Emily looked at me this morning with a laugh and said, “We’re never doing a ‘When Your Plans Don’t Go as Planned‘ episode again!”

The last couple of weeks have indeed been filled with unusual and unexpected events here in our home and office. From exploding water heaters (plural—in our office and in our home) to a parent with major heart issues to a burst pipe in our front lawn (if your kids like playing in the mud, we have a 10 x 10 patch for them!) to our shower floor leaking (and using our extra kind next-door neighbors’ shower while ours was busted out—we love you, Jeff and Linda!) to the kids’ bedroom getting flooded and them camping with us for the next few weeks, to having to move our furniture out of the whole downstairs of the house from the water heater explosion incident… there’s more, but I think those are enough examples of unexpected incidents over the last two weeks! 🙂 We are all truly just fine, praise the Lord. God has all of this in His hands—and we are extra grateful for His blessings in it all! Camping with the kids in our bedroom has been fun and we have prayed and laughed more than usual amidst workmen and mess and flood fans.

Camping out with mom and dad!

There have certainly been more trying times in the Isaacson household in past seasons. Seasons of loss. Seasons of heartache. Seasons of pain. We have learned to turn challenges into opportunities around here. I was talking to the kids yesterday morning about Matthew 6:25-34 and it struck me, too: birds don’t grow gardens or fear if God will provide for them each day—they know He will. As He cares for the birds of the air, He always provides what’s best for us, too. It may not be in our plans or timing or without pruning, but His plans are always better than ours. (Preaching to myself in the middle of it all!)

You can likely guess where this post is heading from the title! In keeping with the “plans that didn’t go as planned” theme, we recently hired a new caregiver who isn’t able to be with us any longer. We’re excited to meet whoever will fill this very important role in our family—Lord willing quickly! (A fun side note: God changed Mackenzie’s plans and she accepted a role with Cultivate—her first day is today! This was so exciting for all of us! We are OVERJOYED to have her and, needless to say, my sweet kiddos are excited they will get to see her around with the rest of the Cultivate crew.)

We are looking for someone special to fill this important role, and perhaps that person is you! We are seeking a full-time Caregiver and House/Office Manager, starting as soon as possible—ideally by September 1, if possible, but we are open to whatever timing will be right for the best person to fill this role. Please apply if you meet ALL of the following requirements.

Who you’ll care for:
4-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! Organized and Efficient
A Passionate Teacher and Lover of Kiddos!

We need someone who can commit to at least two years with us. We are open to a start date and hoping it can be around September 1 if at all possible. We’d love to honor your current work commitments, of course, and any time needed for moving here to Chapel Hill, if applicable! 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 before training begins. The ladies in my office and I will gladly help you settle in and find wonderful housing. We love this area!

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 or teaching 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!

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.

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. This is a full-time salaried position – Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm and a small handful of evenings if we have work events 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 and SO grateful for you applying! (If you’ve applied for this role before, feel free to apply again!)

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

P.P.S. In case you need it, wherever this post meets you in your own unexpected events: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:6-7 😊

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“The trees tremble with delirious joy as the breeze greets them, one by one—now the oak, now the great sycamore, now the elm.” —From the poem “In August,” by Hamlin Garland

Hello, August!
A new season is around the corner.
A season for new rhythms.
A season to choose rest.
A season for aligning our lives with the big picture.
A season for getting back to what matters.

Maybe you’re feeling this right now, too: so much has changed since the start of the year and you need a little time to catch up with yourself. I’m right there with you. This month, we’re going to do just that together.

New seasons give us opportunities to do things differently. To live more simply and refocus on the things that last. To number our days and gain a heart of wisdom.

This month, we’re going to focus on getting back to what matters together!

We loved picking blueberries together in July!

How was your July? What goals did you inch forward on? I’d love to hear! A quick progress update from my July PowerSheets goals and what I learned is below. I hope this encourages you to celebrate even the tiny victories!

