Flourish

Grace-Full Rhythms: Sabbath

Growing up our family prioritized church and family on Sundays. I remember the house being so quiet and still after Sunday lunch, because everyone was napping. It was the perfect time for me to sneak away into my room and devour whatever book I was reading at the time. I would look forward to those Sunday afternoon “binge reading” sessions all week long.

There was also a season in the Enockson household where we all were asked to spend at least two hours in the living room on Sunday nights. We could read a book, play a game, or talk. The point wasn’t what we did, but that we spent time together.

I didn’t know it then, but my family was incorporating the rhythm of a weekly Sabbath at a young age.

 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11

Sabbath keeping has been one of the most life-giving rhythms and an anchor in my rule of life. My name translates “industrious” and true to my name, I find it can be hard hard to quit the cycle of “do the next thing” and practice Sabbath. Yet when I regularly practise Sabbath, I’m reminded that the world does not revolve around me (no surprise there!) and that God wants to BE with me more than just have me do things for Him.

Sabbath is more than just going to church twice in one day, long naps, or enjoying a big family meal. Yes, your Sabbath can include all of those things, but it’s more than just a day off. Sabbath is a day that orientates our hearts and minds towards worship. The rhythms of our hearts and weeks should be orientated towards the Sabbath, either preparing for, anticipating, or delighting in our Creator.

Your Sabbath as a single mom, retired Grandma, mamma with grown kids, or single lady will look incredibly different than mine. But, there are a few ways that we all can remember to center our hearts around rest & worship when I practice Sabbath.

Stop

Sabbath means “cease from work”. From creation, God developed the rhythm of work and rest. For six days He created, breathed life, and sculpted creation and then on the 7th day he rested. It was a day like none before, a day to enjoy and savor the work of creation.  A Sabbath heart begins by stopping our regular routines and declaring one day or 24 hour period to be set-apart and look different from the rest of the week.

Grace Note: Pull out your calendar and look at the week ahead. Is there a day or 1/2 day that you could mark as a Sabbath Celebration?  Mark it down on the calendar, invite your family or friends to join you, and guard that day and your commitments fiercely. 

 

Rest

In the Jewish tradition, people observed the sabbath from sundown Friday evening to Sunset Saturday.  The Sabbath literally begins & ends with sleep.  What a beautiful picture of complete surrender.  When we are sleeping we are not in control.  Rest reminds us that we can trust in God and that He is the one who guides our path.

One thing I learned in studying was that in Jewish tradition the weeks were orientated around the Sabbath.  The first three days after the Sabbath were meant to reflect on those special days and then the following three days were preparation and anticipation to the Sabbath.  I loved this picture of orientation my week and time around the Sabbath. In order to rest well on that day, we need to prepare the other days.  If you choose to not go shopping on your Sabbath, you’ll need to find another day to get groceries and run errands.  One habit I’ve adopted is to use Saturday’s as my household chore and “work day”.

Grace Note: What are 2-3 things you could do today in order to prepare for you upcoming Sabbath?  Maybe it means running some errands over the lunch hour or picking up paper plates so you don’t have to do dishes.  Do those things now and prayerfully prepare for your Sabbath Celebration? 

Painting scripture is one of my favorite Sabbath rhythms.

Worship

Sabbath is a day set apart not for us, but for God. Sabbath without worship is a vacation 😉  True rest and contentment can only come from His presence.  Worship might mean visiting a favorite coffee shop for an extended time of quiet reflection and journaling, meeting with a community of believers, or even putting on worship music and belting it out with your kiddos.  Worship isn’t a prescription, it’s a way we connect with our Savoir and give him the glory and praise.

Grace Note: Think about the last time you felt intimately connected with God.  What was going on? Where were you?  Was there music? Where you alone or with other people.  Are there a few elements of that experience that you could incorporate into your Sabbath this week?  Write them down and put them into practice for your Sabbath rhythm. 

Play

Ceasing from work doesn’t mean Netflix and all day.  For me, puttering in my flower garden or taking a long hike can be incredibly life giving.  A few years ago I had someone recommend that on the Sabbath you cease doing the “work” you spend the majority of the time doing. If you are a landscape designer and spend your time digging in the dirt 5 days a week, Sabbath might mean curling up with a good book or watching a movie with loved ones. What is life-giving for one person may be training for the next.

