Happy November, friends! What a wonderful month this is here in Chapel Hill!

The leaves have turned the colors of a blazing sunset. The air smells of fireplace coziness. Our pansies are planted for the winter. And my focus has turned to preparing well for meaningful experiences ahead and the new year. Keeping a gentle eye on the number of days remaining in 2018 (59 as of writing this to you) has motivated me to get the right things done. A lot can happen in fifty-nine days, and a little intentional forethought goes a long way!

October was a month I’ll never forget. It was a month of learning to trust. We took a family trip to the farm a few days before the 2019 PowerSheets launch, which normally would have felt like terrible timing, but it was just right. I ended up getting an out-of-nowhere fever that had me in bed for most of our trip, but in retrospect I know it was a gift. The Lord knew I needed rest and to tangibly feel His power being made perfect in my weakness. Surrender is a sweet thing (Dear self, remember this always!). October, you were good for our souls!

My October Monthly Goals Progress:

— Throw off everything that hinders me and aim my arrows at doing life the way He wants me to. / This looked like trusting in His power over my own. There were significant walls placed in front of us in October with work and family, and He broke down every one in His perfect timing and unexpected ways. I am still a little speechless about it all!
— Enter into the most wonderful season of service and joy with our team and the good work He has blessed us with! / The 2019 PowerSheets are here and we have had a lot of fun as a team, feeling fired up about our work and mission! It has been a joy to serve you and so many women over the last two weeks.
— Share why I have the hope I have. / I loved this goal! Yes, I was thankful to share on several occasions.
— Bring the life of God to our children, which starts with us flourishing in faith. / Sally Clarkson shared something this week that stuck with me: “Little girls need to see big faith.” The little girls and boy in this house got to see that this month, and I hope those seeds take root. They saw and heard us pray through hard things, rejoice and praise in good things, and ask for forgiveness when we messed up. It was a good month of growing in faith for all of us.
— Get into a rhythm with homeschool. / Yes! Aside from a couple of missed days from sicknesses, we made good progress this month. I am SO grateful for this. The Cultivated Homeschool Planner has been a game changer for me.

Fun at Vollmer Farm with the kiddos!

October Weekly Goals:

— Take care of our temples of the Holy Spirit. Ari expressed wanting to grow in balance and wellness, and I want to teach our kiddos healthy habits too. We’ve already started cooking lessons with the kiddos, including knife skills for Grace so she can prepare fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. Here’s a great video we watched to learn the basics! / Yes! Progress here on all fronts. Little by little steps add up!
— Pray for a *few* friends. / I was not as diligent about this as I had envisioned I would be. I prayed for friends, but I think I would have done this more if I would have had my PowerSheets by my bed on the weekends to simply remember. Good lesson learned so I can adjust for future progress—and no goal guilt needed. : ) When you don’t make progress on a goal as you’d like, simply examine why and redirect for next time!
— All of them. / Yes! (Read my October goals post for more about this goal.) This was lived out on several occasions, namely our trip to the Farm! Even though I was sick for most of it, we really had a wonderful time making memories together. I hope to do this every year in October if the Lord allows us to. It was magical and simple retreat for us all. (Look up Vollmer Farm on AirBnB!)
— Believing a miracle happened in our lives and acting like it! Ari and I are not the same people we were several years ago. The heart and life change we’ve experienced is significant, but this fact is easy to forget in day-to-day life. I do not want to forget this. A miracle happened in our lives and remembering this spurs me forward to share the hope we have. His grace is a real thing and it changes everything! / Yes! Even something as simple as looking at old photographs together leaves us in awe of how much we have changed in the last 12+ years. Because of this, we have greater faith that more transformation can happen—in our lives and yours too!

They all LOVED the corn pit!

October Daily Goals:

— Bathe in the Word. I’m continuing my number one goal with this daily Bible reading using the Blue Letter Bible Chronological reading plan on YouVersion. / Yes! We’re so close to finishing the Bible! Yahoo!!!
— Seek Him in all things instead of doing them my way or without asking Him first. / This will always be a practice to keep, but I was especially grateful for the reminder to focus on this in October.
— Praise + joy! Working out with praise on my lips and joy in my soul! / Yes! There was a LOT of praise in October! I’ve already ramped up the working out part this month though—I slowed down a bit being sick.
— Speak restorative words. / Yes, and I found that the most restorative words are, as always, His. Several times I shared a scripture with someone and simply let it be—without adding any of my words too. The Word is powerful on its own!

