So, you want to start a garden. Plant lady that I am, I’m thrilled for you! But, do I sense a bit of overwhelm? There’s just so much information out there, and so many resources. You just want to be told how to get started, in plain language. You want to know:

what to plant
when to plant it
how not to kill it.

I may be an unlikely gardener (I’ve killed plenty of plants in my day!), but over the years I’ve kept trying and trying again. The lessons I’ve learned, and the beauty I’ve experienced with my family in the garden, have kept me moving forward. No matter how far from green your thumb is, YOU can become a gardener, too. Let’s talk! LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— You’ll hear a little bit about my history as a gardener (dead plants and all), and why I love getting my hands dirty.
— I tell you about the Gardening 101 LIVE class we’re offering for the first time ever. I’ve helped hundreds of people start and tend to their first gardens, and I want to do the same for you! Register here. We’re going to have so much fun, and by the end you’ll be ready to get started with a garden of your own and – best of all! – you’ll know how NOT to kill your plants.
— You’ll hear about my first year of gardening, and the classic mistake I made – and how I’ve course corrected since then.
I’ll tell you about my gardening WHY and help you find yours. Is it for food? Teaching? Fun? Beauty? Filling vases? Attracting butterflies, birds, and bees? Let’s find out!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— You can learn everything you need to know to start your own garden in my new, LIVE Gardening 101 class. It’s on April 16th, and if you can’t join live, the replay is yours to watch whenever you’d like! Register now.
— I wrote a whole chapter in Cultivate about all the plants I’ve killed. There’s hope for you, too! : )
For Garden’s Sake is my favorite local nursery. If you’re in the Triangle, pay them a visit!
— We chatted a bit about how our garden fuels my homeschooling with Grace. Here’s my homeschool planner – a free download!

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

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I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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Feel like you’ve been working hard but you’re not seeing the results that… let’s just say it… that she has?

Imagine what would have happened if the flowers in my garden took a look at themselves and thought, “Hmm. I’m not growing as straight or tall as that flower next to me. She sprouted faster. My leaves aren’t perfect. I GIVE UP! Maybe I’ll just go back in the dirt!” OR if I gave up on tending to them altogether. We would miss out on the blooms to come—blooms that were set to unfurl in their own unique and perfect timing.

It’s okay to grow slow. Keep taking steps toward what you can’t yet see. Your breakthrough might just be one more step away. And if it ends up being twenty steps away, it will be worth it, too!

—Here are 18 pep talks on how to embrace little by little progress.
—It’s never too late to start! This video series will help you make progress on your goals whether or not you’re a PowerSheets user.
—How to Get Unstuck with Your Goals.
—If you haven’t already, complete your Spring PowerSheets Goal Refresh (page 96). We walked through these pages LIVE in the PowerSheets Facebook community.
—Join April’s Little by Little Challenge!

My March PowerSheets progress

And now… a recap of my progress on my March PowerSheets® goals and what I learned! The 56th Making Things Happen Conference was the BEST YET! In place of doing another MTH in the fall like we typically do, we have a surprise event up our sleeves set for early December. Ahhhhhh just wait!

Photo by Rachel Coffey

Be sure you’re on this newsletter list so you can be the first to know details and when early-bird tickets go on sale!


That was fun! In this video I share how I made progress on my goals with my PowerSheets Goal Planner. Links I mentioned in the video:
—My husband went viral in this video
— I love the color coding system in the Goal Setting Sticker Book.
— Many friends have great books coming out: The Middle Matters, Letters from a Big Sister, A Love Letter Life, The Next Right Thing, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday, and Empowered.
—We celebrated 13 years—here’s our story.
My interview with Jamie Ivey on The Happy Hour.
—The Carolina Inn is magical.
—I’m hiring for a very special position

We enjoyed an unforgettable meal at Crossroads at the Carolina Inn with friends (Ashlea and Chavez just got married and Ashlea shares her story in the latest podcast episode!).

March’s podcast episodes you don’t want miss!
Why I Stopped Straightening My Hair
Moving From Planning To Planting
How To Plan Your Year
Garden Planning and Dreaming

I was so grateful to be featured in Chapel Hill magazine this month. This has been a neat opportunity to have neighbors stop and tell me they saw the feature—it has opened many doors for meaningful conversation and telling them about our mission at Cultivate.

