THE FIRST HALF

It’s been quiet over here because well, I’ve been busy.

Busy wrapping up from some fun events in early October, busy preparing for our week-long trip to Shanghai (we leave super soon) and especially busy updating the Simply Sather website.

FUN EVENTS IN EARLY OCTOBER

We had to back out of some of the things we’d originally said yes to – thank you grace-filled friends – but were still able to participate in some pretty fantastic events.

Pancakes + PJs

It was so much fun to partner up with the other three women in the first photo to bless a bunch of other women with amazing food, conversations about relationship tending and cover them with prayer.

This couple is a dynamic duo in the kitchen. They work well together and are fun to watch as they’ve found their niche serving others as a team. Their talents are widespread. We’re super pumped to show you some of their other gems and how we’ll be using them to help others tend to their souls.

The husbands jumped on the line and made personalized omelets for each guest. Our hostess is in on the fun too.

I so look forward to facilitating soul care retreats with this set up in the near future. Fort Worth friends, keep your eyes peeled; I’m starting with y’all.

Drag Racing

We adore these fairly new friends. For bringing us into their world and showing us something they love but especially for spending the day with us and sharing more of their story and hearts with us. And while drag racing was completely cool (my favorite was the very loud Top Fuel), it was likely our last time doing something like that.

The treasure for being with them helped us to think about “what our thing is”. Like really, what’s us?!?

We’re still talking about that. What would we like to get more into and invite others to do with us with passion and enthusiasm, allowing folks to delve into a world or experience they’ve never tried before?
Maybe taking a cooking class together or learning about wines, but for now travel seems to still be our “thing”.

We’re glad we went and are especially grateful we went with people who know car/drag racing.

Jodi Picoult + The Adolphus

Mister drove me to The Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas for my time with Jodi Picoult. I write that like she and I would be spending personal time together, which didn’t happen, but I was very excited about doing this.

To make it worth his while, we ate at the hotel’s very lovely City Hall Bistro breakfast/brunch place. Their potatoes are the jam (I crack me up!). We sipped mimosas and talked about the decor and some other important married folk stuff – communication is key friends. It was a good date day.

And well, it was also good for him to see the place I’m most excited to return to – The French Room. While I was with my friend Jodi, he took a peek in this lovely place to see why I started begging him back in August to consider it for celebrating our one year anniversary in February 2019. He was also able to sit in their lovely lobby – yes, the restaurant has its own waiting area (think huge, lush living room) and read (meaning check his fantasy football team stats) while waiting for me. He wasn’t alone, there were other men doing the same thing in other parts of the hotel.

Seeing Jodi speak was a treat. First, I learned that I’ve been pronouncing her name incorrectly. I believe it’s French or at least it sounds French. (pronounced: Pee-Co)

Second, Mrs. Picoult does her homework. Her new book, Spark of Light, came with my admission ticket and was signed. It’s about a stand-off at an abortion clinic and it sounds pretty intense. Jodi shared her about her writing process, how she gathers research and real life stories (hello Twitter) and that what she’s learned affects her need to use her voice to educate and affect change.

Spark of Light is her 25th book. Her next book will be something far less intense, according to her. She also gave us a chuckle when she mentioned she’d be slowing down and only writing a book every other year, rather than one a year like she did the first twenty years/books.

I’m thinking about reading every single book she’s written in the order she wrote them during my reading challenge next year. Anyone interested in joining me for that?

Finally, Picoult shared some very practical advice for those writing a book, so well – maybe someday.

Outstanding in the Field

Back to the place where Mister proposed on this day (12 October) last year.

A Georgia peach, being proposed to under a peach tree with a peach sapphire engagement ring. The place is beautiful and we so enjoy the experience of eating from sustainable farms with fresh ingredients and in such a lovely, picturesque place.

You get to sip new wines, eat delicious combinations of food and meet very interesting people.

We take our own plates and have started to mark the dates and locations of the places where we get to experience Out in the Field hoping and dreaming to enjoy it in the Pacific Northwest and France someday.

PREPARING FOR SHANGHAI

In an effort to get excited and be prepared for traveling to China next week, it has come down to taking a lot of expectations off of my plate. We have been so focused on getting our travel visas (permission to enter a country) that we weren’t absolutely sure we’d be going until those were delivered earlier this week.

Such a great reminder that God is the only one in complete control.

