This may seem like an unusual place to start one of my monthly goal posts, but I’ve never felt more connected or passionate about cultivating what matters than I feel this week.

I don’t know what you are experiencing right now. Perhaps you are hurting. Perhaps you are not sure how to feel. There have been hurricanes and fires, earthquakes, suffering all over the world, and unfathomable loss in Las Vegas.

My initial reaction was to fervently call on God to help those who are hurting.

My second reaction, however, was fear. I wanted to gather all the kids in my arms and keep them close to me for the rest of my days, never going too far. Not leaving my house. Not putting myself out there.

Until something shifted.

After the kids were asleep on Monday night, Ari and I sat down for dinner and he prayed. Four times during dinner, he stopped to pray for those who are hurting in Las Vegas and in the world. He prayed almost spontaneously, at unexpected moments.

I share this little window into our dinner as a contrast to something you may not know: just a few years ago, Ari did not have a relationship with God and our marriage was a mess. If you know our story, you know his faith and the fact that we are still married is a miracle.

I wrote those words about praying for our marriage and for Ari’s heart in that difficult season. As I listened to him pray on Monday night, it hit me: I was witnessing miracles. Real life miracles right in front of me.

Reminders of God’s power to give us new life.
Reminders that God is big and He hears our prayers.
Reminders that life is fleeting and what we do here matters.

Hope flooded in.

As Ari prayed, I felt God leading me away from fear to a new place. It was as if He was saying, Lara, let the pain of the world lead you to My feet, on your knees, interceding for those who are hurting and using all you have been given to sow seeds of hope and love in this world. Use your hands and feet and mind and heart to give. And, Lara… do not hide. Get out there and give this life all you’ve got.

As we mourn and pray and give to those who are deeply hurting, I hope we don’t simultaneously fall into the trap that I almost did. The enemy wants us to give up, to hide, to run away in fear and escape. (Which is different than grieving and experiencing deep sorrow, as Jesus Himself experienced.) I truly cannot fathom directly experiencing one of these events and feel inadequate to help through my words here. I have been through devastating hurricanes that changed my family, but I certainly don’t know the specific pain that so many are experiencing right now. My heart aches and grieves and hurts for so many.

For those, like me, who were not on the ground for one of these horrific events, I hope we don’t return to life as usual, but rather life anew. My prayer is that we would be spurred on in a new direction: loving more passionately than ever and giving away our gifts and talents with greater generosity. Let us see all that we’ve been given as opportunities to grow something good in this world. And let us not take this life for granted, because we do not know if we will get tomorrow.

This fact could lead us to fear, or it could lead us to faith.

I pray we pour out our gifts with new tenderness and passion, knowing that there are so many that are hurting and need what we have been given. I pray this leads us to love the people right in front of us and afar with more conviction.

I don’t know what you are experiencing, but I do know the Light that pierces the darkness.

Lord, help us. Help us walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Help us give and love and grieve and give some more. Help us be more like You. Help us use the gift of this life to pour love into others who desperately need it. Help us to dig in right where we are and grow what lasts longer than us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

More than ever, I want to cultivate what matters–even as just one little person in this great big world. (And I sincerely feel so small!) But, I know that it only takes a tiny seed to grow into a towering tree that lasts for generations–providing shade and cleaner air and fruit for many. What we do here on this earth, no matter how small we think it is, matters.

In this new month, I’m keeping my eyes wide open for miracles that remind me of God’s power to do the impossible–taking imperfect people like me and Ari and giving us new life so that we could reflect His light right back to others.

I know I won’t be perfect in using my gifts to grow love in this world, but I think the pursuit of growing good things is worth the risk of not doing it perfectly. Here’s a little recap of September and what I hope to sow and grow in October.

September was a month full of change for us. I started homeschooling Grace (more on that below) and there were some enormous answered prayers.

