Category: Goal Setting

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Wow! Does that hit you like it does me? Every time we talk about this concept at the Making Things Happen Conference, it changes us.

Those five people could be family members, friends, or even people on social media you’ve never met. The people and things we allow into our lives the most have a profound effect on our thoughts—and our future outcomes. This is one of the many reasons I’m grateful to have you, the Cultivate What Matters family, as a collective one of my “five!”

I am passionate about encouraging you, but you encourage me to live out what matters a hundredfold. (Your support last week was a gift!)

You fight alongside me each day to pay attention to what matters—what lasts. You are living this out! I read every comment and message, and I love following your journeys. You inspire me to say no to distractions and keep my eyes focused on truth.

You are encouragers—helping to build women up right where they are. Case in point: how you welcomed our two new team members, Ashlea + Jordan, to the Cultivate family last week!

Get to know each of us—and what we do—here.

You are strong and capable and ready for the second half of the year, even when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing.

And you don’t mess around when it comes to taking action on goals that matter to you!

This month, you have taken first steps on mid-year goals and WOW! What a month this has been! I have loved doing live goal coaching with you, seeing so many lightbulbs go off as you continue to take those first steps.

Our Goal-Getters board and walls (!) are filled with YOUR names. And we’re still going—take a step forward on a goal that matters to you and we will put your name on the board! We want to cheer you on because little-by-little progress is worth celebrating. When one woman steps forward on something that matters to her, do you know what happens? It creates a ripple effect. You are world changers, friends!

I took my own steps forward this month too—specifically on two of my yearly goals that are related:

  1. Love the things above, not the things of the world: cultivating contentment in our children, clearing out the stuff and information overload, and generous and wise stewardship of what we’ve been entrusted with.
  2. Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in motherhood: growing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control in their hearts by our family seeking after God Himself above everything else.

To move forward on these goals, I wanted to start “morning time” in our family: gathering the kids together at the table each morning to grow our faith and family bond.

I’ve been wanting to do this all year, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. There were a few logistical roadblocks. First, we didn’t have a table where everyone could sit together, spread out, and make a mess. We had the dining room table, but the chairs were not exactly kid-and-craft-friendly (ha!). When Ari and I moved into our house seven years ago, before we had kids, we bought white upholstered dining chairs. Not ideal for kiddos! We also didn’t have a time that seemed to work. And how could I keep all three kids’ attention for more than a few seconds together?

For months, I did nothing. I thought about it, but I couldn’t figure out how to move forward and make it work long-term. I wanted to make morning time a regular rhythm in our house, but these small logistical things seemed to stand in my way (which feels silly now looking back!). I did nothing—until I saw all of YOU making leaps forward on your goals this month, breaking through obstacles big and small.

You lit a fire under me!

I decided that, since we used our dining room table maybe once a month at most, this would be the place. Kids crafts and books would make a welcome centerpiece! : )

My first action step: I went to find a few boxes that I could use to fill with morning time supplies. I made a box for each kiddo and filled each with Write the Word for Kids journals, craft supplies, and a few books.

I made myself a box, too. Inside: my Write the Word journal, Bible, pens, and some homeschool books.

And… I bought these wipable indestructible chairs to replace the not-so-kid-friendly upholstered ones from IKEA that were falling apart anyway. Bonus: they came fully assembled.

Up next: It was time to give this morning time thing a try for the first time.

Starting new things for the first time can be tricky, right? Whether it’s starting a new routine in your family or starting a magazine, fear can try to stop us at the starting line.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if this fails?

How do you move forward on goals that matter to you when you feel fear?

First things first (and this is the key that most people miss!): break your goal down into itsy-bitsy tiny steps—the smaller, the more likely you are to DO them. Once you break your goal down, you may find that you can’t help but take action—fear has less of a hold on you because smaller steps aren’t as daunting. (For more on breaking goals down into mini goals, read here.)

In the big and small things, you get to choose: fear or faith.

Breaking it down helps you move from fear to I’m doing this!

