Activating Your Spiritual Senses - Part I

Hi Everyone!

It’s a new year and it’s going to be filled with incredible encounters between you and God! I’m excited to share this blog post because activating your spiritual senses opens one of the doors to being intentional in your relationship with God. Today’s Soul Focus is an excerpt from my unpublished book, Now That I’ve Found You, God. I wrote this with my friend, and church pastor, Bob Bowers.

Along with the post, I’ve provided a podcast that guides you through a practice of quiet. Now, I’m going to go off road here for a moment so bear with me because this is going somewhere. I think of you as a family and with your family you try new things such as a new recipe. Well, I’ve recorded this podcast with high hopes that its beneficial and does what I hope it will do—guide you into a place of mindfulness and a sense of relaxation. But…we all know things may seem like a good idea and then Kaplooey! If something doesn’t work, then I want to know. Your comments are so important. You’re the experts! Now, let’s go to the Soul Focus.

Soul Focus - Your Spiritual Senses I


Do you have a television show that captures your rapt attention? You know the one—where the story unfolds with each new episode, each new season. Well, what if we compared our lives to a long-running television series? Each episode shows the characters making choices and decisions to create dramatic endings, successes, comedy relief, or loss and sadness. As we watch, we often see or know what the characters cannot. The choices and actions of a character determine their outcome. As viewers we don’t get to butt in, advise, direct, or help the character in any way to take the best path or make the better choice. We can only watch it unfold.

As I look back at the episodes of my life, playing the re-runs in my mind, I’m amazed at my lived experiences. I see sadness, excitement, good choices, poor choices, success, loss, courage, laughter, silliness, and regret. And, all along God watched as I lived it but never simply as a viewer of my life. God has always been willing to interact with me, connect with me. He walked with me in every one of those moments and was available to offer me direction and wisdom. As I’ve replayed those episodes of my life, what stands out most clearly is this: a realization of His protection and faithfulness despite my lack of listening for, perceiving, and seeing Him in those times.


God knows the plans He has for me and, thankfully, He desires to interact with me and lead me away from paths and plans leading to dead ends and deep pits. Being in communication and collaboration with God is the most special part of my relationship with Him. Relationship with God is what makes women and men different from all the rest of creation. When I fail to engage God, interact with Him, then I also fail to listen, perceive, and see God’s direction or wisdom. It is I who spiritually close the door on Him. That act can never be good for me. There came a time when I realized I needed (and wanted) to intentionally seek God’s guidance. Now with a new mindset, I continually challenge myself to stop taking the lead on decisions and choices, and enter into a practice of seeking and tuning in to God interacting with me. However, initially the problem for me was the" how" — how do I seek and tune-in to God’s voice, His presence, and see Him?

Contemplating on how I could seek and tune-in caused me to come up with the idea of the spiritual senses. I believe you and I have spiritual senses and each sense acts like a filter. Your spiritual filters are made of your knowledge of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and your history with God including the degree that you trust and hope in Him. When you face a circumstance, event, person, answer, outcome, or difficulty, you have the option of running it through your spiritual filter. This filter allows worldly elements to pass through leaving behind the spiritual implications. Using this practice, you may see, hear, understand, or acknowledge with greater clarity the power and presence of God in the things you experience. The importance of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word is that it teaches, counsels, and guides you to hear, see and perceive. Keep in mind that your personal history with God, and how you relate to Him, has implications for how you will or will not see Him as you face various challenges in your life. Be open to the many ways God will communicate with you.