Friends, thank you. I shared about the challenges we have experienced with Sarah in my last post, and so many of you offered prayers and helpful encouragement. It was incredibly helpful for both Ari and me to not feel alone in having a little one with some special needs. I want you to know that your prayers mattered. They were heard. I didn’t expect to be giving you this update, especially this quickly, but we had one of the best months with her. We have seen some surprising changes in her in the last two weeks, and our ability to help her has grown as well. This is so healing for all of us. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the gift of your prayers. I love her so much.

My girls. Photo by Gina.

My September Goals Progress:

– Start homeschool with joy. – Wow, what a transition! Yes, there have been meltdowns and a few moments of Grace literally standing on her head in protest during handwriting lessons, but overall this has been so good. I am so grateful to get to spend this time with her and grateful for these reminders that are on repeat in this new season.

If there was a photo that captured Grace’s personality, this is it.

– Give and teach the Cultivate book. – Yes, I was grateful to share lessons from the book several times, and I’m especially grateful to continue learning and living them out myself.
– Read + DO What’s Best Next – I don’t often have alone time in a car, but there were a couple evenings this month where I had to run errands after the kids were asleep. I used that time to listen to the audio version of this book.
– Love on Josh in his preschool transition. – Yes, he has loved preschool, specifically playing with playdough and snack time 🙂

This kid. I just love him.

– Wisely and diligently prepare for our 2018 PowerSheets launch. – Yes, I shared a behind-the-scenes look at our shop and how the PowerSheets were first created, and there have been several changes in our business that have helped me immensely in making progress on this goal–and on the future in general.

My PowerSheets progress from September.

– Model our new Incentive-Based Bonus System to see how it works and implement it. – Yes, Emily and I completed this.
– Decide on and plan Ari’s 40th birthday celebration for December. – I wrote out what I think will make him feel most loved, but I moved the tactical planning to October.
– Write and prep the “Cultivated Calendar” webinar with Emily Ley. – I so enjoyed teaching this with Emily and loved reading everyone’s favorite takeaways. Catch the free replay here.
– Pray for and determine our 2018 vision plan. – Yes, praise to God, we have done this.
– Write the Gracie’s Garden book. – I made a little progress here, but I didn’t complete this. Moved to October.

Breakfast before the sun comes up at our house–these three are my early alarm clock!

September weekly goals:
– Continue to practice leaning out our grocery budget. – With lots of sickness in our house and transitions happening in September, this was not a strong focus. We did use what we learned in August during our $100/week challenge though and we were much more mindful of our spending than in previous months.
– Love on my buddy for the month, Nicole. – Every month we have a different office “buddy” to encourage. I loved having Nicole as my buddy for September.
– Laugh and pray in our date nights. – Sickness strikes again. The kids got viruses, then I got a mean one, then Ari, but we did enjoy one date night in September.

September daily goals:
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal. – Yes, I made it to the New Testament and am so grateful for all I’ve learned so far.
– #RunLiftPraise – I continued walking in the mornings (with the exception of a couple morning when I couldn’t get out of bed thanks to the aforementioned mean virus), but I only did weights once in September. Writing this update is so helpful to keep me accountable and choose progress, not perfection. Back in the saddle I go this week…
– Delight our children – I truly had a wonderful month with the kids–sickness, transitions, meltdowns and all. Is may sound cheesy to say, but I love being their mom. It’s one of my greatest joys. We had a lot of fun together this month and I focused on being intentional with them more than ever.

We harvested carrots from the garden in September and hung our new bee house.

– Eat more green. – I made a strong effort here and feel much better thanks to a little spinach at most meals plus lots of veggie soup.
– SLEEP + REST (i.e. Read a good book before bed instead of looking at my phone which keeps me from falling asleep well) – Yes. I made progress here.

Here are my PowerSheets goals for October:

My October PowerSheets goals. The PostIt is the list of blog and newsletters I have to write this month for our PowerSheets launch.