I gathered all the kiddos at the table with some snacks (a tip I learned from my friend, Sally Clarkson—snacks make new things more appealing!), I prayed for us, and I read them a book while they colored.

That was it.

It lasted for 15 minutes and it. was. awesome.

This may seem so simple, but that’s exactly the point. Our first morning time at the table together, with the sun peeking in, was simple and beautiful and life-giving for all of us. One day led to two, two led to a week, and now we’re three weeks in. This daily rhythm has changed our family!

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

Big or small, you should go DO them.

Starting morning time was important to me because I see how it will have a ripple effect in our family—and hopefully their own families—for years to come. Learning has happened at the table. Conversation has happened here. Togetherness has happened here. And it didn’t take any grand planning. Just a few intentional steps forward.

Cultivating what matters means doing small things that add up to the big things.

Thinking big picture, and taking small intentional steps forward.

I don’t have an agenda each time I sit down with them; I do what is best for that day and each of thier nurturing needs at that moment. Some mornings we read, some mornings we paint, some mornings we color, and on homeschool days, the other kiddos do whatever they like at the table while Grace and I work through reading, handwriting, and other activities. Sometimes the younger two end up playing legos on the floor, and sometimes we have music. We just go with it!

There are often interruptions and tantrums and challenges, too, but the “imperfections” are part of the blessing of this time. Part of the learning is working through big emotions and “I wanted the yellow crayon!” moments together. : )

This time (usually from 7:30-8-ish before I start work) lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. How long we do it doesn’t matter as much as doing it with the right heart: to seek Him and delight in the creative gifts God has given each of us.

And it all began with one small step forward: I went to find boxes.

Sometimes, the hardest part of starting something is proverbially “putting on your shoes,” right? Once you take the first step, the momentum grows.

Our first day above—I was still waiting on the chairs to arrive, but we dove in anyway! 

Your turn! What one step forward have you taken—or plan to take—on a goal that matters to you? Leave a comment here with your one step and I’ll add your name to our office Goal Getters Board!

I hope my story encourages you to dig in and take the first step. You never know how that one step forward might change everything!

Up next, I’ll be sharing more practical ways I’ve taken action on these goals: 8 Ways to Infuse Scripture into Your Home. Look for that next week!

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Imagine it.

December 31st rolls around. You’re sitting down to dinner with family or friends, and you talk together about the story of the last 6 months.

What story will you tell?

The stories of our lives are made up of little decisions we make each day.

Do we say yes or no?
Do we start something new or grow what we already have?
Do we move forward or stay right where we are?

We can’t predict the future—our lives are in God’s hands. But, do you know what else is true? He gives us choices. We get to decide the next best step right where we are, depending on our particular season and circumstances.

If you’re like me though, thinking about my choices adding up to a new life and direction can feel exciting and also challenging. Why? Imagining a changed life takes faith. It takes believing in what I can’t yet see. It takes putting my trust in God’s plans over my own and stepping out on faith with Him.

I have to choose faith over fear! This life is the only one we get here on this earth. Today is the only June 1, 2018, we get. The things I do today have a ripple effect—changing my story, our children’s, and potentially countless others.

My little loves talking together and eating sweet peas in the Magical Garden.

To cultivate what matters, we think big picture and take small intentional steps forward.

A whole lot can happen in 6 months of small decisions adding up!

Come December 31, what story do you want to be telling?

The story I want to tell is, We stepped out on faith. We loved God with all of our hearts and souls and strength. And in the many times we were weak and messed up, His power was made perfect in our weakness. Look at what God did! Six months from now, I want to look back and see a family rooted in the Word. In community. A family in love with the Lord and deeply connected to each other.

What about you?

4 things you can do right now to prepare well for the month ahead and the rest of this year:

1. Write out the story you want to tell on December 31st. We can’t predict the future, but we can make intentional decisions in one direction or another. Write a few sentences about what story you want to tell. There’s power in writing things down—our brains and hearts begin to make decisions about them!

