Author: Stephen W. Smith

Publisher: David C. Cook

ISBN: 978-1-4347-6472-0

Click Here To Purchase Soul Custody: Choosing to Care for the One and Only You

What, exactly, is a “soul.” Airline pilots and ship’s captains seem to know; they can tell you at any time how many “souls” are entrusted to their care. For the rest of us, the soul is a bit difficult to pin down. That’s where Soul Custody begins.

Steven Smith defines the soul as, “the real you, the whole shebang—your heart, mind, emotions, desires and longings…” The real, entire person created in God’s image and deeply loved by God. Our souls are created b y God, shaped and sustained and well-loved by God. Living in a world that is owned by sin, however, has done violence to our souls.

Smith’s premise is that God has given custody of our souls to us. According to the Free Dictionary, the definition of “custody” is “The care, possession, and control of a thing or person.” We each have the charge and responsibility to care for, possess (own) and control our own souls. If we accept this charge, we grow into the fully human persons God created us to be. If we do not accept the charge, we risk losing our souls, our very selves.

As Cofounder and Spiritual Director at The Potter’s Inn, Steven Smith and his wife, Gwen, provide resources, spiritual direction and ministry to Christian believers who are seeking a closer relationship with God and a transformational spirituality. Smith’s conclusions arise from years of listening to stories and helping people heal and grow. He has seen the deadly toll American culture takes on souls. He has heard of the violence done to souls, the weariness, the pain and disconnect and hopelessness that many Christians endure. In this book, Soul Care, Smith gives us back our hope and shows us how to find peace and healing.

It all begins by taking responsibility. To discover and nurture my own soul, I must take “custody” of it; I must care for my true self, own myself and control myself. Whenever I give the responsibility for my soul away, I risk losing it. As Smith says, “We forfeit our souls every single time we choose to drain ourselves and not replenish ourselves, run on empty rather than stopping and intentionally doing the things that will bring us life; burnout rather than live meaningful, significant, and impactful lives that are enjoyable and life giving to others.”

In each of the eleven chapters of Soul Care, Smith discusses specific ways to care for our souls:

  • Soul Care: Healing the Violence Don to Your Soul

  • Soul Choices: Turning Your Life Around

  • Soul Solace: Choosing Stillness

  • Soul Focus: Choosing a Simplicity of Faith and Life

  • Soul Serenity: Choosing to Detox from Stress

  • Soul Sabbath: Choosing to Cease the Insanity

  • Soul Identity: Choosing to Become the Real You

  • Soul Vocation: Choosing What to Do in Life

  • Soul Address: Choosing to Honor the Body-Soul Connection

  • Soul Companions: Choosing Your Friends

  • Soul Actions: Moving from Choice to Action

As you can see, these are big subjects. Taking care for our souls is not a simple or easy task. And Smith doesn’t give us an easy 1-2-3 outline to follow that will make life better. Rather, he talks about lifestyle changes that are hard and take time—but are transformational.

Part of Soul Care is entering into a slower, more natural rhythm in life. Smith says, “Living with a sustainable rhythm is one of the most important aspects to coping with stress and caring for our souls.” This natural rhythm is the heartbeat of the book. Smith’s sentences are written with a natural anapestic or iambic rhythm, and the language is smooth and simple. There is no hurry, no dissonance, no stress. Just a natural, organic, calming rhythm that leads forward; a rhythm that calls each of us to care for—to take custody of-- our own souls.

Click Here To Purchase Soul Custody: Choosing to Care for the One and Only You