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Monday Check-In: Hosting Half Siblings, My Favorite Blog Right Now, and the Recipe Box

Jun 6, 2022 | Thoughts | 0 comments

After days of constant noise, the house is silent today.

A week after I got home from Mexico, Mom and I were in the SUV on a roundtrip drive to Louisville. We hosted my younger half sisters all last week for the beginning of their summer break and some bonding time.

The age gap between the three of us is vast. I am twelve years older than one of them, and thirteen years older than the other. While they argue over TikToks, I read The Women of Chateau Lafayette or try to make a pasta with pink sauce.

Although we share a father, our differences far outnumber our similarities. Until recently, we tiptoed around the conversation of our shared blood, our shared past. It was painfully awkward, difficult work for everyone involved.

To fill the seemingly endless amounts of uncomfortable silence, we talked about travel. We still do, even though we are largely past the awkwardness of strangers we used to have. This visit was different than the others.

They finally asked me questions I knew they’d pondered for quite some time. I finally felt I could, at least in part, answer them without my voice trembling. But, as is often the case with middle schoolers, the serious moments ended. TikTok debates began with fervor, and we went back to lighter conversation topics.

We drive to our Granny’s old house. I take them on a tour of my Nashville. We laugh, eat, shop, all in the name of family bonding. Of learning more about one another. Of making up for many lost years.

And as each goes by, I see threads mending. They mend oh-so-slowly. One at a time. But still, they are mending.

The Blog I’m Loving

Show me a writer, and I’ll show you a voracious reader.

As a blogger, writer, journalist, and hopeful author, I read many types of writing. Blogs, journalism, novels, narrative nonfiction. I read vastly. I am selective. Within the first two sentences of a synopsis, I know whether or not a work is going on my TBR.

All of this being said, I read incredible works every day. And out of all the wonderful blogs I like to keep up with, I love Lisa Hensley’s the most.

Lisa is a voice in the Church I desperately needed through a spiritual trough that began last year and has remained for the majority of this one. It has been very difficult, soul-bending, earth-shattering, painful work. The cavity just below my heart and just above my lungs ached so many times in this period.

Lisa’s a seminary student at Fuller and writer on what it means to be a woman with a calling, as well as a believer in a hurting world. Her example has inspired me many, many times. Too many to count, honestly.

You can find her on her blog, newsletter, and Instagram (she is on an IG break for the summer, though). I keep up with all three, and gain something every time I read.

Here’s a quote that stuck with me, from her blog post on parenting. It is part of the reason I decided to keep writing you here.

-to persist: not to quit when it’s hard or they don’t figure it out right away or someone else is better than they are 

Lisa Hensley, speaking on what she wants to teach her sons as they grow

The Recipe Box

Creating a product from one of my earliest vegan recipes was the spark that started a newfound love of cooking. I have always been a cook, but I am becoming a chef. I see some type of formal culinary training in my future.

This week, I started a recipe box for the first time. It’s on Notion, because I enjoy taking notes there. Notion is also where I host a master checklist aptly titled “What Actually Matters.” Returning to it has helped me avoid many a harebrained scramble (no pun intended) for what to do next in self-employment.

My current idea is to create recipe boxes for each year and season. Hence, this is the Summer 2022 Recipe Box. Here are its contents:

Last week, I published the first Mexico post (a general travel guide), a piece on the Journey to 197, and the intro post to what these check-ins are all about. I’ve also been very active in Instagram stories, sharing what I’m eating, reading, and posts I think you should see. Speaking of posts, my first static post of 2022 went live earlier.

P.s. My epiphany in last week’s From the Aisle Seat, and I’m going to every country in the world.


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Hi, I'm Sarah

Girl on boat with turquoise water in background

Welcome to my oasis! I am a writer and budding entrepreneur with a love for caffeine, capital gains, and seeing the world. If I'm not writing, you can find me reading a good book, trying out a new vegan recipe, or adding to my coffee mug collection. My goal in life? To see every country in the world. Come along for the ride!

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