Could you use a good belly laugh right about now? Research proves that laughter reduces muscle tension, opens our brains to solve problems, and helps us feel renewed hope in challenges.

I could use some of that in my life! You too? Here you go!

We gave two men (my husband and Ashlea’s fiance!) a box of PowerSheets and here’s what happened…

These guys. I have no words! 🙂

Our BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR is happening now through November 26th and it’s a Bundle Bonanza. Everything (even PowerSheets when you buy them in a bundle!) is on sale. Bonus: you get to shop a new product!

SHOP NOW

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

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

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

My October Monthly Goals Progress:

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

Fun at Vollmer Farm with the kiddos!

October Weekly Goals:

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

They all LOVED the corn pit!

October Daily Goals:

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

Now to November! 

November Monthly Goals:

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

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

Weekly Goals:

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

Daily Goals:

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

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

Verses I’m loving for November:

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

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

Your turn! What are your goals for November? What are you cultivating in this new month? I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts! Congrats to October’s winner, Lindsay!

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

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