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!