October Monthly Goals:

– Read + DO What’s Best Next .
– Cultivate our 2018 release with prayer (no better fertilizer and soil nutrient!). The 2018 PowerSheets go on sale on October 25th.
– Write Gracie’s Garden.
– Uncover God’s wisdom for our family with Ari. We came to a point with three very different children at different developmental stages, where we needed to get on the same page to help them flourish. From resetting our approach to discipline in these new stages to making progress on our family goals, this has been so helpful already. We started talking through it this week, hitting on the “pain points” first: What situations arise where we don’t feel unified in our approach to family conflict and issues with the kids? What can we do better together to show them God’s love? Even in one brief conversation so far, we’ve seen a difference in how the kids react to us being together on how we love and guide them. Much more to come here.
– Nurture the hearts in this home in new ways. This goes hand-in-hand with the goal above. Once we uncover God’s wisdom, putting it into practice together.
– Create my Cultivate Calendar for Q4 (the last three months of this year) and 2018. I am so excited to go through all 10 of the steps I shared here for the weeks and months ahead.
– Set joyful plans for Ari’s 40th birthday.
– Set our new budget. It has been on our prayer list for many months to be more sacrificial in giving. Resetting our budget is a focus in October.
– Start reading Traction.

October Weekly Goals:

– Meal prep. I am so grateful for a tip I learned from this book about flipping the script on “meal planning.” I am not a meal planner. With Ari’s unpredictable work schedule and kids who eat dinner at 4 pm, I need the flexibility to make meals that fit our families needs that day. I loved the idea of focusing on meal prep – preparing ingredients to be made into quick and easy meals – instead of meal planning, and doing it right when you bring groceries into the house. I gave it a try this weekend and it has been so helpful.
– Homeschool with joy. This may seem small, but this is one of the goals that I feel so deeply passionate about in the wake of all of these tragedies. I pray I can sow as much love into Grace’s heart as I can in my lifetime.

October Daily Goals:

– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal.
– #RunLiftPraise – Start weights back up again so I can have strength to love my family well.
– Eat green + clean for the same reason as above.
– Rest in the Spirit. This points to my verse this month: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).
– Raw prayer (I am grateful for my prayer journal). So much prayer continues to pour out for so many needs in the world, in our community, and in this home. I am grateful for a God who hears us.
– My words for the quarter and for the month: Rely (on God, not myself) + Cultivate (do what He says — dig in, little by little).

Your turn! Do you have goals for October? 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 September’s winner, Jaclyn!

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In this new season, these 5 reminders are keeping me moving in the right direction. Maybe you need one of them—or all five today, too!

1. Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do or start, but you haven’t made progress yet, consider this: are you afraid to get your hands dirty? If we can’t do something perfectly from the start, many times we don’t even give it a try, am I right? Here’s the truth: to grow flowers, you have to get your hands dirty. Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one. Read more in these free downloadable chapters from my latest book, Cultivate.

2. Little steps add up. They really do. I haven’t made perfect progress on my number one goal this year, but I have made little by little progress. I am on track to finish my goal by the end of this year! Embracing imperfect progress helps us not completely give up when things don’t go as planned. My little-by-little steps forward (even with a few steps back) are adding up.

3. It’s okay to grow slow. In fact, it’s good to grow slow. Think about it: do you plant a seed and expect to get a full-grown tree the next morning? We do that, don’t we? 🙂 We want overnight results but that often leaves us with shallow–or non-existent–roots. Good things grow slow: babies, trees, meaningful relationships, and big dreams.

4. Change can be hard, but consider something crazy: it might be good!

5. Finally, the words I wrote late one night in my kitchen about wanting to finally read the Bible from start to finish:

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?

You should go do them.

P.S. Tomorrow, tomorrow! See you at 3.

Photos in the garden by my best friend Gina 🙂

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Six years ago, feeling totally overwhelmed by the large list of things I wasn’t taking good care of (but really wanted to!), I decided to do something different. I was tired of living in regret: forgetting my priorities, neglecting things and people that needed nurturing, and feeling like my time was totally out of my control.

