Simply Sather

JANUARY IN REVIEW

Over the past five years, I’ve participated in an in-depth goal setting and goal reaching process created by Lara Casey – they’re called Powersheets. I still learn new things each year I begin the process and am enjoying helping other women navigate the process.

I have shared (and deleted) many of my monthly tending lists that break down my big goals into actionable monthly, weekly and daily tasks. Two of my big goals for 2019 are (1) to write and (2) to encourage more folks to tend to their souls. Sharing an update on how I’m reaching these goals, or how I may be missing the mark, here in this space seems a next natural step. I only hope that it offers you some encouragement, answers some soul care questions and inspires you in the things you are called to walk out in your own life.

For the items that are completed successfully, I’ve put a line through them. For those action items I only partially completed or are incomplete, they will remain unmarked and likely include and an excuse explanation.

MONTHLY ACTION ITEMS

  • Read, Finish & Return: Taming the Dragon – a sort read, that helped me understand the underbelly of being in menopause and how to deal with it naturally
  • Finance talk with Mister regarding my debt & savings plan (an update) – this is like a drive-by y’all; it’s not my favorite thing to talk to my husband about. Or anyone for that matter. I’ve made some bad financial decisions and am now cleaning up my mess. I am sharing with him and he is patient. I am eager for the victory that will come from me eliminating the debt I’ve accrued using the Dave Ramsey method and saying “no” to more.
  • Save $25 I did it y’all! And with the savings account that I have, when you have a certain amount of money in your account, a transfer is made to help “save as you go”. It’s not a lot ($53!) but I started with $0, didn’t touch it once and now I’m well on my way to having a savings account built on discipline and godly stewardship of at least $500 before the end of the year.
  • Set Meeting Schedule with Boss  Yes! A standing appointment at Redefined Coffee in Grapevine, Texas (such a cool place) every Monday at the same time.
  • Mail ALL New Year’s Day Cards I wasn’t even going to do this. One night when I couldn’t sleep, I was enjoying the photos on my phone and saw a great special. 40 of our family and friends hopefully received a smile in their mailboxes to wish them a Happy New Year. It was a good experience and we just got a $20 discount in the mail so I think we may be able to send a bunch more.
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a wedding in spokane (circa July 2018)
  • Finish 8 books – I was kind of close, well not really…you can see the ones I completed over here.
  • Birthday Package/Plan for 2019 – I don’t have a one-size fits all kind of gift in mind yet, but I’ve made some progress in making sure I record people’s birthdays and send them a message via text or private messenger. I’m open to ideas here people!
  • Paint “with the yellow” We got a beautiful board sign for our home as a gift. On the night we painted it, we chose a color that didn’t do the sign right. We added another piece of wall art that had just the right yellow that we were looking for, so I painted over the original color with the yellow paint. It’s not perfect, but it’s done and it’s the new color finishes the sign.

Gather With the Sathers

  • Take 155,000 steps – 102, 628 steps; I can do better!

WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS

  • Post & Memorize Scriptures on GRACE – I memorized one (Psalm 62:5) and posted another one (Ephesians 2:8+9) for two weeks, it was almost memorized
  • Email Mister every single week, I emailed my heart to my hubby
  • Bake peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, lemon pie, and strawberry-rose butter

Homemade Lemon Pie

  • Date Your Spouse – we put this on hold during the 35-day government shutdown, read our story here, here, and here
  • Watch an American Film Institute Film – just couldn’t get it together to watch any of these, I was often busy reading the news
  • Blog Post (2 each week) every week, one week even three!
  • #Motherlovetext – every Friday I send a text of encouragement to my 19yo. He is not required to respond, but when he does it makes my day. I’ve been doing this for about three years, this is the most consistent I’ve ever been and I believe he still appreciates it.

DAILY ACTION ITEMS/HABITS

  • 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude I missed a couple of days but would catch up. It’s been a favorite daily habit to spend time with watercolors, God’s word and a short playlist of five songs that I play each time I do this activity.

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This playlist serves as a cue for developing this new habit. When this 100 days is over on April 10th, I’ll start a new habit for the next 100 days (not sure what it is just yet), taking the rest of July and August off and then beginning again on September 1st to develop one last new habit.

My February Tending List is now complete so I’ll begin working on all of the things and taking all of the steps I can. One of the “things” I’m most excited about is that I’ll be running a closed Facebook Workshop called, “Alphabet Soup for the Soul”. You can sign up for this workshop and participate right from your phone. Find all of the details and get signed up for the workshop right here.

Also, if you’re not subscribed to this website, I’d like to encourage you to take a moment and do that here. Every single blog post (one to two each week) and my monthly newsletter (which went out to subscribers earlier this week) will land directly in your email inbox. Finally, I’ll be updating the resources page each month, so please consider checking back for new goodies that are designed to help you dig deeper as you tend to your soul.

Thank you for cheering me on and loving me as I learn to tend to my soul and help others do the same. Hoping to see many of you in the Alphabet Soul Care Workshop this month!

