What a month July was! It was filled with many significant work events (our quarterly team Summit and our 2019 product shoot) and… the Great Peach Harvest of 2018! We’ve had our Elberta peach tree for 7 years, and we’ve never had more than 1 – 2 peaches. Well, I’ve heard it said before ( 😉 ) that good things grow over time, little by little, and our peach tree wowed us this year with 100 peaches (yes, we were blown away!). We have eaten the best peaches we’ve ever had at nearly every meal for the last two weeks, and we’re using the last dozen to make peach ice cream tonight. July 2018 will be forever marked in our minds by this sweet display of God’s faithfulness! Between the peaches, blueberry picking and so much garden goodness (our giant pumpkin is… well, giant!), it was a great month filled with great people.

Here’s a recap of my goal progress from July and my August goals are below, too!

July Monthly Goals Progress:

— PEACE—bring the life of God to my family—it starts with me! “Peace” has been jumping out at me at every turn lately. In my Bible reading, in songs, in my prayers—everywhere. So, I’m listening and I started to study it a little. I found this definition that struck me: “Peace, or shalom, comes from aligning with His purposes and it comes from His presence.” This is my top priority this month—to trust Him and experience His peace as I let go. // Yes, God gave me so much peace through challenges in July. I am so grateful!
Book Club with God. I’m working this month to spend time by myself with God. // I did this once, and I count that as a win! 
— Team Summit with Your joy. Our team summit is coming next week! Eeeee!!! I can’t wait for us to all be together! // Oh my soul, this time together was powerful! We spent two days strategizing and thinking big picture. Most of all though, we spent time calling each other higher and helping each other own our unique gifts.
— Product shoot with Your joy. Our big fall product shoot is immediately after our summit! // Yes! We all worked so hard and it was worth it. Getting to spend three days with Gina and our amazing team and real-life PowerSheets users was… magic! Wait till you see the joy in these photos!
— Fully step into the Visionary role. In our company, we follow the Traction model. I’ve been making progress over the last quarter to fully step into the Visionary role, and this month I am working extra hard to solidify this. // This is something I am working tirelessly on and we are making progress! I won’t be fully in this role for another 6 months or so I don’t think, but great strides have been made. Progress, not perfection!
— Scatter joy in the Cultivate Book Club. Want to join us? It’s not too late! Get your book and sign up here. // I am looking forward to the live book club party next week!

Our shoot crew after three amazing days of creating images for you—the 2019 collection launches October 24th!

July Weekly Goals:

— Give the kids opportunities to experience Your Spirit, Lord. I love teaching our kids—and giving them opportunities to experience and discover Him on their own. This is very simple in practice. For instance, if I bring them to a garden, I don’t need to tell them what to do—they innately know how to explore and play! I can explore alongside them and be their guide to notice God’s faithfulness, but I’ve been trying to let go more here and see what they notice, too. This month, I’m focusing on bringing them to places and experiences where their hearts can discover Him—a garden, a sunrise, a creek, a bowl of berries we picked together, a stack of books. It’s a simple idea that I already see growing their hearts. // Yes! Progress here! So many of these little adventures and opportunities to notice His faithfulness happened in the garden. I’m seeing more and more how valuable that space is to their hearts.
— Build team members up in the Lord. Part of my Visionary role that I’d like to grow this month is to build up each individual team member and help her to thrive. I love the women I work alongside and have been shifting my role to be a mentor who trains up young leaders, instead of doing all the leading myself. // I had opportunities to pray with and for the team on many occasions and I am very grateful.
— Write the Word Wednesdays. I’ve been doing my own Write the Word journal each Wednesday morning while the kids do theirs (and sometimes color in mine like you saw above!). We break out the stickers and have fun all doing it together. Since Josh and Sarah are too little to write, they each do some scribbling, but there’s a good lesson even in sitting at the table to do a shared activity and talk about the Bible verse that Grace is writing. I have been working on helping Josh memorize the letters in his name and I help him trace them in his journal each week. There are lots of ways to get creative and keep it simple with little ones! // We missed this a couple times in July with the shoot and events, but it was so good the times we did it!