So, I made a list.

I wrote out all the areas of my life, projects, and people that needed my care. I wrote out the things I wanted to tend to. If I could just remember to care for them little by little over time, I believed that tending would add up. Much like when you tend to a plant, watering it over time, it grows and flourishes.

I called this list of priorities my “Tending List.”

– to give one’s attention to
– to lead or be directed in a particular direction

Yes. I needed to do those things.

I was living by accident instead of on purpose. I wasn’t giving my attention to the things that mattered most to me, but rather just trying to keep up. Have you felt that before?

I took the principles and prompts from my goal-setting series and the Making Things Happen Conference, and turned them into interactive worksheets that included the Tending List. I created these powerful (as opposed to lacking purpose and energy–which is what I didn’t want to feel anymore) worksheets to help me and my team set meaningful goals.

I named them exactly what they were: PowerSheets.

And then I started thinking crazy thoughts: What if I shared these with other people? Would they like them? Would this process work for them? And how in the world do I make my own product?? (Zero people were doing this at the time except for larger companies and retailers and my friend Emily, who was a huge help to us as we got started).

We found a local printer, printed the first sets of PowerSheets that we hand-collated ourselves, and started the Lara Casey Shop in 2013. I was so nervous! I wrote a hand-written note to our first customer, telling her how grateful I was and hoping she loved everything.

And you guys.

The stuff we experienced as we tried to figure out how to run an online shop back then (things are so much more turn-key for new shop owners now!):

Days of our lives (literally) spent trying to figure out the Dymo printer to make shipping labels.

Countless phone calls with USPS to figure out box sizes and shipping rates and weights.

Lots of trial and error (a lot of error) learning how to do customer service (which we now call customer delight!).

Lots of laughs as Gracie stickered several dozen orders with farm animal stickers one year.

Many trips to the post office to hand-deliver orders.

The happiest day ever when we realized we could have USPS pick up boxes at my house!

And shipping orders from our little home office here in North Carolina. We were grateful!

The first PowerSheets above, and our first shop manager and dear friend, Emily.

People indeed loved the PowerSheets. Moms, business owners, students, women in corporate roles, teachers, and women in varied seasons of life loved them, and there was a unifying factor that holds true today: a desire to live intentionally. To not forget our priorities. To uncover good goals and do something about them.

That makes me especially grateful.

I have close friends at church who are several decades older than me who tell me about their PowerSheets journeys, as well as high school students that write me letters to tell me of their adventures too. I am grateful to walk this journey alongside so many different women in so many walks of life and seasons!

Our 2014 PowerSheets above with lots of vintage products above. I still have a “Let’s Do This” card on my desk.

The 2015 PowerSheets were changed dramatically in process and I released my first book that year.

And then I got a little messy with paint ; ) And we took a big leap of faith and made a spiral-bound one-year workbook in 2016.

We did all the shipping ourselves. Are you ready for these next photos??

Here’s how it went: a semi would pull up into our quiet residential neighborhood. Nope, no one was moving in, friends. But, LOTS OF BOXES were!

Most businesses have loading docks with several trained loading/unloading professionals (who have forklifts!); we had strength and determination!

We pushed several tons of product into my garage and hoped the neighbors didn’t think we were nuts.

Move over, Charlie’s Angels — meet the Pallet Posse! Ha!

And then, the shipping parties began and we called all of our friends to help (we love you so much, friends!).

One of those friends on the far left below had no idea she would one day work for us. We love you, Jess!

It has been an unexpected and wonderful journey of change:

We did this shipping-out-of-my-house madness until one Thanksgiving when my family sat on shipping boxes for dinner because our dining room was full of PowerSheets orders. That was it.

We moved all the boxes out of my house and garage (we can park a car in there now which is rather miraculous!) and we found a local fulfillment warehouse close to us here in Chapel Hill.

Gracie helping to load our sweet mail carrier, Walter’s, truck.

