Simply Sather

FALL FAST 2018

I know. I can hear it from some of my close friends already…

You just finished the soul tending thingy, now you’re taking on something else?

Well, yes and no.

You see, we just sat and completed our October schedules together as a couple and y’all, I’m a little stressed out. Especially since so many of our events + happenings are taking place the first thirteen days of the month.

In addition to all of the wonderful, good, exciting, blessed things, I’ve committed myself to the finishing the year with energy and zest for life rather than how I normally do it; frustrated, irritated and completely worn out.

It’s going to take some daily discipline (hence the #Last90days challenge) and a whole lot of surrender.

Fall Fast 2018, blog (1)

WHY A 6-WEEK FASTING CLASS

This is the why behind my wanting to facilitate a 6-week “course” on fasting.

You see, I’m nothing without Jesus.

And as I move my feet and step into new territory (empty nester + building a business), I am realizing that I’ve not shared enough with people how true this is for me.

I’ve received a lot of complimentary, kind words over the years about how encouraging I am. How discerning I seem. And how good I am with people. Most of the time, I could not receive these things as true statements.

Not about me.

But now that I’m married to the most right man for me, I’m receiving these statements from him (and others) well, but I’m wanting to ensure that I’m helping people understand something.

I did not get to be where I am – the things you like, praise or give accolades to – without Jesus meeting me there and loving me to the depths of my soul. Even when I was acting like a chucklehead y’all.

WHY A 6-WEEK FASTING CLASS FOR ME

The soul tending challenge was wonderful in so many ways. It helped me realize I do start and finish things. That I am quite good at sitting and being still and quiet; really listening to and processing what’s inside me. And that I really, truly, deeply enjoy connecting with other women who’ve been through difficult times and helping them to take a step closer to Jesus.

My method is through asking questions. And direct answers.

It’s how my conversations with my Savior work. I ask Him any and everything, then (or eventually) He answers me directly + clearly. I choose whether I listen and heed or not. (Far more times than I’d like to admit, it’s the latter, but “His grace is sufficient for me.”)

An area where I’m continuously struggling to get solid footing on is being an empty nester.

My son moved out over a month ago. My one and only son. My one and only son that I raised for over a decade by myself after being widowed. That kid was my running partner. We was out in the streets together. I allowed him to go and do a lot of things and have a lot of experiences away from me, but I didn’t ever not want to be his mother. It could be argued that I shared too much with him at a younger age, but I felt he could be trusted with those things. With those hard truths.

Truths about my wounds. My choices. My faith. Even my unbelief. My child knows me and knows about a lot of my sin as a woman and especially as a mother. We are bonded in the ugly, the real + the beautiful.

We became a pretty, solid, somewhat feisty package-deal any man for who would dare approach.

And when Mister and I met, my son’s response shook me silly.

After arriving home from our first date (at Coal Vines, for you locals), I barely shared about the date when my son expressed he felt that something was really different about me and he suspected that it had to do with my date.

As our courtship and love connection grew and strengthened and it seemed my son willingly, but not easily, handed the baton of loving me – the main woman + constant in his life – over to my husband.

And while it’s wonderful to receive the gift of a godly, healthy match – it’s also gut-wrenching to accept that it marks the changing of your relationship with your child. At least that’s what it’s meant for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s necessary. And what I’ve worked diligently for. It was never my heart’s desire for me to raise my son to be bonded to me in a way that would stunt the calling God has put on his life. Even as a 5yo, I spoke to him as the man I wanted him to be someday, not as the little boy in my charge.

The time comes quickly. And it did for me and my son.

Even though you know it’s coming, I’ve found it difficult not to see a part of my heart everyday. And then when you do see them and see they’ve lost weight, have bags under their eyes and aren’t making the best decisions, it’s difficult to take. He’s struggling.

Which makes me struggle.

And there’s only so much I can do. In fact, there’s very little I can physically do.

So I will pray diligently for the soul of this young man. Through depression, the pain and deep wounding of being without his father for so many years + the development into a young adult and all of the pressure that comes with that – I MUST fight this battle this way. It’s how I’ve made it through the darkest moments in my life, relying on my faith that Jesus always wins. I’ve tried it other ways and it’s brought disaster and more pain.

regina-mark-wedding-photos-stonebridge-blum-tx (40 of 342)
This is my “why” for fasting these next 6 weeks.

Even at my discomfort, I will turn my heart towards Jesus and deny myself twelve meals over 6 weeks. I am expectant and faithful that God will work. In my son and in me.

FALL FAST 2018 – AN OVERVIEW

The Fall Fast “course” is just that because I do not know how to make it a membership. If you understand coding or the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into building a website that permits you to teach online courses, you know it can be a nightmare. My ideas and the content are so clear, but when it comes to putting things into the system, things take longer and it’s messy. But, that’s this season – doing things messy.

