Simply Sather

EXCITED FOR OCTOBER

I have been one to get anxious about things to come.

In fact, it’s more accurate to say that up until about 6 to 9 months ago, I would describe any excitement as anxiety. Things I was getting ready to do – that I was excited about was mostly bound up in nervousness, lack of surety and quite simply…fear.

It’s been difficult for me to even imagine living without this tension, but as it starts to unravel more and more (because my identity in Christ is becoming more clear) I’m beginning to be able to describe myself as “excited” about things to come.

October YES! (1)

EXCITED ABOUT OCTOBER

With the exception of a couple of days, I’ve posted everyday on Facebook + Instagram about the #soultendingSeptember challenge. And it’s been good. But tiresome. But good.

I superseded some goals and completely goose-egged a few others.

But, I’m happy – and proud – that it’s looking like I’m going to finish. And finish strong.

With today being no TV/Netflix, Mister and I have already committed to dining in, sipping wine and playing board games/reading books. It will be just the two of us relaxed and enjoying all of one another’s company. For the introvert + book nerd in me, this is a wonderful, wonderful Friday night.

As the rest of the clock rolls out on Soul Tending September (expressing gratitude + belly laughing), October is right around the corner. And it’s full of exciting things.

ON THE CALENDAR + IN THE PRAYER JOURNAL FOR OCTOBER

We’re learning more and more each day the importance of putting our dreams, goals + plans before God in prayer. He wants to hear from us and walk with us in these things. I believe this because I believe that God wants to comfort us when things don’t go as we planned (but are still within His control) and wants to celebrate with us when we realize answers to our prayers in the physical; like right before our eyes.

For us, October is filled with so much to be excited about and so many opportunities for prayers answered boldly. Here are a handful…

SIMPLY SATHER

I’ll be making more strides in cementing the foundation of Simply Sather and the work of helping people tend to their souls by planning more soul care retreats, coaching people and developing + presenting courses to help people get unstuck from stress + overwhelm.

My 90-day business plan will also go into effect. I’ve glanced at it, feels a lot like graduate school level homework, so you can go ahead and pray for me on that.

SHANGHAI, CHINA

With a few more details to be worked out, we should be boarding our flight to Shanghai in the middle of the month for Mister’s work. He’s been invited to speak and asked me to come along with him. The turnaround will be quick and the travel may be a bit challenging, but I’m extremely grateful that this is something I can even participate in with him.

At this time last October, I was too sick to hardly work, let alone travel to the other side of the world. Just praising God for what He’s already healed in my body and all that it will mean I get to go and do, see and be a part of.

FINISH MY SELF IMPOSED BOOK CHALLENGE

It was so fun to set up a challenge for myself. I’d participated in so many others set by other people and I think I found the reason I struggled to finish their challenges was because it boxed me in a bit. I am currently 2 books (well 1 1/2) from reaching my goal.

You can see the list of books I’ve read here + hear the reviews of some of them from my Instagram Book nerd page here. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the “land of books” in the coming year and am already planning + preparing for a reading challenge in November + December (over the holidays) and for the 2019 year.

It’s fun to finish but exciting to start!

FALL FAST 2018

A girlfriend and I were lamenting about our young adult children and how to parent them in this season; they’re both our first to take us into this part of the forest.

As we were talking, I realized that some of the things we were discussing were things in which we beginning to develop ruts. We were getting stuck in the quicksand of understanding how to help these young people make good, godly decisions with underdeveloped brains. (Serenity Now!!!)

In the desire to get free from our thinking and frustrations, we decided that we take every Wednesday for the next six weeks to fast + pray. So starting the 3rd of October, we will be forgoing food for breakfast + lunch to commit our hearts, thoughts, aches, wounds + pains as it pertains to our young adult children (and whatever else comes up) to God.

If you’d like to join us, you can sign up for this Membership Group here. Please be patient, this is new to me, so it may be tweaked as I learn, but my heart is to provide a place apart from social media where fellow people can learn about fasting, while fasting with other people who are fasting. I have a simple idea that will hopefully get better each time we do it, but for now, I’m just excited at the response and hope you’ll join us.

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There’s so much to be excited about. So much to be grateful for.

These are just a few of the things I’m praying about for the month of October and how they will bleed into and impact the rest of this year. I intentionally shared these goals with you because I’m not sure how they will turn out. I’ve not built my own business before, not traveled to China, read so many books in one year (with so many things going on I might add – working full time, son graduating from high school, teaching him to drive and prepare for his license, major surgery, online dating, a wedding (ours) + a move) or facilitated an online membership group before.