We changed our name last year from the Lara Casey Shop to our heartbeat: Cultivate What Matters. Read that story here,

But what has changed the most over the years is the PowerSheets process. The PowerSheets have changed and grown aesthetically (from loose binder sheets to bound workbooks, the addition of stickers and color, new features, etc.)…

… but most of all the process has been deeply refined every time we release a new edition.

My September 2017 Goals above.

As women all over the world use them, including us, we listen. And we change and innovate. Our office mottos are:

If you’re not excited about it, no one will be. Which means we make products we love and use ourselves.


Make it better. Which means we are always taking things to the next level to help people cultivate what matters.

SAVE THE DATE: The 2018 PowerSheets release on October 25th! If you are on my email list, you’ll get to see our new collection before we release them to the public. I have the first sneak peek email going out on Monday, so be sure to add your name to the list.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at how PowerSheets and our shop have changed over the years. THANK YOU SO MUCH to so many who have supported us and cheered us on over the years. I’d love to know: when did you first begin using PowerSheets for your goals? We are so thankful for our long-time family and new friends too!

P.S. There is one more date to save. Join Emily Ley and me next week to learn How to Create a Cultivated Calendar. Register here for free.

Cultivated Calendar Webinar Lara Casey Emily Ley

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A new season begins for us next Tuesday! I’m starting homeschool with Grace and I am so excited and grateful. This is a whole new adventure for us that we have prayed over and researched and readied ourselves for at length. But the fun and freeing part is going into this new season — which could be more of a lifetime than a season — with readied hearts and open hands. As much as we prepare well for things, all of life is in His hands. I’m excited to see what He has in store for us! More on this next week when we begin.

September is a month of NEW.

New rhythms.

New learning.

New direction.

(Prepping for NEW PowerSheets coming October 25th!)

and new faith as we rely on His leading and step into all of this… new!

Here is a recap of August and the little-by-little progress I made on PowerSheets goals.

My August Goals Progress:

– Set homeschool in motion. – Yes! We had a great getting our feet wet day, and it was so fun and gratifying.
– Make Ebenezer’s with the Lord. This goal was inspired by 1st Samuel and a message at church about making memories with the Lord. When we make memories with friends, it bonds us closer together. We end up telling “remember when” stories, and we feel connected. I wrote about intentionally remembering all the Lord has done in our lives in Cultivate, and I am excited to do more of this in August. – Yes, this happened but it was not by our doing and not how I expected it would happen. We had a really hard staycation week and it ended up being a time of needed refinement… and therefore deeper refreshment than any vacation could have given us. Letting go of control is real rest.
– Refresh our family goals with the Parent’s Goal Guide . – YES! I am so grateful for the progress we made here and for my chat with Korie Robertson about setting goals as a parent. Ari and I set a few practical goals for our family in the coming months:

Goals for the Isaacsons and Daughters 🙂

1. Help Grace use the potty at night. Yes, she’s almost 6, but we haven’t pushed this till she was ready. She’s gone two nights in a row of getting up to use the potty and she’s so proud of herself. We are too!
2. Potty train Joshua (he’s already rocking this!)
3. Pray for Sarah more, and with the other kids present too so they learn how to pray for her. I have not mentioned this on the blog till now for many reasons, but I believe it’s okay to share a little of where we are now. Sarah has emotional and sensory challenges that have been challenging since the day she was born. The weight of what I’m typing here feels like it needs a blog post by itself, but I don’t have more to share than this: the Lord placed her in our love and care for so many reasons and we are grateful for all the challenges. They are opportunities to love her more, show Grace and Josh a deeper love, and connect deeply with the Lord as we love her as we have been loved!
4. Use Josh and Sarah’s nap time after church as a “daddy daughter date” time to grow Grace and Ari’s closeness
5. Get away. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but we saw during our recent “staycation” the need to be refreshed by stepping out of our environment to get new perspective.
6. Grow deeper roots with our church family group. We are getting together on Saturday morning for Bible study, and on Monday for a BBQ!

