Simply Sather

cultivating what matters | july

Wow! Really July? You gone…


And though I thought I’d taken into consideration our weeklong travel to the lovely state of Washington, I missed the mark in cultivating what matters. It wasn’t a complete loss though – I discovered some pretty big things. Which reminded me – it’s not about digging in the dirt to grow a perfect version of yourself, it’s about clearing the weeds to make room for the things that take your time, attention, energy and focus, things that matter + make you grow.

So while I hit it out of the park in some areas, I struck out at the plate in others. Here’s the July update!


  • Have a Staycation!

Wowza. With all that’s transpired this month, I’d forgotten we’d planned this (and made it happen). Rather than treat Mister’s time off from work over the holiday as a complete check-out time, we agreed to plan a few things to tour our own city. You never know how long God will call you to a place and the last time I made a major move, I promised myself I would not ever again live in a place without taking the time to be a tourist. We kept it simple and fluid, but did a little something everyday – it was a treat!

back to the spot where MIster proposed; 04 july 2018 pure land organic farm
  • Washington Travel

This 8 days of travel taught us that we need to more clearly communicate about what “vacationing” really looks like. I had to apologize to Mister for this and confess it to a few others, this is largely my fault because my husband asked me (several times) to look at and weigh in on the schedule, but I just didn’t think I needed to be in the planning details. It sounded better to say I trusted him to make all of the decisions – he knows the area (grew up in Seattle), knows my likes and preferences and wanted to have a great time too.

silly in seattle

But what was honest was I needed more down time to watch stupid TV, more time to sleep/nap, more time to be more spontaneous and unplanned and mostly more time to process what I was experiencing. It was a lot! But it was a lot of good.

We’re home and finally recovering. I’m praying we’ve learned our lesson before wheels are up to Portland in August.

  • Theta service

I did not do any of this either. Two of the folks I wanted to serve were unavailable, so it looks like August will be the time for me to get in touch with them.

  • Budget

Yep. That did not happen.

And to be fully transparent, I probably needed to hit rock bottom and see how my financial behavior has been an anchor around our relationship. We can afford fancy together, but me – I’ve got to get it together in order to compliment his efforts and follow his lead.

August is already shaping up to be a lean month for me. As I navigate truly walking through paying off my debt, I’ll share more of what it’s doing for my soul.

  • Editorial Calendar – July + August

I did lay out some intentional posts for the month of July but am still learning how to better draft out what is happening in this space and over on Instagram. Being focused and sticking with a theme helps me better navigate what I ought to and can give my best to. I have now drafted an editorial calendar for August (which I do in pencil because well great ideas don’t always come four weeks in advance) but am hoping to develop enough of a creative rhythm where I’m able to pencil in what I’m doing two months at a time.

  • Pride + Prejudice Project

Eek! This was such a big mess, Mister and I are spreading this project (and our reading) into August too. Which I think is giving me a better idea for 2019 – take a whole summer to read a classic. They are just not like picking up books written in the last 50 years; you need to let the words of the classics spread throughout.

You can review my intention over here.

  • Read 6 books

We’ll see, but I don’t think I’ll finish my 6th book (Crushin’ It! How Great Entrepeneurs Build Their Business and Influence – And How You Can, Too) by 12a on the 1st of August, but it’s not over yet.

Here are the five books I was able to complete this month.

Scroll on down to July 2018! I’m super excited to think I’ll finish my challenge – already thinking of what I’ll read over the holidays (November + December) and what next year’s challenge/theme will be.

Regina Review: The Butler
one of the 5 books I read this month
  • Finish STONES – friend’s unpublished book

My friend Jennifer Fliss is a fantastic short story writer and poet. She has published in those formats and is now writing her very first novel. She invited me to be one of four beta readers and I couldn’t have been more honored.

Not only did I enjoy the book but also thrived in the experience of playing editor and feedback giver; so excited to see this in print!

  • Prep Talk for Single Women from Church

I’ve been studying scriptures about being a godly wife (and husband) in preparation to talk with women in their 30s and 40s – not yet married, no children – about putting themselves out there to meet the man God has set aside for them.

I’ve been trying to recall what my single self needed to work through and am now realizing how much my married self mirrors her.

