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I superseded some goals and completely goose-egged a few others.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

6 months of marriage – worth celebrating

It’s been six months since Mister and I said “we do”.

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I have found the one whom my soul loves

In my previous marriages, I did not think to celebrate half year anniversaries but I’m married to a man that is good at dreaming and especially at celebrating small (but big) things.

It’s not about spending a lot of money or making a big hoorah, but it is worth taking time out for me to put my phone away, watch a movie that encourages us to cuddle on the couch and sip our favorite red wine.

While recently studying a devotional on the book of Ruth, I came across a quote about marriage being rest when you’re with the right person.

With the right partner, marriage is rest. | Rebecca Faires

Not that I’m an expert, but having been married twice before with many, many, m-a-n-y unrestful moments, this quote is true.

It doesn’t mean that marriage is not work. It does not mean that it’s super easy. In fact, I think when we’re not in it we can idolize it and morph it into all the things we want it to be when it’s oftentimes the opposite.

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his excitement to lead me makes me beam

Our commitment was always about doing it God’s way.

For us, this includes a lot of things I wanted in a marriage – wanted to show up and do/give/be in a marriage partnership – but did not have the courage, energy or confidence to do/give/be. It was more important for me to please + perform, than be authentic + strong.

And this is hard y’all.

I am a strong person.

So strong that I’ve weathered some pretty significant storms in life – does being married twice before, raising a boy by myself, changing careers 57 times (at least how it feels) count and experiencing major medical setbacks in my early 40s – and am still faithful to God. I still believe Him. I still love Him. I still walk with Him.

All be it’s never been perfectly done – because well, have we met? – but it’s been done with a spirit of hope. Of belief that I’m truly more than what’s happened to me. Or the disappointments I’ve inflicted on others. Or the decisions that some have felt I should have made but I didn’t – even though they were right.

I own that. Or at least I’m beginning to.

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so dreamy

Part of how I’m doing it is learning to celebrate the small things. Currently, I’m most intentional about celebrating small steps in building my business, but it’s leaking into other areas of my life…like my love connection with Mister.

He is diligent in loving me.

I tear up while typing this.

I recently spoke with a group of young women from the church we all attend – never married, no children – and my heart was honored to be able to sit with them for a few hours, even though it was well beyond the strength of my natural deodorant. Seriously, an aside – it’s hot here in Texas and when you add a some excitement and a little nervousness to an opportunity to speak, you get super self-conscious sweaty me.

Anyways…

We were sitting together talking on the eve of my 6 month wedding anniversary and all I wanted to call out in them was their beauty. Right now. In their singleness, in their waiting. The beauty that I am becoming more confident seeing. The beauty that my Mister and close, trusted folks who knew my heart also called out in me. It’s not just because I have a man to tell me that he finds me beautiful that I’m better receiving it, but because God saw fit – after all the dumb I’ve done + wounds I’ve sustained – to partner me, ME, with this man and allow my beauty to shine brightly.

Heck yeah, we celebrated!

Though our spicy dinner messed with my tummy, (too much info?) we had a fairly enjoyable night. It was quiet, slow, without distraction (read “no phone, work or computer) and it was wonderful.

It is how I’m learning to roll. It’s Simply Sather…

Thank you Mister! It’s been a great 6 months, I’m praying and believing for many, many more.

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happy, happy, joy, joy

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Wedding Venue: Stonebridge Wedding Venue

Photographer: Lily Hayes Photography

Wedding Coordinator: email me at simplysatherteam(dot)gmail(dot)com – she was fantastic!

Simply Sather

surviving shame + sharing about it

It’s so humbling when you come to the place where you realize the only way out is through.

a beautiful view of the goals, but what a rough road it is to get there

I’ve started and ended 6 blogs before this one on various topics knowing that the heart of the matter was the struggles God has brought me through. There have been disappointments in jobs and relationships (ones I’ve brought on and some shared by others) and hurts from misunderstandings, grief and sin. But, I’ve tried to write from a people-pleasing perspective or with a cultural, social bend. Inviting the voices of those I respect or who lead me to overwhelm the voice of God within me.

I have been silent about His work in my life and the good that I’ve hoped could come from telling my stories and it has made sick.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. | Proverbs 13:12

When considering what I have to offer people who follow my Instagram account, this blog or call me their friend, I keep coming back to the realization that they genuinely like to see me smile. Even if they only know a bit of what I went through (being widowed by the Iraqi War then being in a difficult, ungodly marriage, then divorced) they are cheering for me.

And I think that’s what we really want to do in this world.

We want to encourage others through the fire. Or at least we want to be in a place where we see the person overcome tough things, so we can believe that we can too.

Even more than being successful in our careers, owning big homes and driving fancy cars, I believe that every woman (person) is seeking to simply be loved well. To be seen, valued and heard, able to contribute.

When I was facing the death of my first husband all those years ago, I was most devastated by the reality that what we had built together, I would now need to go the rest of the way alone. Which felt cruel.

I’d been fine with my books and quiet, choosing unhealthy dating relationships because being in a relationship with a man who treated me poorly was supposed to better than no relationship and living vicariously through the stories of others.

But, I wasn’t fine.

And God wasn’t content to leave me in that state; hiding His gifts and talents away inside me.

It required a lot of work – and to be candid, it still does – to get me to realize that there was stuff inside – good and not-so-pretty – that needed to come out in order for me to be all that He has created me to be. And He could only do it through relationship and it would include me walking through some very, very, very difficult things.

I don’t know where this blog is going to go, but I think it’s time to get more real about what I’ve been through. To share more vulnerably so when people read about the blessing of my marriage to Mister now, they don’t think it was handed to me by God without strife, difficulty or pain along the way.

My desire is to share about the move from some things I thought I’d never survive to a place where I am growing more and more confident in the woman God is developing me into. This means embracing my blackness no matter how uncomfortable it makes others around me. It also means asking questions to better understand those around me and their hearts in pursuit of God. And finally, it means attempting to be vulnerable and share hard things in the hopes to inspire others that can relate to even a part of my journey to draw closer to God, surround themselves with friends who will say hard things with love and stick by them through the icky parts that cause many to flee.

I am stepping into the fire with this direction, trusting God to lead me through. I am terrified y’all. First it was that no one would read what I have to write in this space, now it’s that I’m not writing freely and authentically what He would have me share. That what I would share here – though it’ll my truth or version of the things have brought me to this place – will be denied, downplayed and disrespected by those who can not or choose not to understand. For those who think it’s too much to share, that I’m too much. I am fearful that I will be judged by women and men and then feel ashamed and just quit.

It’s what I’ve done before. I don’t want to do it again.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. |

Psalm 34:4-5

I meet in quiet times with God in my daily living and invite Him to clear out the cluttered, overwhelmed, wounded places. And invite Him into the spaces I get to occupy (home, work, etc.) and in my mind so that there is margin for hearing what it is He wants me to do. Then getting real about embracing true, godly love and learning to walk confidently with hope and joy in living simply as me.

I hope you’ll follow along – it’s been a wild ride; one that’s only getting better.