2. Make a “Move Forward Summer” list. I did this last week and it was so helpful—so much so that 90% of what I wrote down has already changed! In the writing, I started making decisions on how to change those things. Write out your list starting with, “I want to move forward from…” An excerpt from my own Move Forward Summer List:

I want to move forward from always being in my head. Hearing what I think people’s motives are even if it’s a story and not a fact. The more I think about a perception that isn’t yet a proven fact, the more it becomes my reality.

I want to move forward from often feeling broken, imperfect, emotional, too much.

Honesty breeds clarity, and wow did I get some clarity writing my list!

3. Join the free Cultivate Book Club. From now till August 7th, we’re reading my book, Cultivate, together—with a virtual book club party at the end! Join the easiest book club ever.

4. Get ready for Mid-Year Goals Prep Week! Starting Monday, we’re spending 5 days intentionally preparing to make the most of the next six months. And you get to choose your adventure! What do you need most?

Need a kick in the pants? Join us for daily live coaching.
Need help getting started with your PowerSheets? We’ll be digging in with you!
Need some goal-getter friends to cheer you on? Cultivate Community Groups launch Monday.
Need some real-life examples from others? Be sure to follow us on social for inspiring stories and daily pep talks.
Need some motivation to take that action step you’ve been putting off? This is where we’re gonna get a little crazy. We’re going to take those action steps LIVE together (I have some amazing prizes that will motivate you)!

All the details are headed to inboxes first thing on Monday morning! If you’re not on the newsletter list, sign up now!

The small decisions we make today matter. And they add up.

What story do you want to tell? What decisions do you need to make today to move boldly in that direction?

I’m writing a new story in this second half of the year, and you can too.

There’s nothing magical about January 1st—June 1st has a nice ring to it though!

Pulling out the pansies and violas from the fall with my mom!

Here’s a recap of my goal progress from May and my June goals are below too!

May Monthly Goals:

— Be a Woman of the Word instead of the world – Yes, I made progress here. It was a battle some days, but I tried my best to choose the Bible over distractions.
— Set our summer homeschool plan – Yes! More below in my June goals.
— Finish and implement Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – I made progress, but haven’t finished yet. Continuing to read this in June! Have you read it? I’d love to hear!
— Q2 rocks prayer time (we call our quarterly work goals “rocks”) – Yes, and I have made big progress on all of my rocks, praise Him! 
— Prayer journal date – This is a date with God to pour my heart out and get still. I usually do this on a night Ari is working late. I light a candle and simply fill out all the prayer prompts. I pray daily throughout the month, but having one dedicated longer time alone with God has been a helpful rhythm for me this year, especially at the start of a new month.
— Start Write the Word Wednesdays – Yes! See here.

After I write the Word, I write notes to Grace in the margins of her Bible.

May Weekly Goals:

— Praise! with the kiddos. – We had some challenges in May (hashtag 2 two-year-olds), but intentional praise kept us moving in the right direction. This came in the form of talking about things we’re grateful for, praise dance parties, praising God in prayer, and expressing thanks out in the garden. More on that below!
— Worship + church in the garden – Yes, we have noticed new sprouts and marveled at the bees that God made. I also had a really special visit with my mom. We gardened late into the night one evening and it was a memory I’ll never forget. I praised Him as it was happening for our meaningful conversation as we were digging in the dirt together.
— Celebrate others! – Yes. We’re had birthdays and milestones and it’s a joy to support such wonderful and talented friends—like my dear friend Hannah launched her new book this week and my friend Sally who you will read about in my June goals!

May Daily Goals:

— Bible – Yes, even though I missed a day and got really mad about it! Hear that story here.
— Pray over the kids. Even though they get super squirmy when I pray over them and somehow the mention of, “Dear God…” makes them all want to be silly, every night and at times throughout the day, I hold them and pray over them.
— Exercise hard – I am claiming little by little progress here! I’ve done my best to do small running spurts on our morning walks. The kids love going fast in the stroller, so that’s some motivation!

Also in May, I taught a live webinar that you can see for free: Top 5 Ways to Finally Move Forward on Your Goals. This was one of my favorite live classes ever! I hope you enjoy it too!