On to APRIL!

My April PowerSheets goals

All the details on my April goals are in the video! I’m excited for this month.

April Monthly Goals:
— Pray over everything—ask God
— Do my MTH action items
— Make our home come alive
— Teach the Gardening 101 live class!
— Plant our garden
— Train leaders

April Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath.
— Read Letters to the Church with Ari
— Sing for joy to the Lord
— Read lovely words to the kids
— Sabbath: renew our hearts and minds
— Pray for the Lord to use us to meet needs

April Daily Goals:
— Old Testament Bible Reading (Need a great 5-day Bible reading plan? :))
— Write the Word at night before bed
— Sleep
— Analog evenings
— Work it out!

The Spring Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets gave me such clarity and motivation for the next 3 months!

Your turn! Do you have goals for April? 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 March’s winner, Kinsey!

P.S. Join us for 30 days of progress during the Little by Little Challenge! The Cultivate team will kick off each day in April with a prompt or resource in the PowerSheets Facebook community and Instagram to guide you to take the next step toward your goal. Start with today’s post!

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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We’re currently hiring for several roles in our company, and this one is the most special to me personally!

We’ve been so blessed by the last two years with Mackenzie in our family. She has become one of my very best friends and the person I trust the most besides Ari! What a gift these years have been to me and the three sweet kiddos! Our faith has grown together over many naptime conversations and adventures we’ve taken together. It has been a gift to pour into her and she has certainly done the same for me in spades.

Mackenzie brought their favorite fruit and treats for Valentine’s Day!

I’m so happy for what’s ahead of Mackenzie in a new season of taking the next steps in her career in education (what a blessing she will be to more kiddos!) and I’m especially grateful she’s not moving to another city just yet. : ) Mackenzie has blessed our children, us, the ladies in this office, our neighbors, our friends—I could go on. What happens in this house is pretty unique, and Mackenzie has been a ray of light for all of us!

Summertime fun!

As you can see in these photographs, she’s pretty amazing. She works hard and loves God passionately. We trust that God will bring us another great fit for our family!

We are looking for someone special, and perhaps that person is you! We are seeking a full-time caregiver and House/Office Manager, starting July 15th. Please apply if you meet ALL of the following requirements.

We’ve had so many fun adventures together!

Who you’ll care for:

3.5-year-old boy (Joshua)
3-year-old girl (Sarah)
Soon-to-be-second-grader girl (Grace)
A handful of fishies and a bevy of houseplants : )

One of our kiddos has special needs. A patient and resilient spirit is a blessing to this sweet soul who needs a little extra love and care. 

We’re looking for:

Joyful Caregiver
Hard Worker and Self Starter
Health-Oriented (non-smoker, etc.) because this job takes a ton of energy! One of our kiddos has special needs. A patient and resilient spirit is a blessing to this sweet soul who needs a little extra love and care.

At the Southern Weddings launch party together.

We need someone who can commit to two years with us. Must be able to start training July 15th. If you are applying from out-of-state (the majority of our previous caregivers did this and moved here from out-of-state for the role), you must be able to relocate to the Chapel Hill, NC, area by July 15th. The ladies in my office and I will gladly help you settle in and we have housing available as well. We love this area!

Picking local blueberries!

Must be extremely organized, energetic (three kids will keep you on your toes!), joyful (we love to be silly), and experienced in childcare. A background in early childhood education is a plus. College graduates preferred, but we are open. Must have own transportation (although you’ll use our minivan to cart the kiddos around!), and a clean driving record. In addition to caring for our three children while I work, you will also be responsible for managing this unique building we call my home and office. There are not only three kiddos who look forward to meeting you, but lots of ladies too!

Another reason I love Mackenzie: she loves being silly with Grace! Cow Appreciation Day goodness above.

I run my business from home for the most part so I am here most days as well. I also homeschool Grace a couple of days a week. We will spend a lot of time together, loving on these children alongside each other during the day.

And now I’m getting teary-eyed. We love you, Mackenzie!