Grace Note: Take a few minutes right now and write down 5 things that inspire and uplift you.  Consider incorporating just one of these playful activities into your Sabbath.

One final note.

“Sabbath was made for the man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

Sabbath is a beautiful command, but it can easily become a day of rules and regulations that ultimately distract us.  Questions of “Should I drive a car on the Sabbath?”  or “Can I make bread on the Sabbath?” have been topics of debate over the years.   Yet, when we focus only on what we should or shouldn’t do, we miss the heart of the Sabbath.  Sabbath is going to look different for people in different seasons.  I know that my Sabbath, as a single woman, looks vastly different from my friends with kiddos.  But when we begin with the intention honoring God’s command and choosing one day to set apart for Him, the activities don’t matter as much as our hearts.

Friend, I close this little post with the encouragement to give yourself grace.  Sabbath doesn’t have to look a certain way to honor the Lord.  If you listen closely & obey to Him, you’ll encounter the true rest and peace that He can bring. And discovering the heart of God is what Sabbath is all about.

Faith, Flourish

Grace-Full Rhythms: Rule of Life

Self-care is more than green smoothies, long baths, and massages. Those are all good things, but they are not everything. Our self-care rhythms are not what fix us, instead they help us push aside distractions and open our hearts to our Creator.

In my previous post I defined grace-filled self-care as:

Grace·filled self·care //  rhythms we engage in on a regular basis to restore and deepen our relationship with our Heavenly Father so that we can use our gifts fully for the Kingdom. Comprised of spiritual, emotional, physically, intellectual, and relational.

We are whole beings with a mind, body, and spirit. God created and called us to love Him with our whole selves.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37

Before we dive deeper into the different aspects of grace-full self-care, I want to share a framework with you that has been incredibly helpful to me over the past several years.

Four years ago I met with my mentor at a local coffee shop to swap stories of God’s blessing, provision, and the struggles of leading an “out of the box life.” I shared with her the tension I was feeling of doing much for, and never yet feeling like I never had enough time to just be with Him. My quiet times were more like “get it done times” than true connection with God, and I deeply missed a true relationship with him.

She graciously listened to me and towards the end casually mentioned “The Rule of Life.” Our time was drawing to a close, so we didn’t get to a deep dive into what it was. But, she said just enough that when I did go home, I did the next logical thing…I googled it.

The concept of “Rule of Life” was new to me, but it is an ancient practice dating back to the third century AD. The first examples of a Rule of Life came desert fathers, a community of monks looking to live a life that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

The world rule might conjure up negative images of a black and white chalk board, stern teacher, or parent with a long list of restrictions. However, what is truly meant here is the rule being a guide or trellis on which we allow our lives to flourish and grow .

If I were to just let the tomatoes grow without staking them up or using support, they would grow but not flourish.

There would be disease because of limited light and air flow. There would be overcrowding without pruning.

There would be broken branches because the plant can’t support the weight of the fruit all on it’s own.

So, every Spring I construct an elaborate trellis that supports my little tomato plants, encourages to grow towards the light, and creates space for health.

That is exactly what a rule of life is.  It’s a series of daily, weekly, quarterly rhythms that ultimately bear fruit for His glory.

When we start with the foundation of His love, He will produce much fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness…

Typically a rule of life is split into body/physical, mind/mental, soul/spiritual, and people/relational.

Each category spend time listening to the Holy Spirit to discern your unique rule of life. The Rule of Life is not meant to be black and white or set in stone, I infact revisit mine twice a year (My birthday and New Years) to ensure that it’s working for my current season and allowing me to truly connect with my Creator.

If you are interested in creating a rule of life, some of my favorite resources are:

  1. Discern and Decide Guide by Emily P. Freeman
  2. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero
  3. Creating a visual Rule of life by Stephen A. Macchia at Crafting a Rule of Life
  4. Episode #2 of Work and Play with Nancy Ray “Rule of Life”

Over the next few weeks as we learn more about grace-full self-care, I’ll be using the Rule of Life as our trellis. Our support to guide you towards a life that flourishes. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite rhythms, walk you through crafting your own rule of life, and maybe even have a friend or two chime in.