Two nights have been about reviewing studies, scriptures, notes and the last day before hand will be dictated to a rough outline and prayer to guide me. I want to be sure there is time to share my stumble through it all and of course God’s faithfulness, but also to give them to ask my questions.

I pray it’s a time of value and encouragement.

  • Complete Theta Foundation Application

I scratched this.

While I was prayerful about attending the Making Things Happen Conference in September, it was not making sense. I’ve received a grant for leadership development in the past and considered applying to attend this one this fall.

I was jumping through all kinds of obstacles and decided to postpone it until next year. As I get older, I’m learning that things from God don’t require a constant uphill battle. Not to say that things are easy or just fall into your lap, but when it’s set aside for you, it’s not all of the crazy to get it. So, while there is effort in applying, saving, registering and doing all the work – the headaches for forcing myself into one of their seats this fall did not seem like my personal best yes.


  • Email Mister x 2

I did well at this until we had to prepare for our trip to Washington and then it went kaput. So sorry Mister! I still love you and have it on the calendar to restart my book for you this week.

  • Date Your Spouse

I’m counting all of the fun stuff we did in Washington while on vacation as 17 dates so yep, we knocked this one out of the park!

  • Blog 3x week

I don’t think so.

And I no longer think this is a reasonable goal. I want to provide more meaningful content and be able to share it in a concise way – I know folks have many things they’re consuming online and my posts can get a little wordy. (This post is shaping up to be a great example!) So this will likely change and my goal for blog posts next month will closer to 10 or 2 per week. But some diverse topics are coming your way, so hopefully you’ll experience a quality over quantity kind of vibe.

  • A Simple Year: July

Um, no. Just no.

I did not do the work, nor did I live very simply this month.


  • Instagram with Intention (1 session/week)

Also, no.

I started this course – brilliant – by the way when I didn’t know I’d be building my business on soul care. I’d almost made it through the whole program. Now that I know what my focus is, I’ll be going back and retaking it from the beginning.

  • #Million Minutes

With this public library challenge in my city, we read so many minutes! I didn’t win one of the grand prizes, but did get two movie tickets. I would have read the 35 hours anyway, but it was sweet to win a little something for tracking and reading with my community.

Guest Pass
movie passes for two!
  • Love Others

I did, but I’ll be completely transparent here. I did not go after those who I most need to pursue. This will be changing.


  • Mister

I kept track of asking my husband specific ways that I demonstrated love in a language that he understood. I am so grateful to be married to someone who takes great pleasure in some of my smallest efforts. Sitting on the couch with my feet in his lap while watching TV, conversation over glasses of red wine, personal email, prayers before bed; I did great of tracking right up until we started to get ready to go on our vacation. Gonna try this one again – I want to master this one!


  • Hydrate 4 Ellos/day


  • M+ R Journal

Every night. I save ticket stubs and write about our emotions, the fun and even the conflict. It’s good to see our daily living in words that we can look back on and review.

  • Bible (Ruth + being a godly wife)

A-l-m-o-s-t everyday I read scriptures and devotionals about being a godly wife and the story of Ruth. It’s been a great experience – especially as a newly married person; though I’ve been married before, it’s been important for me to continually replace my experiences with real hope.

There is so much that I missed this past month but there was so much that I also gained. I am working at seeing misses + failures as opportunities and with this past month, I’m winning! Also, because I’m married to a grace-filled, merciful husband, Mister invested in my business and purchased me a new MacBook Air; not bragging – just letting you know that my fingers are flying over the keyboard (rather than my system hack – ipadMini + bluetooth keyboard – I created and was using for May + June).

How was your July? What are you intentionally focusing on in August? Please share, I’d be happy to cheer you on.

Simply Sather

more vacation than soul care

While folks may still be clarifying what a soul care retreat actually is – and what it means for them – no one can deny the need to slow down, take a break, breathe deeply and look at one’s life + circumstances from a different viewpoint.

Oftentimes, we are influenced by what is happening around us. The more ingrained we are, the less we recognize the power of those influences. A lot of times we choose things that we believe will be good for (and to us) but it can work against us. We look up and are not really able to see the good – our original focus, intent – overwhelming the bad; the stress, the stuck, the overwhelm.

