It’s my favorite time of year, friends: garden planting time! I’ve had so much fun digging in this year–perhaps more than ever. Every year I make my garden plans to be sure I have room for everything I want to grow. But, then I let go and have fun! On-the-spot creativity and pairing what I think will look best and grow well together brings the garden to life.
Plans are important.
Forethought is vital.
But at some point you have to move from planning to planting.
Laying an intentional foundation can give way to freedom and creativity, and a different kind of joy if you are willing to let go. Letting go is hard, but that’s where the good stuff grows: in surrender. In believing in what you can’t yet see.
Forethought can give you a foundation on which to have the freedom to flourish. (That was a lot of “f”‘s, but I like it!)
We went to the Carrboro Farmer’s Market’s annual seedling giveaway on Saturday. Local farmers donate seedlings for kids to take home and the kids write a thank you note to the farmer who grew their seedling–isn’t that fun!? Grace picked out a pair of white sunflowers and a Sungold tomato.
At our local Southern States buying Gracie’s favorite marigolds and we bought lots of dirt for a special secret project we’re working on with Gardeners.com! Stay tuned. : )
April was full of hard work and planning, and May is already shaping up to be a month of planting–taking action, digging in, taking risks, and cultivating what matters. Here’s a recap of April and my PowerSheets goals for May are below too.
My April PowerSheets progress:
– Celebrate Southern Weddings’ birthday. This was a sweet celebration week, but perhaps the very best celebration was when Lisa came to the office a couple weeks ago. We sat around the table together and shared memories and gratitude and lots and lots of tears as we prepared to say “farewell” to her after four amazing years. Thankfully she still lives right down the road though and her impact on our lives has deep roots that are here to stay. We love you so much, Lisa! Read more about Lisa’s farewell here.
– Lay a firm foundation for the budget. We made progress! Ari and I started setting up our EveryDollar budget over the weekend.
– Celebrate Passover (my favorite holiday!). Yes, this was wonderful. Ari led a great seder for about 40 people at church and my faith was built!
– Create a new frequent date night schedule. Thanks to my amazing friend Joslyn, we had a great date night last month. We hope to increase the frequency to once every two weeks.
– Prayerfully hire our new team members. This is still in progress, but great progress had been made.
– Plant our garden! Yes! You may have seen on Instagram stories last week that I have a “secret garden” project in the works. I’ll keep you posted here and here on the blog.
– Record the audiobook for Cultivate and prepare well for the launch ahead. This was so good, praise Him! What a wonderful experience. I’m so grateful!
– Prayerful spring product launch – Yes! Write the Word sold out much faster than we expected. A new shipment will be here in a few days, but I highly recommend reserving your copy here.
— Team Summit prep: Yes! This has been the center of my focus the last couple weeks. I’d read books, written several presentations, and prayed so much over this week. Our team summit starts tomorrow and I am so excited to learn and grow alongside my team. Follow along on my IG stories this week.
– Host a meaningful Cultivating Faith webinar next week with Shanna Noel – Yes! Catch the replay here.
– Take my workouts to the next level. Yes – we finally got bikes, and I joined Ari for a class at his gym last week too.
– Lord willing, start leading our family group again. We are not leading a family group now–instead, another couple is taking the lead. I’m excited about this and grateful. With all the kids, it was a bit overambitious to think about leading anything new in this season.
– Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities. This happened a little, and this is one of my biggest priorities for May.
Those snapdragons totally surprised me. I planted them from seed (get them here) last summer and had no idea they would winter over and look so good now. What a treat!
My monthly PowerSheets goals for May:
To help me wrap my brain around all the writing I have ahead this month, I wrote it all out on PostIt’s and added them to my PowerSheets.
– Plant the garden. We’re close to done here. I’m waiting to see how the pansies hold up in the heat over the next couple weeks. Once they start to fade, they’ll get replaced with lots of zinnias!