Back to my goal progress from August:
– Read + DO What’s Best Next.  – I didn’t make as much progress in reading this as I had hoped, but progress matters, not perfection. I did practice what I learned so far and LOVE this book.
– Lead our Fall Team Summit with joy. Each quarter, our team has a summit to learn together and prepare well for the season ahead. – YES! This time was needed and all praise to Him for how well it went, what we learned, and what’s ahead.

Having KPI (Key Performance Indicator) story time. Ha!

– Give a transparent and light-filled Core Business Presentation. I’m in a small group of Christian business CEO’s and it’s my turn this month to share everything about our business to get their guidance and feedback. I’m excited! – YES!!! This was one of the highlights of my year. I got surprising and God-led feedback from the group. From that meeting, I have made some larger business decisions that I would never have considered before.
– Pray over + through the 2018 PowerSheets shoot. – YES! The shoot was awesome!!! I can’t wait to share it with you.

SO grateful for the 2018 PowerSheets shoot with these ladies.

– Joyfully re-release Write the Word – YES! Again, all praise to Him!
– Suprise —- [I can’t tell you yet!:)] – Yes! I surprise spoke at a conference and it was so fun!

With Kristin, Kat, and Kaylee at the Creative at Heart Conference.

August weekly goals:
– $100/week on groceries. Let me preface this by saying that the Isaacson’s eat a lot. We go through two dozen bananas and 2-3 dozen eggs a week. Josh is also allergic to dairy and soy, so we are limited with some choices. All this to say, groceries is one of the largest categories in our budget. I read an article recently about a family of five that spends $100 on food per week and it inspired me. It feels doable with some creativity and determination. We are giving this a try and have already made progress. I’m excited to teach Grace through this and get creative.  – We made great progress here! We stayed at $100/week for two weeks and purposely relaxed a bit when my parents and Ari’s mom came to visit. The last couple weeks of this month we stayed at about $150 – 200/week. This was HUGE for us! Most of all, we have learned to be more resourceful, better about making food from the pantry instead of always eating fresh, and to save every tiny bit of food (if you have little kids you probably know what I’m talking about – the little food scraps add up!).

Sarah was not into Aldi, but we liked the prices! 😉

– WORK IT. I want to have more fun working out this month. – I am super grateful for a shift that happened here. I simply turned up the praise music and danced in the kitchen which made it so much more fun and satisfying to move my body.
– Love Sarah + Mackenzie with prayer. Mackenzie is our new caregiver (Sarah is having a baby this fall!). My goal is to love them both through lots of love and prayer in this transition. – Yes! We are so grateful for Sarah, and Mackenzie has already blessed our family so much!
– Encourage and pray for my buddy, Amber. In our office, we have a new buddy each month to encourage, and I’m so glad mine is Amber for August! – Yes, we had some great buddy chats, got to see each other in person for the 2018 PowerSheets shoot (she works from Nashville) and I am just super grateful for her.
– Grow our faith in our date nights. – Yes. We missed a couple date nights with my parents in town and our team dinner, but it made our date night this week extra special.
– Enjoy the garden. – Yes! I used lots of flowers from the garden for shoots, picked lots of flowers for the house and our office, and Grace and I planted a few mums for fall!

I love her.

August daily goals: – Yes to all of these!
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal!
– #RunLiftPraise
– Delight our children
– Stay active in my work days —see how I do it here!

Here are my PowerSheets goals for September:

Each quarter, the PowerSheets give you a Goal Refresh section, which is so helpful. As we grow and change, our goals often do too! Here are my refreshed goals.

The color bars are me testing a color coding system: giving each big picture goal a color and then labeling my monthly, daily, and weekly goals to match those big picture goals. This helps me instantly remember the big picture and WHY I’m doing these things.

My September PowerSheets goals!