July Daily Goals:

— Chronological Bible. I’m continuing my number one goal with this daily Bible reading using the Blue Letter Bible Chronological reading plan on Youversion. // Yes! On track! I am still loving the audio version most days.
— Strength + Joy + Peace – This is my goal to strength train, and I phrased it this way because it motivates me to look at the big picture. I want to feel strength and joy in the journey. In making progress, I will feel peace knowing I am moving forward on taking care of the body God gave me so I can love my family well! (Tip: word your goals however they most motivate you!) // I FINALLY MADE PROGRESS HERE! Something connected for me in the way I worded this. Goals don’t have to make sense to the rest of the world, as long as they motivate you!
— Have FUN—joy in the Lord! Freedom in Christ brings joy and I want to use that freedom for good things this month! // A friend said the following words to me that just stuck: “Free people free people.” I have carried that with me since and it has reminded me to let go and give thanks!

Also in July, we celebrated Cultivators Appreciation Day— a holiday we created to celebrate our amazing Cultivate family! I got to surprise call customers, meet new friends (see below!) and talk to many of you live. What a joy to express our thanks!

On to August! 

August Monthly Goals:

— Trust in the Lord. Over my own efforts and abilities and plans, my top priority this month is to trust the Lord with it all.
— Praise-ful night away with Ari. We are going “away” for one night—right down the road to a log cabin bed and breakfast. I am hopeful this is a time Ari and I can spend remembering God’s faithfulness and praising Him through our conversations.
— Cultivate my calendar. Rather than wait till right before the holidays to make meaningful plans, and to look ahead to 2019, I’m going to take a look now and cultivate my calendar. Read on to join me for an hour-long workshop on how to cultivate your calendar too!


— Teach the Cultivate Your Calendar live workshop. This was one of the most popular webinars I did last year, and I’m excited to dive in again so we can all prepare well for the months ahead! Save the date for next Thursday at noon ET. (Save your seat here!)
— Prepare well for the homeschool year! Wooooo! It’s coming! We’ve been doing a little homeschool here and there this summer, and it’s about to ramp up. Any other mom’s feeling the back-to-school crunch too? I had a great conversation over dinner last night with some wiser-than-me mamas and it was so refreshing. Their advice: You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be an expert. Little by little progress adds up. (Sound familiar?! 🙂 ) It was refreshing to be reminded of these truths as I prepare for the year ahead!
— Record the Podcast. Yes! It’s happening! I’m a little scared typing this. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m doing it! Any votes for the name of said podcast or for episodes you’d like to see included? I’d love to hear!
— Celebrate Josh’s 3rd year + life! I am so that mom, and already pulled out his baby album to tell him his birth story! His birthday is the 13th and we are having a little farm party with 3 of his friends and our family, but this goal is more about praising the Lord throughout the month for the gift of these years and for his life. Josh is our rainbow baby (we had a miscarriage before we started our adoption process and simultaneously found out I was pregnant). His existence is a miracle and I want to intentionally take time to remember and praise God for this!
— Family praise-cation. I know, I know—I have a thing for making up new words with “praise” or “pray” in them to keep me focused on what matters! (Case in point: Pray-oritize. Verb. To prioritize through praying about what He wants on your to-do list!) We are taking a week-long trip to Boone and Asheville. We’re going to Tweetsie (Josh can’t wait to ride the train) and Grandfather Mountain (I have been wanting to go for two years!) and the Biltmore. I can’t wait!

Shoot prep at my house. This photo makes me giggle—such an accurate depiction of life around here!

August Weekly Goals:

— Pray on my knees. I’m feeling a need for some extra surrender this month.
— Praise with the kids. I’ve already started this—intentionally voicing praise for God’s blessings or answered prayers, instead of just thinking them to myself!
— Write the Word Wednesday + Bible journaling. Every Wednesday, the kids and I do our Write the Word journals together. I’m adding Bible journaling to this so I spend time praying over Grace and writing notes to her in her Bible in prep for this new school year.

August Daily Goals:

— Chronological Bible. I’m continuing my number one goal with this daily Bible reading using the Blue Letter Bible Chronological reading plan on Youversion.
— Strength + Joy – This is my goal to strength train. I do abs and some free weights here at home with the kiddos!

Verses I’m loving for August:

‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures…’ (Psalm 23:1-2).

‘In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.’ (Psalm 25:1).

‘Does a farmer plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds…’ (Isaiah 28:24-25).

Your turn! Do you have goals for August? What are you cultivating in this new month? I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts! Congrats to July’s winner, Bonnie!