Not as pretty or organized or polished, but still available for the most important work.

So, while it’s listed as a course, it’s free.

The group will max out at 25 people to keep it small and intimate. It is not for social media and nothing shared in the group will be shared outside of it. This battle will be fought in private, in prayer alongside a few others.

The weekly content should take you no more than 15 minutes to sift through. Linger on what you like like, skip what you don’t. It’s really a buffet kind of gig. (So sorry for the food reference.)

One recommendation is that you do not skip the scriptures. There are far more verses in the Bible about fasting than I ever knew. Probably because I’ve not paid much attention, because well, I don’t really love going without food when I can’t choose when I eat. I won’t be sharing all of the scriptures on fasting over our 6 weeks together, but there will be plenty of which you can graze. (Again, with the food reference and I haven’t even begun fasting yet.)

Maybe this is just for me and my one girlfriend where this originally began. If so, that’s fine. But, I wanted to take some time to spell out why I’m fasting and be vulnerable in this space since I’m often encouraging you to do it.

I’ll be fasting on Wednesdays – even the Wednesday while I’m in China! – but you can choose whichever day works best for you/your schedule.

I’m excited to see what God is going to do.

Suit up. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Simply Sather

SOUL CARE CHALLENGE | WEEK 03

You’re doing great! No matter where you’re jumping in on this Soul Tending Challenge, please know that you’re welcome and success is yours.

Soul Tending Challenge
you can do it friend! finish what you’ve started…

And if you’re doing the work but not posting, all of your work still counts; more than counts. Because it’s about you and what you need to be doing to grow.

Along the way, I’m hearing from many of you privately.  You’re wanting to reassure me that you’re doing the work or expressing your apologies for doing it differently or on the same day. You’re telling me that you value the opportunity but you are conflicted in some way.

Conflicted about posting publicly, the prompts, the schedule or something else.

And that’s okay friend. Truly. There have been days and prompts that have pushed me and made me consider quitting. But I recall my “why” and my desired outcome and I am able to keep going. I hope you’ll do the same.

Up this week…

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17 | SNUGGLE A PET/STUFFED ANIMAL

If this sounds miserable to you, set a timer for 20 minutes and then you’re done!

18 | SMILE, SMILE, SMILE

1 post, 3 different photos of the same smile or three smiles of those you love.

My only encouragement is that you avoid using filters to alter your smile in any way, just be you.

Please share what made you smile – I hope you’ll be surprised.

19 | FORGIVE YOURSELF

This is important work in our souls.

Not designed to take you to a dark place but if you sit and consider a lingering thought, hurt or unresolved matter and how you contributed to it – you may unearth the need to forgive yourself.

The best photo I can think of for this is for you to share a selfie without fixing up yourself for the shot.

In forgiveness there is freedom. Show us you.

20 | BE STILL + SILENT FOR AN HOUR

It’s not impossible.

To be quiet for an hour. I’m probably gonna read or maybe take a nap, schedule-permitting, but this is for you to put your electronics away and just daydream. Let your mind wander.

21 | FIND YOUR SOUL CARE SPOT

A place where you can go and just repeat what you did yesterday.

Kuddos to you.

Even if you don’t get to spend much time there, add a candle or a favorite photo and tell your people “mine!”

22 | WRITE A NOTE OR SHARE A KIND WORD WITH A STRANGER

You know how sometimes you leave the grocery check-out line and you knew you were to say something kind and encouraging to that person but you chickened out for whatever reason?

Not sure who to write to? The World Needs More Love Letters can guide you.

Go into today intentionally looking for an opportunity to do something kind or speak kind words to a stranger or an acquaintance – without expectation but with sincerity.

23 | DAYDREAM

Snap a photo of your view and then get back to it.

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Remember to have fun, it’s work, but it’s still good to be silly sometimes.

Simply Sather

Soul Tending: highlights week 1 + week 2 prompts

I’m so proud of you Soul Tenders!

While many (or most) are not posting publicly on a regular basis, I believe you’re doing the work on whichever day(s) you can and as you’re able. You should be so proud of yourselves.

Please remember…

If you weren’t doing any of the prompts on this list before this challenge began in September and you’re trying these new things then you’re already winning. You’re experiencing success! Claim it friend.

If you’re new to this space and you’re wondering what this is all about, jump over here to read about the soul care challenge before scrolling down to check out a couple of my favorites of YOUR posts in response to the each of the week 1 prompts.

It’s already been so fun, I’m really excited to see what you all come up with next week (the prompts for week two are at the bottom of this post) as you continue to intentionally + actively tend to your soul.