I took Grace to get a plant she’s been asking me for forever: a red hibiscus. I blame emojis! 🌺

On to June! 

One of my new co-workers (who you will mee in a couple weeks!) shared this with me and I fell in love:

“Far up in the deep blue sky, great white clouds are floating by; all the world is dressed in green; many happy birds are seen, roses bright and sunshine clear show that lovely June is here.” – F. G. Saunders

Hello, June!

My June PowerSheets above!

June Monthly Goals:

The Lifegiving Parent Book Club with Ari. This goal makes me so happy! I had a conversation with my friend Sally Clarkson recently that inspired me in the true sense of the word (to give breath or motivate to life-giving action). I want to be like Sally when I grow up. 🙂 She sent me a copy of her new book and Ari and I started reading it together last weekend. I told my friend Emily we were doing this and she said, “It’s like your own book club!” I love that idea, so that’s what we’re doing! The ingredients? Me, Ari, and this incredibly amazing book. It’s like spending an evening with Sally and Clay by the fire with some warm tea. I love you, Sally! So very much!
Slow down. Trust in the Lord and seek Him. I’ve been in a long period of transition with a growing company and growing kiddos and homeschool—seeking new balances as the kids continue to grow. In this season, it’s necessary for me to force myself to slow my thoughts down, giving my soul space to unravel and find rest as the rest of life around me grows and changes quickly. This is my most important work because it affects everything else. Practically speaking, this means talking to God constantly and asking Him to help me bend and not break. It means nourishing my soul. It means savoring His blessings. It means slowing down more than I think is necessary. More to come here!
— Celebrate Grace’s gift of music. I prayed for months about getting a piano. Ari’s dad is a composer, I have a degree in music theatre, and Ari is pretty musically-inclined himself. I kept imagining the presence of a piano allowing our home to be filled with music—creating opportunities for the kids to worship in song and have fun. What I didn’t expect was Grace taking a fast and passionate liking to the old piano we got on Craigslist. We offered her a trial piano lesson, thinking surely it was too early and she would get frustrated. The opposite happened. She loved it and her teacher said she was surprised as well. Grace has the gift of music. She faithfully practices every day without any prompting from me. She just does it because she loves it. Her first little piano recital is tonight and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate what God has revealed in her!
— Summer homeschool – This summer, we’re focusing on doing field trips and outings (Museum of Natural History, Patterson’s Mill Country Store, and the Museum of Life and Science are all on our list!) with a little traditional school work mixed in. We also made a theme for each day to give us a loose structure: Make it Monday (crafts), Teaching Tuesday (Grace has dreamed up what she calls “Funbabies Homeschool” for the little ones!), Take a Trip Wednesday (library, park, etc.), Thoughtful Thursday (make cards for friends, help with a house project), and Friday is a wildcard. No official schedules here, just ideas and options each day to give us the freedom to make things work depending on how everyone is feeling.
— Mid-Year Goals Prep Week is almost here! This week is all about YOU and I can’t wait to coach many of you live! I’m going to be walking through all of the PowerSheets prep step by step and refreshing my goals too. I am so excited about this week. Get a peek at what’s coming here.
— The Cultivate Summer Book Club is already bursting with fun! I’m meeting so many new friends in Book Club Facebook group. Want to join us? Get your book and sign up here! 

June Weekly Goals:

Write the Word Wednesdays as seen here. I am loving this new weekly rhythm!

June 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. (It’s a year-long plan but you can start today!)
— Exercise it out!

I noticed the crepe myrtles blooming for the first time on our walk this morning!

And now for a new section I’m adding to these monthly goal posts: verses I’m loving for June! I have most of these on repeat on my to-do list. They pop up every week to remind me of His truth!

‘The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way…’
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭37:23‬).

‘This is the Lord ‘s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us’ (Psalms 118:23-26).

‘Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!’ (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭95:2‬)

‘From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!’
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭113:3‬).‬‬

‘Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you’
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭116:7)‬ ‬‬

Ooooh those words are good! I sometimes repeat that last one to myself as I got to sleep.

Your turn! Do you have goals for June? 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 May’s winner, Aimee!