Goals

November Goals

It’s the last Friday of the month, and I spent the morning reflecting on the past month and working on November goals. It’s been a month full of uncharted territory, change, surrender, and unexpected gifts.

I stumbled upon this quote from William Virgil Davis this past week and it captured my exact sentiments for this month.

As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in fall, we are reminded of nature’s cycle are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden.”

Change has never been my favorite, but one of my core values is growth.

Here is the thing friend, we can’t grow without change. Growth and change go hand in hand, and it all begins with letting go. When we surrender our expectations, fears, and desires we make room for God to work.

Surrender can look like trusting God to care for your loved ones when you are not with them, journaling out your fears and concerns before bed so you can sleep well, or saying no to a wonderful opportunity when your plate is already full. Letting go looks different for everyone, but the foundation is trust. Trust that our God is a good Father who will guide and direct our steps.

When we trust that the Lord has good instore for us, we can step into the unknown with confidence and courage.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m heading into this new month with a surrendered heart and trusting that my Father will continue to direct my steps towards Him and His plans for my life.

October Goals Update

Make elderberry syrup.

Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe:

  • 2 c. dried elderberries
  • 3 c. filtered water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 c. raw honey

Simmer for 45 minutes (or until reduced by half), strain with a fine mesh sieve, let cool and and add 1/2 c. raw honey. You can also add a few drops of Young Living Thieves Essential oil for an added boost. Store in fridge for 3 months or freezer for 1 year.

Create a “Koselig Cupboard”.

We are entering into the cozy season and I have been dreaming up some fun ways to enjoy this time instead of just live in fear of the dreary gray days. I turned my corner cabinet into a “Koselig Cupboard” complete with favorite magazines, books, tea, cozy socks, note cards to write to friends, knitting projects, and other fun things to keep the winter blues away and embrace all things cozy this year. I can’t wait for the first chilly night to cozy up.

Personal Prayer Retreat (October 23rd, 2020).

I typically plan a 1/2 day retreat each quarter. I block out the morning and head to a coffee shop, local park, or my favorite prayer cottage to journal, read, reflect, and listen to where God is leading me. In years past I’ve been pretty consistent at scheduling time to get away just to pray, but 2020 has been a weird year for so many reasons. This was my first retreat for the year and it came at the perfect time. I’m currently reading “The Deeply Formed Life” by Rich Villodas and it has provided a challenging and truthful perspective to reflect on our current world and political climate. A read I would heartily recommend.

Clean up my home gardens, yard, and porch.

Preparing my home for Winter is one of my Fall goals and that includes cleaning up the garden, planting tulips, mulching leaves and winterizing my home. Sunny October days lent themselves to lots of yard work, and I even snuck away to Little Women Flower Farm for a pop up tulip planting workshop. I can’t wait to see these beauties bloom in Spring.

November Goals

Prepare for Christmas Season

  • Order SRT Advent Study.
  • Pack Operation Christmas Child Box.
  • Prepare my Christmas list and budget.
  • Make garden inspired gifts.

Practice and and share about Grace-Filled Self Care.

  • Monday Soul Care nights.
  • Lap swim and yoga at the Y.
  • Take my vitamins and eat nourishing foods.
  • Grace-filled self care post(s) on ECE.com.

Faith, Flourish

Grace-Full Self-Care

I’m a classic ENFJ, extrovert, Enneagram 2W3, and personality test geek;-) I think that personality profiles can be amazing tools to help us grow. Sometimes I read the profile, mems, or articles and feel truly seen and understood. Other times I have no idea what they are even talking about. Regardless of what the latest hot personality profile may say, I know that God created me to be encouraging, giving, compassionate, and people focused.

When I’m with people I give 110%. It’s been one of the most beautiful and challenging parts of my personality. I’ve deepened relationships, made life-long friends, and have had such adventures. But, the flip side is that I often find myself retreating because I’m trying to give to others out of an empty well. In short, I need quiet and time to reflect to be the best version of me.

I’ve wrestled with the concept of self-care. The word made me cringe, it seems selfish and to innerfocused. As Christ-followers, isn’t our calling to deny ourselves? Yes, X 1,000. My prayer is to live a poured out life to Christ, showing my love for Him through loving His children.

But when we look at scripture, Jesus modeled a life that was was so rooted in deep connection with the Father that he was able to pour out continually from a full well.