July Monthly Goals:

#GoalSettingIsFUN! — Moving forward on the things that matter feels great and it can be a lot simpler than you think! / Progress and it was fun to spend time on what matters!
— Write the book with JOY! — Yes, I’m writing a book this month! After two years, it’s finally happening. Sometimes, you just have to wait and wait and wait some more for the Lord’s timing. I’m so grateful for the waiting that got me ready for this month! Any guesses what book this is??? ☺️/ You all had some great guesses on my last post! Yes, progress here and continuing into August.
— Summer fun with the kids. — We’re working through our summer bucket list from the Cultivate shop and it has been so simple and fun. Next on our list: picking blueberries today at a farm we love! / Such a sweet month with the kids. We picked peaches, played in the sprinklers, saw fireflies, and had fun with my mom who came to visit for a week.
— Be a generous host. My mom AND Gina are coming to visit this month for big chunks of time and I want to love them so well! (Gina is coming to photograph our 2020 PowerSheets Collection that launches in October! Yahoo!!!) / It was the best visit with my mom, complete with lots of gardening and pulling weeds together—which doubled as a great time to talk together. We really had the most lovely time. These are days I won’t forget.
— Finish The Out of Sync Child. We have a sweet kiddo with Sensory Processing Disorder and this book has been incredibly helpful so far. / I am almost done with this book. Highly recommend.
— Release the NEW Cultivated Homeschool Planner. SO MANY OF YOU have asked about this and emailed me wondering if there’s a new one coming. We are only days away from releasing the new one and it’s so good! Stay posted—it’s coming so soon! / YES!!! UPDATE: The NEW Homeschool Planner is HERE!!
— Make our fall homeschool plans. / I didn’t complete this one. Moving to August!
Work heartily for Q4. I’m working ahead so I can do work with excellence and clear out my time around the holidays. / Yes, we had many conversations about how to do things differently this year and I think you are going to love it, too!

Little by little progress on my July PowerSheets goals!

July Weekly Goals:
— Sabbath: surrender and be renewed / There was one Saturday I had to take my mom to the mall and Target. In the dictionary, under Sabbath antonyms is “the mall.” Enough said! 🙂
— Lead the kids to the Word. / Yes, Grace loves her NEW Write the Word for Kids Journal!
— Spread joy around like manure—encouraging young things to grow! : ) / I have proof on this one! Listen to the first 10 minutes of this. I love surprises!

Read the story of these peaches HERE!

July Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below!
— Bible reading
— Run! Praise!
— Slow down and soak in the summer
— Write the Word at night.

I loved chatting Ruth Chou Simons during our Cultivate your Faith live class in July.
You can still catch the replay here!

Don’t miss these from July:
You LOVE the new Write the Word journalsthis bundle is going fast!
Learn 3 ways to refresh your faith with the amazing Ruth Chou Simons. I was so inspired by this free class!
Have you ever made plans—and they didn’t go as planned? Listen in to my story here and get 3 steps to move past frustration and disappointment. A must-listen (and my last podcast episode for a few weeks—you’ll get that story in this episode, too!).
Join me and Shunta Grant to learn how to cultivate your calendar! You’ll get the formula for going into this next season with intention, planning ahead, and making space for what matters most! Register here.

Onto August! It’s a new month with new rhythms on the horizon. I’m excited to get intentional and dig into these August PowerSheet goals.

August Monthly Goals:
— Do the Fresh Faith Challenge! Join me!
Number my days and gain a heart of wisdom
— Prepare for fall homeschool
— Finish the first draft of the book
— Take a month of rest from the podcast. Hear that story here.
— Teach the How to Cultivate Your Calendar class with Shunta!

August Weekly Goals:
— Prepare for Q4
— Enjoy the garden right where I am (listen in here for more!)
— Delight in our home

August Daily Goals:
— Cultivate my days
— Bible reading
— Run! Praise!
— Write the Word

Your turn! Do you have goals for August? 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! 

P.S.  We’re almost completely SOLD OUT of 6-month PowerSheets. Now is the perfect time to set yourself up for clarity and intention for this next season. Buy yours today for 30% off—no code needed!

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Have you ever made good plans—and your plans didn’t go as planned?

I know how you feel! It’s so frustrating.