I’ll need the strength and guidance of God along the way.

I’m less terrified. Less consumed with how it looks. Even less concerned with the results. And y’all, I’m excited!!!

Excited to be starting + building + doing something. My steps are bold and confident. Even if they won’t always be, I am still taking the steps. Let’s go ahead and finish up our soul tending work for September and let our hearts be giddy for the hope we have in October.

What messy but exciting thing(s) are you looking forward to in October?

 

 

 

 

Simply Sather

WHEN OUR SOULS MAKE TIME TO HEAR AND OBEY

As much as I am grateful for this space – my blog – oftentimes, I don’t want to come into this space and share my heart.

I come and write here because it’s what God has told me to do. Not in a bossy, “you better or else” kind of way but instead, it’s that I’ve been gifted with words and experiences that are helpful and beneficial to share.

FINDING PURPOSE ON FACEBOOK

Last month, I returned to Facebook. Sort of reluctantly…

regina-mark-wedding-photos-stonebridge-blum-tx (57 of 342)
mister and me; february 2018 (this is my facebook profile picture – if you’re looking for me over there)

I get overwhelmed on that platform. So much is happening or can be happening there (and so much time is spent there) that I feel like I almost need a degree to navigate it with purpose and not lose my mind in the process. I went back to Facebook to collaborate with Hope for Widows Foundation. I’d already signed on to write two blog posts every month about my experience as a widow.

They have thousands of followers and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to connect with hurting people (ahem, soul tending) and to work on some more of my grief as I helped other women do the same. As well, it’s been beneficial for me to write for another audience outside of this one.

So, just like it’s sometimes difficult for me to write in this space – where I have all the freedom, I know the author, she’s cool – I worry I won’t say the right things over there in that space.

But here’s what happens when we obey sweet friends…

When that whisper to call that friend, to say that culturally unpopular thing or to lovingly speak that hard truth is put in your stomach. In your gut where no amount of busy can shake it. When you start to lose sleep and maybe even begin to try to do anything but the thing you were nudged to do.

You impact the world for good.

So I went to the space in the midst of the Soul Tending September challenge (which is super busy for me behind-the-scenes) and I shared this post.

vacationing in the Pacific Northwest - Spokane
these are the kinds of things I would talk to you about if we were to sit down and sip coffee together

Then I went back to the other things on my list, hoping it made a difference, but trusting that if I heard nothing, I had obeyed.

It’s only been a week, but in that short time, this post has garnered two responses. One was a spam comment about a man helping a woman save her marriage and singing his praises. (Spam reported). But the second one led to a woman reading my bio at the end of my post and reaching out to me on Facebook.

Initially, I wasn’t sure I could open up to her.

That I could believe the words I was reading. Her very vulnerable, real words sharing her story causing me to jump back to so many flashbacks of my own.

It took me a couple of days to start sharing (we’re writing back and forth via email) more transparently and even more vulnerably but it has been so good.

I share this to encourage you.

OBEYING HIM BRINGS ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS

Though you may not understand why you’re having to go through a difficult time. Or why your path looks like it does. Or maybe you’re considering quitting or giving up on your faith.

And let me just say friends – I’ve been there.

Many times. And though I’ve not ever walked away from God, I’ve not always obeyed when He’s called. I’ve flipped my priorities around and made idols of people’s opinions in my insecurities and wounding. And though my stubbornness, my rejection of what He’s called me to do has not made His love go away, I’ve made some parts of my life harder than they’ve needed to be.

I’ve opted onto the longer route.

I’ve chosen to navigate the torrential storm.

I’ve re-structured the map to take the same dead end trail.

All because I would not simply trust Him enough to obey.

I used to think it was because I didn’t trust God enough. But, as I grow, I’m realizing it’s because I don’t trust myself enough. I doubt Him and what He tells me to do because I doubt myself. I have seen my track record and look at it, pull it out and commiserate over it far more than I look to Him and His.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF – YOU ARE A PART OF THE SOLUTION

I’ve underestimated myself. I’ve allowed myself and my plans to get ahead of what He’s whispered into my soul. Then I took off running down the dead end path to nowhere (places I’ve been to before) and then shout over my shoulder for Him to catch up to me.

It’s kind of eery really. Me writing this blog post for another group of people I may never meet and having a woman be so eager to meet that she reaches out to a perfect stranger to share her story.

