Sep 23, 2016

LITTLE BY LITTLE / A Change of Season

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Hello, my name is Martha. I realized last night, that I’ve been spending more time trying to inspire, than being inspired. More time trying to give and do, than sitting at the Lord’s feet. This new season of life has felt lighter.


I’ve been focused on cultivating love in my kids, my marriage, my team, good work, and in moments like these–belly laughs that my body hasn’t been able to feel in a long time, but …

I don’t have the perfect words here. There’s more than belly laughs. I’m craving holiness. A more settled, devoted, alive faith. And not just for me. For our whole family.

Maybe it’s the change of season. Or maybe it’s just time. I don’t have a plan or a checklist; just prayer and trust that the Lord will direct my steps.


Here are this week’s 10 Things to Help You Make Progress on What Matters (In no particular order!)

1. Good things can come out of hard seasons. I shared yesterday on Facebook Live part of the news I’ve been wanting to share with you: we’re changing the name of our shop, and launching a community and goal encouragement site to go along with it. This is no small feat, and has been the result of huge prayer and change this year. I think about when people changed on the inside in the Bible, the Lord often gave them new names: Saul became Paul, Sarai became Sarah, Simon became Peter. It’s been a long time coming, and it was time for a new name that matched who we are, what we do, and what we hope for your life as well. I can’t wait to share it with you soon. (We are waiting on a confirmed launch date from our web developers—hoping for mid-October.) More details to come. Any guesses on the new name?

2. Shake up your to-do list. A tip for lingering to-do’s. Many times, I have a to-do on my list that is more of a to-decide. And those to-decides like to hang out on my list for a while until I shake things up. So, a tip: write your to-do’s as prayers. For example, we’re working on changing roles and titles in our company, and instead of writing “role changes” on my list, I switched it up and wrote, “Lord, what do you want the role changes to be?” Now, it’s lingering productively and prayerfully, instead of clogging up my brain space every time I look at my list. Prayer is an action step.

3. Make your move. You want to get inspired? Watch this. Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from the Katwe slums of Uganda stumbled into a chess program as a 9-year-old searching for food. Though she could neither read nor write, Phiona turned out to be a chess prodigy. Queen of Katwe was first a book written by local UNC journalism professor, Tim Crothers (Ari is an Associate Professor at UNC too : ). And now it’s is a feature film produced by Disney and ESPN Films about a dream and the drive to reach it. I haven’t been to a movie in years, but I plan on seeing this. It’s in theaters beginning September 30, 2016. The trailer has me inspired!

fullsizerender First crunch in the leaves.

4. Ask for a portion. Lisa’s wedding ceremony was one of the most meaningful I’ve been to. Emily shared this piece of marriage advice that stuck with her, and me—and no doubt many others.

5. Think small. The first three years of PowerSheets, I wrote a personal note with most orders. It took me days and days to write hundreds of notes, but it was always worth it. I loved praying over each name, imagining them recipient opening the package, and hoping that my words might encourage them. But, with more little people in my house and less time for work, I had to stop writing them. Yet, I deeply miss that connection. I’ve said many times over the last weeks, “How do we get back to small? To handwritten notes?” My friend Val launched her 2017 collection this week, and her post on launching small resonated with me.

6. Make it a great mail day. My friend Maghon sent Grace some Hooray Mail this month, and she has been loving it. Check out their Instagram to get a peek at what this great concept for kids is all about.

img_4936Pressing zinnia petals in a songbook for a project Grace and I are working on : ) 

7. Know that you are worthy of art.

8. Go from awkward to awesome. Photographer friends, this course is for you. No one has gotten Ari to smile like Gina has–the real smile I love when I know he is truly happy and relaxed. I often tell Gina that she’s my soul sister. She always knows how to calm me, call me up, and help me focus on what matters. And she’s a ridiculously gifted photographer and mentor to many.

9. Read the only review that matters: God’s. I don’t read my Amazon reviews, partly because my first book is so much of my (very vulnerable) personal story, but even more so for the good reviews. Opinions can shift our thinking away from truth—and make us believe we are something we may not actually be. I resonated so much with Jess’s post about her “Caesar salad” review.

10. Done is better than perfect. I don’t have a #10 : ) Happy weekend, friends!

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  1. Emily DeArdo on September 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Great post, Lara! I’m really looking forward to the new shop launch and the new name!
    I love the idea of prayer as an action step. That’s something I feel like I’m missing, too. One of my goals this year has been to deepen my relationship with God: to trust big and rest in Him. Actually, it’s one of my goals every year! Your suggestion is great for deepening my relationship with Him.

  2. Allison on September 23, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I especially loved the “Caesar salad” review post from Jess as well! It’s scary how easy it is to take what people say about us more seriously than what God says about us the Bible. I’m praying throughout this next week that I can radiate the thoughts and feelings that God has about me onto my friends and family.

  3. Sarah on September 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I love these weekly posts, Lara! I can’t wait to see the new shop and your new name! #2 resonated with me so much. I feel like I’ve gotten stuck in the a rut of never-ending to-dos, so that really encouraged me.

  4. Ashlee Thurlow Geheb on September 23, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    All of these are great and really blessed me on this dreary day! But I especially LOVE the to do lists as prayer lists tip! That will be a game changer for sure!

  5. Laura B on September 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    “Prayer is an action step.” Thank you for this thought today, Lara!

  6. Amber Housley on September 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Love changing the to-do into a prayer! Such a great mindset I’m putting into practice immediately. Have a great weekend! xo

  7. Maghon Taylor on September 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    KYayyy for Hooray mail! So glad she loved it!!

    • Lara on September 28, 2016 at 10:05 am

      We love you!

  8. Kristina on September 25, 2016 at 8:26 am

    i have never prayed about my goals or to-do’s before using the powersheets. It has been a game changer and I can’t believe that I excluded God for so long from this area of my life.
    Also thank you for sharing the movie trailer…so inspiring! I had not heard of the movie before but now I can’t wait for February when it will be released in Germany 😉

    • Lara on September 28, 2016 at 10:05 am

      I’m so grateful this has helped you, Kristina!

  9. Em on September 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Love that photo of Grace in the leaves! 🙂

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