Simply Sather

sipping my drink slowly, equal parts gratitude + grief

It’s raining in Texas y’all!

This is special and big and wonderful because it’s happening on day 3 of the challenge (sip your favorite drink slowly) and it’s a day where most of you Soul Tenders are not having to work. I am giddy over here.

Giddy and a little melancholy too.

Instagram Challenge - Day 3
sipping slowly while listening to the rain

While sipping my Guatemalan coffee (it’s as delicious as it sounds!!!) with our office window open, hearing the rain and listening for what’s stirring in my soul, memories arise.

Slowing down makes room for my past to pull up a chair and stare me in the eye. This is harder for my past (good and not-so-good) to do when I’m in my regular routine. I’m too busy, I’ve got a list, I need to get to the next appointment, I have to take care of business. My “busy badge” is shiny and visible for all to see.

When I’m honest with myself, I recognize it for what it is – a mask.

A mask, a shield, a sentinel, if you will…

While sitting and slowly sipping my coffee in these perfect-for-reading conditions, my heart swirled with gratitude and grief.

Gratitude that I’m able to appreciate rain. Able to enjoy the quiet time to sit with myself and watch God do what He does. Elated that I live in an area where most things slow down because of rain. And on a holiday???

There is also grief.

So many things have been lost at my pursuit of the wrong things or the right things with wrong motive. So much wasted time moving through life trying to please, impress or satiate others for approval. Being widowed at 33yo and in the way that I was shook my whole world – and my perception of “normal” – upside down.

While sitting and sipping my coffee, my heart was equally grateful and grieved. A lot was lost and a lot has been gained.

As I became more honest with what I was feeling and gave myself permission to call it what it is, I felt my shoulders relax and my body release the tension of the conflict I’d been carrying.

It’s been important for me to do that.

To release, surrender even. To give myself permission to feel deeply. It doesn’t make me fall apart. It doesn’t keep me from moving forward – at least not permanently. It doesn’t make me weird or wrong.

We all have unrealized dreams or “what ifs” that pop up from time to time. Be real with yourself. It’s what we do (or don’t do) with them that impacts our soul.

For me, today I’m sharing my gratitude without guilt. I am incredibly grateful to be married to a man who also sips coffee, reads his Bible and smiles at me from across the room while I blog this post, sip my coffee or take breaks to read my book. All without my hair being done and face being fixed. (They’re out there ladies!!!) And I’m sharing my grief without shame. I grieve the death of my first husband. Especially as I witness the toll it takes on our only child as he transitions into young adulthood without his own father. It smarts.

As you sip your drink slowly – whether it be coffee, tea, a smoothie or wine later this evening – let whatever comes up and out be free to rise up. It is holding a place in your soul and needs to be tended to. Today, let the tending be identifying something(s) you may not have wanted to before.

And let me encourage you. If you had a moment like me today – even if it was a bit challenging, go schedule in two or three more days this month where you leave room to sit a little longer and a bit more still to sip your drink slowly and listen to what is in your soul.

Enjoy your day Soul Tender! No matter how you’ve started this challenge or how you feel it’s going, choose grace and keep taking the steps to tend to your soul.



Simply Sather

Instagram Challenge | Review the list today

I’ve done this y’all.

In relationships, accepting jobs, buying a car and even some of my travel. I nod excitedly about the beginning and don’t look through to read the fine print.

Now that I’m married to a very detailed man, I’m getting better and want to encourage you to be more like us him.

So, for today’s Instagram Challenge preparation post, I want you to make a moment to look at the challenge in detail. Read each and every prompt.

Right now.

Yes, kind of bossy, but trust me.

Soul Tending September Insta Challenge (2)


This step – reviewing the list before the start – is important to your soul tending success because we want to be sure you’ve got margin to win.

Whatever your goal(s) with this challenge, you will increase your chances of “winning” if you lay eyes on every prompt now before Saturday to give yourself a jumpstart. Doing this also helps you make margin for these things.

Making margin – in this case – means giving yourself permission and making room in your mind and schedule before you take on the act of tending to your soul each day. For example, I knew that day 2 of the prompt would include reading a magazine, so I looked through the ones I had and decided I wanted a new one, then bought the fall issue of Magnolia Journal and am holding on to it to bust open this weekend. I’ve already decided it’ll be while Mister (what I call my husband) is watching the U.S. Open – go Serena + Sloane!

My mind and soul is already making room in that day to enjoy flipping the pages and linger longer on the words because I’m doing this very intentional work for long-lasting benefit. I’m not being rigid or inflexible. And I don’t want you to be either.

Consider if it’s possible to switch some of the activities around to different days? Maybe it’ll work better for you to sip a drink slowly (#3), read a magazine (#2) and go to bed by 9p (#13) all on the same day because of a prior commitment or it just makes sense to you.

Go get your calendar and put it side-by-side with the soul tending list.

Which prompts on which days pose a potential threat to you reaching the SMART Goal you set? What can you start working in your mind, schedule, relationships, responsibilities now to make room to complete the tasks that you know will be good for you but you don’t have a clear plan to tackle?

This is where I get derailed every time.



I don’t take a few extra minutes to look all the way to the end of what I’m saying “yes” to in order to better anticipate roadblocks, stressors, setbacks and hurdles. If you give yourself a few minutes of focused thought – no multi-tasking here – you could probably eliminate some of the very things that may be laying in wait to keep you from continuing forward.

Come on Soul Tender!

Remember your why from day 1 of preparation and your SMART Goal from day 2. Doing this next step – taking time to look at the list today! – will put you closer to being ready to start, finish and succeed.

I believe in you and want to encourage you. Believe that your soul, your influence and your people will be better for it.