by Jennifer DePriest

It seems the theme of “soul searching” has followed me into this new month. As a creative, I find words and ideas constantly swirling around in my head. When I am not writing, I am reading. When I am not teaching, I am taking classes to learn new things to either help my creativity or to teach my students. What I have observed from some of my favorite authors is that they write from the depths of their soul. Life steered their creative paths, and its lessons served as the backdrop for their characters and literary creations. There is a distinct difference between those who have gone through battles in life and written from the trenches, and those who write using only their imagination as inspiration. There is depth and soul and purpose and meaning that comes forth from these literary warriors. It gives the reader hope and inspires creativity in others through their works and their life stories. The works of these authors serve as my textbook, as I dive in to discover the depth and essence of what brings these writers’ words to life. The beautiful thing about all of these creative individuals is that they are no different from me or you; the key is that their passion to write was stronger than any obstacle that could fall across their path. Often times, much like the bee, they made it in the publishing world, despite odds that should have made it physically impossible. A lesson for all of us, not just creatives.

As I searched for the perfect image to represent this month’s piece, I came upon this quote.

“She has fire in her soul and grace in her heart.

My passion for writing, for taking life’s lessons and turning them into the pages that my readers can’t put down, has truly set fire to my soul and warms my heart. As I leaned in to examine this quote I wanted to put meaning to the phrase, “grace in her heart,” so I went to Google. One of the definitions of “grace” is “courteous goodwill.” I couldn’t help but smile, because anyone who knows me, knows how much I love surprising others, especially when life is weighing heavily upon them. But in the middle of writing this piece, a post by one of my favorite authors, Bob Goff, came across my Facebook feed.

“Grace means we don’t need to airbrush our lives to make them look perfect when they’re not.” -Bob Goff

What a timely God wink! I couldn’t help but smile as I displayed my little sign next to my coffee pot, to remind myself in the early morning hours that, yes, I do have a fire in my soul and grace in my heart. After reading Bob’s post, I have reworded my inspirational phrase just a bit so that it truly embodies the essence of who I am.

“She has fire in her soul and grace in her heart, because she know she does not need to airbrush her life to make it look perfect. It is in embracing the imperfections that she has learned to create the perfect life for herself, and that has made all the difference.”

If you find what sets your soul on fire and gives your life meaning, it completely changes the game. Don’t just take my word for it, take some time this month to slow down, lean in, and think about what sets your soul on fire. It will be the best gift you can give yourself before the holidays arrive!


To learn more about Jennifer DePriest, visit her blog at She welcomes email at

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