Now to November! 

November Monthly Goals:

— God + goals – study it, live it, give it! This is my top priority for November. Oh, this goal has me so fired up, friends! More to come on this one!
— Retreat to pray. In order to do anything well this month, I know it will take time in prayer to listen. He turns worries into worship!
— Prayer-led podcast recording. I lost my voice for a good part of October, but I’m feeling better now and ready to record. The podcast will launch in December!

I asked Grace if she would like to write the encouraging words in my PowerSheets this month and this is what she wrote: “1 thing is good and that is God.” No better reminder! 🙂 

Weekly Goals:

— Make decisions from my identity. For example, I want to be a woman who has a life-giving home and a flourishing homeschool. So, what kind of decisions would I make as a person who wants those things? It’s a simple mind-shift that has changed several of my decisions this week.
— Gentleness and wonder with the kids. This includes a flourishing homeschool and intentionally planning simple experiences (like crunching in the fall leaves!) and holiday celebrations that leave them in awe of Him. I don’t have to manufacture or plan anything elaborate. I simply lead them to where they might experience wonder and let go!

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.
— Workout + worship. Now that the weather is turning colder, we have not been able to walk as much outside in the mornings. It’s tricky sometimes to workout at home with three kiddos, but when I turn it into a praise party, we all get into it! (I may need to make a new workout playlist to accompany this goal—any suggestions?)

The pansies are in and the garden feels magical again—and it smells like a slice of Heaven!

Verses I’m loving for November:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

My help doesn’t come from things or accolades or being organized or money or anything you can see with your eyes—it comes from the God who made the stars. He’s ready to help you make what matters happen this month, too!

Your turn! What are your goals for November? 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 October’s winner, Lindsay!

P.S. Do you know those hurried days between Christmas and New Years when everyone scrambles to set goals? We don’t do that around here! Instead of microwaving your goals like the rest of the world, let’s slow cook them. Join me December 3-7 for PowerSheets Prep Week! I’ll walk you step-by-step through the PowerSheets Prep Work and Goal Action Plan pages to prepare well for 2019. I even have a brand-new five-part video series that will debut that week, just for you. Get your PowerSheets ordered now so you get them in plenty of time, and mark your calendar for a week of preparing well with us!

34 Show Comments
  1. Katrina

    November is one of my favorite months! The kick off to the holidays, the slow down, and when we’ll see our first snow here in MI!
    Some of my goals this month:
    MONTHLY //
    -celebrate Lee girl birthdays WELL & with LOTS of hot pink! (my sister, mom, & I all have our birthdays in one week!)
    -2019 benefit paperwork done
    -plan Christmas wrapping day with a sweet friend, Jenn (we’re even dehyrdrating fruit to ise as toppers!)
    -master gluten free sugar cookie recipe
    WEEKLY //
    -random act of kindness
    -journal & quiet
    -financial check in
    DAILY //
    -move my body
    -record daily joy & gratitude
    -write & send a note each day to a different friend
    -devotions
    Happy November!!!

  2. Sarah Jean

    This month I am planning to work on settling into some new routines that will set us up well for 2019 – finance and health wise! As well as sorting through some of our belongings to make more “white space” for 2019!

    I am really loving your goal to “make decisions from my identity” it is really resonating with me and I am writing it down right now! Thank you Lara, so thankful for you and the team! I hope you all enjoy this season!

  3. Lecy | A Simpler Grace

    This month, I’m trying to remember that I can’t do everything and be everything to everyone. I’m focusing on writing my book and loving my people well. Happy November!

  4. Grace

    My goals for November:
    – trust HIM in the process for the search for our new home. I am in need of this because I am not patient.
    – Follow Dave Ramsey’s money envelope budget and plan! So far so good one week in – we started a little early!
    – move my body to nourish my body and mind.
    – Love my husband expressively the way I love my son.
    – PhD progress. I’m post courses and pre-dissertation so it is now or never!

    I keep reminding myself that little by little is the way goals are accomplished. This is tough for me! Thank you for all you do Lara and team!