34 Show Comments
  1. Lindsay

    Pursuing a certification in Christian leadership coaching and taking a week long vacay with our family!

  2. Ally

    What’s the podcast going to be about? Life with Lara came to mind as an option for the name.

    One of my August goals is to make a photobook for the kids I babysit during the summer to remember our previous summers and this one since I’m not coming back next summer.

    • Lara

      I love it, Ally! The podcast will be about cultivating what matters, so lots of topics will be covered! : )

  3. Laura P

    July was so exciting! Can’t wait to see how fruitful August is! Daily: bible reading, write the word, gratitude. Weekly: save $20, exercise once. Monthly: school shopping, finish renovating home, create blog logo. Thank you for your faithful encouragement!

  4. faythe hall

    Make it happen! Podcast name 🙂

  5. Heather

    So excited for your podcast, Lara! You can count on me listening in while washing dishes, tending to laundry, and making dinner for my fam! 🙂 One of the things I’m cultivating this month is the practice of sabbath rest-praying and asking the Lord to show me how this looks with our family of two little ones!

    • Lara

      Yay, Heather! I’m so grateful for you and I love love love your goal for the month!

  6. Catherine Engle

    My main August goal is to really focus in on each of my kiddos in this last month before school starts – to tune into their hearts and fill their tanks. I’m also working on continuing to cultivate my own health, both from a food/exercise choices standpoint (started beginning of June and have felt so much better!) as well as my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. A lot of that looks like being sure to find pockets in each day to be still and quiet – often in the morning before anyone else is awake. I’ve never claimed to be a morning person, but that early morning time has become a sacred part of my day

    • Lara

      I love how you phrased “tune into their hearts”— that is on my mind as well. I love everything you shared!

  7. Sara B

    August is going to be all about starting a morning/night routine that can hopefully be a grounding point for us in the months to come. I’m also starting back to my Bible reading plan (it’s ok if I don’t finish in exactly one year, what matters is I keep going and finish little by little) and getting used to a new way of planning with my Simplified planner.

    It’s so neat you’re going to Asheville this month because I’ll be spending some time there looking at houses and exploring the area because it looks like my family will be relocating there soon. We already love Boone and it’s such a cute little town. Hope you have a great vacation! 🙂

    • Lara

      Yes! The first time I read through the Bible, it took me well over a year and the little by little progress was worth it. I am cheering you on! And how amazing—Boone and Asheville are such wonderful places!

  8. Chelsea Coupe

    Like…like, your OWN podcast?? Like not a guest on a podcast?! 🙌🏻 🎉 🍾. My life is complete now. I can die happy.

  9. Stephanie

    I’m cultivating strength and movement into my life this month! I’ll also be planning for homeschooling kindergarten this Fall. Looking forward to the new podcast – I’ll be adding it in the line up with At Home With Sally and Friends. (o;

    • Lara

      Oh how I LOVE Sally! And how exciting—my best advice for your first year is you don’t have to know it all or have it all together! We took the first year to get to know her learning style and my teaching niche and it was so good!

  10. alex

    last year, my husband and I started memorizing scripture and then practicing it together on a 5 am walk with our dogs before work. We were really diligent for a while but then life….you know… .. August goal is to get re- started on this and absolutely refuse to allow myself to judge myself about shortcomings, but rather to speak gently to myself and- keep going, whether large or small steps. some small forward motion each day! Thank you for the reminders! So needed!

    • Lara

      Yes! Little by little progress adds up! So proud of you for choosing grace over guilt!

  11. Elizabeth

    I am cultivating a butterfly garden with the kiddos. They are loving every second of spending outside time with me and learning about gardening. We even stood and watched some birds bathe in the bird bath! The smiles on their faces made me realize how much such a simple thing can bring such joy to their lives.

    I can’t wait to hear your new podcast! How exciting 🙂 I’ve actually searched the internet to listen to podcasts you’ve done as a guest and just finished listening to the one with Molly Stillman. So inspiring and just what I needed to hear in this season of my life.

    Thank you for all you do. You are truly an inspiration. -Elizabeth

    • Lara

      Oh, how wonderful! Our kiddos love the butterflies and bees—that makes me so happy to hear! : ) And I’m glad you enjoyed the episode with Molly. I think the world of her!

