Allow for transition. John talks about how he never allowed his soul a moment of transition from one emotional experience to a very different one. He would go from laughing and playing with his grandchildren into a tense meeting at work where big decisions needed to be made. His soul didn’t have time to switch gears. He had to learn to pause and name what he’d just experienced.

    What does this look like, and how can you do it? After you leave one situation, you pause before moving to the next. Perhaps it’s going from hearing a troubling news story to lunch with a friend. You say, “Wow, that was a really heartbreaking story.” You name what it was and how you felt about it. When you do this, you’re allowing your soul to acknowledge the impact something has had on it before you move to the next experience.

Remember, whatever you’re feeling today, wherever you are, and whatever you’re facing, you can pause and let your soul be human. You can because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Related Resources

Learn More About the Take Courage Bible Study

Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from John Eldredge

Stay Connected

What’s one way you’re learning to pause and allow your soul to be human?

Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!