We watch the news and comment about things happening “out there” or “to them” oftentimes feeling overwhelmed because we don’t know how to be a part of the problem. And that’s part of the strategy of the enemy; to make us feel like the problem is so big that there’s nothing we could possibly do to make a difference.

But, that’s simply not true, you.

You are a part of the solution.

Consider this…

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

Loving God in verse 37 means spending time with Him, reading His Word, then listening and being willing to act when He tells you HOW to do what’s in verse 39.

Rather than getting overwhelmed by the news, the condition of our country, the wars you’re not fighting in, the arguments on social media about what’s right or who’s wrong – consider how you might get still, put a halt on the noise and read/listen to what God would have you do. This goes for me too. I am often caught up in the wrong things, giving energy to the noisy things, the bad news and a lot of stuff out of my reach.

I understand that opening ourselves up to God and what He might ask us to do might be frightening. Even terrifying at times. But, just because you underestimate yourself, don’t underestimate Him.

Sit with it. Listen to the sermon above (Planted and I Underestimated), invite God to whisper you your next step and watch how effective you become in loving your neighbor and helping others. You won’t be able to help it.

As you tend to your soul, you’ll have no other option but to help others do the same.

 

Simply Sather

AFTER SOUL TENDING SEPTEMBER

I’m so ready for the weekend.

It’s been a couple of weeks of delving into some blindspots, wounds and sin that have left me extremely tired at the end of each day. I am not wearied in doing the work, but must admit that’s it a bit exhausting, which I’m believing is good.

It's Good
that, “it’s good, but i’m tired, but…it’s good” face

That’s what I want to share here today, heading into the weekend.

What you’ve been doing? It’s good.

THE GOOD THAT COMES FROM DOING ANY SOUL TENDING

That discomfort you felt going to bed at 9p may have made you realize how tired you really are and that you’re running on far less sleep than your body craves. Or going without social media scrolling for one whole day – perhaps that helped you realize how often you do it and the angst that’s left behind even after you put your phone aside. Maybe it was not having the money to go and get a massage or having a spouse to rub your feet prodding at your desire to be in a different financial or relationship place.

This is a good thing Soul Tender.

Because it’s awakening something in you.

Making you think. Reconsider. Question.

Maybe you’re giving yourself more permission to take a few extra minutes in the shower or tub. Or select the music you wanna jam to on the way home from picking up your people from school.

It may be stirring some anger, frustration, shame or disappoint. Or it may be reminding you of how much you have to celebrate.

You’ve grown.

You don’t interrupt as often. You don’t listen just to create your argument any more.

You are more comfortable with silence.

More willing to dream.

Capable of being alone.

Soul Tender, take a moment and breathe. If you’ve experienced one of these things, half of these things or most of these things – I’m so very happy for you. Your effort is to be celebrated!

And in that, I want to encourage you to continue forward. There are 8 more “wake-ups” until we’re squaring up with October. If you’ve not had any of the experiences above or can’t imagine why you ever began “soul tending” in the first place, I want to tell you to try again.

Do anything.

One prompt that you wanted to try but terrified you.

Another that you tried and felt it failed.

One that you absolutely enjoyed and are still giddy that you did it.

Start today or tomorrow, but start.

SOUL TENDING AFTER SEPTEMBER

I’m eager for October to come when I can pour more of my time into coaching, course development and retreat planning.

October YES! (1)

I’ve been blessed to have clients and plans for each of these areas and am eager to share with you (and your friends + their friends). Everything I’m working on will not be ready to roll out on the first day of October, but the FIRST Simply Sather newsletter will be.

And in it, there will be all kind of goodies that are designed to help the single, married, divorced and widowed woman do personal, deep, authentic, meaningful, life-giving soul care work. I am a product of this work and for those who intentionally tend to their souls, I’m certain there will be something beneficial for you.

Get signed up to become a Soul Tender! This means that you will receive my blog posts in your email box every time they’re published and the newsletters 1 to 2 times each month. You don’t want to miss this. Things I’ve been working on with you, getting your input on and seeing work with you offline is coming to more and more folks eager to grow in tending to their souls.

Whether you’ve completed every prompt, hit your goal or been sporadic and less consistent, I want you to decide that this is just the beginning for you and your soul care. If you’re in North Texas, enjoy the rain (and read a good book – I’m about to finish one) and the start to the weekend; if it’s the weekend for you.

Keep making intentional time to tend to what’s happening in your soul.