Yet, there are those other times—other times that no matter how often you ask, seek, and tune-in God is unnervingly quiet. God reserves the right to refrain from letting you see the how, the why, or the big picture. With much sincerity, I am able to empathize with you. I know of the hours, the days, seemingly filled with nothing that could be labeled good. Those times require you to activate your deep trust and hope in His sovereignty. Choosing to lean on the Lord allows you to experience His promise to hold you up in it. From my experience, it may be that you will understand God’s involvement only by way of reflecting back on those times. Reflecting back is how you build God’s history of faithfulness to you. This history between you and God helps you do this: filter new and challenging situations with a belief that God will be with you in the present as He was with you in the past. You want your spiritual senses to be active and turned on so you can listen for, perceive, or see God. In fact, Jesus spoke of this in John 10:27—“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  

To better understand each spiritual sense, we need definitions for listening, perceiving, and seeing. All of the definitions are paraphrased from Listening means to give apt attention to the message. The listener is fully present with heart and mind while the message is being received. Perceiving means to be aware of or know by way of the senses coupled with recognition and understanding. Seeing is like perceiving and includes the physical vision as well as mental imagery. Seeing may also involve reflection as if you are an outside observer of your own situation.

I believe listening, perceiving, and seeing help you to collaborate and communicate with God who knows all things, sees all things, and is in all things. You benefit when you open your heart and mind and humbly ask for His involvement. Daily you are presented with numerous decisions and choices. Your decisions and choices in addition to how you handle a circumstance matters because you’re a reflection of Jesus to the world or to the one soul who’s watching. When you seek God and anticipate God working in a circumstance, then you will reflect the peace of Christ, the attitude of Christ, and the love of Christ. Listening for, perceiving, or seeking to see God in every aspect of your life relieves you of having to rely on your own limited wisdom and understanding. (References can be found at the end of this post.)

In my next post, I'll provide examples and action steps you can put into practice to enhance your spiritual senses. One element of fine-tuning your spiritual senses is the practice of quiet.  Below I have created a podcast that will lead you into a session of quiet listening.


A Practice of Quiet

Download A Practice of Quiet Podcast



Let's Connect

If you would like to submit a prayer request, a private comment, or ask a question, please email me at


Spiritual Senses Reference List

Definitions for listening, perceiving, seeing:

Verses from Holman Christian Standard Bible:  John 10:27—“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  




A Child's Heart - It's In You

Hello and Welcome-

My heart earnestly thanks those of you who have subscribed to the blog. You are my encouragers! Quite a few of you have encouraged me right into creating this blog! When you post a comment, I'm encouraged. When you "Like" a post, I'm encouraged. Just like you, my goal is to honor God and share His message. In turn I hope to encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Now, let's get to the Soul Focus.

Soul Focus:  A Child’s Heart—It’s in You



Wow! Christmas is here. Family, friends, programs, presents, food, and a lack of rest. How did it go? In all of that busyness I wonder if you stopped to play. You know, play, as a child would. Don’t tell me you’re too old, too grown-up, too inflexible, or too whatever else. It’s good for you to PLAY! Before you were anything else, you were a child. You still are in God’s eyes.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

One way to get in touch with your inner child is play. Think about your favorite activity as a child. What was your best toy? What did you do as a child that you loved but haven’t done for so many years? What fun activity did you do where time seemed to stand still? Here's an example from my childhood. I remember all the kids on my street playing tag in the late afternoon leading into sunset. We didn’t notice the waning light because we were just doing play and nothing else mattered. Not dinner, not the dim light, not the call of our parents. My plea to my mom was always" just 5 more minutes". 

If you're not yet swayed that play should move to the top of your To Do List, then how about I throw some science your way.

  • Play allows your brain to relax. Your mind needs to wander away from problem-solving tasks. By doing so, you increase your problem-solving potential when you go back at the task.
  • Play stimulates the five senses which is incredibly important for brain efficiency. It’s called neurobics. No kidding! Did you know that the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) require continual and challenging stimulation? Our senses map to different areas of the brain and the sensory input helps us engage functions such as planning, problem solving and critical thinking.
  • The brain needs to be challenged in different ways. We get into habitual routines such as driving the same route to work, eating the same foods in the same eateries, using the same problem-solving technique over and over, and performing daily tasks in a similar routine. This makes for efficiency but it’s not that great for the brain.