– Cultivate book launch prep. The book launches next month! (And typing that just gave me all the butterflies.) I’m nervous to release this book because I’m sharing parts of our story I’ve never shared before and I pray these pages help many people to cultivate what matters with Him. Pre-order Cultivate here. (Pre-ordering is so helpful to ensure retailers have enough books in stock on launch day. I am so grateful for the many friends who have already reserved their copies.)
– Create the budget with Ari. The next step is committing to our budget numbers and goals. We plan to make more progress this coming weekend while the babies nap.
– Lead a refreshing team summit. Hooray for the Team Summit starting tomorrow!
– Prayerfully launch summer products. I can’t wait to share them next week! The Summer Collection launches at 10 am EST on May 9th!
– Implement new team meeting structure. More on this to come after our Team Summit.
– Create a new date night plan.
– (Goal I can’t share just yet, but I will in two weeks.)
– Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities. This is one of my biggest priorities for May.
Peonies and PJ’s in the community garden this morning.
May weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends.
– Meaningful God connection with Ari. I’ve had this on my tending list all year, but I added “God” to this and it has already helped us so much. It’s not just about connecting; it’s about connecting in the Spirit. We had some great conversations this weekend about what God is growing in us.
– Write the Word : ) This, my friends, is my solution to the afternoon Word refresh I’ve been craving! Yahoo!
May daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan
– Eat more raw foods.
– Be active in my work day. Nicole and I are giving a presentation on workplace fitness this week!
– Pray through my prayer journal.
Grace and I have gotten on a Garden Answer video kick, and made a new fairy garden this weekend! I love it–and her. : )
Your turn! I’d love to hear: Do you have goals for May? 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, Alexandra Keen. Alexandra and I go to church together, so I’ll bring your goodies to you this weekend, friend! : )
Grace’s fairy garden is too cute! May is shaping up to be quite busy for my husband and me! Instead of getting overwhelmed, I want to prayerfully set goals that I can realistically accomplish. One goal is to keep my planner AND powersheets open on my desk to help keep me on track. It seems simple, but I think that’s why a lot of my goals don’t get accomplished…I just forget about them. I’m praying for you and am thankful for you, Lara!
To continue to be faithful to my budget.
To continue to love and lead the girls I mentor well.
Two of my biggest goals are to:
Save “x” amount this month (will be hard but will bless me later)
Read Genesis & Exodus
Some goals I have this month are to wake up before 8 am every day and become a morning person.
Also for my hubby and I to have phone-free evenings after 8pm. 🙂
I pray that the Lord’s joy would overflow out of my life, and out of the lives of whoever reads this!
I love how open & motivating you are Lara (&team)! Wishing you & praying for an incredibly blessed team time this week.
Some of my May goals are to:
– eat less sugar & drink more water
– commit to Bible reading every day
– quality connection time with my fiancé
and – finish a few things on my wedding prep list.
I’m still working on my Tending List and officially starting on May 4th. Love this journey of progress over perfection & realising that, indeed, I cannot do it all and do it all well. The Lord is so patient & loving & I’m very thankful for this community. So much goodness!!!
Love, P xx
My progress in April has made me so excited for May! The EveryDollar app finally enabled me to really gain control over my budget last month. It’s amazing how much freedom knowing where every dollar goes has given to my life. This month I plan to sweat! No more tears, no more guilt, no more beating myself up….time for action! Can’t wait to feel fit & strong again.
That picture of Grace by her Fairy garden is just so cute!! 🙂 Beautiful little girl. These are great goals! I’m excited to hear about them throughout the month and/or at the end!
Always love your messages and inspiration, Miss Lara! And I never stop and say hello as often as I should, but thank you for all of the goodness you put out in the world. So grateful to know you and for the opportunity to learn from you beginning so many years ago 😉
My goals for May include all things wedding prep (we get married June 2!) and all things fixer upper on our new little house. 🙂 I’m trying to make time each day for my health, physically (workout, vitamins) and spiritually/emotionally (time in the Word/prayer). I’m hoping a little extra cash comes along so I can grab a write the word or two before our big day. <3
One of my goals for May is to develop a deeper prayer life. I do my reading and meet with God but I still feel it is lacking in the intimacy my heart is craving now a d to work on being a healthier me.
