My friend Rhi asked me yesterday when it finally sunk in that this was real. I told her that it still hasn’t sunk in, and I’m not sure it will till he’s here. I am nine months pregnant (something I have to repeat to myself often to wrap my head around it) and I don’t talk about our little guy much because I still remember the pain of loss and waiting and it makes me pause.

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Some tell us we are crazy for saying yes to what’s ahead with two new babies around the same time, but we know without any spot of doubt that this is His plan. Sometimes His plans make no logical sense to the world, and that’s what faith is. Trusting in what we can’t yet see. That doesn’t mean I don’t have fear and moments when I forget to trust. I do. But I try to let my faith speak louder than my fear. I remember that the end of the story is already written and the best is yet to come.

IMG_8968Mini golf this weekend and a very excited Gracie.

What’s new: Throughout the Fruitful Summer series, we’ve been talking about cultivating what matters. And, so, I decided to start (semi) maternity leave now. Grace has had a challenging last couple of weeks and, after a hard weekend, God gave me this clarity: I can’t get these days back with her. To help her with this transition, I decided to stop working full time as of Monday. I still have meetings and projects to wrap up (2016 PowerSheets design, new product launch coming) in the next few days, but I’m putting my focus on her now. Spending the day with her yesterday and helping her through lots of emotions was so fruitful. I am grateful that the Lord has provided this time for me to love her well in prep for two more littles joining us soon.

IMG_8932Ari and Grace reading while we waited on the doc to come in during my check-up last week.

Baby prep: I cleaned out the nursery, finished our Amazon registry last week, and all the baby clothes are washed and ready. We have plenty of clothes from Grace since I bought her mostly neutral colors when she was born, and Emily sent us a big box from Brady and the twins — I am so grateful. I packed my hospital bag, printed out a tentative birth plan, and made a final list of other things to tackle in the next couple weeks. But, the biggest thing on the list is praying. I can plan all I want, but the Lord knows the plan and what we need most. Knowing that I went through postpartum depression after Grace, I’m also praying on that. You can read about my postpartum experience here, Grace’s birth here, and watch the announcement video here. It’s amazing to look back on these experiences and see how much God has changed in our lives since then! When Grace was born, we had very little community here. Ari had just started to come to church with me and our marriage was so different. I am so grateful for the brothers and sisters we have now who are all so supportive and excited for these babies — close dear friends!

Names, etc: We have a short list of names for baby boy, but this pregnancy has felt private and sacred. Ari and I both feel that we’ll likely wait till we hold him to name him. With Grace, I prayed and God immediately said “Mercy or Grace” — the gifts we had been given in our marriage. With this little guy, it’s been an exercise in trusting Him and waiting on His timing. So, we will wait these few more days to see him and give him a name : )

What’s ahead: Lord willing welcoming baby boy, being matched with our littlest girl, maternity leave, my parents coming into town soon, and a big update is that we’re moving our shop out of my house. It’s time. For all ten years I’ve owned my own business, the garage has always housed something other than a car: wedding planning supplies, floral vases, and right now about 20 pallets of shop products and magazines. With five employees in my house and two new babies on the way, the shop had to make a move. In the fall, I’ll be releasing the new 2016 PowerSheets options, speaking at the Influence Conference (with all the babies and Ari in tow!), leading the Making Things Happen Conference, and writing my second book about cultivating what matters. After the book is done in early 2016, I won’t go back to work full time. I’ll be part time for the future after that.

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June PowerSheets Goals progress:

  • Write the words He has for me. After struggling with writing and much prayer, God gave me a new book to write. So, I took a risk and sent a brand new proposal to my editors. I am grateful to say they love it and my new deadline is after maternity leave – February 1. Still not a lot of time considering what we will have going on in our lives with two babies, but I praise Him for this new direction.
  • Cultivate fruitful relationships. YES! Fruitful Summer has been a joy to create and I hope you’ve enjoyed it too : ) If you missed it, you’ll find links at the bottom of this post.
  • Read the Word and do what it says. Trying to do this daily.
  • Deny myself and take up my cross. Again, always working on this.
  • Listen and lead well through an encouraging Bible Bunch. We will be studying through Interrupted this month and next. Yes, this was a wonderful gathering in June!