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I saw a sign recently that read: “Don’t count the days, make the days count!”

Let’s take a different spin on that together for a minute!

Let’s do both.

First, let’s count the days (like this):

We’re 131 days into the year. That means there are 234 days ahead to cultivate. There’s still 65% of the year left to live and fill with what matters. That’s a lot of days, friends!

 

Now, let’s make these 234 days count.

Take a look around. How are you feeling at this point in the year?

Tired? — It’s been a journey since January.

Excited? — New opportunities lie ahead in the next 234 days of this year!

Overwhelmed? —Not where you imagined you’d be by this point in 2018?

You may feel like you’ve messed up on your goals and it’s too late in the year to make progress, but here’s some truth: today can be your January 1st. Who says you can’t refresh you goals, change them, or start fresh right where you are? Not me!

See those words down there on my PowerSheets? Today could be your day. Many times, good change starts with one tiny step forward. One decision in a new direction.

(I love those flowers from my garden above that we used for this shoot in the fall. I’m planting my new zinnia seeds this weekend. Little by little, blooms will come!)

Maybe the gap between where you are and where you want to be seems wide. And maybe the thought of that gap has you stalling at the start!

Step into the garden with me. Let’s take a look around.

Good things grow little by little, and there’s magic in the middle ground.

We don’t like the middle ground though do we? It can feel incomplete, awkward, undone. We’d rather skip that part and get to the finish line.

Think about what we miss seeking instant results and overnight progress though.

If I plant a seed and the next day a full-grown plant appears, do you know what we’d miss? The best parts of gardening! We’d miss celebrating the sprout appearing out of the soil for the first time. We’d miss watching new leaves appear day by day. We’d miss the miracle of seeing blooms unfurl. We’d miss the good stuff.

It’s in the middle ground that life happens. It’s in the space from here to there that we grow too.

I’m digging in with you! Little by little progress adds up.

No matter if you are here on day 131, little-by-little you can have a cultivated rest of the year.

Want to finally move forward on your goals?

Get your Six-Month Undated PowerSheets if you don’t already have them (now is the time!) and join me next Wednesday for a FREE live workshop on How to Finally Move Forward on Your Goals. I’ll be giving you my 5 best practical steps (you are going to love step number 1!) for getting unstuck and making real progress! Save your seat here.

Your turn! Have you felt stuck on a goal or in life lately? Chances are, you aren’t the only one! I’ll share below too!

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When one woman chooses to cultivate what matters, do you know what happens?

Let me tell you about April (the month, not a person 🙂 ).

I decided to make room.

I didn’t know exactly what making room would look like; I just knew I needed it! I sometimes felt emotionally overwhelmed. Too much to process. Not enough space to sort it all out, or help the little hearts in this home do the same.

But, making room would require a radical shift, right? I thought the radical shift would be my schedule. My schedule did change in some ways, but what changed the most in April was me.

Let me set the scene for you: April was full. From training two new team members, to leading our team summit, to our summer product shoot, to podcast interviews and live webinars, interviewing potential candidates, homeschool, family fun, and right into our summer launch at the end of the month, it all could have been too much.

At times it was a lot. But in the midst of it, something started to change…

This may sound funny at first, but I started thinking about thinking.

How what we tell ourselves about our circumstances or situations or people or ourselves informs our actions.

Here’s what I discovered:

Thoughts > Emotions > Actions > Results

Our thoughts about any given circumstance influence our hearts, which results in emotions.

Our emotions directly inform our actions.

And our actions inform our results—our future.

Hmmm.

If I could chase down my thoughts, perhaps I could expose the holes in my thinking that were causing me to feel overwhelmed, even in the times my schedule was just fine!

It sounds simple in theory, and, well… it is. The challenging part is having the courage to stop and get curious about our feelings long enough to see where they come from–and let ourselves feel them first in order to do something with them.

What was I telling myself (thinking) about each situation that led to my emotions?

And this led to the golden question that changed my life: Were my thoughts facts or stories?

Truth or lies?