Clearly, I've established play is important for your brain. But, enough of the science. Here’s the practical reasons:

  • Play builds relationships. You are and always will be your child’s best first toy! Young or old you should be inviting your kids, family, and friends to play with you! Trips, activities, new experiences, games, art, sports, puzzles—play brings you together. It’s about the act of being together. Let go of the striving and competition.
  • Play reduces stress. Play stabilizes emotions. Researchers have found that coloring can reduce anxiety in adults and children.
  • Play is very good for our physical, emotional, and social health. And, it helps us spiritually as well.


Play is probably one of most direct ways to getting in touch with your inner child. When I was a child I was amazed at the world, asked questions, and was in a continual state of wonder. My heart and mind were open. I received the world through a child’s heart. I met God with that heart.

One of the wonders of a relationship with God is how we can relate to Him. When I come before God as a child, I feel great comfort and security. I'm amazed how this shift in my thinking, in my approach toward Him, has changed the relationship. It has enriched my soul. But, this can happen only with an open heart. As for myself, I closed off my heart for specific reasons and that act has had consequences. It's taken a lot work to re-open my heart as it was when I was a child. With an open heart I'm more fully able to live as the woman God created me to be. How do I engage with the world through an open heart? For me, it starts with attending to the world with a child’s curiosity. I focus on the details of nature. I try to live with joy. I find ways to play. And, I make it a priority to connect with the child that lives within my heart. 

It's your turn. I would love to hear from you! Share your favorite childhood "play" memory. Share what you do today to keep the "play" in your life. Or, share how you relate to God as His child. You could inspire the rest of us to get our "play" on!!!  

Fondly, Terri

I Get To...


There are plenty of things you get to do. With gratitude, take stock of everything that makes up your life.

What are three things you get to do today. Here's a few ideas: dream, play, create, and on and on. Be specific. Do one of your ideas today. Just for 5 minutes. Get lost in what you get to do!




Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome. Like this post or share it on Facebook. 


In 2017, I'll be posting excerpts from my unpublished book, Now That's I've Found You, God: Being in an intentional and authentic relationship with God. Be looking for more information in the next post on January 6th.

Post References

Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety? Renee van der Vennet.

Brain games: using neurobics to keep sharp. M. Galea. Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine July 2007 (297): 76-77’t-end-with-childhood-why-adults-need-recess-too


A Practice of Quiet

A Practice of Quiet Listening


There are many physical and spiritual benefits of developing a practice of quiet but it’s often difficult to find the time or the space. Distractions abound for certain but I encourage you to make this a priority. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. The point of the practice is to quiet your mind, your body in order to draw near and nearer still to God. We aren’t often quiet and still. It doesn’t feel natural to just sit in quiet. But, it’s how we enter into the Lord’s presence. Below is the written guidance or you can access the podcast to guide you through a session of quiet.

Download A Practice of Quiet Podcast

Before you begin remember to be patient with yourself and accept that you’ll get interrupted or distracted. No worries! Just try to come back to the practice. If you’re not used to being in silence, I can guarantee it will feel completely uncomfortable and unproductive. If you go slow and start with 2 minutes of being in quiet and practice stilling your thoughts each day, you’ll find it becoming more natural and more desirable. Two minutes in silence will set you up for success!

To help you focus your thoughts at the start of the practice you might have a favorite bible verse on hand. When random thoughts start popping into your mind, use the verses or lines from a favorite chorus or hymn to help you refocus. Or, you can select a mental focal point, like the cross, to help you refocus. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get into a state of rest and stillness. Acknowledge it and leave the listening practice session without judgment. As you develop the practice of quiet listening, you may be surprised at the increase in the length of time you spend being with a quiet mind and body. Here’s the great thing, over time you will develop the practice to a point that you can be in the middle of your day but are able to take a brief time out, stilling your thoughts for a few moments in search of God’s voice and peace. When you are so busy you can’t catch your breath, simply taking 30 seconds is enough to help you re-adjust your focus and perceive God’s presence. He will provide and respond.


First, you’re going to set your mind focus, establish an open body position, and be fully present.

