I used to believe that gardening was a gentle hobby for those who had more time on their hands. Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. Don’t ever let anyone try to tell you that gardening isn’t hard work!

Last weekend, I tilled up one of our garden beds with a cute helper who had a very practical broom as his garden tool of choice.

lara casey garden cultivate book blog

After two hours of shoveling, pulling, hauling dirt and manure, and pruning trees, I had to lay down and watch Daniel Tiger with my three little garden helpers!

Tilling the hard ground of winter in my garden each year leaves me sore the next morning—a good kind of sore that reminds me I woke up some muscles that had been dormant and made some progress in that dirt. It’s the same with our lives. Confronting what’s holding us back–pulling the lies out of the ground and digging into truth–takes some muscle.  The act of digging into what feels messy or broken may feel challenging or uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to grow new things. The hard work of cultivating will be worth it.

Lara Casey garden

In my upcoming book, Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, I confront 10 common lies we believe (sometimes unknowingly). I use my story and the lessons I’ve learned in the garden to give each one a strong dose of truth. Life is too short and too valuable to waste it telling ourselves (or listening to) lies about who we are, or what we can or cannot do. So, let’s expose them and bring them into the light where we can do something about them!

cultivate-cover

Here are the 10 Life-Sucking Lies and 10 Life-Giving Truths from Cultivate. As you read each one, mark in your mind which stands out to you the most:

Lie 1: I have to do it all.
Truth: I can’t do it all and do it well.
Cultivators pay attention to what matters.

Lie 2: I have to be perfect.
Truth: It’s in the imperfect that things grow.
Cultivators dig into the season they’re in.

Lie 3: My life needs to look like everyone else’s.
Truth: I have a life to grow that is as unique as I am.
Cultivators think big picture to uncover their unique path.

Lie 4: It’s impossible to start fresh or move forward.
Truth: I can move forward by digging in and breaking up the lies.
Cultivators nourish their soil with truth and let God redeem their dirt.

Lie 5: I have to know all the details of the path ahead.
Truth: Forethought is important, but faith is essential.
Cultivators have faith, believing in what they can’t yet see.

Lie 6: Waiting is not good or productive.
Truth: Waiting is a time of ripening.
Cultivators ripen in the wait.

Lie 7: Small steps don’t make a difference.
Truth: Little-by-little progress adds up.
Cultivators tend to what matters, embracing little-by-little progress.

Lie 8: I will be content when I have it all.
Truth: I will be content when I live grateful.
Cultivators intentionally savor the fruit.

Lie 9: I can do life by myself.
Truth: I need meaningful relationships.
Cultivators embrace awkward and grow in community.

Lie 10: The past isn’t valuable; it’s all about the future.
Truth: Remembering God’s faithfulness helps us cultivate a meaningful legacy.
Cultivators preserve what matters for future seasons, and future generations.

I’d love to hear from you! Which lie and which truth stood out to you the most?

unspecified-4

To help you break up the lies that have been holding you back lately, I have something for you today. I am admittedly nervous to share this! If you’ve been following my book writing journey over the last two years, you know it has been one of imperfect progress. I wrote Cultivate in the thick of one of the hardest seasons of my life and even had to start over half-way through the process. But, like working in my garden, all of this hard work and digging in was worth it. I’m grateful for how my journey has changed me (and our family!) and I hope this free preview of Cultivate encourages you to grow right where you’ve been planted. Download the first pages of Cultivate (for free) by entering your email below.

If those first pages encourage you, I would be so grateful if you would consider pre-ordering your copy of Cultivate here. This is so helpful for retailers to have enough copies in stock on launch day. Thank you in advance for pre-ordering! As a thank you, if you pre-order the book before the release day on June 27th, you’ll get these amazing pre-order bonuses. Claim your bonuses here.

Cultivate-Preorder-8

And lastly, thank you. Thank you for encouraging me on this journey. I am so grateful for you, friends!

23 Show Comments
  1. Candace

    several of those lies hit close to home but then when it strikes me most is the one about gratitude. I’m coming off of a season where I told myself for so long that it was the next season that would make me happy. I’m opening my eyes this morning to see that perhaps everything I’ve needed to be happy today God has given me right here in front of me!

    • Lara

      I love what you shared, Candace! Sometimes, God has us right in the mess and the tension for a reason. There is good in it all–even when it’s hard to see. I’m cheering you on!

  2. Leah Van Ert

    Lara, I can. not. wait. to read your words in this book! I already know I’m going to love it.

  3. Elizabeth

    “Lie 6: Waiting is not good or productive.
    Truth: Waiting is a time of ripening.
    Cultivators ripen in the wait.”

    I read this in your email and immediately knew I had to save and remember it. I am often so fixated on productivity, and this is such an important understanding.

  4. Meghan

    Cheers to you, sweet friend, for being brave and sharing this today. Words matter and I’m so grateful for the gift of yours – for your writing, your story, your heart. It’s so clear in reading Cultivate that you poured all of yourself into this book and honestly, your words have left me feeling energized and inspired. I’m SO excited for the release date and for this book – and your message – to be shared far and wide!

    • Lara

      I love you, my friend! I’m so grateful for your encouragement!

  5. Cate

    Lie #5, for sure. I have an anxiety disorder and planning helps me feel safe; in my job, I plan and schedule things for the future and get as many details as possible, and when something doesn’t go as planned, I’m flexible. Far less so outside of work! Faith is essential, faith is essential, faith is essential!

