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Cloistered Away

is a lifestyle blog, focused on simple, purposeful family living, written by Bethany Douglass.
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How to Take Courage
I read a favorite Psalm this morning and noticed the familiar words: let your heart take courage. The imperative feels simple enough, as though courage lurks somewhere behind the bowls on the kitchen shelf. We
A Time for Silence | Personal Reflections on 2020
Hello, and a happy new year! I have missed this space, and I have missed the connection with those of you in this community. Thank you for your presence here even while I have been
Talking about Racism.
Like many of you, I have been deeply grieved by the events happening in our country right now. The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Robert Fuller, and Rayshard Brooks have freshly
Finding Gratitude in Hard Places
The last eight weeks have had an unexpected thread of familiarity for me, like a found trinket from childhood or an old pair of running shoes. Holding them provokes something deep within me, a small
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Spring is in full bloom here, a delightful gift while we are kept at home. Here is another beloved recipe from my sister Kristen to brighten each of your homes right now. These images are
Being Neighborly During Shelter in Place
The most healing aspect of national or international crises is the way it seems to unite humanity in the best ways. Somehow in our own distress, we wake up to the needs of others with
Nine Favorite Read Aloud Books for Spring
Springtime is my favorite season for read-aloud outdoors. In light of the current quarantine, turning our attention to the new life outside our windows feels all the more precious. For those of us fortunate enough
Helpful Pivots for the Homebound Weeks Ahead
I have spent the last few weeks checking in with friends and family alike to see how everyone is doing. Phone calls. Email. Facetime. Zoom. Marco Polo. Voxer. Etcetera. As one who is always looking
Tortilla Soup | Comfort in a Time of Isolation
When the nation was first moved into isolation last week with COVID-19 and the grocery stores emptied of basic staples, all I could think about was soup. Not really, but partly. It was overcast and