 

Simply Sather

12 SMALL BUSINESS SHOPS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST + SOME TIPS FOR THE KIDDOS TOO!

For the past couple of years, I’ve been stretching (or rather shrinking) into minimalism with The Minimalists.

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Their influence, impact and education changed the way I consume stuff + information and is becoming more of a lifestyle.

Before you skip or skim this post, let me tell you that on the road to becoming more of a minimalist does not mean I never buy anything I like. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t make lists for gifts for my birthday, our anniversary or at Christmas time. Because quality time + acts of service are my biggest love languages (more about this next week!), I tend to enjoy time with people doing things I enjoy; like girlfriends coming over in my small but open concept kitchen and baking yummy treats with me.

I know that not everyone is like me, but sweet soul tender, I’d like to encourage you to slow down a bit before you spend this holiday season. Take a moment and consider this mindset from the Minimalists:

Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.

Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which aren’t things at all.

If what you’re out in the streets or on your computer purchasing today (through Cyber Monday) really helps you create more of the things that really matter and is within the budget you’ve set to spend, then I say shop + spend merrily.

Here are 10 places we’ll be shopping from during this season and throughout the year. You’ll want to read through to the end though, because the last link has a discount that benefits you and me! You’re welcome.

Before I hop into great gifts and shopping for adults, let me share a few links about these sweet peeps:

FOR THE KIDS, NIECES + NEPHEWS + GRANDKIDDOS

Minimalist Christmas Gifts for Kids

Clutter Free Stocking Stuffers

Give Kids Experience Gifts

145 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids of Every Age

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Now on to you!

FRANCIS + BENEDICT

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As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Francis + Benedict exists to empower and equip skilled Togolese seamstresses by providing them with dignified and sustainable employment.

I have three skirts from this organization and enjoy their mission. Mister hooked me up with one skirt as a Christmas gift last year (yes, I helped him with narrow the choices and pick the right size for me). Of the clothes I own – not a lot, mind you – these skirts get the most compliments months and months after I’ve worn them. And I just enjoy pointing people back to the mission and work of Francis + Benedict.

BELONG MAG

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Belong Magazine is a quarterly digital and print magazine celebrating the art and community of creativity, community and entrepreneurship. In all that we do, we desire for women to use their passions for a purpose, to inspire women to be authentic, to be life-giving and to encourage one another. We want women to know that they are enough, that they matter and that they have a place. They belong. 

Or whatever magazine you know speaks to your friend or loved one; that helps them see other people doing some the things they have been called to do or that encourages them in their soul.

MON PETIT FOUR 

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…created Mon Petit Four as a way to share French recipes and lifestyle tips that she gathered from her many trips to France. Today, Beeta enjoys inspiring her readers with fresh ideas on meals they can prepare at home, style tips, and home decor suggestions that incorporate the French elegance and sophistication she admires so much. 

Y’all. The people in your life get excited about something. Do you know what it is?

For me, behind my relationship with Jesus and books comes France. That didn’t sound right – I love you Mister and Shorty and mom – but it’s true. I get excited about speaking and hearing the language, baking their baked goods and in general, the culture.

So the French pastry class will help me become more of the hobby baker I’d like while benefitting my hubby’s sweet tooth. I so enjoy learning and this website teaches me things, allows me to have experiences and to serve others.

And umm y’all. This class: French Baking Class for Beginners (which you have lifetime access to and can do from anywhere you have an internet connection, device and oven) is currently $9.99. NINE DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS!!! I’m just sayin’ if you haven’t gotten this for yourself or a baker in your life, you’re missing out on some delectable calories.

THE GIVING KEYS

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At The Giving Keys, we want to inspire the world to pay it forward, so we’ve built it into how we do business. Through our social impact employment model, every product you purchase supports job creation for people transitioning out of homelessness.

Every year for the past five years, I’ve chosen one word to focus on throughout the year. It often dictates my goals and action plan for the year. I’ve already had my words for 2019 come to me – yes two words next year! – and would be grateful to rock one or both words with a black matte key to help support their mission and share my word.

One of my favorite things about their keys is that when you believe you’ve grown in that word or that area and see someone else who you believe could benefit from that word, you give them your key, you pay it forward. I’ve been able to do this twice and both times, it’s been a powerful experience for me and the key recipient.

CULTIVATE + POWERSHEETS

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With an ever-growing list of to-dos, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks on your plate, and disappointed you’re not spending enough time doing the things you love and caring for the people you love.

We want to press the reset button! We believe your time can be spent intentionally, and that your to-do lists can be simplified by uncovering meaningful goals and taking action on them little by little. In doing this, we learn to celebrate progress, not perfection.

Cultivate What Matters was created to give you the community, resources, and encouragement to realize that you can make great things—big or small—happen!

I’ve read two of Casey’s books and done the Powersheets (Goal Planners) for the past 5 years. My friends, if you wonder how I get so much done or how I choose what I do + how I spend my time; the Powersheets have had a huge thing to do with it.