Because there is no half-truth. It’s either truth or not.

(A great book that talks about Stories vs. Facts: Crucial Conversations. Kaylee, Emily, and I just completed the two-day training today too and it was AWESOME!)

I started noticing when lies crept into my head and heart that were directly influencing my emotions and therefore my actions:I’m not good at xyz. I feel like so-and-so doesn’t like me. I’ll never xyz, etc., etc.

These thoughts suck the life out of me (you too?) and can leave me emotionally drained and overwhelmed. I had often blamed circumstances, but it was more what I thought about my circumstances.

Making room isn’t about empty space; it’s about intentional truth-filled space. This kind of space has given my heart and soul room to flourish!

In choosing less noise, less distractions, less control, less believing every thought that entered my mind, the truth finally got a word in! Day by day, decision by decision, it has continued to add up even when it seemed like it never would.

Over the last five weeks, I have wasted far much less time and emotional energy fighting battles that were all about stories I was telling myself. Replacing time lost in comparison, fear and narrow thinking—THIS has given me so much time and heart-space back.

If I just focus on the weeds in my garden, I miss the garden itself.

If I focus on stories instead of facts, fear instead of faith, I miss my life.

I saw in April how believing the truth brought near-immediate joy. And my joy sets off a domino effect in those around me. I saw how wasting emotional energy believing stories I’ve told myself about people or circumstances can distract me from cultivating what matters. And I’m just getting started!

My sweet boy bringing me handfuls of sunshine. If you have read Cultivate, you know dandelions are extra special to me!

I had two “thinking choices” in April:

Choice 1: “My schedule is too full and it’s impossible for anything to be cut or changed. If I do, everything will fall apart! This is impossible! Life is chaotic! Nothing will ever change and I feel hopeless. I will do nothing because I can’t.”

Choice 2: “My schedule is full and I can make some decisions to change it—even if they are hard! I can say yes or no. I may disappoint people and some things may not get done. But, I am hopeful that the hard decisions I make will be worth it. And there are many circumstances I cannot change, but I can change how I think about them. I can pray through them and let God’s truth illuminate the path forward. I am taking the first step to ignite this change, even if I don’t know what the second step will be yet. I’m stepping out on faith to make room!”

I chose option 2. And then I chose it again. And again. And I got up the next day and chose it again. And when Option 1 would try to creep back up, I chased it away again. And now I’m here in May and life is, in fact, different in many ways. Was it easy? No. I’m still learning! Changing our thinking is like trying to untangle a necklace chain. If you just yank it and pull it real quick, hoping for instant results, you’ll end up worse than when you started. Take it slowly and intentionally, and little by little you will untangle that mess.

There is great value in small things done over time.

What about you? What have you been telling yourself lately about a circumstance or relationship or challenge? Is it truth or a story you’ve told yourself about that situation?

My encouragement for you this month: Tell yourself the truth.

Plant it. Plant it everywhere!

Tend it. Tend it often. Nurture it. Enjoy it.

And consistently pull the weeds around it.

In Cultivate, I confront 10 common lies we believe (sometimes unknowingly). Life is too short and too valuable to waste it telling ourselves (or listening to) lies about who we are, or what we can or cannot do. Let’s expose them and bring them into the light where we can do something about them!

As you read each one, mark in your mind which stands out to you the most:

Lie 1: I have to do it all.
Truth: I can’t do it all and do it well.
Cultivators pay attention to what matters.

Lie 2: I have to be perfect.
Truth: It’s in the imperfect that things grow.
Cultivators dig into the season they’re in.

Lie 3: My life needs to look like everyone else’s.
Truth: I have a life to grow that is as unique as I am.
Cultivators think big picture to uncover their unique path.

Lie 4: It’s impossible to start fresh or move forward.
Truth: I can move forward by digging in and breaking up the lies.
Cultivators nourish their soil with truth and let God redeem their dirt.

Lie 5: I have to know all the details of the path ahead.
Truth: Forethought is important, but faith is essential.
Cultivators have faith, believing in what they can’t yet see.