Monthly Goals:

– Start homeschool with JOY! Here we go!
– Give and teach the Cultivate book. I am grateful for the last few months in listening to the Lord’s leading on this one. Right after the book launched, I clearly felt Him telling me to be quiet. So, I did. And now I feel Him urging me to open the book and teach and give it all away! I am grateful for the last couple months of rest from books after five years of writing and rewriting and launching them. I’m grateful for this space and time to step away — a time most people would be promoting a new book — and listen in a new way instead of teaching.
– Read + DO What’s Best Next
– Love on Josh in his preschool transition. He’s so excited for school!
– Wisely and diligently prepare for our 2018 PowerSheets launch. So much goodness in store!
– Model our new Incentive-Based Bonus System. This is an internal program for our company and a bit of a beast. We have a traditional end-of-the-year bonus system currently, but this new program is a lot more fun and has great potential to grow our culture in new ways. I’m excited to love on my team and implement this, Lord willing, in October.

At our Cultivate Team Summit this week at Fearrington Village.

– Decide on and plan Ari’s 40th birthday celebration for December. I have no idea what to do! Any ideas that fit with my life parameters (i.e. three kiddos to take care of so flying off to an island isn’t in the cards unless y’all want to come babysit for a weekend 😉 )? I really want to make him feel special and remind him of the gifts and talents the Lord has given him.
– Write and prep the “Cultivated Calendar” webinar with Emily Ley. Emily and I have been friends for over a decade now, once owned a business together, and are from the same small town (Pensacola, FL). We also have a passion for what matters and making those things happen. Save the date for September 28th at 3pm for a live webinar about preparing well, time management, and organization.
– Pray for and determine our 2018 vision plan. We have some opportunities for change in 2018 as a company, and we are actively working to uncover good goals and a clear vision.
– Write the Gracie’s Garden book! If this happens, I will be so grateful. Little by little, I hope to make progress here this month.

Weekly Goals:

– Continue to practice leaning out our grocery budget
– Love on my buddy for the month, Nicole!
– Laugh and pray in our date nights

We loved having my best friend Gina here to shoot our 2018 PowerSheets. Gracie loves Aunt G!!!

Daily Goals:

– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal!
– #RunLiftPraise
– Delight our children
– Eat more green
– SLEEP + REST (i.e. Read a good book before bed instead of looking at my phone which keeps me from falling asleep well)
– My words for the quarter and for the month: Rely (on God, not myself) + Cultivate (do what He says — dig in, little by little!)

Your turn! I’d love to hear: Do you have goals for September? 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 August’s winner, Alaina Monts!

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“The Bible feels overwhelming. I don’t know where to start.”

Perhaps you want to grow your faith, but it often feels daunting.

We sometimes feel like we are not equipped, prepared, or knowledgeable enough.

And then it goes a level deeper: we sometimes feel like we are too messed up. We’ve been too bad–too distracted, too inconsistent or imperfect. We have fallen off the faith wagon and have some bruises to show for it. We believe we’re not good enough.

So we don’t open the pages of the Bible at all.

But, there’s good news: you can start fresh. It’s not too late. You’re not too much or too little for the God who made the stars and petals on these flowers. Do you know what helps me find freedom in the mess of my tangled not-enough thoughts? Knowing that the Bible is big and rich with depth for a reason. And that God wants us to know Him. He will help us. God could have just given us one story (Job perhaps), but He didn’t. He could have made the Bible so quick to digest that, like most quick fixes, it may have gone in one ear and out the other. We wouldn’t need to seek His wisdom or continue learning. But, He didn’t create it that way, and I’m so grateful! He gave us a big book with lots of stories and wisdom because God knew we would need all of it on our unique paths.

God gave us a big Bible because He loves us.

And He loves us enough to help us understand it too!

With my work and three littles running under the same roof, my “quiet time” each day is pretty loud. I prayed one morning for God to give me a direct way to connect with Him, right in the thick of it, and the Write the Word journal was born.