We started a new chapter in business this month, it’s been a tough transition and I feel so far behind, I mean, it’s May and we are essentially restarting.
Goals for May are to let go and let God, to stop chasing perfect, by extending grace to myself as I check off these tasks, that if I don’t get them done consistently everyday it’s about the progress. I know, I sound like I’m parroting what you encourage us all with , but, it’s true and tough and stretching my faith and trust to step out by letting go.
May goals: truly stop and enjoy our 4yo, Finish studying the book of Daniel, workout daily, work daily on business tasks but in a set amount of time. That’s it, it’s all I can handle this month. If SM posts get done then fine if not, it’s okay to. This is a new trusting season and I’m learning to be okay with that. trusting God the whole way even when I cannot see the next step.
Thank you for all you and your team does to encourage us all.
So excited for everything you and your team are doing, Lara! My May goals are here!: https://www.thevandykes.com/blog/may-2017-goals/
p.s. Love Gracie’s fairy garden!! 🙂
Thanks, Lara, for always being so gracious in the sharing of your goals!
My goals for May include thoughtfully and intentionally preparing for my two week vacation at the end of the month – first time being away from work and being in my role without an assistant to “back me up”. I also hope to work through my PowerSheets prep while I am home in the beginning of the month with the goal of “starting” PowerSheets & tracking my Tending List in June.
Thanks as always for the inspiration!
I think I mentioned this last month, but I love this goal so much, Lara: Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities.
I need to incorporate that into my May goals! 🙂
A few of my goals for May:
*Put together an outline for an exciting creative project I have in the works
*Organize my home office
*Get back into a fitness routine (specifically yoga and weights)
*Record a weekly Sunday Encouragement Facebook live video (I did my very first live video on Sunday on my A Place to Dwell Facebook page; I was so nervous, but it’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while!)
*Meditate on scripture and continue to cultivate hope in my current season (using my Write the Word journal and Lindsay Letters coloring book)
*Continue my one-year Bible reading plan (finishing up Genesis and beginning Exodus); I’m also interested in doing a Bible study on Exodus through RightNow Media.
As always, thank you for the encouragement, Lara! I am so grateful for you!
Seeing your goals (and the whole teams’ goals) is so helpful in formulating mine!
Some of my daily goals this month are:
– Write the Word
– Make sure to drink 32 oz of water before lunch
– Drink 136 oz of water daily
– Complete the 21 day fix extreme videos
Love how you openly share your goals and journey, Lara. Thank you for this!
May 2017 is the month of fresh starts for me. Since January I’ve heard God whispering in my ear, “Rise up! It’s time!” It’s time for me to work the business He has called me to create and grow. So, my focus is on doing the activities that allow me to do just that.
1. Pray and listen to Him for direction, provision and everything else I need for His vision to happen.
2. Connect with successful mentors for guidance and encouragement.
3. Exercise 3x’s a week and consume less sugar.
4. Pull together all of the tools and materials I do have available to begin my business, m.o.b.- ministry of beauty, llc.
5. Write and post His lessons for my blog, His Invitation..
6. Schedule and hold 7 individual or group appointments with clients.
7. Read “Vision Map” for clarity and application of the steps I need to take to move forward.
8. Put myself and all of this in God’s hands and trust Him with providing everything I need to know Him, make Him known and help other women know who they are in and because of Him. My God-given mission is to help other women become who God created them to be.
I filled out my first Powersheets Tending list and at the top of my goals for May: Celebrate my daughter! It’s her first birthday this month, and we have lots going on with family and friends. As a working mom with multiple jobs, I know it’s going to be extra important to prioritize the people and things that matter to me most instead of getting lost in the busy-ness of each day. So in this month of celebration, my word is ENJOY : take delight or pleasure in, possess and benefit from. I’m being intentional with my days — setting aside quality time with my husband and daughter, spending time in the Word daily thanks to my new journal, limiting social media, making time to get creative, and making an effort to simply enjoy! I’m taking a hold of May and savoring every moment.