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And now, my July PowerSheets Goals (assuming baby boy comes on time):

  • Soak in the Word
  • Transition to maternity leave – in progress
  • Love Ari and Grace well
  • Pray, surrender, listen
  • Listen and lead well through an encouraging last Bible Bunch before baby
  • Love our family group + friends well before baby
  • Release the Write the Word journal series – coming soon
  • Pray about labor + post-partum

Weekly + daily goals: (lots of prayer again this month, as you can see above)

IMG_8985Hosting friends this past weekend.

This may be my last update before baby, friends. Thank you for walking this journey with me and for your prayers. I treasure them. Here’s to a meaningful July!

P.S. In case you missed Fruitful Summer:

P.P.S. Get on this below! Details here. Contest ends July 15th.

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15 Show Comments
  1. Rachel Nordgren

    Lara, I’m so excited to see how the rest of 2015 unfolds for you and your sweet, sweet family. Thank you for your willingness to share the journey with us!

  2. Michelle Strickland

    Lara, thank you for opening your life and sharing this incredible journey with us. We will be praying for your growing family and cannot wait to see what unfolds! 🙂

  3. Sara

    Lara, sending up prayers for a healthy and smooth delivery of your sweet boy + a seamless transition into mamahood of multiple kiddos! xoxo

  4. Sarah

    Your example is an encouragement to me, Lara! Have you considered encapsulating your placenta? Some midwives offer this as an in-hospital service . Several friends have shared that it was a huge blessing on their physical and mental health post-partum. I really wish I had known about it in my pregnancies.

  5. Leah H

    Praying for you Lara and family as you go through this new season as a family. I too prayed for my post-partum the second time around and while it didn’t go as I had planned in my head, it went so much better because it was His way! Thank you for the fruitful summer challenge…I am still catching up but loving it!

  6. Kyla Fetzner

    Thank you for faithfully sharing your heart Lara! I am so excited for the goodness that God has in store for your family and the example that you continue to be through each season 🙂

  7. Rhiannon

    GOODNESS. Lar seeing you grow as a mama and a leader and a woman over these past few years has been such an encouragement and inspiration to me. Everything in this post from sacred time with Grace (yes!), to going back to work on a part time basis has my heart swelling with happiness. Counting down the days until November. I love you!

  8. Sally

    Thank you so much for answering God’s call to do all that you do. Please remember that we, your fans, are faithful to you and UNDERSTAND that this next season of your life will be crazy-busy. Take care of yourself and your beautiful family and be gentle on yourself if you are a bit late on timelines.

  9. Pamela

    Lara, Thank you for your friendship ,as it has meant a lot to me to you as a friend . I can not wait to hear the joyous news about your arrival of the new little ones!! Be Blessed and enjoy this new adventure in your life.

  10. Jen

    Lara – I struggled with the baby blues too after my first one and I had a LOT of anxiety leading up to the birth of my newest baby girl (May 2015). I was relieved to find that while I had a small amount of blah this time – I mostly didn’t and the transition was SOOOO much smoother. So much so!!! Thank the Lord. 🙂 I was already a mom so it wasn’t weird referring to myself as mom and I’d already been down the breastfeeding road so that wasn’t as bad, etc. I’ll be praying for you and can’t wait to hear about your new littles arrivals!

  11. Diana Kerr

    Lara, I am just overflowing with joy and excitement for you! Thanks for being such an inspiration to fellow go-getter, Jesus-loving chicks like me! : ) I am blessed to have someone to look up to who is just one step ahead of me in her journey with her life and business. 🙂

  12. Jennifer Johnson

    Thank you for your daily inspiration! You truly help to bring trust and peace into my daily life.

  13. LA

    Lara – wishing you and your growing family all of God’s blessings!

  14. Diane Taylor

    Lara – praying for you daily as you walk thru this oh-so-wonderful-and-scarey time with Ari, Grace, and the Lord by your side. Sending you all love from our little house in Baltimore!!!

  15. Elizabeth

    The wall color of your baby’s nursery is phenomenal! Can you please share with us the details of the paint that you selected?