Author: Lara

Friends, what a fun few days it has been! Thank you so much for your encouragement in the launch of our new collection—every kind word, email, Instagram post, story share, live chat (we love chatting with you!), and more have been a gift to our team! After keeping new tools quiet for so long, it’s the biggest joy to share them with you all.

Ready for a peek behind the scenes of creating these products and preparing for launch?!

Here’s where we start with every new collection we launch: we start with YOU! We take time to think about where you’ll be in your year when these products arrive. What will be challenging for you in that given season? How might we come alongside you and make it EASIER for you to do the things that matter to you—those things you’ve always wanted to do?

Because that’s why you love your PowerSheets: they’re a practical tool with a proven process that actually allows to you do the things you’ve always wanted to do with ease and joy:

— To be a better friend
— To pay down debt or save more money
— To have more fun as a family
— To create a life-giving home

And much, much more. Each of those goals is accomplished with small steps forward in the right direction, one after another after another. Anything we can do to help you take those small steps—that’s why we’re here!

And that’s what this collection—and this summer—is all about! Simple tools that will help you take the next best steps toward the life you want in the season ahead.

Let’s make this summer different—refreshing, purposeful, and joy-filled! A little more about your favorites from the new collection…

POWERSHEETS | For eight years, the PowerSheets® Intentional Goal Planner has helped women just like you live their best summers—and beyond! They’re not magic, but they ARE a powerful tool. Using your PowerSheets and accessories, you’ll use our 3-step proven process to uncover a plan for your unique season ahead, break your plan down into simple steps, and live it out, little by little!

And friends, get ready!! Mid-Year Goals Week is coming (June 37), where we’ll refresh our goals (or set new ones!) to prepare for a great second half of 2019 together. Remember, there’s NOTHING magical about January 1st—today is the best day to start! I can’t wait!!

THREE NEW NOTEPADS | We often get asked about the difference between to do’s for your to do list and action steps for your goals. It’s a great question! Your Tending List is for monthly goals and weekly and daily action steps that move you toward your big picture goals.

You know we are big fans of breaking it down, and sometimes, we need to break even our action steps down into smaller chunksand that’s where a to do list comes in!

Keep your daily to dos on one of our new notepads – the generously-sized Garden Memo notepad, the unlined New Day notepad, and the lined To Do List notepad.

They key to taking advantage of summer’s sweet longer days? Being as efficient and organized as possible with my must do’s so that I can enjoy my want-to-do’s—the stuff where memories are made!

CULTIVATED LIFE POCKET TEE | You might think because I’m the Chief Goal Getter over here I’ve got this whole goals thing down pat. While I have found a system that works for me (PowerSheets!), I still need a daily reminder to choose the cultivated life! You have loved our apparel options in the past and so with this collection, we knew we wanted to create something sweet, colorful, and meaningful to wear this summer. Here it is (almost sold out!)!

GARDEN PEP POSTCARD SET | Like you, our team loves a good pun. We also share a desire to be known for spreading love and happiness—a legacy of light! It sounds like a lofty goal, but it’s lived out in tiny ways day by day, and that’s where these postcards come in. They’re the simplest way to make a friend’s day! Will be restocked in a few days!

SUMMER WILDCARD PAGE PACK | You’re obsessed with the wildcard downloads included with your PowerSheets, and so are we—I use them every month! These limited-edition summer pages will equip you for adventure, rest, and connection—everything you need for a refreshing summer! I’ve already filled out the bucket list and posted it on my fridge!

DOWNLOADABLE GOAL GUIDES | Last but certainly not least, our new digital Goal Guides will provide the perfect focus for the season ahead, no matter which topic you choose—your relationship, parenting, wellness, finance, or community. Use them alongside your PowerSheets and get ready to see a part of your life completely transformed by the time fall rolls around!

These have been some of our most popular products since they debuted, and the finance one in particular is a tool I’m just so glad we offer! Ari and I try to work through the Couples or Parenting Guides every three months, which is part of the reason why we transitioned these to a digital platform—now you can print them as many times as you’d like, for years to come!

Our team is so grateful to introduce this collection to you. Creating these products is a joy, and it’s all for YOU! We know the best is yet to come—when we get to start using these products alongside you!

Many of these items are limited edition so SHOP NOW before we run out!

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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?

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.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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Feel like you’ve been working hard but you’re not seeing the results that… let’s just say it… that she has?

Imagine what would have happened if the flowers in my garden took a look at themselves and thought, “Hmm. I’m not growing as straight or tall as that flower next to me. She sprouted faster. My leaves aren’t perfect. I GIVE UP! Maybe I’ll just go back in the dirt!” OR if I gave up on tending to them altogether. We would miss out on the blooms to come—blooms that were set to unfurl in their own unique and perfect timing.

