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I felt it right when I woke up.

I just couldn’t shake the fact that today felt a half size too small.

It wasn’t just the outfit I decided to wear…it was everything. The email that still hadn’t come, the fact that nothing sounded good for breakfast, the pile of to-do’s on the desk in the kitchen. …the one I keep adding to day after day.

Actually, it might have been that pile that started it…

Regardless, I woke up wishing things could be different.

It’s a Walden Pond day, I decided. The kind of day when I want to leave it all behind, just for a second, and do the soul searching required so that I can lean into the day with purpose.

Just like Thoreau, on days like today I just want to walk into the woods.

You remember his quote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I want to live deliberately.

But Boston is far away.

I shake off the inclination to purchase airline tickets and settle into a rhythm that has become familiar. I’ve learned there is a remedy for days like today. A simple approach to satisfy my soul.

5 holy patterns.

Just like Thoreau, when I front only the essentials and learn what they have to teach, my life becomes different.

It was when I began to seek out the essentials that would lead to a soul-satisfying life that I discovered these five holy patterns. Patterns not meant to overwhelm, but instead meant to help turn the focus back. A simple approach to embracing a soul-satisfying life.

You may wonder what the patterns are. They are so simple, I hesitate to tell you. Just five simple things I try to do every single day. If you thought about it, you would come up with them on your own. They are that simple.

Combined they can be powerful.

Prayer. Scripture study. Service. Gratitude. Commitment.

Yes, it’s the Sunday School answers. The most basic and essential tenants of belief. And yet, they are the things that seem to slip first when life begins to overwhelm.

And on the days that are a half size too small there is part of me that wants to set them aside.

Until I remember Walden Pond …and my intention to live deliberately. So, in an effort to remind my soul how important each pattern is, these essentials, I gave them each a Walden Pond name.

Tilt your soul
Let down your bucket
Seek a compassionate detour
Take off your shoes
Be all in

I wish I had the time and the room to share with you the story that goes with each pattern…the scriptures, and the quotes, and the attributes that make them each so powerful.

But it won’t all fit here.

So I put them in a little book. The kind you can read quickly and then pass along to someone else who is having one of those days.

A message of hope.

A tiny square book containing only the essentials.

A simple approach to a Soul-Satisfying Life.

Because I believe life is meant to be enjoyed.
I believe that good things are waiting around the corner, even on the days that feel a half size too small.

So, if you woke up and wanted to walk straight into the woods…
if you thought that maybe today could be different, or wondered what you could do to fill your soul, or where this path you are on is taking you…
if your heart longs to fill content…

here is something to consider:

If you want life to satisfy your soul, you have to start living a soul-satisfying life.

It’s not an impossible quest.
The journey includes 5 holy patterns.
Patterns that could make a difference

Maybe today.

Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Peter Potential: Discover the Life you Were Meant to Live; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and Written On Our Hearts. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of coconut ice cream, strawberries, and toasted coconut. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.
Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman

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