  5. Hannah

    My life has been a little crazy lately as a full-time student trying to love my husband well, maintain a lifegiving home and nurture meaningful relationships, so the word I chose to guide my goals this month is “simplify.” I have exams this week and several big events coming up in addition to the holidays and I need this reminder to say no to what isn’t important so I can do what really matters: love God and my people well. I’m also working through a chronological Bible plan and am so excited to finally be in the New Testament! After spending most of this year working through the long years of waiting in the Old Testament, I’ve gained a new excitement for the coming of Jesus and a deep gratitude for what it means to know him as Savior and friend. This month, I want to stay anchored in that reality as I study and serve.

  6. Karlie van soelen

    Thanks for reminding us of things that are most important in the busy holiday season coming up. My big November goals include 2-school for my son which we started this week (THANK YOU FOR THE CULTIVATED HOMESCHOOL PLANNER!) and to stay in the Word and learn more about Gods character. Also to cultivate meaningful life-giving family traditions as we have little ones and want to teach them about Jesus!

    • Lara

      Karlie, I’m so glad you’re loving the Cultivated Homeschool Planner!

  7. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    I wrote a long list of goals on my November PowerSheets, and many are must-do things for the month, but this morning, I was reminded of a phrase I wrote down a few years ago: “Let God work,” and I feel that sums up where I need to be these last two months before beginning the New Year. So today I am sitting with that. 🙂

  8. Maggie

    Your trip looks fun! I’m excited to see how this month goes, as my first November using PowerSheets. *smile*

    Some of my goals are:
    -“Confident, Content and Joyful in my Father’s leading!” My favorite!
    -Spending time with grandparents
    -Specific work goals to keep me on track during the busyness!
    -Get a new family picture
    -Keep putting Jesus’ words in my heart
    -Give thanks everyday
    -Health/exercise goals

    Thank you yet again for all of your encouragement. May God bless your November!

    • Lara

      Maggie, this makes me smile. I can’t wait to hear how November goes for you!

  9. Sarah @ Simply Joyful Moments

    My main goal is to finish the year strong. Even though there are only 2 months left, I want to keep growing, which is my word for next year. Grow my marriage, grow my relationships with my kids and my family and friends, grow my business, grow my faith.

  10. Brittany

    •Continue to draw closer to the Lord
    •Stick to my wellness goals even through Thanksgiving
    •To further embrace Progress Not Perfection so I can work more effectively

    Thank you for all the encouragement!

  11. Nicole Lasley

    I’m setting up my cultivated calendar for a slower, more intentional, more PRESENT holiday season!

  12. Allison

    My main focus this month is to be “open”. To grow pre-existing friendships, to build a new friendship, and to share some of my life challenges in order to encourage others that they are not alone!

  13. Pam Maher

    I am new to PowerSheets and can’t wait to use them! For November I am working on using blocked time, finishing my 2019 prep work and nourishing my body with movement, water and healthy food!

  14. Laura at Fairly Southern

    One of my big goals this month is to declutter. I’m not one to purchase a lot of things, but clutter seems to build up in my house anyway…mostly it’s just items that are out of place! Going to tackle that this month to create a more restful and happy space.

  15. Sarah Gusky Kemer

    We’re trying to cultivate more intentional family time, and keep our budget in check!! Those are our two top priorities as we navigate potential job changes for my husband.

  16. Sarah

    I’m launching a purpose driven business next week. It’s the realization of a lengthy road of faith that I’ve been traveling for several years. My greatest goal is to honor the Lord in my work, inspire my audience, and build a legacy I can share with others. This month I’m trying to listen more and express my gratitude for all I’ve received.

  17. Heather Gray

    Love all of these beautiful goals, Lara! One of my most important goals this month is to welcome others-we so want to love and serve people well in our home, even in the sometimes chaotic years of raising little ones!

    • Lara

      Thank you, Heather! I love this goal and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  18. Rosie Lapp

    This month I was cultivating thankfulness and contentment after the unexpected loss of my dad last month. <3 It was hard but I'm moving forward with hope in my heart. You all have been such an encouragement to me! Words cannot express my gratitude for being a part of this community.

  19. Kayla Jones

    I am cultivating rest this month. It’s been a tough and busy year and I’m feeling the consequences of that in my body. I want to be able to love my body well and create healthier habits now as I prepare for the New Year