February 07, 2024

We Nourish Others by Brenda Leyland (Guest Blogger)




"Feed my sheep."
JESUS

Where would we be without books? And where would we be without the authors who wrote them? It hardly bears thinking where I would be. Without their inspiration and influence through the decades, I could easily have ruined my life. How often a timely word came when I was in danger of losing my way. Their words gave me direction. They fed my starving soul. They made me feel in the company of others. And sometimes they made me laugh out loud when comic relief was what I desperately needed.

I have no doubt about my being a needy soul. Ever since I could hold a book in my hands as a child, I have grazed my way through hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books. My commonplace notebooks are packed with the wisdom I gleaned from their pages. Sometimes when I had no words of my own, it was the life-giving words of others that kept me going. 

In one book I read not so long ago, I came across a passage that caught up my breath. Belgian-American novelist, poet, and memoirist May Sarton wrote in Journal of a Solitude:

"But there always have been and always will be people who . . . are starved for nourishment. I am one of those readers and I am also one who can occasionally provide this food. That is all that really matters to me this morning." p. 68

"I am also one who can occasionally provide this food." I was startled by these words. I felt encouraged, and maybe, relief, to have this beautiful writer remind me that I am not only a receiver of nourishing words—occasionally, like May, I am also a provider of words that give life to others.

As writers we are in the business of nourishing hungry hearts. Our writing is not foolish or in vain. "Feed My sheep," Jesus once entreated Peter. That call passed down to those of us who are writers. We hope the words we speak will nourish. We yearn for the words we write—whether in blog posts, Medium articles, books, or other publications—to be a source of sustenance.

I whisper a prayer: Dear Lord, draw us to our laptops and desks. Stir our hearts. Give us words that are alive with divine hope, light, and courage. Nourish us that we may, in turn, nourish others. Let us be the ones who can occasionally provide food for famished minds and hearts.

That is all that really matters to me this morning.



Photo credit: Top Image by boutiquerosa from Pixabay


Inspired by the beauty of God's world, Brenda writes on her blog
It's Still A Beautiful LifeA lifelong lover of books and reading, Brenda also delights in nature walks, the flowers in her garden, and the birds at her feeders. With February known as the month dedicated to love, romance, AND chocolate, she hopes for a supply of each to feed her soul and enthrall her taste buds.

20 comments:

  1. What a beautifully inspiring post, dear Brenda. Yes to: "That is all that really matters."
    So often I have experienced these words of yours: "Their words gave me direction."
    Feeling less alone because someone wrote brave words is what brings me back to an author's books.
    Blessings.

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    1. We so need that sense of community and feeling that we are not alone in our struggles... or joys. Thank goodness for books. Thank you for your lovely note, Wendy. xo

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  2. "Draw us to our laptops and desks. Stir our hearts." Yes and yes!! Thank you for such a beautifully written and nourishing post. Such encouragement.

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  3. We nourish others--oh, what wonderfully inspiring words, Brenda! It is often easy to lose sight of one's purpose for what we do, but these three words really do sum it all up! As a fan of May Sarton, I'm tickled how her writing has nourished you and now you have nourished us. Beautiful!

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    1. Now I'm tickled by your words, Kathy. Thank you. xo

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  4. What a beautiful post, Brenda. I have been the recipient of your inspiration on more than one occasion.

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  5. Thank you Brenda for this beautiful and inspiring posting of yours. Yes, where would we all be without the books and authors who had written them. And we don't know how, when and where the Lord would use our words too to inspire others.

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    1. Sulo, Thank you so much for stopping by. It's lovely to see you again.

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  6. Lovely, inspiring post and heart stirring prayer. Many thanks. Great way to start the day.

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  7. "I am one who can occasionally provide this food." This sentence - it was like God saying, "Hey Lorrie - that's you, too." What a grand encouragement. Thank you, Brenda, for this lovely, lovely post, and for all the nourishment you have provided to me.

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    1. "That's you, too." They are such encouraging words. And what a joy to be in the company of other writers, such as yourself, Lorrie. It's a boon!

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  8. Michelle Strutzenberger6:00 pm GMT-7

    Thank you Brenda. This speaks to my heart too. I feel less alone as a "needy soul," and I'm freshly encouraged that my words, sparked by the Holy Spirit, may occasionally fill another's hunger.

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    1. Michelle, I'm so glad us needy souls can stick together. It's a nicer place to be in the company of others. Thank you for your note. xo

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  9. Thanks, Brenda, for reminding us that we not only receive nourishment from other authors, but we also give nourishment to others. I often think of our nourishers as "shadow mentors"--and sometimes we are shadow mentors to others without our knowing.

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    1. I do love that phrase 'shadow mentors'. And what an uplifting thought to imagine we are shadow mentors to others, even without our knowing. Thanks, Sandi. xo

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  10. Beautiful, uplifting and challenging post, Brenda. Thank you!

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    1. So lovely to see you here, Becki. Thank you for your kind words.

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