10 Tips for Souljoy

Easy it is to be a person of hope and sunshine on the rose-pedaled path, more difficult when the darkness in our world takes center stage. There will be seasons when our work is to “relight our lamps!” Amazing how our souls bounce back in the presence of beauty, doses of joy, and experiences of genuine love. With intentionality, I am getting out in nature, reading soul-full books, spending more time barefoot in my kitchen cooking and listening to music, leaning into friends and family, and finding bliss in my bathtub! There is nothing more important than taking care of your soul, and the soul of another!

10 Tips for Souljoy
Fresh strawberries ready to be devoured with some homemade whipped cream
Strawberry Season

It’s that time of the year to find local, sweet strawberries at the Farmer’s market. I use them in salads and my son Percy’s favorite dessert of strawberries and homemade whipped cream. I love the Franklin market on Saturday mornings, 12th South Market on Tuesdays, and Sunday pilgrimage to Green Door Gourmet!


Enjoy Mama Let’s Cook video on how to make strawberries and whipped cream! Should we bring the homespun cooking show back?

Read Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

What a fun read! Enjoy a contemporary rendering of Louisa May Alcott’s, Little Women. As the oldest of six girls in my family, the sisterly bond and joy of the Padavano sisters resonated with me. I especially loved the characters of Sylvie and her father!

Make my Mediterranean Chicken

This is a favorite recipe at my house! I have a tin planter full of fresh herbs outside my kitchen door. I will cut purple sage, basil, parsley and mint for this recipe!

Lavender Epson Salt Bath

I take an Epson salt bath every single night! It helps to calm my spirit and welcome a good night sleep!

A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sitser

I am reading this incredible memoir about healing in the face of terrific loss. Jerry Sitser lost his mom, wife, and daughter in a terrible car accident. As he discovered, there is no avoiding suffering, not when we have a heart at our center made for love. What I appreciate is Sitser’s testament that when we courageously face our pain, our souls heal, and miraculously expand in our chests.

Listen to Krista Tippett’s On Being interview with Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is a beacon of faith for me. In this special interview, she invites us to find what is sacred and holy in our lives and pursue it with mind, body and spirit.

Play music in the kitchen. 

I am loving the Live in Hope playlist! I play it in the kitchen on my Alexa and in the car!! I especially love the song, Glorious, by MaMuse!

Watch Chef’s Table with Sean Brock

I LOVE Netflix’s series, Chef’s Table. They interview these brilliant artist chef’s around the world. I recently went back and watched again the one with our very own Sean Brock. He is not only a passionate genius in the kitchen, but he has tremendous heart. During the week of the Covenant tragedy, he personally made lunch (including the best chocolate chip cookies of my life!) for the Dieckhaus family! It’s on my bucket list to meet him in person and say thank you!

Go for a Picnic

Mary Oliver wrote, “Joy is not meant to be a crumb!” A couple of weeks ago, my friends gifted me with the most fun outing to Cheekwood for a picnic! Who knew a quilt laid under an old maple tree, yummy salads and fresh strawberries, and lots of laughter could be so good for the soul! I repeated the idea for my kids in our backyard!

Participate in Something larger than yourself!  

Our lives find their meaning when we are connecting the dots so goodness prevails in our little square inch of life. When we get outside ourselves, and make heaven a reality in some small way here on earth, the reward is deep, abiding soul joy.


The Covenant shooting has touched me to my core. I am grateful to my friend Carlie Cruse and others who are helping our community in Nashville (with intelligence, civility, and heart) to tackle the gun catastrophe in our country. My prayers are with them as they head to our Capitol this week!

Love, Farrell


Enjoy “God Only Knows”

Anything Dolly brings joy!

  • Anne Clark

    May 8, 2023 at 5:59 am


  • Susan foster

    May 8, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    Ive read A Grace Disguised and agree with you , it’s ❤️

  • Eugene Regen

    May 9, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Farrell, I don’t believe it is possible to express adequately my responses to the On Being interview between Krista Tibbett and Barbara Brown Taylor. They ranged from the cerebral to the purely visceral! Having visited with Barbara first at Chautauqua, then at Vanderbilt’s Cole lectures + her books, was absolutely mesmerized! The final reference to John Claypool did it !!
    Thank you, dear Farrell, and blessings!

  • Polly Keith

    May 13, 2023 at 8:27 am

    Farrell, somehow even when you are “reaching for comfort”, you over flow with it for us. Loved the recipe, the book recommendations, and knowing your friends “loved on you”. Special hugs and thanks for continuing to feed us.