In this new episode of the Cultivate Your Life podcast, I’m sharing a story about something that didn’t go the way I thought it would this year (something that may surprise you!). I’m giving you the 3 simple steps to move past frustration and disappointment—in your everyday life and the big picture.

LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:
— You’ll learn why I’m taking a break from the podcast for a few weeks!
— Hear how I moved through a different season in my life of loss and miscarriage
— You’ll learn the 3 steps to enjoy where you are—in daily life and the big picture—despite things not having gone the way you thought
— Get a surprising update on my 2019 goal: The Year of Sabbath
— Be encouraged to REST
— Learn how to keep your eyes and ears and heart open right where you are. You might notice magical things in unexpected places!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— Grab a copy of my book, Cultivate
— Download the free NEW Cultivated Homeschool Planner

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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Have any goals you’re feeling “blah” about?

Maybe you’re craving refreshment in your faith—fresh motivation in Bible reading, or prayer, or perhaps, like me, in trusting God over your worries!

On January 1, we did something together that changed us! We started the year with 31 days of writing the Word. Here’s what happened:

We opened our Bibles together. Yes!
We started a new consistent habit we love.
We had FUN together—making progress on what matters is fun.
Little by little, word by word, our faith grew
.

I’m ready to do it again and I’m inviting you to join me!

Sign up now for the Fresh Faith Challenge!

Starting August 1, with one single verse, we’re going to refresh our faith together. How? A simple and impactful way: writing the Word.  

No devotionals. No study guide workbook homework. We’re going to get right into the Word. (This 1 simple habit has been a game-changer in my faith this year!)

Join me for 31 days of writing out scripture with the Fresh Faith Challenge, starting August 1st!

It’s simple:
1. Order your Write the Word Journal by Monday (July 22) to get it in time for the Challenge to begin—I’m going to be using the new Garden journal if you’d like to join me! (You’re also welcome to go the DIY route—grab some scrap paper and you choose your own verses alongside us!)
2. Register for the free challenge today, and I’ll send you encouraging emails and updates as we go—plus I’ll give you access to our private Facebook group (if you use Facebook)!
3. Get ready for a refreshing month ahead!

When you write the Word in your own messy handwriting, something happens to your brain. You start making decisions about what you’re writing (as opposed to typing it digitally or just reading it and forgetting it five seconds later). When you write scripture, it gets in your heart, no distractions—it’s just you, the Word, and your pen and paper.

The Fresh Faith Challenge: 31 Days of Writing the Word kicks off August 1st and I can’t wait to do this with you! Just enter your email below and you’ll be all set!

Tell me in the comments below if you’re joining in the fun! I’m excited to start this challenge with you!

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You’re more than halfway through 2019!

Have you set any goals you’re feeling “blah” about right now? Perhaps you’re wishing you’d been more consistent in your faith—maybe in Bible reading, prayer, or perhaps, like me, in trusting God over your worries.

Ready for a fresh start with your faith?

LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— I start with a few very special shout-outs from listeners. So glad to have y’all here!
— I tell you a little bit about my story of faith: how I felt so far away from people who talked about “reading the Bible in a year,” or even reading the Bible at all.
— I share some hope: that my turning point came from something very small and very doable, and thousands of other women have grown their faith because of it, too: writing the Word of God.
— I share some scripture that shows us that the Word is all we need: Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12, Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and John 1:1.
— We chat about the stats around handwriting and comprehension. Good news! What you write out yourself, you retain and understand better, which leads to action!
— I give you a scripture to try out writing the word: Psalm 119:11: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Grab a piece of paper and a pen right now!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

New Write the Word journals launch TODAY! Choose one of our new special edition volumes—Fruit of the Spirit, Worship, or Garden—or one of our refreshed classics: Hope, Joy, Renewal, Contentment, and Faith.
— If you have kiddos, don’t miss our NEW companion Write the Word Kids volume: Fruit of the Spirit!
— Join me for 30 days of writing the Word this August with another round of our popular Fresh Faith Challenge. It’s so easy! Just grab your Write the Word journal of choice (I think I’m going to start Worship!) and join our newsletter list below for encouragement throughout the month. You can join the Cultivate Your Faith Facebook group, too, if you’d like!

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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