He got up early and stayed up all night to pray (Luke 6:12-13), he invited his disciples into a place of rest & restoration (Mark 6:30-32. ), and frequently snuck away to a place of quiet (Luke 5:16. ).

How do we look at the concept of self-care and incorporating nourishing rhythms through lenses of truth and grace? That is exactly what I hope to uncover over the next few weeks as we dive deeper into the topic of Grace-Filled Self-Care.

Over the next few weeks, I am digging deep into the five areas of self-care.

Spiritual – deepening our relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Emotional – cultivating healthy thought patterns that allow us to love others and God well.

Physical – taking care of our physical body so we can live fully.

Intellectual – growing in knowledge, wisdom, and discipline so we can love God with all our heart, soul, and MIND.

Relational – investing in relationships and learning to live healthfully in a community.

Grace-filled self-care is one way to become people who spill out God’s hope, joy, grace, and peace into the world around us.

Grace·filled self·care //  rhythms we engage in on a regular basis to restore and deepen our relationship with our Heavenly Father so that we can use our gifts fully for the Kingdom.

My AHA! Moment about how to practice self-care rooted in grace came when I was reading John 4. In this passage, Jesus is going about his everyday life, and tired from travel he sat down at the local well where he encounters a Samaritan woman. I can just imagine him dusty, tired, completely poured out, and yet fully present in that moment.   When he encountered the Samaritan woman, Jesus was able to provide her exactly what she needed, because he was rooted in the Father.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4

Jesus is the only one that can fill up our empty and dried-up wells. No amount of bubble baths, hot tea, or yoga flows can provide deep, soul-filling restoration and nourishment like He can.

Do you remember what happened right after the Samaritan women tasted the deep, nourishing water Jesus was offering? His grace compelled her to take action and go and tell others. When she encountered someone fully present and replenished, it inspired Kingdom action.

If we are called to go and spread the good news, we need to first become people that are filled with the hope, joy, grace and peace of the GOOD NEWS!

So let’s get rid of the guilt that says we don’t have time for self-care. Let’s kick off the stigma that self-care is for the selfish and embrace grace-filled self-care that fuels us towards Kingdom living.

Until next time friend – rest well in His grace.

Flourish

Flourishing Friday- October 16th

Nourish: Rhythms for Soul-Care

Fall is the most glorious time to get outside and soak up God’s Creation. I love taking a long hike outside to admire the changing leaves. The air is crisp and the sky a brilliant shade of blue or stormy gray, meant to be savored.

Taking a walk or hike is one of my favorite ways to practice a bit of soul-care in any season. Some days it’s a short 15 minute walk around the neighborhood or a post-work walk around the lake in my cute little town. However, my very favorite hiking destination is Nashotah Park.

I went there a few weeks ago on a chilly, but sunny Sunday, and took the loop around the lake and through the trails. Hiking through the majestic evergreens and changing leaves was just balm for my soul. And as a bonus I found a painted rock with the reminder to rejoice in each season.

Grow: Encouragement for your Heart

On days that are full to the brim, I’ll often talk myself out of what is good but doesn’t seem productive (my Enneagram 3 wing is coming in strong here!). In full seasons I tend to rush through my quiet times, walk quickly through the gardens noting what needs to be done and NOT enjoying the beauty. I’ll inhale lunch while checking e-mails and items off my to-do lists. You get the picture, as I’m sure you have days like this too. Days where you are living just to survive and forgetting to nourish your soul.

But, it’s in those full days, and seasons, that we need to fight hardest for margin.

Last week, I had one of those days and decided to take a few minutes to create something beautiful. A few minutes with my bible and watercolors reset my heart and reminded me that alone I can do nothing, but God’s grace is sufficient.

So friend, wherever you might be today I pray that God’s grace abounds in this season. Keep fighting for the space and make time for what brings your heart closer to Him.

Bloom: Beauty in the Everyday

I’ve always adored fresh flowers. I remember visiting Trader Joe’s in college and spending my hard earned $5.99 willingly on a bouquet of tulips. I never regretted those flowers, as they nourished my soul and brought beauty into my everyday.