The Powersheets, Make It Happen book, and Write the Word Renewal journal have all brought so much encouragement to me. Thanks, Lara!
My goals for May:
*Take books and DVDs to Half Price books, as part of my downsizing. (did that today!)
*edit my ebook and put in the cites and footnotes (halfway done)
*Go to confession (tomorrow, at 8 AM!)
*Draft book proposal to send to agent
*Clean out and organize my coat closet
*Write out my May budget (done!)
*List steps to simplify in my bullet journal (done)
I’m having surgery this month so I sort of want to get these things done before Surgery Day on the 17th–so that’s why three of my goals are completed and it’s only May 2! 🙂 I really wanted to keep my monthly goals small and manageable because I know that I’m going to “lose” about a week of productivity. But that’s OK.
Emily, Just curious what “Holy House” means? Thanks!
p.s. Prayerful that your surgery and recovery are without incident!
Oh, I meant “holy hour.” SIGH. It means visiting a church chapel and praying there for an hour. 🙂
Lara: I love reading your encouraging words and appreciate your modeling of how to live an intentional life, right in the thick of things.
Some of my May goals include funding the trust my husband and I created and consistently meal planning. I LOVE your goal to not only pray impossible prayers, but most importantly, to be open to how God answers them (which may be different than your prayer). I just may add that to my monthly goals! Would love to hear an example as I seek to allow God to do abundantly more in my life. 🙂
Blessings on you and your awesome team!
Lara, thank you so much for this! Your posts are always so uplifting and help me to focus on my goals as well.
Some of my goals this month:
– Write the Word
– stand up while I’m working
– send an encouraging text to a friend
Here’s to a month of growing and blooming through the dirt. 🙂
Sarah, encouraging you on your goal to stand up while working.. I started doing this about 6 months ago and it has made such a difference!
I always love stopping by your blog during the first few days of the month – reading your goals and others in the community is so encouraging!
My main focus for the month is giving myself grace on grace, since I know that May is going to be so busy! 🙂
I love this! I have Valerie’s yearly prayer journal, and it’s awesome! Praying through my journal is always on my daily goals list!
Some of my other goals are:
Continue my study in Colossians
Read more (Ordering Your Private World and God Has A Name are on my list!)
Rework my budget
Workout more consistently and,
Call my sweet friends that live far away!
April was great and I made a lot of progress, and I’m so excited to be more consistent and steady in May. I’ve established some good routines and goals, and now’s the time to just keep on keepin on!
Thanks for the encouragement Lara!
I’m excited about my May goals! Everything from the practical (like finally getting around to my daughter’s baby book) to the heart stuff – stretching myself to be vulnerable in my writing…and maybe even being brave enough to submit my writing to various sites!
1. Fill out House Prayers sheet and pray them over our home. Val over at ValMariePaper.com created a worksheet that walks through each room and exterior of your home and lists prompts for prayers. I’m excited to do this with our new house. One of my 2017 yearly goals is to cultivate a lifegiving home and I think that has to start with covering the physical home in prayer.
2. Create a May Budget – In the past few weeks, the Lord has placed budgeting on my heart. This is huge and new for me and an answer to Adam’s prayers, I’m sure. A big issue in our marriage, like many, has always been money. We were raised differently and view money differently and are both learning how to bend a little and create together our view of money. I have started a budget on EveryDollar and am loving it. It’s so impactful to see the incredible way God has blessed me with my salary and rental income and then to be convicted to be a good and faithful steward of that money. In truth, it’s all His anyway. This being on my heart is what led me to the “Good Words” I chose for May.
3. Meal Plan and Prep – I’ve decided to take over grocery shopping – at least the weekly shopping, so that there is no excuse not to do this. It makes it so much easier on everyone to plan dinners for the week, buy the needed food, and prepare what we can in advance.
4. Activity – my goal is to walk daily and incorporate Charlotte into my strength training. She loves going for walks, so doing that when I get home from work is a great thing we can do together. She also love being thrown into the air and to be on my shoulders, so I’ve started using her as my weights. I do lunges and squats with her on my shoulders and i bench press her and throw her in the air. She’s basically my super-cute, squealing medicine ball.