Find a comfortable seat such as a chair or sofa. Next let's set your mind focus. The importance of setting the mind is so you can bring yourself back to being fully present when thoughts and images distract and draw you away from your practice of quiet. For today’s practice, select a mental image of the cross. When you have the cross established in your mind’s eye, ask God to meet you here now.

With your focal image in place, draw your attention back to your body. Place your hands palms up on your thighs. Both feet should be flat on the floor. Let your shoulders drop down. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Once again, draw attention to your shoulders letting them drop away away from the ears. Soften your face. Breathe. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Inhale. Exhale. Gentle open and close your mouth, relaxing your jaw. Give attention to your brow, let the tension leave your face. Breathe. Sense the rise and fall of your breath.

God is present. Be fully present with Him. Sweep away any thought tempting to draw you away. Move close to the cross, away from all else. See yourself at the foot of the cross. It’s a place of comfort. Know Jesus is beside you. You and Him here now. His presence with you, without judgment. Receive what He offers. Be in quiet mind and body for one to two minutes.

Now, take a deep breath.

       How did it feel? Is there anything you experienced or saw in your mind’s eye during your quietness that you can take with you? Often, when I enter my practice of quiet listening, I leave feeling a comfort that I didn’t have before I started the practice. I am changed because I’ve set myself aside to intentionally be present with the Lord. Even when I don’t quite feel, hear or sense anything, I always thank God for His presence with me because that’s the truth—He is always with me. He is always with you.



Soul Focus - When Eyes Meet, Souls Connect

How many people do you see? A strange question but an important one. If you were out and about yesterday, did you see the individuals that passed you? Specifically, did your eyes meet theirs? Did you acknowledge their presence in one small way? I'm thinking about a smile, a turn of your head toward them, a nod, or letting your eyes meet their eyes. Have you thought about the potential impact of a small acknowledgement and how that could be a gift for someone? We can't read hearts or know what's going on in others lives but what if your acknowledgement touched their heart?


I know small acknowledgements make a difference because I've seen it. As I walk the often crowded hallways of the medical center, I choose to deliberately make eye contact with individuals who are coming toward me and give them a smile. I don't stare down people or scare them with a huge toothy smile. I save that for my friends! Kidding aside, there is a proper way to make eye contact. Eye contact should be brief somewhere around 4 to 5 seconds. If it's not acknowledged, we shouldn't sustain eye contact. Did you know brief eye contact (less than 4 seconds) or a glance in a person's direction to show acknowledgement is acceptable in nearly every culture? It's sustained eye contact or staring that may be interpreted as confrontational or disrespectful.

As individuals pass by me in the medical center, I specifically focus on making eye contact with those who look worried, tense, or lost. When they recognize I'm looking at them, more often than not, the person's face changes (their face softens, their eyes or mouth smiles back), they may nod or speak. They realize that I see them. In some instances, the person determines that my eye contact makes me approachable and they will say, "Can you help me?" or "Do you know...". This is one example of the impact of acknowledging that you see someone. When eyes meet, souls connect.

In our busy-ness during the month of December, we have a tendency to look through people or look past people. Even without the additional activities, when we are in each other's physical presence we may fail to look into one another's eyes because we're looking at phones, computers, or anything but the person directly in front of us. Recently, I registered for an appointment and the individual never looked at me until they handed me my paperwork. Their eyes were on the computer the entire time. For the person who has one experienafter another experience where they aren't seen, it can be disheartening. The soul cries out, "Does anyone see me? Does anyone care to see me and who I am?"


At this time of year, we should remember that for some individuals the holidays magnify a sense of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. The end of a year and the beginning of a new one doesn't always provide a reason for celebration and hope. For those whose hearts are hurting, this time of year can intensify their pain. For all the reasons above, you and I need to see the people who pass by, sit next to us, work with us, speak with us, or serve us. 