Lie 6: Waiting is not good or productive.
Truth: Waiting is a time of ripening.
Cultivators ripen in the wait.

Lie 7: Small steps don’t make a difference.
Truth: Little-by-little progress adds up.
Cultivators tend to what matters, embracing little-by-little progress.

Lie 8: I will be content when I have it all.
Truth: I will be content when I live grateful.
Cultivators intentionally savor the fruit.

Lie 9: I can do life by myself.
Truth: I need meaningful relationships.
Cultivators embrace awkward and grow in community.

Lie 10: The past isn’t valuable; it’s all about the future.
Truth: Remembering God’s faithfulness helps us cultivate a meaningful legacy.
Cultivators preserve what matters for future seasons, and future generations.

I’d love to hear from you! Which lie and which truth stood out to you the most?

It’s hard work to let go and make room for the truth to flourish. To turn down the noise to even be able to hear it. But it will be worth it. Fighting fear or negative self-talk will help you make room for new things to grow!

This month, I’m keeping this thought-chasing going, and I’m inviting you to join me.

Lord, help us make room. Help us choose less to make room for life. Help us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:10). Help us to let go so we can hear Your life-giving truth and walk by faith this month and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

And now, a look back at my April goal progress (read April’s goal post here):

Choose less. A radical move to less so there’s room for life. As I wrote about here, there are inevitable times of overload that will creep up in our lives. These times are not cause for guilt or worry; they are opportunities. I’ve found myself in one of those little-margin seasons and my top priority in April is pruning. Choosing less to make room for life! — Well, as you can see above. Yes. Progress has been made here. The photo below was taken a few days before our summer launch.

— Read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality  — Yes! I am half-way through and excited to finish in May. This book has been so instrumental in me changing my thinking!
— Plant the garden. — Yes! We finished planting this weekend! Hooray!!!
— Decide on office space. — No movement here, but we have bigger fish to fry right now and there has been no clear leading from the Lord here yet. I’ll wait on Him.
— Lead a prayerful summit and shoot. — It was the best week! Lots of prayer, digging into our vision, and helping each other cultivate what matters so we can give the same to you.
— Lead a prayerful summer launch. — What a JOY this has been! See a recap of the launch here.

Our new Write the Word for Kids journal is here!!! See any familiar faces above? : )

April Weekly Goals:

— Praise + rejoice! — Yes! I practiced this often as a way to chase my thoughts and bring them back to Him!
— Prayer journal dates — Yes.

April Daily Goals:

— Bible — Yes!
— Pray over the kids — Yes!
— Exercise hard — Yes!

Also in April, I taught two live webinars that you can see for free:

How to Cultivate Faith with Kids

How to Cultivate Wellness

On to May! 

May brings warmer weather and I am soaking up the garden and the back porch! My encouraging words this month are: Walk by faith in the Spirit. I’m stretching myself to pray big and a lot and to beleive in the “impossible!”

These goals make me so excited and grateful!

May Monthly Goals:

— Be a Woman of the Word instead of the world
— Set our summer homeschool plan
— Finish and implement Emotionally Healthy Spirituality 
— Q2 rocks prayer time (we call our quarterly work goals “rocks”)
Prayer journal date
— Start Write the Word Wednesdays (I know this should be a Weekly goal. I messed up and wrote it in the monthly section—ah well!)

We enjoyed a round of Twister the day before our summer launch. It all came down to Grace and Kaylee. Grace won! : ) 

May Weekly Goals:

— Praise! with the kiddos. At first, I just wrote “Praise!” but after reading back through my Quarterly Goal Refresh, I realized I needed to tend this area with the kiddos too. I LOVE MY POWERSHEETS!!!
— Worship + church in the garden
— Celebrate others!

May Daily Goals:

— Bible
— Pray over the kids
— Exercise hard

I already love this month!

Your turn! Do you have goals for May? 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 April’s winner, Bess!

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Friends!!! We are THRILLED to introduce The Cultivate Summer Collection, and overjoyed at the response to our launch already! Turns out, you are just as excited as we are—if not more!

You believe in the power of little by little progress.