  12. Meghann

    Goals for August:
    *Learn from those who have been in the bridal world longer than me and create action points after the training
    *Buy Prom Dresses 👗 for the Spring
    *Intentionally celebrate allllll the birthdays this month
    Weekly:
    *Write the Word Wednesdays
    *Budget
    *Read 1 book/week
    *Instastory for our business
    Daily:
    *Go to bed at 10:30
    *Move/strengthen my body
    *Daimy clean up
    *100 oz. water

  13. Jillian

    I’m continuing with the Chronological Bible reading plan as well, Lara! And each week I’m persisting in trying to teach my 7-mo old daughter to take a bottle! We are traveling soon so I’m hopeful she’ll make life easier on me and let others feed her 🙂 Hoping to also cultivate relationships with other moms in my Bible study.

  14. Lauren

    One of my biggest goals is to finally pull the trigger and buy the domain name I’ve been thinking about (for over a year!) and then to put up my first post. I am terrified and I’m not even sure why. Also to make the most of our last days of summer and weekend family adventures, even if that’s just as simple as a backyard picnic.

  15. Susan

    instead of write the word Wednesday I do write the word weekend. I’m digging into my prayer journal more and I’m actually keeping it in my car instead of at home, because it seems I have time to glance at it at a red light which is better than glancing at my phone. Also working on cooking at home more and tracking my spending better. My daily goals Are to continue with my chronological Bible which I am also on track and, journal track my weight watchers points, movement- instead of specifying what I’m doing I am going a little more broad. I’ve tried to do Pilates 2 to 3 times a week but I’m not very successful with that. So the last couple of days after cleaning up dinner dishes I’ve gone for a nice walk around the block. Also my daily goal is to turn my phone off by 8:15 PM.

  16. Kathi Sacha

    I am so looking forward to your podcasts! I worked my way through my Powersheets prep in July and completed my first set of Tending sheets yesterday! My goals include getting my granddaughter ready to start Kindergarten, establishing good morning & evening routines for her, moving forward with decluttering and intentially spending time with my hubby & granddaughter.

  17. Annelies

    Podcast?! Yay!!!
    Oh I’m so excited! I just love ‘best of both worlds’ podcast so I’m really excited about adding another to my list.
    I am looking forward to a couple of holidays – skiing and the biggest farming field days in Australia – Agquip.
    I also have to finish my last submission for my post grad diploma.

  18. Laura

    I’m excited to listen to your podcast, Lara! I love something like “Cultivate What Matters with Lara and Friends” for the name. My goals this month all revolve around rest: journaling, Bible reading, prayer, and quiet time away from busyness.

  19. Kaitlyn McClay

    Last week my mother-in-law passed. We found out in April that she had stage 4 cancer throughout her entire body. It got her down fast and hard but we made the most of our time we had left with her. So, this month for our family our goals and focus mainly on healing. Rest is a monthly goal for us and forcing ourselves to slow down. Devotions, family movie night, family pray, dinner at the table, these are a few of my monthly goals.

  20. Kimberley

    My wedding is September 1st so I am finishing details for that, but also carving out more time for family and friends and really putting time into my relationships, with my sweet fiancé and everyone else important to me. I love Boone and Asheville and live pretty close to Boone! You will love the mountains!

  21. Greta

    I am so excited to hear that you are starting a podcast. I really enjoyed the interview you did with Chrystal Evans Hurst for her Girl Boss series. I am in a season of life where I regularly drive to a city two hours from mine. I have discovered a love of podcasts to make that monotonous drive fly by. We are also a homeschooling family and my youngest is beginning his senior year in August. My oldest also begins his senior year of college. Some of my goals for August, and beyond, relate to finishing our homeschool journey well, and helping my boys transition to their next stages of life. And we have a big family vacation this month where I hope to make lots of happy memories and just enjoy our time together.

  22. Laura

    This August one of my big goals is to worry less (let’s be honest, this is always a goal of mine, but I’m really trying to focus on it this month). One of my weekly tasks is to turn a worry into a prayer. I honestly just don’t always think to pray about my worries, but it’s such a huge mindshift when I do.

  23. Rachel Purviance

    Podcast name suggestion: A Cultivated Conversation. 😊

    Ps I love listening to podcasts so I’m SO PUMPED to hear about this new evolution in the brand!