Happy Friday from the front porch, sweet friends!
How are you?
Last week, I spent an hour nearly every day with best-selling author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster Jon Acuff as part of the Overcoming Overthinking Challenge.
If you’ve been following along on our book club, we read his book Soundtracks back in January. It was such a game-changer for both me and my accountability partner, I couldn’t wait to dive into the free 5-day challenge.
There were so many amazing takeaways from the event, but there was one thing Jon said at the beginning of the week that I have not been able to shake.
He said, “Empathy is understanding what someone needs and acting on it.”
Jon then went on to convey we’re usually good at offering empathy to others, sometimes even great. Yet we struggle to give ourselves that same level of empathy and care.
I was literally sitting at my desk shouting YES! YES! YES! with praise and jazz hands because it is SO TRUE.
Yet it also made me realize, that empathy can be boiled down to two simple lessons…
*understanding AND acting *
Our homework that day was to answer this question, “What is one way you can show empathy towards yourself today?”
It seems like the answer should be so straightforward, doesn’t it?
But I couldn’t come up with a single thing.
The next morning, I got out my journal and wrote, “What do you need today?” and once I got my thoughts together, I started taking action.
It wasn’t easy at first. I had to fight “the shoulds” every step of the way.
Especially, after nursing a back injury that didn’t allow me to stand up or sit down longer than 20 minutes at a time for almost an entire month.
Our family has dealt with the passing of two loved ones, with three unrelated loved ones being in the hospital.
We’ve celebrated a planting party, friends’ dinner, hosted out-of-town family members, two birthdays, Easter, a magazine feature, the end of tax season, and many unexpected blessings along the way.
This month has been such a rollercoaster and I am so far behind in every area it would have honestly been really easy to get stuck in the “shoulda-coulda-woulda” muck of overthinking.
Instead, I’ve challenged myself to start the day with empathy by asking, “What do you need today?” then begin taking small action steps toward those needs for myself and my loved ones.
As we make the transition from Easter to Memorial Day, my challenge to you is the same, to ask yourself “What do you need today?”
The next few weeks will be filled with all sorts of activities from Mother’s Day to graduations, birthdays to anniversaries, moving to new places, preparing for summer vacation, dealing with loss, times of transition, and change.
There will be ordinary moments and extraordinary moments.
Moments of peace and pure chaos.
Yet in the midst of it all, there will be empathy.
May we be courageous enough to ask and act.
A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web This Week…
This Victorian Estate is not what I expected at all but has such a modern/cozy feel.
The seating area/sunroom off the kitchen in this gorgeous home tour is such a pretty setup.
Wait until you see this home on the marsh!
Have you seen the Mark D. Sikes x Anthropologie Collaboration yet? It’s just as fabulous as you would expect!
What about the new arrivals at Kate Spade?
These fabrics, flowers, and tablescapes are STUNNING!
Words to Live By…
Second Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…
(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
- April – The Gift of Home: Beauty and Inspiration to Make Every Space a Special Place by Bre Doucette
- May – The Power to Bless – Speaking Life into Those You Love by Alan Right
- June – Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L Scott
- Courageous Simplicity: Abide in the Simple Abundance of Jesus
On the Menu this Week…
Week of April 24th – May 1st
- 04/24 Sunday: Pork with Wine and Herb Gravy with mashed potatoes and asparagus
- 04/25 Monday: Easy Asian Style Tuna Lettuce Wraps
- 04/26 Tuesday: Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos
- 04/27 Wednesday: Blackberry Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad with Crispy Fried Goat Cheese
- 04/28 Thursday: Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs, and Parmesan Broth
- 04/29 Friday: French Onion Chicken Casserole with steamed veggies
- 04/30 Saturday: Sheet Pan Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bake
- 05/01 Sunday: Creamy Pasta Pomodoro with an Italian side salad and crusty loaf
Sweet Treat to Try This Week…
This Strawberry Cream Cake is almost too pretty to eat.
Earth Day and Eco-Friendly Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate and an Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
April Bucket List…
- Celebrate April Birthdays
- Order S’s Birthday Cake and Presents
- Celebrate Easter at Bliss Barracks
- Make Easter Basket for Piper
- Meet S for Dinner to Celebrate the End of Tax Season
- Meet Accountability Partner for Lunch and J Crew
- Continue Quarter Challenge in Q2
- Establish Exercise Plan to Strengthen Core
- Begin the Miracle Month with Carrie Green Challenge
- Take Part in Jon Acuff’s Overcoming Overthinking Challenge
- Organize and Finish the Laundry Room Makeover
- Begin Morning Pages
- Read the Book of the Month
- Begin Q2 Devotion
- Keep Sundays Sacred
April Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Shared and Common Areas
- 04/23 – Dining Room & Dining Room Hutch/Buffet
- 04/30 – Declutter & Organize Living Room
- 05/07 – Organize Household Books & Magazines
- 05/14 – Home Office or Guest Room
- 05/21 – Home Office or Guest Room Closet & Drawers
- 05/28 – Create Summer Bucket List
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…
- 04/22 – Earth Day
- 04/23 – National Take a Chance Day, World Book Day
- 04/24 – National Pet Parents Day
- 04/30 – National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
- 05/01 – May Day, Shop for Birthday and Special Occasions Cards and Gifts
- 05/04 – Star Wars Day
- 05/05 – Cinco de Mayo
- 05/07 – Kentucky Derby
- 05/08 – Mother’s Day
As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing. We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!