Fast forward and now one of my greatest joys has been learning to grow lovely, hard to find, unique flowers in my home garden and at ZA. A few years ago I built two 4X8 garden beds at my home. I envisioned growing veggies, herbs, and maybe a few blooms for the table. But, as time went by I learned that while I love my mini cherry tomatoes…vibrant purple dahlias and blush pink zinnias make my heart soar.

This love of blooms has trickled over to my professional life as we have over 900+ square feet of “cut flower” beds at Zachariah’s Acres. I love making bouquets with our guests and showing them that they are creative.

Last week after going through Floret Farm’s Fall Mini Course, I took a HUGE leap of faith and signed up for her Cut Flower workshop. I simply adore Erin and so respect how she has grown her business over the years with intention and so much beauty. It is going to be a joy to learn from her. I am a bit nervous and a WHOLE lot excited to see what good things will grow in the years to come.

Flourish in All Seasons

Flourish in All Seasons – Kathryn Rash

Today I couldn’t be more delighted to introduce you to my friend Kate of Taproot Photography. Kate was one of my first friends when I lived in Indiana (since then…we have both moved on from the great state of IN to be closer to our families).

I met her for coffee and quickly learned we shared a love for being creative, gardening, and good wine. I would often spend my days off with her and her son sledding, making homemade pasta, creating projects, or just hanging out. Kate and her family were such gifts in that season of my life.

While I don’t get to see her as often as I like, it is such a joy to watch her step into her God-given gifts. Kate is one of those friends who really makes time for you, listens well, and is full of such grace. She continues to remind and encourage me personally to make time for rest, margin, and fight for what matters in your life.

Kate is a talented artist, photographer, and just launched a new adventure with Scout and Cellar selling organic, clean crafted wine (their “Scout Sampler” pack is my new favorite!). I’m excited to share her story with you.

You can learn more about Kate and follow her journey at:

www.taprootphotos.com @taprootphotography

Or order some delicious wine at www.scoutandcellar.com/katerash

Photo: @lauriecarrozzinophotography

Tell me a little about yourself?

I’m an artist who is passionate about living a creative life and being open to new ways to grow and learn. I think it’s important to give myself the freedom to try new things to see how they suit me. I started my storytelling family photography business 14 years ago. As a deep feeler, I do get emotionally wrapped up in my art and I have to say that the most emotionally and physically intense subject that I photograph is birth. In a matter of hours it takes your emotions on a wild and beautiful ride! It’s important to me to find meaning in my work and play! That’s really accomplished through connection with people. My main goal in life is simple… love people. 


If I were to invite you to my porch, what would your dream drink and snack pairing be? 
I’d have to go with an assortment of cheeses! Definitely baked brie or something warm and gooey too. And of course wine.


What does an ordinary but beautiful Tuesday look like for you?

 No Tuesday is the same for me. But they tend to look a little like this… My husband, Seth usually takes care of the morning routine with our 13 year old son so I have some flexibility to lay in bed for a bit in the morning. I know, it’s really nice! I like being able to catch up on messages first thing and I often do that while I’m still cozy in bed. Then I’ll walk around my yard to see what has changed overnight in the garden. Seth and I may end up at the grocery store in the late morning. I drive since he’s unable to do so because of his eyesight and he shops which is so nice. If I have photo editing or office work I’ll do that or I’ll catch up on stitching. Last year I decided to branch out with my business and start making these fun custom stitched portraits of families, pets and homes! Seth and I play a game or two at the kitchen table if my work is slow that day and in the evenings we’ll all hang out as a family and watch a movie or something.

What nourishes your soul? 

Creating, being in nature (my garden), long baths and emotional connection to people. I’m really a miserable person when I’m not using my hands to create! It brings life to my soul. Both being in nature and quietly alone in the bath help clear my mind of clutter and encourage me to pray and to process what’s on my heart. And I thrive when I feel emotionally connected with people. I’m not talking about needing to have super deep conversations but about simply taking a moment to understand someone, to connect and be present with them.

Photo: @lauriecarrozzinophotography

What season would you say you find yourself in? 

My life always seems to be so much different than the life of other moms with kids my age. Seth and I have been married for 18 years and have a 13 year old but we have always said that we mesh best with either singles or retired people because we’ve created a lifestyle that allows us more freedom. It can be isolating at times though and I find myself wishing that the world around me wasn’t so busy.

What is one unexpected joy about your current season? 