It’s okay to grow slow. Keep taking steps toward what you can’t yet see. Your breakthrough might just be one more step away. And if it ends up being twenty steps away, it will be worth it, too!

—Here are 18 pep talks on how to embrace little by little progress.
—It’s never too late to start! This video series will help you make progress on your goals whether or not you’re a PowerSheets user.
—How to Get Unstuck with Your Goals.
—If you haven’t already, complete your Spring PowerSheets Goal Refresh (page 96). We walked through these pages LIVE in the PowerSheets Facebook community.
—Join April’s Little by Little Challenge!

My March PowerSheets progress

And now… a recap of my progress on my March PowerSheets® goals and what I learned! The 56th Making Things Happen Conference was the BEST YET! In place of doing another MTH in the fall like we typically do, we have a surprise event up our sleeves set for early December. Ahhhhhh just wait!

Photo by Rachel Coffey

Be sure you’re on this newsletter list so you can be the first to know details and when early-bird tickets go on sale!

That was fun! In this video I share how I made progress on my goals with my PowerSheets Goal Planner. Links I mentioned in the video:
—My husband went viral in this video
— I love the color coding system in the Goal Setting Sticker Book.
— Many friends have great books coming out: The Middle Matters, Letters from a Big Sister, A Love Letter Life, The Next Right Thing, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday, and Empowered.
—We celebrated 13 years—here’s our story.
My interview with Jamie Ivey on The Happy Hour.
—The Carolina Inn is magical.
—I’m hiring for a very special position

We enjoyed an unforgettable meal at Crossroads at the Carolina Inn with friends (Ashlea and Chavez just got married and Ashlea shares her story in the latest podcast episode!).

March’s podcast episodes you don’t want miss!
Why I Stopped Straightening My Hair
Moving From Planning To Planting
How To Plan Your Year
Garden Planning and Dreaming

I was so grateful to be featured in Chapel Hill magazine this month. This has been a neat opportunity to have neighbors stop and tell me they saw the feature—it has opened many doors for meaningful conversation and telling them about our mission at Cultivate.

On to APRIL!

My April PowerSheets goals

All the details on my April goals are in the video! I’m excited for this month.

April Monthly Goals:
— Pray over everything—ask God
— Do my MTH action items
— Make our home come alive
— Teach the Gardening 101 live class!
— Plant our garden
— Train leaders

April Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath.
— Read Letters to the Church with Ari
— Sing for joy to the Lord
— Read lovely words to the kids
— Sabbath: renew our hearts and minds
— Pray for the Lord to use us to meet needs

April Daily Goals:
— 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!

The Spring Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets gave me such clarity and motivation for the next 3 months!

Your turn! Do you have goals for April? 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 March’s winner, Kinsey!

P.S. Join us for 30 days of progress during the Little by Little Challenge! The Cultivate team will kick off each day in April with a prompt or resource in the PowerSheets Facebook community and Instagram to guide you to take the next step toward your goal. Start with today’s post!

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UPDATE: Thank you for your interest in this role! We are so grateful to the Lord—this role has been filled!

We’re currently hiring for several roles in our company, and this one is the most special to me personally!

We’ve been so blessed by the last two years with Mackenzie in our family. She has become one of my very best friends and the person I trust the most besides Ari! What a gift these years have been to me and the three sweet kiddos! Our faith has grown together over many naptime conversations and adventures we’ve taken together. It has been a gift to pour into her and she has certainly done the same for me in spades.

Mackenzie brought their favorite fruit and treats for Valentine’s Day!

I’m so happy for what’s ahead of Mackenzie in a new season of taking the next steps in her career in education (what a blessing she will be to more kiddos!) and I’m especially grateful she’s not moving to another city just yet. : ) Mackenzie has blessed our children, us, the ladies in this office, our neighbors, our friends—I could go on. What happens in this house is pretty unique, and Mackenzie has been a ray of light for all of us!

Summertime fun!

As you can see in these photographs, she’s pretty amazing. She works hard and loves God passionately. We trust that God will bring us another great fit for our family!

We are looking for someone special, and perhaps that person is you! We are seeking a full-time caregiver and House/Office Manager, starting July 15th. Please apply if you meet ALL of the following requirements.

We’ve had so many fun adventures together!

Who you’ll care for:

3.5-year-old boy (Joshua)
3-year-old girl (Sarah)
Soon-to-be-second-grader girl (Grace)
A handful of fishies and a bevy of houseplants : )

One of our kiddos has special needs. A patient and resilient spirit is a blessing to this sweet soul who needs a little extra love and care. 

We’re looking for:

Joyful Caregiver
Hard Worker and Self Starter
Health-Oriented (non-smoker, etc.) because this job takes a ton of energy! One of our kiddos has special needs. A patient and resilient spirit is a blessing to this sweet soul who needs a little extra love and care.