We strive harder to keep up. To do more. To reach more people. To introduce new products. To write another book. We add more, we keep going faster and faster, producing more and more, but without much time and room away from it all.

Vacations are great! I’m on one as I write this. Yes, I brought my computer and will be drafting blog posts to cover the next several weeks, but I will also be making room with Mister (what I call my husband) to tend to my soul. Since we’re on a vacation – our expectations are shifted to serve, connect and encourage others. We’ll attend a wedding, connect with family and Mister’s school buddies and their families, I’ll connect with a sorority sister and fellow writer – and there will be moments in that time spent with others that will allow us to experience moments of beauty.

Moments of sweetness.

Moments of fun.

But we also know that in managing our expectations, it was important that we understood that we would be mostly adventuring, not necessarily inundating our souls with intentional tending. Yes, I will read books, we’ll sip great west coast wines and I will spend time journaling and writing – all things that tend to my spirit; my inner self. Mister will be in the mountains and in cooler weather (it’s currently 109 degrees back in Texas!) and be around his family. We will both read from our Bibles and pray together before we go to bed at night.

It will be a blessing.

Even so, we do not expect it to be a week of intentional soul care. We are not retreating (getting away from it all). We’re vacationing (choosing to tumble into adventure + interaction with the culture around us).

Exploring. Adventuring. Focused on pouring into and connecting with so many others.

To be completely transparent – and I’ve shared this with Mister – I’m a little nervous about being away for 7 days. A part of filling my soul is being home. Making home feel cozy, a respite. A place of recovery and even home base for creativity. When my home is “set” I feel like I can go off and do almost anything away from it – it’s the coming home that helps rejuvenate my soul.

So while I’ll be stopping and snatching up moments that speak to me; to the deep recesses of myself, I will be mostly snapping photos, blowing up my Instagram stories, feed + TV channel and story highlights and playing them back for hubby (he’s not on social media) in order to commit them to memory and call back on them at a later date. (I also snap tons of photos so that I can also to share with others who may be wanting to vacation in similar fashion.)

Travel is one of the things that tends to my soul. And I’m grateful that we are able to vacation – to see more of the world in person, it contributes to the well of tending in the ways it matters most.

Simply Sather

prioritizing the soul

So I’m stepping onto the scene to talk to everyone that will listen about the importance of taking time to care for your soul.

Farm Picking - Take a Step With Me
take a step with me, let’s tend to your soul together

If you’re here, you’re tuned in to how quickly things happen. And probably even more in tune if you’re experiencing success in whatever field that you’ve applied yourself to. Your life is moving so fast you’re not even sure the things you have (great, wonderful things – relationships, home, retirement) are exactly what you’d hoped it would be.

Perhaps you’ve gotten away from that thing you used to enjoy doing – talking to strangers, serving the homeless, painting with chopsticks – and you’re starving to connect with you again.

What I have to offer is for you.

My hope is for you to make time to tend to your soul. 

Soul care is for everyone. And while I realize everyone isn’t going to stop what they’re doing the very minute they see my updated Insta bio, my latest feed or even this blog post (to heed my very exciting new business news!!! – I’m so excited y’all), I do believe it’s my place to help people recognize and prioritize their need to step back from the stress, stuck + overwhelm in favor of making time and room for peace, slow, recovery and rest.

Imagine our schools, government, police departments, churches and homes; we would see change!

With this new focus – planning a business + education – as a part of my work, this site is going to be changing too!

The blog will take a side-seat (it’s not going away) to the soul care section of this site. Over time, you’ll notice some aesthetic changes – like a new logo and lots more free resources – but most importantly, there will be information about the soul care retreat packages, online courses and do it yourself kits to help with tending to the soul. And because I like to write, the blog will serve as a companion for the retreats and encourage readers about how to tend to one’s soul on the regular (alone, with your spouse, kids, peers + co-workers/teammates). Some of the old posts will come down and go away, things that are kept will be insights into me – your blogger – and are designed to give you glimpses into my soul care journey.

04 July 2018 - Pick Your Own
let’s dig in!


I appreciate your patience and you joining me as we make our corners of the world a little bit better one soul at a time.