Friendship! This year I decided to work harder on my friendships. Being in quarantine this year actually made it easier to connect with friends more often. I’ve enjoyed being able to focus on my friendships even if it has to be from afar.

Photo:lauriecarrozzinophotography


What is one hard thing about your current season? 

I’m now the mom of a teenager and I’m realizing that my relationship with my son needs to be constantly changing and adapting. It’s a hard balance of continuing to nurture his heart and mind while giving him the space to be his own person. There’s so much that we want to control as parents. I’m learning to let go of that control (aka “micro managing”) and to really focus on our relationship. 


If you could share a piece of advice or encouraging word to others in your season, what would it be? 

Reevaluate your life often and make sure that you’re living the life that you want to live. Make sure that you’re being the person who you want to be. If something doesn’t suit you then let it go. If you find yourself complaining about a certain situation in your life then take whatever action you can to improve it. Allow yourself to change and allow others to change as well. 

Faith

Open Hands and A Surrendered Heart

When I chose abundant for my word of 2020, I imagined grand adventures, bold steps of faith, and audacious goals. But instead, this year has been more about letting go than receiving abundance.

I’ve released and revised plans and expectations.

I’ve surrended dreams and desires…again and again.

I’ve mourned the hate and disunity that is tearing our world apart.

I’ve cried out in frustration asking for answers and affirmation of what I heard Him whisper in the earliest days of 2020.

But God, in his infinite wisdom and grace has shown me that true abundance begins with less. In seasons of pruning and stripping away, God is clearing the ground for new growth.

The literal translation of the word abundance to mean…”a very large quantity of something.” However, a deeper dive reveals another layer of the meaning, one that resonates more deeply in my heart. “plentifulness of the good things of life”.

Just typing that out brings a smile to my face. When I think ponder what a life of plentifulness of the good things of life I see…

a close knit, small community

actually knowing my neighbors

family that loves unconditionally

margin and space to dream and breathe

unhurried time with those I love

enjoyment of God’s creation…in every Season

slow and simple living

Back in March when COVID was just hitting the US, we were recommended to gather in groups of not more than 10 people. I was struck by a quote by Jennie Allen “It’s hard to be seen in a room of 100, but not in a room of 10”. Several months later that quote has stuck with me. Abundance isn’t always more, bigger, better. True abundance begins with a spacious place to be truly seen and known.

Abundance is gathering with your people and saying the things that scare you. Abundance is stepping into the unknown with faith that God will direct your steps. Abundance is having the courage to say no and create space to do that hard work of healing. Abundance is creating space for good things to grow. Abundance means living out your day, week, year and life with open hands and a surrendered heart.

Your spacious place and list of “good things” might look completely different from mine, but I encourage you to take a few minutes today and reflect on where God is leading you today.

What would abundance look like in your current season? How is God working in your heart and live to create space for what matters?

Flourish, Goals

October Goals

Friends!

How is it already October? September is a month of abundance for me and every year I look forward to it with equal parts dread and anticipation. It’s a season of abundance in the gardens, long and good days of hard work, back to school rhythms, and just the adventures of life. It’s also one of the “last” months of Summer here in the Midwest, so I always try to soak up every single second of the gorgeous weather and store it up in my heart for the months to come.

This year, in midst of transition and turmoil in our world, there was something so comforting & renewing in the change of the season and a fresh start of Fall. The beauty of changing leaves have reminded daily that there is beauty in each season, we need eyes to see and time to savor. And that my friends, is exactly what my Fall Goals are all about, creating space in my life to enjoy the abundance and fruit of this season.

So today, I’m sharing my recap on how my good goals are growing and then below my October 2020 Goals. I do my goal planning using Cultivate What Matters Powersheets. I’ve used Powersheets for over seven years and they have been a powerful way for me to prioritize what matters in my life. Cultivate is launching their new collection this month, and I’m so excited to share that a portion of all proceeds benefit Zachariah’s Acres and our mission to connect kids with special needs to the miracles of nature, so they know their Creator.

If you are in need of the hope of a fresh start this Fall, head over to the Cultivate Shop and snag some goodies…the new collections launches October 14th, 2020!