At the Southern Weddings launch party together.

We need someone who can commit to two years with us. Must be able to start training July 15th. If you are applying from out-of-state (the majority of our previous caregivers did this and moved here from out-of-state for the role), you must be able to relocate to the Chapel Hill, NC, area by July 15th. The ladies in my office and I will gladly help you settle in and we have housing available as well. We love this area!

Picking local blueberries!

Must be extremely organized, energetic (three kids will keep you on your toes!), joyful (we love to be silly), and experienced in childcare. A background in early childhood education is a plus. College graduates preferred, but we are open. Must have own transportation (although you’ll use our minivan to cart the kiddos around!), and a clean driving record. In addition to caring for our three children while I work, you will also be responsible for managing this unique building we call my home and office. There are not only three kiddos who look forward to meeting you, but lots of ladies too!

Another reason I love Mackenzie: she loves being silly with Grace! Cow Appreciation Day goodness above.

I run my business from home for the most part so I am here most days as well. I also homeschool Grace a couple of days a week. We will spend a lot of time together, loving on these children alongside each other during the day.

And now I’m getting teary-eyed. We love you, Mackenzie!

Our faith is a cornerstone in our home. We are seeking a caregiver who can teach and reinforce Christian principles and lead by example. We are looking for someone who has a strong faith, is calm under pressure, confident in their faith, and is willing to develop a passion for shaping our children’s hearts alongside us. More than that though, Ari and I hope to pour into the heart of whomever steps into this role.

Please pray about this position and only reply if you meet ALL of these requirements. We’ve had many wonderful caregivers over the last 7+ years, and know the qualifications fit our family well. We will be doing several interviews with potential candidates.

Please APPLY HERE by April 24th. This is a full-time salaried position – Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm and some nights and weekends (a small handful) throughout the year. We will begin video interviews ASAP. Please read through this post and the application thoroughly. Your attention to detail is part of the interview. : ) We are praying for you as you apply!

P.S. If you know someone else who this would be a great fit for, please pass this post along. Thank you!

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There’s a lot that tries to get your attention in life.

Your to-do list.
The people surrounding you.
The online world.
Advertisements that beg you to look here, buy this!

So many things promising to solve a problem for you—or wanting you to solve a problem for them.

But, what’s essential, and what’s a distraction?

In this new month, let’s name those things that have been holding us back from growing what matters and clear out our growing ground for what lasts. March is the month to make room and say COMPLETELY YES to what’s essential (more about that in my video below)—and no to all the rest!

Clear the life clutter with these top posts and resources:

And now… a recap of my progress on my February PowerSheets® goals and what I learned!

That was fun! In the video I share how I made progress on my goals and lots of practical tips, including how to color-code your goals to help you follow-through. This has been a game-changer for me! Links I mentioned in the video:

Goal Setting Sticker book with our color coding system
How to Number Your Days PODCAST episode
Write the Word
— My workout playlist
— I forgot to mention this in the video, but one thing we did in February was open an Acorns account, which I love! Get $5 to invest when you use my link here.

On to March!
March Monthly Goals:
— Train leaders + pass on leadership. This post from my friend Jennie struck a chord – or rather, a whole symphony – in me!
— Celebrate our anniversary at the Carolina Inn.
— Listen to the Lord. We’ve been studying what it means to be “entrusted” this year—entrusted with faith, with the relationships we’ve been given, etc. I want to listen to Him more above everything else so I can steward well what I’ve been entrusted with.
— Plan a low-maintenance garden.  My neck injury is necessitating this, but I think it will be great all around—for the kiddos, too. This month I’m working slowly on a plan that won’t have me literally bending over backward all summer maintaining the garden.
— Bring Making Things Happen to life! I’m excited to experience this 56th conference alongside my team and the women who are joining us!
— Live numbered days (Psalm 90:12). Listen to the special episode of the podcast all about this here.
— Continue the Contentment Challenge.

March Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath
— Sabbath study—studying what the Word says about Sabbath and starting this book.
— Read Letters to the Church with Ari
— Make margin happen
— Train for the Tar Heel 10K with Ari

March Daily Goals:
— Eat more raw vegetables
— 10K steps daily
— Old Testament Bible Reading (Need a great 5-day Bible reading plan? :))
Write the Word at night before bed
— Scripture over Scroll. As I learn about the Lord’s heart, this is where I want mine—focused on Him over the world. Soaking Him in instead of catching up with other people’s lives—even friends!

Your turn! Do you have goals for March? 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 February’s winner, Carleen Roberts!

P.S. Just getting started on your PowerSheets® and want me to coach you through how to get started? You got it! WATCH HERE.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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