7 Days of Soul Care (Book Review)


gods-love-sets-me-free-from-the-chains-of-letting-fear-of-others-control-me-e1476934404221

I feel nudged to repost this book review from nearly two years ago. The truths in this book are so needed in our lives and in this world. As I revisit these truths, they have again comforted my heart. I hope they will encourage yours, too.

Does your spirit feel empty, discouraged, and confused? Does it feel like you’re missing something important in your life? Do lies about God, yourself, or others torment you? Do you long to grasp your identity in Christ Jesus? Do you crave a deeper relationship with God?

Wearying of trying to fit her circle into the square expectation of certain key people, Dolly Lee prayed and asked God to show her how He created and designed her. God answered her prayer and led her on a deeper experience of His love.

The journey was far from easy. Through valley lows and mountain highs, God led her on a journey of self-discovery and a deeper experience of His love that can transform and redeem brokenness to beauty.

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Dolly’s personal battle with anxiety, depression, and  PTSD, and God’s transformation through His love and grace has birthed a book that will resonate with many. 7 Days of Soul Care: A Guide to Letting God Do the Extraordinary With Your Ordinary  “invites readers to surrender fear and to courageously embrace the journey of living more fully into his or her amazing true identity as God’s Beloved.”

Through creative (and some vulnerable) stories, Scripture, soul-searching journal questions, and heartfelt prayers, Dolly gifts us with highlights of what she learned over the past 17 years and continues to learn. With love and compassion, she invites us into a deeper relationship with God.

The top three takeaways Dolly wants readers to take to heart are:

God created you in love and for love.

God sees you as a masterpiece.

We won’t be able to fully receive God’s love when we believe lies about God, ourselves, or others.

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Some of my favorite quotes, one from each day, are:

Being exceptional begins with our connection with God. It has taken me decades to learn relationship with God begins first with our “being” and not with our “doing.”

We have worth because we are created in God’s image.

When I admit and experience my own brokenness and my failure to love well, I see in contrast God’s tender love and grace welcoming me back home. He calls me to rest my weary head on His chest. I don’t need to live by my own limited strength.

The more I remind myself of God’s unconditional love for me, the more I walk in freedom from people–pleasing and perfectionism.

Remember that the cross and not your circumstances are the measure of His great love for you.

I travel away from God whenever I forget I have all I need in Him and instead seek my soul’s fulfillment elsewhere.

It isn’t selfish to make time to care for our minds, souls, and bodies.

Life can get so busy, but that’s all the more reason to rest and nurture our souls. Our time will not be wasted as we read this book slowly and carefully so we can soak in refreshment for our thirsty, weary souls.

“I am the Vine; you are the branches.
The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit,
for [otherwise] apart from Me
[that is, cut off from vital union with Me]
you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 AMP

If you purchase this book, you will be contributing to a worthy cause – the International Justice Mission, a ministry that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. Dolly’s hope is to raise at least $500 out of her royalties for this book.

A Child's Trust

When Dolly needs to remember what is true about God and herself, she listens to songs. One of the songs she listened to during the writing process was “Here’s My Heart” by Casting Crowns.

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Dolly Lee believes God’s love can transform a person from the inside-out if one surrenders to His love. She’s thankful God’s grace allows second acts and second chances. She attends Fuller Seminary and writes at her blog Soulstops.com where she invites readers to stop and connect with God. She lives with her family and one lovable dog in California where she loves to hike, read, share meals and laugh with family and friends. Her goal is to collect enough in royalties from the sale of her book, 7 Days of Soul Care, to donate $500 to the work of International Justice Mission.

* The two images were created by Dolly’s daughter.
* I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book but I was not paid to write this review. This is my honest review, based on information from Dolly and my own opinion.

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Butterfly Blessings from God

Nature is one of the channels God uses to breathe life into fainting spirits and to give assurance that He is still in control over all, no matter what happens in our lives and in this world.

At the end of May, my youngest brother was admitted to ICU with severe pancreatitis. I cried out to God to heal him and spare his life. I was afraid, and I could not trust God’s plan for him. Other anxieties for those struggling emotionally, stories not mine to tell, were also storming in my heart, threatening to drown me.

One day I took a walk and spotted a Monarch and a Painted Lady on a lilac bush. As I gazed in awe, the storm in my heart stilled as God whispered, “I’m with him, My child. I’ve got him. I’m with those who are emotionally in pain. I am with you.” The heavy load that threatened to crush me drained from me, and I could release all of them to His care and His plan.