We are all seen--seen by God. Yet, this concept can be difficult to believe by the one who feels they are unseen by the souls who pass through their life. One small act, one soul at a time. You have a chance to be an encourager for the person who is experiencing loneliness, depression, emotional turmoil or a sense of hopelessness. It all starts with being aware of those around you and actually choosing to see someone. It's how we can make a difference.

(Below are links and references for the above content if you want to learn more.)


Note to Self - Be Encouraged

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strength those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one's opportunities, and make the most of one's resources. --Vauvenargues

I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, accounting to what his deeds deserve. Jeremiah 17:10


Thanks for being a reader!

Please comment and let me know

how this blog can encourage you!


References and Information

People at risk: Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the rate of suicide increased with age for widowed, older men? The reasons for the increased risk for older men included financial insecurity, uncertainty about the future, and depression. Older men who are widowed often do not have a strong support system and this is one of the factors for the increased risk for suicide. Having this information helps us more quickly identify those people who may need additional support and help.

Greenlee, K. and Hyde P.S. (2014). Suicide and depression in older adults: Greater awareness can prevent tragedy. Journal of the American Society on Aging, 38 (3), pp. 23-26.


Soul Focus - Spiritual Wellness

Did you know that spiritual wellness aka spiritual health is considered a dimension of health wholeness? The professional health community (hospitals, cancer centers, hospice organizations) recognizes the significance of spirituality in several ways such as providing holistic trained staff and accessible sanctuaries. Health professionals encourage patients to express their spiritual self.

Why does it matter?

You are mind-body-spirit and when any one of these dimensions is out of balance your overall health is affected. When your spiritual-self is nurtured this enables the essence of who you are to be more fully manifested and the real you can shine bright!

Of course, your spiritual-self or spirituality is distinct from religion. If you were to reflect on spirituality, these types of questions might come to mind. How does my life bring meaning to this world? Am I connected to God and to others? Am I acknowledging my need for spirituality? Am I suppressing it? On the other hand, when you reflect on religion the questions have a different focus. How should I practice spirituality? Is there one practice that’s right? Is my soul thriving in my current practice? 1

Assess your daily need for spirituality--it's part of caring for your soul.

Generally, our physical health gets most of the attention because your body speaks to you through fevers, pain, numbness, fatigue, and other symptoms. You become attuned to your body’s language and respond to it to bring it back into balance and optimal wellness. What if you gave the same care to your soul? As your soul calls out for attention, internal and external noise causes interference and your soul’s voice goes unheard. You can tune into your soul through intentional listening, quieting your mind, and being present with yourself. By caring for your soul, you impact others. Nurturing your soul is a pathway to becoming an intentional nurturer of other souls moving through your life.

Here’s something to ask yourself: is my spiritual wellness important to me? If I make spiritual wellness part of my wellness plan, then could I live more well by giving attention to it?


Cue Journal - Fostering Connectedness

At the heart of spiritual wellness is connectedness. All souls seek connectedness. I think we realize this as our life story unfolds bringing to our awareness the connections present and necessary for us to live well. My desire for connectedness is represented through this narrative—my soul is reaching out to yours.

Journal questions: How are you fostering connectedness to meet the need of your soul? Is it your presence at events that draw large crowds, in collaborations, or with team play? Do you prefer to connect heart to heart--your heart to another? Does your soul sing when you are connecting with your gifts, creativity, or nature? Think about how you connect. Be adventurous and open to experiencing connectedness in a different way.



God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. –Psalm 62:1-2 The Message Bible

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. –David Henry Thoreau



Post Navigator


This is a handy navigation tool providing you with descriptions of the sections of this blog. Different sections will appear and disappear depending on relevance to the material posted.  

Soul Focus

Varying topics related to spiritual wellness that is faith-based.


Ideas and tips focusing on stress awareness and reduction

Note to Self

You’ll find high-power encouragement here to help you refocus and reframe your mind and heart. You might find meditation statements, strength of courage statements, positive quotes, or value statements to speak to yourself reminding you of your worth before God.