  6. Diane Taylor

    Good morning Lara – what a wonderful post. THANK YOU for giving us words that really make us THINK :):) I think the lie that I nodded to right away was that “I can do life by myself”. After I got divorced many years ago, I believed this lie with everything I had. I no longer wanted to “do life” with anyone, since I had messed dup so badly the first time. I felt defeated. My son was only 13 at the time and I made him the focus of everything I did or said. God of course had other plans for me. He helped me believe that starting over was ok. Soon I met a man that I am now married to for 14 wonderful years :):) I lost my son in 2012 in a fire – and I have to say that I am still here today typing this, thanks to the love and support of my husband. Doing life on my own? Yes I did that – but when the bottom falls out, it is the arms of our family that help soften the blow.

    Sending you much love today from my little corner of the world in Baltimore MD :):)

  7. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    I needed to read these this morning, Lara. Thank you!

    #2 and #3 spoke to me the most…

    Lie 2: I have to be perfect.
    Truth: It’s in the imperfect that things grow.
    Cultivators dig into the season they’re in.

    Lie 3: My life needs to look like everyone else’s.
    Truth: I have a life to grow that is as unique as I am.
    Cultivators think big picture to uncover their unique path.

    Both of those are so challenging (in a good way) for me right now, because I’m honestly so ready to leave my current season, and it often feels like everyone around me is changing and moving to new seasons while my season remains the same. Being 33 and single wasn’t the way I would have written my story. I’m ready to marry a best friend, ready to start my own family. But for whatever reason, that is not the story God is writing in my life. At least not right now. So I’m learning to dig in where I am…even when it’s hard and painful and messy. I’m learning to ask God to bring fruit and use me fully right where I am. And I continue to pray for the hopes and dreams I have for the future. :)

    In the middle of it all, I’m clinging to verses like this one in Ephesians (MSG translation):” God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”

    P.S. I can’t WAIT to read Cultivate! Thanks for the gift of the first few chapters. You are a blessing! :)

  8. Katie

    I would have to say #5. I have been searching for a new job for over a year now on and off and have not been able to land one in my field which is fashion merchandising. The great thing is I currently have a job, I’m just looking for a position I can grow and learn more. I often get worried about finding a new one or if I will like the new job I get. It’s my dream to grow my fashion blog currently but in the meantime I desire a job that is full-time until I can start to profit from my blog.

    Thanks for sharing these.

    Katie | http://www.katieskronicles.org

  9. Sarah

    Lara, these are so good! Lie 4 stood out to me so much. I often get stuck in this mindset of having to be perfect before I move forward. However, the truth is so much bigger – allowing and trusting God to redeem my dirt because He CAN. Moving forward from the imperfect place I’m at to start cultivating meaningful things because good things have to be planted in the dirt. I’m so excited to read Cultivate – thank you for sharing this!

    P.S. Is it possible to get a PDF / printable / ebook of these lies and truths? I’d love to be able to keep this with me while I work!

    • Lara

      I’m so grateful you were encouraged! I can’t give a printable for this, but the physical books will have all of these inside : )

  10. Jessica

    Lara,

    Thank you for sharing these chapters today. Last week, I planted zinnias because of you. The seeds haven’t yet sprouted but your words resonated with me so much I had to try. Gardening and outdoor work was punishment when I was a child, so I despise it as an adult. But I’ve been slowly taking the time and effort to “play” in the dirt more. I want my daughter to love nature. I love how happy it makes my husband when I help him outdoors. The lies and truths you share are powerful. I am often searching for the surface solution, the quick fix. I look forward to reading more. You really touched my heart today. Thank you.

  11. Rachel Fahey

    I just saw this and couldn’t not share it with you. It’s a little kid’s shirt that says “little by little.”

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/peek-little-by-little-graphic-t-shirt-baby-girls/4573769?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=LIGHT%20BLUE

    • Lara

      Well that is sure is the cutest thing!!! I’m so grateful you shared this with me! : )

  12. Stacie

    So many spoke to me but I think of each one number 3 stood out the most. I often feel like my life should look a certain way. I have a 23 year old a 22 year old and a nine year old. So I have been working hard at motherhood for some time. But sometimes, I have to admit, it feels like I should be doing so much more. My life is unique in that I have a large gap between my middle and youngest child. I should cultivate what matters right where I am today. Thank you for all of your encouraging steps!!! I love your organization. It speaks to me. By the way, I bought a journaling Bible for my son, I would love to know where you found your table top wooden book stand that you use with her on your cute live videos. God bless you!!!

    • Lara

      I love all you shared and I found it on Amazon – I think I searched “wooden Bible stand” : )

  13. Jamie

    #5 for sure! I’m about to go into us insets for myself doing something totally new for me. I’m a planner and rarely take risks. The unknown is scary. I’m learning to realize that I have let God control this situation. I can’t predict the future but have faith that God does and it’s the perfect future for me.

  14. Jamie

    *business

  15. Ashley

    Thank you for sharing, sweet Lara.

  16. elisabeth

    All of these lies have absolutely drained my soul at some point. Thank you Lara for the truths that combat them. Today, #5 speaks the most to me, as I am in a season of trying to trust God as I want a second child but my husband does not. It’s tough to not be unified with my husband.
    Thank you for your encouragement and modeling of living an intentional life!
    Cultivate is AWESOME and I am excited to continue reading. :)

  17. Jessica

    Number three! My husband and I are in the middle of trying to start a family and it has been a longer road than we thought (not that long compared to others, but we thought it would be easier/faster) and it is easy to look at everyone else and wonder why they have what we so badly want. But I know that God is good in every season and is carrying us and teaching us things that we need to be ready for the next season!

  18. Mary Larson

    8 and 9
    I keep accumulating craft items and books–then find more that I don’t have and think I need–it’s an endless cycle
    I have a really hard time asking friends to help me do home projects so I end up hiring professionals