We’ve done our research and are excited and grateful for the opportunity and have come to following conclusions in preparation for our trip.

We will pack light

We will carry our luggage on the flight and plan to leave our computers at home. There will be plenty of oils, hand sanitizer, tissue (for toilet paper – public restrooms) but otherwise, we be traveling lightly.

I will be packing denim, black + white clothing to be able to switch and accessorize without taking a lot of clothing. We will be leaving room in our luggage for small gifts and goodies, I also want to bring back some of their money. The yuan will be added to my collection of monies from Iraq, Europe, Mexico + Bahamas.

We will be offline

I wanted to share the experience as we were living it but with all of the security measures in China, it became clear it’d be stressful for me to try to navigate laws and regulations I don’t understand. So, I have opted to go social media free the entire time we’re in the country and share when we return.

This means a lot of reading during down times (the flights are 15 hours one way – direct, but still 15 hours) and plenty of time to journal, dream and reflect. I have plans to do the dreaming + vision activity I have people complete on soul care retreats for myself as well as put into practice several soul tending steps to really sit still and hear from God. It will also be a wonderful time for me to simply write.

We will be respectful

Rather than take our “brick + mortar” Bibles, we will take the Bible I have on my phone to use while there. We’ve gotten a lot of advice and realize that it’s respectful to their country’s leadership to refrain from carrying our Bibles.

Mister’s primary focus while there is to share about air quality so we want to focus on that, not distract from the purpose of even taking this trip.

It feels a little wrong to be doing that, but wisdom wins. It’s a five-day trip, we don’t want to do anything that will unnecessarily turn it into a longer one.

UPDATES ON THE SIMPLY SATHER WEBSITE

If you haven’t already, take a little look-see around the website. It’s gotten a facelift and it isn’t even complete yet.

The biggest section I’m working on (and will continue to work on when we return) will be the “Coaching, Courses + Retreats” page. While I’ll continue to blog a couple of times each week – when I’m not traveling out of the country! – more of my energy and focus will go into sharing content to help you tend to your soul in each of these three ways.

It’s been a bit of a headache for me – it’s not my strength! But, I’m incredibly grateful for a young, patient, web developer who is taking what’s in my head and making it appear for our eyes.

I know I lost a couple of subscribers to the shenanigans last week when you were sent multiple emails with gibberish in the text. Again, I’m so very sorry – you can read my apology and receive a free resource here (in case you missed it).

Thank you for your patience and your prayers.

I have so many things I long to share with you in this space – tips for single women about dating, encouragement for women who are divorced and overwhelmed and for widows who are wondering if/when it’ll get any better. Since I can’t be with each of you at your local Starbucks or on your couch sharing my experiences to help you walk through your own, I am working to put it all here for you.

It’s a bit terrifying, but it’s also very exciting. So, please be patient with me, it’s coming. And someday, the delivery may be fancier, but for now – the focus is on making it easy for you to access at your convenience. This is so you can tend to your soul in the method that works best for you (whether with coaching, courses or planned retreats).

READING CHALLENGE

In the meantime, please cheer me on as I move toward completing my 1st ever reading challenge.

I am one book away from reading 65 books in 365 days (started 01 November 2017, to finish 31 October 2018). I’m quite certain that I’ll complete surpass my goal on the 15 hour flights to/from China, but believe I’ve been hesitant to finish because I’m unsure of what I’ll be doing next.

Sure, I could just read for fun, but something about me? I like a bit of a road map, some sort of navigation system. And since there is so little I can control in life, this is one of those things that I choose to direct myself.

I’m leaning towards reading only “recommended” books or books that refer to people being in different seasons of their lives or books that literally take place in various seasons. Maybe I’ll nail it down overseas, but if you have any book challenges that you participate in or want a reading partner to participate in with you, then leave your suggestions in the comments below. Always, I mean I’m always up for a good book talk.

For those of you who enjoy Instagram as much as I do, you can witness me nerding out over on my @readwithregina feed. Here I share all things books – what I’m currently reading, video reviews on my IGTV Channel (kind of like YouTube) and places where I step more deeply into my enjoyment books.

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I told you the first half of October has been busy – and this ain’t even all the things.

I wanted to share the highlights with you and hope you understand why it’s been a bit quiet over here.

Hoping the first half of your October has led you to great experiences and encouraged you to continue to make time to tend to your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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