I enjoy the paper process, but mostly I appreciate the constant reminder that our focus is on “progress not perfection”. Already have my sheets for next year and will begin working on them in early December!

BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB

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Now this one will be a new one for me this year, but hello! If you know me, then you know I’m often with a book in my cute Hobo bag, catching a few pages at a stoplight in traffic.

And while I use my library card regularly, it’s nice to be the first person to crack a copy of a book. Do you know what I mean? Not a book that someone else has already read in their bathtub, in their bathroom (eww, right?!? but come on, I know you’ve done it too) or even while eating their curry dish that I can still smell in the pages of that 642 page novel I can’t put down.

With my self-imposed book challenge for the year – see the details on my book love blog page – I don’t think it’s cheating for me to ask for the gift as long as I don’t purchase it myself. My son asked what I’d like for Christmas, I sent him the link; it’s the only thing I asked for. I’ll keep you posted.

INSPIRED 3 CROCHET

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After making hats and baby items for friends and family, I was encouraged to take it a step further. I have to thank my Dad, who also has an Etsy shop, for helping me get started. And to all my friend who keep up the support. It brings me joy to hear from happy customers when they receive their handmade items, and they are so pleased. I work hard on every item I create to make sure “it is just right”.

I so enjoy knowing this Etsy shop owner. She’s a brilliant mind, a funny woman and a great friend. You’ll see lots of photos of Green Bay Packers gear, but breathe Texans, she can make other teams’ patterns; she fiesty though so you gotta come correct. Ha! I kid, her customer service and attention to detail will blow you away.

My desired project has not been started yet because I really don’t know what of hers I want most – but to my sorority sisters, can’t you just imagine lovely, matching blankets with a kite woven into it?

THE CACTUS ROSE SHOP

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Welcome to The Cactus Rose! I am very excited to finally be opening this shop. What started as a hobby in my garage, I found a love for woodworking and being creative. I have combined these two loves by starting The Cactus Rose where I specialize in creating personalized home decor and gifts. I love taking an idea and turning that into a reality. Thanks for stopping by my shop, and I hope to make something special for you! 

We just got a stunning custom-made high topped table for our living space (apartment home tour post coming soon!) which now leaves a space on our wall. I saw this young lady’s new shop and reached out.

Other than the math she required (the hardest part!) she was quick to respond and is whipping up some decor to help finish our space to complement our minimalist theme.

She also does custom tree ornaments y’all. Click over on Insta or Facebook and let her serve you.

YOUNG LIVING

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I’m no longer a distributor, but still very much a consumer.

And want to encourage you, if you’re still using chemicals to clean your home you really will want to consider Young Living as an alternative to what’s easy to grab at your local drugstore or even Target.

As my hands begin to wrinkle from years and years of harsh chemicals and cleaning (well and age), I realize the damage that can be happening inside of my body too.

I won’t get preachy, but will tell you that it’s worth checking out. And if you don’t have a distributor or someone that can help you navigate the process, I have a woman who will love you up with answers and information but without pressure.

BEAUTY COUNTER

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And so I started Beautycounter, a company devoted to progress. Here you’ll find a wealth of empowering information about ways we can all make the world healthier, along with safer products you can trust. Because we all deserve better. Our vision is bold; real answers are never timid. Help us put truth back in beauty.

I have tried so many cosmetics companies but became ready to make the change when I learned about Beauty Counter’s impact on the beauty industry – at the law changing level – as well as making products that are safe and more considerate of brown skinned women and all of our shades.

Their packaging is simplistic and attentive to our environment – which Mister supports! – and my consultant is just a gem.

Shop here for yourself, your man or your mama and get their top sellers for a discounted price. Also know, that using this link helps me get some goodies at a discounted price too!

SIMPLY SATHER

And last, but not least…

I know this woman who is adamant about self-care and tending to one’s soul. It’s me!

No matter how your holidays go, there will be some wear and tear and a bit of stress. And at the end of it all, I want you to have some intentional time to reflect and recover.

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For everyone who submits an inquiry between now and the 5th of December, you will receive a 10% discount off of whatever soul care retreat you choose. You can read all about it here.

You’re doing all the work for everyone else, do not believe for one moment that there shouldn’t be something of value for you.

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No matter how you prepare for or shop for the Christmas holiday, I believe you can find something in here that will last beyond the unwrapped tornado on Christmas Day.

And a heads’ up friends, as we move into prime Christmas time, I’ll be dialing back the blog posts to almost none in December. While I’ll continue writing and drafting for the new year, December is a needed time for me to reflect on the past year and prepare, pray and plan for the new one.

It’s not goodbye for 2018 just yet though – I’ll be back next week with some posts and some ideas about how to do more than survive December and the holiday season.

Happy hearted, gratitude-filled shopping soul tenders!

 

Simply Sather

cultivating what matters | july

Wow! Really July? You gone…

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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!

MONTHLY

  • 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!

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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.

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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.

WEEKLY

  • 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.

Sigh.

  • 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.

DAILY

  • 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!

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  • Hydrate 4 Ellos/day

STILL NOT EASY.

  • 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.