Some time later, I was with some of my siblings and families in a park. It had been my turn this year to plan a reunion, and I needlessly worried about it for months. I love them all dearly, but crowds aren’t my thing. I’m more a one-on-one gal. I was also worried about over-doing it, because sometimes when I get out of my slower routine, health repercussions follow. Probably deeper though was the anxiety I have for anyone hurting and the helplessness I feel that I can’t “fix” things. (I’m still a work in progress in surrendering everyone’s needs to God.) As I sat at a table underneath a shelter, my heart felt grieved, my spirit disconnected, and my body tired and achy. Then there it was! A butterfly fluttering near me! And God whispered, “I’m here. I’m still with you” as He breathed His sufficient grace into my weariness. Later on, the butterfly flew by again with its reassuring love note. Thank You, God!

God continued to send me love notes through butterflies at timely moments throughout the summer. I could be looking out the window at home, driving along in our van, or taking a walk.

What was your summer like? I know many of you are suffering from losses in one way or another, and I’m so sorry. It can be hard to open our hearts to God’s messages of comfort when we are weighed down with grief, can’t it? I pray God strengthens each of you.

Did God sometimes strengthen or comfort you through His creation? How? Please feel free to share with us!

“The Lord Himself goes before you
and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8
Some butterflies have battered wings,
but they still fly and spread God’s encouragement.

♥️ A lesson for us that God can use us, no matter how broken we are. ♥️

He Is With Us
by Love and The Outcome

“Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you’re gonna make it
There’s a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can’t pretend to see the ending or what’s coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He’s doing
though it might hurt now

We won’t be ruined
It might seem there’s an ocean in between
But He’s holding on to you and me
And He’s never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us (always, always)
He is with us, He is with us (always)”

(P.S. My brother’s life was spared!)

We Are Never Insignificant in God’s Eyes

Do you feel unnoticed and insignificant? Like you’re nothing but a number to some people? Or a mat to wipe their dirty feet on?

In the world we live in, whether in families, society, or at work, it’s easy to feel overlooked and unappreciated, isn’t it? 

The earth is but a tiny speck in the solar system, only 1 millionth the size of the sun. Consider that tiny speck holding well over 7 million people (World Population Clock). Can you imagine what size each of us is in comparison to such a vast universe?

In such magnitude, not one of us can be visible to the human eye. And that may be how we feel at times. Invisible and insignificant among so many.

Yet to God, each one of us is not only visible but cared about. He keeps track of every life from the moment of conception to the day of death. Even before that, He knows us! We are precious to Him. He knows every detail of our lives, even down to how many hairs are on each of our heads at this very moment. He knows the depth of our thoughts and feelings. He knows every single hurt in each of our hearts, and He cries with us. 

“Since you are so much more precious to God
than a thousand flocks of sparrows,
and since God knows you in every detail
– down to the number of hairs
on your head at this moment –

you can be secure and unafraid of any person,
and you have nothing to fear from God either.”
Luke 12:7 VOICE

No, this life is far from easy. Troubles can become like immovable mountains. People can hurt us and make us feel like we’re insignificant nothings. Negative voices and past pain can wrap us in seemingly unbreakable chains. Satan himself stalks us like a hungry lion seeking to devour us. But God…

But God is still bigger! In times when we can embrace how powerful, tender, and unfailing God’s love is for us, it can fill our hearts with hope.

We may be merely statistics to a census bureau or feel unnoticed and insignificant to others, but our Creator counts each one of us worthy of His consideration, compassion, and unconditional love around the clock day after day, year after year, and into eternity. 

He loves each one of us as if you are or I am the only person on earth. I just can’t comprehend such powerful love and grace, can you?

There are so many in this world who feel unloved and insignificant. Are you one of them? I deeply long for every single one of you to feel special and loved. You are not insignificant, no matter what anyone says. You are not unlovable. You are not overlooked. God has the power and the desire to reach into and heal the wounded places of every hurting heart. His arms of unconditional, fathomless love reach out to us, no matter who we are, where we’re from, or where we’ve been.

“And may you have the power to understand,
as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high,
and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ,
though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all
the fullness of life and power that comes from God”.
Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT
“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
You are still with me!”
Psalm 139:17-18 NLT

Your Unfailing Love
by Chris Tomlin