Fall 2020 Goals – Update October 2nd, 2020

  1. Refresh my weekly rhythms (home & work) and complete “Weekly Routines Guide”
Re-Reading “The Best Yes” and working through Lysa’s best decision guide has given me some much needed clarity this month.
Friday mornings are for goal check-ins and making time for priorities. I’m excited for the “slower” season of Late Fall/Winter and time to dream and scheme up new plans!

2. Prioritize mental & physical health with 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week (hike, bike, yoga, swim) .

September is PRIME hiking weather in Wisconsin, I savored every second outside this month!
This reluctant Farm Girl got a LOT of daily movement cleaning up the garden and harvesting our abundance of produce this Fall! Also…worlds cutest pumpkin alert 😉

3. Prepare my home, gardens, & heart for Fall.

Savoring quiet moments with thoughtful reflections in this month’s Eden & Vine.
My porch with touches of Fall…I think I need to add some quirky pumpkins this weekend!

4. Restore a sense of wonder & adventure with local adventures and social distance deck dates.

Saying yes to kayak adventures with friends was such a JOY this month!
Deck dates come in all forms…sometimes it’s soaking up the quiet and painting leaves by the river!

October 2020 Goals

Monthly Action Items

  1. Make elderberry syrup.
  2. Create a “Koselig Cupboard”.
  3. Personal Prayer Retreat (October 23rd, 2020)
  4. Clean up my home gardens, yard, and porch

Weekly Action Items

  1. Fall hike and savor God’s Creation.
  2. Family meal.
  3. Yoga or swim at the YMCA.
  4. 1/2 day to “refresh” my home.

Daily Habits

Surrender

Savor

Simplify

Flourish

Nourish – Grow – Bloom

It has been such a joy sharing my heart here on my site and in real life. I’m continually encouraged to see how God uses my words to draw others closer to Him. One thing I’m continually asked about is the tag-line “Nourish. Grow. Bloom”.

You don’t have to know me long to see that I process life through lessons and seasons in my garden. The garden and God’s creation is a rich resource for inspiration, creativity, and beautiful lessons on what it looks like to live a flourishing life. One lesson I continually come back to is the cycle of planting seeds in my garden. It’s a rich metaphor for growing anything in our hearts or lives. And it’s my heart for each person reading that they would be nourished deeply, encouraged to grow, and bloom in their season.

Nourish:

When we plant a tiny seed or new seedling (basically just a tiny plant!) we need to take time and care with it. Tiny seedlings need good soil, water, sunlight, and a nourishing environment to grow. When I’m transitioning plants outside from their cozy greenhouse in March, I don’t stick the put them overnight right away. They would be shocked by the 45 degree weather and their growth would be stunted.

And just like those seeds, our hearts need time, space, and good things to grow. Self-care can be a tricky subject in our culture, we either feel guilty taking time for ourselves or spend to much time thinking about ourselves, that we miss the amazing world and mission right in front of us. I’m on a continual path of learning the right rhythm of soul-care/self-care, but one thing I’ve learned is that it is essential.

When we make time to care for ourselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually we fill up our buckets (or watering can…sorry, not sorry!). Self-care isn’t a “fix all” or “magic pill”. Instead, when we practice self-care, we create space to do the hard work.

Each time you go for a run, spend time in prayer, meet with a counselor, or do whatever fills you up, you are adding a drop (or sometimes a cup full) of nourishment to your heart. When hard days come, you are able to pour out that nourishment on the people around you.

Grow

Can you picture those tiny seedlings again? Good. Picture them nice and cozy in their little greenhouse, all warm, and snug in their little seed packs. After them we put them in our greenhouse they grow and grow and grow, sometimes it seems magically overnight. Eventually, their roots get all bound up and we need to transplant them into a bigger pot and then eventually outside so they can continue to grow. The seedlings need fresh air, sunshine (not artificial UV light), and a good breeze to help them grow strong and healthy roots.

If we stay cozy and in the “perfectly controlled” environment 24/7, just like those little plants, we will become stunted. To be honest, my heart is bent towards comfort and security. Yet, I’ve seen time and time again that good things grow out of discomfort. Good things grow when I step into the unknown with faith and grace. Brave leaps of obedience, challenging conversations, small acts of faith, and moments of vulnerability are what allow us to grow and step into the place God has for us.