Our faith is a cornerstone in our home. We are seeking a caregiver who can teach and reinforce Christian principles and lead by example. We are looking for someone who has a strong faith, is calm under pressure, confident in their faith, and is willing to develop a passion for shaping our children’s hearts alongside us. More than that though, Ari and I hope to pour into the heart of whomever steps into this role.

Please pray about this position and only reply if you meet ALL of these requirements. We’ve had many wonderful caregivers over the last 7+ years, and know the qualifications fit our family well. We will be doing several interviews with potential candidates.

Please APPLY HERE by April 24th. This is a full-time salaried position – Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm and some nights and weekends (a small handful) throughout the year. We will begin video interviews ASAP. Please read through this post and the application thoroughly. Your attention to detail is part of the interview. : ) We are praying for you as you apply!

P.S. If you know someone else who this would be a great fit for, please pass this post along. Thank you!

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Somewhere along the line, someone told you something about who you are or who you’re NOT and you believed that someone. You feel stifled, held back, stuck in an identity box someone else created. And when glimmers of your true self and life surface, you feel like you’re not the person for the job.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to break that identity box and be the woman you were created to be. LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— I tell you the story of my hair—yep, my hair. Everything, for almost my whole life, told me curly hair was something to hide. So I did. And along with hiding my hair, I hid part of who I was created to be.
— I tell you about the day I decided to stop fixing my hair, and what changed in my life.
— We chat about what I do now when I’m battling the desire to hide—how I lean into truth, not feelings.
— You get to meet two of my friends – Maghon and Ashlea! You will love their stories of breaking free from lies that were holding them back.
— I lead you through six simple prompts to help you identify and break out of your own identity box (I can’t wait to hear your lightbulb moments!).
—Finally, I suggest three tools to help you live out this new identity in a world that will want you to keep hiding.

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— I wrote more about my hair story and feelings of rejection here.
— Do you have curly hair, too? I shared some of my practical hair tips here!
— Get to know Maghon on her site and Instagram (I want to take her new hand-lettering class!).
— Ashlea is your girl for healthy recipes and pep talks on Instagram!
— The PowerSheets® give you a practical way to live out your new identity day by day—one of the many reasons I love the monthly prep pages and Tending List.
— My book, Make It Happen, is the story of how I chose to make “it”—a greater purpose than mine—happen, and how you can too.

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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You often feel unprepared. You throw meals and birthdays and most of life together, forgetting important milestones till the 11th hour (sometimes literally at 11pm). You know you’re not using each day to the fullest, and it makes you sad. You want change. And together, we’re about to find it.

In episode 008, we talked about numbering our days and striking while the iron was hot – about seizing the pivot points that are given to us instead of ignoring the facts, keeping our heads down, and grinding on. In this episode, I’m going to help you do just that. You’re hungry to use your numbered days well, and we’re going to take that fire in your belly and put it to good use! LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:
— I tell you about a season in my life when I had little margin. I’m guessing you’ve been there, too!
— I tell you about my turning point, and the solution I found to the challenge of feeling chronically unprepared, my life feeling one-note, and my plate always feeling full.
— I share three impactful steps you can take TODAY to cultivate your calendar for the year ahead.
— Finally, I let you in on three tools I use to follow through with ease (one involves frozen cookie dough!).
— I remind you that a little forethought goes a long way toward sowing seeds of love and closeness – toward building your legacy!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— You can connect with Sally Clarkson on her website and read her new book, Girls’ Club.
— The book I’ve been reading: Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
— I wrote more about that season-of-little-margin here.
— A flourishing life is possible – no perfection required! My book Cultivate was written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide.
— I uncover my priorities and follow through simply with my PowerSheets. This is the number one thing I do to simplify my time and, instead of doing it all, spend my time on the right things.
— I mentioned the Celebrations Binder, a simple, intentional planning system for all your celebrations. No more feeling unprepared to celebrated well!
— Psst – if you love to celebrate others, you will LOVE our greeting card set! The most beautiful cards, perfect for all your special days!
— The Cultivate sticker book will help you remember to take action.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! Feel free to snag one of these graphics to share.

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode goes live!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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