You know that good things grow slow.

You want to live on purpose, instead of by accident.

And you are SO PUMPED about getting started!

I am too!

Let’s do a little cultivated dreaming together for a minute, shall we? The kind of dreaming that points to what matters in the big picture.

When you think of summer, what do you see?

Family vacations? Trips to the farmer’s market? Evening walks through the neighborhood?

Often we think of summer as time off.

Here’s a crazy question for you: what if we turned summer into intentional “time on”?

Now, not to worry. We’re not adding MORE things to our to-do lists (no way!).

Quite the opposite.

Cultivating what matters is about doing less to make room for LIFE.

So, let’s flip the script together and live out a summer of intentional “time on,” right where we are.

We’ll start with the most important element first: uncovering what you want to cultivate this summer.

If you already know, wonderful!

If you’re not sure or feel like you have too many things you want to accomplish (so many of us feel this way!), thePowerSheets are back (YES!!!) and they will help you simplify your life, uncover your unique goals, and live them out.

Our Six-Month Undated White PowerSheets are back after we sold out in January (hooray!!) and ready to ship from our new warehouse in Kentucky. Once this batch is gone, though, they are gone till we release the 2019 versions in the fall. Now it the time to get a set to finish the year intentionally. It’s a perfect time to start a 6-month set!

Want to focus on a specific area of life that needs to be cultivated—taking your PowerSheets journey to the next level? Our NEW Wellness Goal Guide and Finance Goal Guides are incredible tools! (It’s funny how God always knows what we need—these are two areas I want to focus on this summer myself. 🙂 ) So many of you told me yesterday how excited you are to get started on these—and we are excited for you too!

The Wellness Goal Guide focuses on what we call cultivated self-care: combining fitness, nutrition and emotional health. This guide doesn’t give you a one-size-fits-all plan; it helps you uncover your unique path and needs, right where you are. Filling your well and taking care of your mind, body, heart and soul will help you fill others up, too!

Feel overwhelmed my managing finances? Don’t feel like you’re a “numbers person?” The Finance Goal Guide is already a best-seller in the shop and will help you shift your money mindset. Take control of your finances, define action steps to make progress, and start right where you are. Catch the replay of our 5 Ways to Cultivate Your Finances webinar here too!

You know what gets me excited? When we cultivate one area of our lives, it fuels the other areas too. And when one woman chooses to live differently and say yes to intentional “time on,” she is refreshed—and others around her are too. The domino effect fires me up and we see it happening already!

This may be your season of refreshment so you can refresh others too.

A season of re-energizing.

A time of re-focusing of what matters most.

A season of flourishing faith. (That’s what I want most this summer, above everything else!)

Write the Word Cultivate Prayer and Write the Word Cultivate Forgiveness are the two newest additions to our Write the Word Bible journal collection. We are so grateful for the flood of excitement about these meaningful tools!

Get them both at a discount in the Fresh Faith Bundle.

The Cultivate Faith Sticker Book is a new favorite! It’s fun and inspiring and functional. It has over 900+ amazing stickers to use in your Write the Word journal, Bible, PowerSheets or anywhere else you’d like to mark what matters.

The most popular item in the shop right now (besides PowerSheets!) happens to be my personal favorite: Write the Word for Kids is here!!! 

YESSSS!!!!

Write the Word for Kids was inspired by our popular Write the Word journals for adults and helps boys and girls ages 5-12 dive into the Word in a fun and impactful way!

Each 178-page Write the Word for Kids journal includes fun features like Bible Book Bingo, coloring pages, simple scriptures for kids to write and four pages stickers! Grace loves hers so much!

Want to see more? See inside all the new products below (the confetti canon is still making me laugh!).

Thank you SO much for a truly wonderful launch! We couldn’t do this without your genuine love and support. We have the BEST customers and I loved talking to so many of you live this week. We have already shipped orders to all 50 states and over 20 countries! 

Here’s to thriving this summer–and for the rest of our days! The best is yet to come!

Ready to get started?

SHOP NOW!

Photos by Gina Zeidler

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