Mindful Moments

Ideas and reminders about being fully present. To be fully present means there is an intent awareness of the here and now; an immersion in the moment; all senses engaged and activated.


Cue Journal

You'll find a question or reflection point for those who journal, pray, or meditate.

I Get To…

The focus in this section is on what we get to do, receive, be and so on.

Let Go

Reminders, how tos, and tips on letting go of.

Your Child’s Heart

Encouragement on nurturing one’s inner child.

My Beliefs


I believe in God the Father, Creator of all things, Jesus as the Son of God, and God the Holy Spirit.

I believe the Holy Scriptures to be God-breathed and useful for teaching so all may know God and know the hope of salvation through Jesus.  (2 Timothy 3:16)

I believe all may approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our need.   (Hebrews 4:16)

I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

I believe that "salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved."  (Acts 4:12)




Thank you for visiting this blog. November 28 will be the first official post. I'm looking forward to having you as a reader and follower. Please come back and visit. 



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About Me

Hi, I’m Terri and thank you for visiting my About Me page. 

Fun Facts About Me

  • I love nature. I’ve not lost one bit of my childlike wonder. I look up. I look down. I’m looking for the details. 
  • I love to ride my bike. What about you? Do you love to ride so fast your elbows are sticking out to the sides like imaginary wings? Do you flatten your back and lower your head for aerodynamics? Do try to race cardinals?  I really love to ride my bike.
  • I love to explore the margins of the golf course. Sure, I make it look like I’ve duffed a shot and ended up in the rough or the trees. I want to get my money’s worth and explore the entirety of the course.
  • I love to encourage the individual who is unaware of their incredible worth. I know what happens when one fails to realize their life matters.
  • Other likes:  read non-fiction, write, speak in public; pretend I'm an artist, visit zoos, national parks, forests; walk

My Focus

I am incredibly aware of the impact that occurs when my life-path intersects with other life-paths. Who I am and what I bring in that moment may have a profound effect on the other individual. Am I presenting and bringing my best self as my life intersects with the world? On the other hand, what is it that will makes me thrive in heart and soul? How can I live even more intentionally and present in this moment, in this day? My questions and a desire for answers has driven me to seek an even more intentional and deep relationship with God.

These questions rise up from the depth of my heart as I daily witness individuals and families seeking wellness in every dimension—physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. As a nurse, I understand the desire for holistic wellness whether it was at the bedside providing hospice nursing care for individuals in their home, or working with leukemia patients and hematology clinical staff as a research nurse at The James Cancer Hospital, or my personal experience with infertility, neurological issues often impairing my movement, and those intense periods of feeling alone and lost. Nearly all of us are driven to seek wellness.

In my search for answers from a nursing perspective, I awakened to the importance of spiritual wellness, one of nine dimensions of wellness. With this blog, I hope to inspire individuals to explore spiritual wellness through an intentional relationship with God. While there are many alternative options available to achieve spiritual wellness, I have chosen this specific focus--you and God tenderly colliding, intertwined, experiencing renewal and hope.

My Credentials--What do I bring to the table that makes me credible?

Education/Licenses: Masters of Science in Nursing (Xavier University, Cincinnati Ohio); Bachelors of Art – Religious Studies and Nurse Educator Post Master Concentration (Capital University, Columbus Ohio); Registered Nurse, State of Ohio (active); Registered Nurse, State of South Carolina (active).


    Hutchinson, T. (2015). “Authentic Caring Occasions for Patients in Hairy Cell Leukemia Clinical Trials”.  Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(2). doi:10.1188/15.CJON.E41-E46

    Hutchinson, T. and Goodin, H. J.  (2013). “Nursing Student Anxiety as a Context for Teaching/Learning”. Published online and in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, 31(19).     doi:10.1177/0898010112462067

Certifications/Certificates (Present and Past): Stress Management Certficate, Certified Clinical Research Professional, Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse, Clinical Nurse Leader Certification

Professional Affiliations: American Holistic Nurses Association, Society of Clinical Research Professionals