The Write the Word journal is unique. Each day, you’ll get a selection of key verses to write out (the “write the Word” part!), along with space to write your thoughts, prayers, or anything else God places on your heart. These journals were created with the big picture of God’s story in mind, helping to point you to places in the Bible that will help you to know His heart in direct and deeper ways.

I have loved seeing how you write the Word–and especially how you use the On My Heart page! You all are so creative and intentional. We have seen friends use that page to write out prayers, to journal daily thoughts, to get creative and illustrate their faith or dig deeper into the scripture you wrote out, to write notes to or about your children, and here’s a recent favorite from two of the ladies I work alongside: to write letters to a future husband. How sweet and meaningful is that? Besides the ability to directly get into scripture, this is one of the reasons I love these journals: being able to customize them to your life. I use my On My Heart pages in a mix of ways: to Bible journal with Grace, write prayers, write notes about what I’m grateful for, and to praise the Lord for what I learned in writing the Word that day.

I created these journals because I needed them myself, and my biggest hope is that you dig into the larger context of each scripture as you Write the Word, reading the surrounding verses and chapters. We chose each selection of scripture to point you to the big picture, not to make you feel good for a moment. God’s Word is rich, and it will transform you. That’s why I LOVE these journals–you get directly into the Word.

write the word all seasons collection 2017

We sold out of the previous Write the Word journals in April, and ever since, the most frequent question we get asked is, “When will Write the Word be back in stock?” You love the new collection and we are so grateful to have a fresh new shipment in our North Carolina warehouse now!

Our FIVE EDITIONS were created as a collection to walk you through foundations of faith and various seasons of life, right where you are.

Write the Word // Cultivate Faith contains a selection of scripture that is fundamental to faith, making this volume a perfect gift for someone who is new to their faith or looking to cultivate a fresh or renewed faith. If you are doing the journals in order, start here!

Write the Word // Cultivate Joy is filled with scriptures specifically selected to help you delight in the goodness of God. Perhaps you’re in a season of craving fresh joy. This volume is full of scriptures to help you celebrate the joy that’s yours in your faith.

Write the Word // Cultivate Gratitude is filled with scriptures specifically selected to help you grow in contentment through God’s promises and assurances to us. Full of scripture on thankfulness, this volume will help you get after grateful.

Write the Word // Cultivate Hope is filled with scriptures specifically selected to help you find God’s peace and assurance in seasons of waiting, challenge, or unknown.

Write the Word // Cultivate Renewal is filled with scriptures specifically selected for those who need a reminder of God’s promise to make all things new. Get still and reflect on His life-giving truth with this volume.

write the word inside liners 2017Look at those inside liners! : ) : ) : ) 

How to Write the Word:

Have fun! Color outside the lines with these special journals. Bedazzle them, use your Cultivate What Matters stickers in them (I love doing this!), paint in them, make a mess—whatever helps you dig in and fall in love with the Word. The paper is thick and wonderful!

Do these pages however you like: in order or in your own order, daily, weekly, or however works best for you.

Use a great Bible translation like the NIV (New International Version) or ESV (English Standard Version). I love using a physical Bible, but I often use the digital translations on the YouVersion Bible app and, too.

Very important to cultivating true faith: read the verses surrounding each selection of scripture to gather context and meaning.

Get creative with the “Today is…” section on each page! You can write, Today is April 12th, Today is AWESOME, Today is sunny, or Today is the day I get to see my best friend! That space is yours to play with.

You’ll also see a place to write what you’re grateful for. Today, I am grateful for YOU. Thank you for taking this Write the Word journey with me.

And new to these volumes is a special space to write a focal word for the day. I love this section so much! It helps me to hold onto a focal truth for the day.

We designed these to be used as a full collection to take you through each season. Order your All Seasons Collection HERE and get 10% off with the full collection (no code needed)!


I am excited to see how God reveals His heart to us as we write, memorize, and celebrate His life-giving Word together!

How to Use Your Write the Word Journal from Lara Casey on Vimeo.


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