5. Print out picture’s for Charlotte’s Baby Book – I’m pretty sure I know which pictures I want to use, I just have to sit down and do it. I think using my rest time on the Sabbath might be a good time for this.
6. Pray Intentionally – I’ve put into my calendar a reminder every Sunday night so that I will pray over my Bible study ladies and over my prayer journal.
7. Speak to Adam’s love language – In order to love Adam well, he needs quality time. Quality time with me, with Charlotte, and alone. I am trying to honor this. My goal is to have the nightly chores done before he is home if at all possible and to give him at least 30 minutes a night without asking him to do something.
8. Focus on joy in our living situation – I have a feeling this will be the hardest and best goal of all. In order to actually do this and be intentional about it, I have put a reminder in my calendar every Friday and plan on writing at least 5 good things about our current living situation each week. The sister to this goal is to be cheerful and joyful in doing household chores and I know that will only come with gratitude.
I’m tearing up just thinking back on that afternoon–y’all encouraged me so much. Love you all dearly!!
Thank you for sharing your journey with each of us and encouraging us in the process!
My words of encouragement for this month are “dwell in possibility.” So, I’m focusing on goals that include spring cleaning, cultivating a new friendship, spending more time outside, and incorporating more movement into my daily activities.
Hi Lara, thank you for so much for sharing! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since the MTH conference. Those were two such amazing days! My goals for May:
– write one note or letter of encouragement to
Oh dear, I hit “add” by accident!
Hi Lara, thank you so much for sharing! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since the MTH conference. Those were two such amazing days!
My goals for May:
– write a note of encouragement to a friend each week
– maintain drinking less diet soda & increase in water consumption
– I told my work that I plan to “retire” at the end of 2018. So I want to plan out what I need to do to downsize and to prepare for a second career over the next 20 months.
– Ramp up to 150 minutes of exercise a week.
– Finally, actually WRITE in the beautiful Powersheets book!
I love getting to read your goals each month! It is such a good reminder of focusing on the progress and not perfection.
Some of my May goals are:
– Read my bible daily
– Work out 3X a week
– Date night with my husband
Looking forward to all the progress May will bring!
I think my biggest, and most important, goal for May is to finish unpacking from moving into my new-to-me home! After that is a house blessing by my priest, Father Tom, and then dig into finding what I want to do next!!!
Thank you for sharing your goals, struggles and good things going on with you. You are an inspiration. Some of my goals this month include being more intentional with my husband, eating more fruits and vegetables, find a church that my husband likes too. Celebrate my mom by having my family over for Mother’s Day.
Thank you so much Lara and the Cultivate Team! I love the goodies I received and appreciate everything you do to help us live intentionally. I’ve made so much progress on my goals so far in 2017 and am looking forward to seeing growth the rest of the year. 🙂
I am very new to your sweet corner of the internet, but I am SO excited to actually WRITE some goals down. I recently (pre)ordered your Write the Word bundle and I am waiting to see them in my mailbox soon. I have a few things I have my eye on. I’m not sure if I’m ready to jump into the powersheets yet, but I am reading like crazy all there is to setting and tending goals.
I have never grown anything in my life, but I love your garden theme. Who knows maybe next year my goal will be to grow some tomatoes. My goals NOW will be to continue to dig into the word daily (and write the word) and set intentional prayer time with the Lord. Sometimes I read more about praying that the act/ discipline of actually praying. Also I will re-start (again and again) nighttime devotions with my 16 year old twins. Eye-rolls and all.
My primary goal for May is to exercise 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours at night. I need to lose a decent amount of weight and I am determined to accomplish this.
Love you guys! You are helping me get through an extremely difficult season in my life and I really appreciate it. So much inspiration, passion, and love here.
To continue to hand my worries and fears over to God.
To continue to trust God in ALL areas of my life.
To be content where I am and know that God has a plan for this season of my life.