You’ve done a lot so far this year.

You’ve faced a lot of challenges.
You’ve checked a lot of boxes.
You’ve gone to many places (even if just to the grocery store many times over!).
You’ve made a lot of decisions.
You’ve made progress on your goals!

But, there are a few things that don’t seem to be moving forward, no matter how hard you try. In fact, it feels like you’ve gone a few steps backwards.

And that’s frustrating—to want something so much but feel like you’re making reverse progress! Like there’s nothing to show for all of your effort.

Let’s step into my garden for a minute. When I plant a seed, I often come out the next day hoping to see that it’s sprouted. I can’t help it! I’m so excited to see that little hint of green in the soil, signifying new life. But, many times I run outside to check on my seeds, and do you know what I see?

NOTHING.
Dirt.
After all that work of cultivating the soil, and getting on my knees planting those tiny seeds, and watering them, there’s nothing to show for it.

But, if we went below the surface of the soil together, you’d see something miraculous. Do you know what’s happening beneath the surface when you plant a seed? EVERYTHING! It’s letting go of its outer shell. It’s soaking up water and nutrients to be able to throw out its first roots. And it’s getting ready to press toward the LIGHT at just the right time.

Whatever it is for you that you wish would happen yesterday, imagine this: what if waiting is a time of ripening? Perhaps your trials are the very things that will bring you to a day where you can’t help but stand in awe and say, All of that time waiting—I was actually growing, even though I couldn’t see it above the surface! Thank you, God! Thank you!

In April we had a Spring product shoot, the Gardening 101 class, our team summit, welcoming 3 new team members, planting our office garden—the list goes on!

This month was a turning point for me. I didn’t manufacture it or plan it or expect it. I really wanted the turning point to happen months ago. But, no matter how hard I tried, it didn’t happen. Until last week. That seed you plant—that step of obedience to say no to something or close a chapter or start something new—may not grow above the surface right away. Give it time. It’s okay to grow slow.

I’m at the Carolina coast with our family right now, typing this to you during nap time, so in lieu of my monthly video update, I’ve noted my PowerSheets progress below!

April Monthly Goals:
— Pray over everything—ask God / There were larger decisions to be made in April, from hiring three new team members to products and projects—and many personal things, too. I may think I have the best answer, but He always does! Even in times when it seemed like I was constantly stopping meetings and interrupting decision-making, I had to stop to pray and ask Him first.
— Do my Making Things Happen action items. / You may only see a little progress marked on this one above, but rather than say, “I didn’t make much progress!” I’m claiming PROGRESS! Little by little adds up.
— Make our home come alive. / I played more great music for the kids, we read more books, we got outside more (when #Pollenmageddon wasn’t in full force here in North Carolina!), and generally enjoyed the warmer air and blessing of our home and each other.
— Teach the Gardening 101 live class! / Yes! Done!
— Plant our garden. / Not done. I decided to wait till we get back from the beach next week to get started.
— Train leaders. / Our Team Summit was Spirit-led and a turning point for all of us. Praising Him for this!

April Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath.
— Read Letters to the Church with Ari / We hit pause on this book temporarily in favor of another book Ari wanted to dig into. I’m excited to get back to it!
— Sing for joy to the Lord. / From our church’s singing night last week to many hymns sung over the kiddos, I’ve so enjoyed this!
— Read lovely words to the kids. / Yes, we’ve read lots of great stories and I purposefully brought a giant stack of books on vacation with us, too! This will be my summer focus, as well.
— Sabbath: renew our hearts and minds. / Yes, I’m still loving “Shabbat naps with Josh,” and Passover was especially sweet this year.
— Pray for the Lord to use us to meet needs. / We opened our NCF fund! Progress!

April Daily Goals: / Little by little progress was made on all of these below. not perfect progress, but perfect isn’t the goal!
— 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!

April’s podcast episodes you don’t want miss:
How To Start A Garden
You have to Pull Out Old Plants From Last Year Before You Can Plant New Ones
You’ve Planted Seeds But Haven’t Seen Anything Above Ground

The Gardening 101 Class may have included an unexpected introduction to a chicken! Learn how to grow your own garden in my NEW class!

On to MAY!
—Need help prioritizing what to spend time doing (and not doing!) in May? Download this FREE Yes/No List.
—Looking for inspiration to kick start your goals? You’ll love these stories.
—Need some reassurance that your hard work will pay off? This episode is for you!

It’s a new month and I’m grateful! I forgot to bring my Goal Setting Sticker Book on vacation, though, so color-coding my PowerSheets goals will happen when I return! 🙂 I’m excited to dig into these May goals!

May Monthly Goals:
— Love the Word (above all else!)
— Make our family summer plans
— Train team members (2 Corinthians 3:2 is my verse for this!)
— Make our summer homeschool plan
— Plant the garden + Josh’s farm

May Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath.
— Sabbath: renew our hearts and minds
— Do something for the joy of it—HIS joy!
— Be in the Word with Ari

May Daily Goals:
— Old Testament Bible Reading
— 10k steps every day
— Read aloud to our kids
— Write the Word 
— Exercise it out!

Your turn! Do you have goals for May? Comment below and 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, Victoria!

P.S. Get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 today through May 6th (no code needed)! There’s nothing magical about January 1—get your PowerSheets and Write the Word journals today! Here are some of our favorite Mother’s Day picks to help you choose the best gifts, too.

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  1. Tiffany

    I am cultivating a rhythm of service and solitude in May. I am an introvert and love spending time in the Word and with God – my challenge is to then go and do something! I was inspired by this quote by Bernard of Clairvaux – “Action and contemplation are very close companions; they live together in one house on equal terms; Martha is Mary’s sister.” Taking little steps to find a new rhythm to my days. Thanks for your encouragement!

    • Lara

      THIS! Yes, to become hands and feet of Christ. Cheering you on, friend. This is such an encouragement to me.

  2. Ashley

    We’re going on a much needed vacation with our very best friends this month and my goal is to just enjoy it. To be ok with the 1 year old being all over the place and dirty dishes and schedules not working. To put socialmedia down for the week. Then we come home and begin the big move down the road to our dream home !

    • Lara

      What an exciting month, my friend! Yes, keep focusing on what matters most. Grateful for you. : )