Bloom

Friends, here is the most beautiful and hopeful part of it all. If we do the hard work of caring for our hearts & bodies. If we make space to grow and step into the unknown. It’s only a matter of time until beauty blooms around us.

But there is something I don’t want you to forget. We all bloom at different times and in different seasons. Daffodils and dahlias don’t bloom at the same time, but that doesn’t make one more beautiful than the other. In a culture that celebrates outward success and beauty, we can get caught up in comparing other’s highlight reel with our inward journey. Friend, give yourself space and grace to bloom in your own time.

The most beautiful things take time to bloom. One of my favorite flowers are dahlias. We transplant the tubers in our greenhouse in February, care for them diligently, and plant them outside at the end of May. Then it’s usually another solid month before the blooms show up. But, oh are they worth it. Stunning petals, vibrant colors, and gorgeous texture. My dream is to become the old and gray “Dahlia Lady”, sharing my love for these beautiful blooms with the world around me…I love them that much. Yet, they only last for a season. Once the first frost hits the garden, those dahlia’s are the first to show signs of damage. We dig them up, divide the tubers, and store them throughout the winter. And they sit patiently waiting for their time to bloom again.

And that is my heart for you friend, wherever you find yourself today, there is hope that your time to bloom will come, and your life will bring beauty to the world around you.

Uncategorized

Flourishing Friday – September 18th, 2020

Nourish: Rhythms for Soul-Care

One of my favorite soul-care rhythms is visiting our local salt room with a cup of hot tea and either an inspiring podcast or playlist of worship music. It’s my go-to way to relax & build immunity during cold and flu season or after a particularly stressful week. The first time I heard of a halotherapy, I was pretty skeptical. Then a persistent sinus infection and stressful week won out.

My mamma graciously treated me to my first salt session and I was hooked. The combination of a beautiful environment, zero gravity chair, essential oils, and salt-therapy refreshed my body and spirit. My local space for salt (and sauna) is Breathe. You can check out their website to find out more about halotherapy and the science behind it!

Grow: Encouragement for your Heart

Have you heard of Eden & Vine Magazine? I’ve been following Terrica for the past several years and am so encouraged by her passionate heart for the Lord, faith, simplicity, and love of all things vintage!

A few years ago she launched a new project, Eden & Vine magazine, and as their vision shares it’s “One part magazine, one part coffee table book, equal parts beauty and truth. Garden themed and faith based, it’s full to the brim of inspiration and hope, …”

Their Fall/Winter 2020 magazine just arrived in my mailbox and I’m currently soaking up the articles. This isn’t simply a magazine to flip through, rather one to savor with a cup of tea in hand 😉

Bloom: Beauty in the Everyday

September is the season of abundance in the garden. I’m currently up to my eyeballs in tomatoes. Speckled romas, heirloom, cherry tomatoes, slicing, and san marzano. A basket full of tomatoes mean one thing…time to put up some jars of sauce. It’s hard work, especially after a long day in the garden, but always worth it. When I crack open a jar of fresh tomato basil sauce on a cold day in February, I’m instantly transported back to the garden. If you have an abundance of tomatoes or are looking for a simple hearty sauce, I’m sharing my go-to below.

Em’s Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce

tomatoes, stems chopped off

salt

fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, garlic…)

lemon juice

  • Gather as many tomatoes as can fit in your largest stainless steel pot. scrub your tomatoes & chop off the stems. 
  • Put your tomatoes in the pot, skin & seeds included (we are breaking all the rules, folks!) 
  • Put the stove on low, place the lid over your pot of tomatoes & allow your tomatoes to simmer for 8-12 hrs.  (you can also do this step overnight in the crock-pot)
  • Wake up in the morning, check the tomatoes, stir a bit & crack the lid on the pot. this will allow moisture to escape. 
  • Allow the tomatoes to cook until most of the moisture is gone – about 24 hours – & the tomatoes are a mushy consistency. Using your immersion blender or food processor, process your tomatoes to your desired consistency. Once a tomato sauce-like consistency is reached, add salt & dried herbs to taste.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to your pint size jars & 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to your quart size jars. The amount of jars you need is based on how many tomatoes you process.
  • Fill your jars with tomato sauce & process in the water bath canner.  (35 minutes for pint & 40 for quart jars). Visit Ball for canning 101 tips…
  • Label & store until winter.