WEEK ONE HIGHLIGHTS

day 01 | go for a walk

day 02 | read a magazine

day 03 | sip your favorite drink slowly

day 04 | take a bath

day 05 | be a tourist in your city

day 06 | eat a meal outside

day 07 | engage with art

day 08 | dance in your kitchen

Now on to this coming week’s prompts. Maybe you’re returning and missed a few maybe you’re getting started…

No matter, I’m glad you’re here.

Soul Tending Challenge
truly, I’m glad you’re here!

Here are a couple of things I’d like you to keep in mind and the prompts for the second week.

1 | THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

If you’re setting high expectations for yourself or focusing on “winning” at this, please let that go.

While you’re encouraged to stretch yourself and make margin in new areas of soul tending, the ultimate goal is to remove stress, stuck + overwhelm. Lean into the prompts that excite you and make you smile and put them on your calendar.

Invite your family, friends, neighbors and even co-workers to join you. In this case, the more people you know that are doing this the easier it’ll be – and the more fun too!

Don’t forget to snap a quick photo and when you’re on social media sometime that day (example: on the 9th of September, post your photo of the clouds).

2 | LOOK BEYOND THE MONTH, THINK LIFESTYLE!

Each day you’re able to participate, take a few extra moments to consider if that day’s prompt is something you’d like to revisit, restructure and add to your lifestyle.

Take a moment to journal and/or reflect each day. Ask yourself what you enjoyed or did not like about the activity and star the ones you’d like to repeat before the end of the year.

Think of this as a jumping off point to deeper work in your soul, for your benefit and the benefit of those you love.

WEEK 2 PROMPTS

10 | PLAY WITH A 2-YEAR-OLD

Don’t get legalistic or be too strict with this one. The idea is to spend time with a human much younger than you – a child way outside of your season in life. One of those people who relies on other humans for almost everything they need.

And to do it distraction-free. Put your phone away and get down to their level and simply observe them. Listen to them, ask them questions. Don’t teach or correct, just see them and their little big soul.

Enjoy that.

11 | DRAW, DOODLE OR COLOR

Just how it sounds.

Do this and let yourself push beyond the lines – if there are lines.

Crayola offers some adult coloring pages here!

And please, please, please post your photos. I’m excited to see what comes out of your soul.

12 | BAKE

Plan ahead for this one now. Go pull out that family favorite or hop on over to Pinterest to pick something you’ve pinned and have been wanting to try.

If you’re watching those lbs. be sure to consider baking something with the intent to give the bulk of it away.

13 | GO TO BED BEFORE (OR BY) 9P

You can do this y’all!

Our sleep is so quickly sacrificed in favor of so many other things and it ain’t good. This is a habit I’m becoming more diligent about and in a very short time, I’m reaping great benefits.

You don’t have to be asleep but try to be face-ready, hair-wrapped, pajama-dorned and in bed by 9:00p. If you’re married, encourage your spouse to join you; if you have roomies, challenge them to do the same.

You’re gonna love this one.

14 | CREATE A SOUL CARE PLAYLIST

After my son whipped up a playlist on Spotify – that we still listen to and enjoy today – I finally committed to a subscription and have not batted an eye.

Whatever way you put together a dozen songs to prepare you for whatever it is that you use music to set you up for, do the same for your soul.

If you’re on Spotfiy, please come and find me and be my friend and then also share your soul care playlist with me. I’ve made my list “collaborative” which means we can truly share!

15 | HAVE A “SOCIAL MEDIA FREE” DAY

This may seem ironic, but it’s intended to be.

Although we’re in this soul tending thing together – yes! – it’s okay to take a break every now and again.

I encourage you to this without telling anyone you’re doing so. Just take the day off. No Insta, no Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or whatever else it is you use to consume stuff about other people and how they’re living.

This is easier for me now than it ever used to be. Mostly because I know why I’m using Instagram (and even have timers on my phone to know when it’s time to check-in – which hopefully explains my delays sometimes) it’s not as big of a deal to take a time off and I encourage you to really consider how it feels and how you can slide this into your regular routine.

16 | GET A MASSAGE

Whatever your budget permits – we’re doing the Dave Ramsey thing y’all! – make it work.

This might mean orchestrating one of those group circles with your co-workers where everyone rubs the shoulders of the person in front of them.

Ewww, no. Don’t do that.

But, if it’s rubbing your own feet or your hands together while breathing deeply – make.it.work.for.you.

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If you’ve been at this since day 1 and finding yourself wavering or unsure, maybe you’re talking poorly to yourself about your progress using words like “late, behind, mistake” then go back to this post and this one. Doing the steps there will help you be more successful in the soul tending process and more graceful with yourself when things don’t go as planned.

Be very careful how you speak to yourself while doing this, you may be sabotaging yourself.

Also, remember that this challenge is for you. For your soul. Share what you want, keep the rest to yourself and please know I’m praying for you Soul Tender. Have fun out there!