Jun 27, 2017

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life

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Friends, today is the day! After writing (and re-writing) for over two and a half years, getting on my knees a thousand times to beg God for the words He wanted me to write, and so much life change and refining, Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, has finally bloomed. This has been a journey of surrender and trust–more than any other time in my life. I’m grateful for so many of you who have prayed me through this journey. My prayer is that this little book will help you cultivate what matters, right where you are.

I believe that small intentional decisions add up.

I believe good things can grow out of hard things.

And I believe new life can come from what feels lifeless.

As I wrote in Cultivate, “New life starts with a tiny seed, which must let go of its shell to sprout. There is power—energy, ability, great potential—hiding in each one. The magic is already inside. You just have to cultivate it.”

lara casey cultivate book

Order your copy here in paperback, digital, or audio book. I was so grateful to record the audiobook in my own voice. Cultivate also includes a 10-week study guide in the paperback version and materials for small groups. I wrote this book hoping it would encourage meaningful conversations and connections with friends!

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And now for something extra special: the Cultivate photo album. Here’s a peek into the journey of this book and our garden, chapter by chapter. I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I did in putting them together for you.

Chapter 1: The orchid, Grampa Cecil, the garden covered in snow as I started writing this book, our perfectly imperfect peaches and a few peeks at Grace in the garden over the years.

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Garden Company: The company we keep in the garden: Hootie, the butterflies, Grace looking out the window at the “magical trio,” and… the hornworms.

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Chapter 2: Seeds sprouting and letting go of their outer shell, running a business from my house, and our Elberta peaches.

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Be the Bees: Our lemon tree adventures! The day the first Meyer lemon tree box arrived, “being the bees” and pollinating the trees with a paintbrush, and enjoying some lemonade.

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Chapter 3: Garden dreaming through the years and Ari making new garden beds after our season of loss.

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All the Plants I’ve Killed: Our multitasking tree.

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Chapter 4: Trying to dig old roots out and having to get an ATV to help us, and tilling up the hard ground of winter.

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Mama Bird Knows Best: Baby birds in our front door wreath.

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Chapter 5: Planting new seeds in faith, and finding out some surprising news.

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U-Pick Memories: Blueberry picking at Wanda’s. I actually went to Wanda’s this weekend with Ari and the kids and brought her a book–she was so surprised and excited!

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Chapter 6: Growing in the wait – our memorable garden meal with Kristin, waiting for Joshua (Ari and my mom helping with the garden), writing the Word with Grace while we waited, Joshua arrives, and six months later Sarah arrives!

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Metamorphosis: A butterfly in the garden–transformed in the dark and given a new life with wings!

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Chapter 7: The thick of it – our refining season fighting anxiety and hard emotions, and trying to write this book. We captured photos of the happy moments, trying to cultivate what mattered in the middle of what felt like a mess underneath. Good things grew out of that refining season!

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Chapter 8: Dandelions and savoring the harvest.

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Heirloom Plants: My Great-Grandmother Irene’s Jonquils.

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Chapter 9: Walter, the community God grew around us, adventures in the “magical garden” at the retirement community, and our dear silver-haired friends.

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Celebration: Gracie’s marigold celebrations and making our bean tee-pee!

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Garden Markers: Marking our plants with the names of special friends and family.

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Chapter 10: Preserving fruit and memories, our pressed flower project, and a photo of my grandparents.

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The Day I Thought I Would Lose the Garden: The day we discovered some unwelcome garden company.


A New Season: Embracing the frost of winter and a collection of photos from our new season!

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Thank you again to the many friends who have encouraged me on this journey–I’m celebrating you and praising Him for you today too! Order your copy of Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life and grab sharable quotes, graphics, and screensavers from the book here.




  1. Dee on June 27, 2017 at 5:48 am

    I’m so happy and thankful for you Lara. I ordered mine from amazon.co.uk and I’m expecting my copy at the beginning of August but this will not stop me from celebrating with you today! Happy dances from afar my friend!

  2. Ronja on June 27, 2017 at 7:12 am

    What a lovely collection Lara! Thank you so muh for sharing all of these pictures with us…it was amazing to see how your family changed and grew. You inspire me everyday! Thank you <3
    xx Ronja

  3. Emily DeArdo on June 27, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I cannot WAIT to get my copy today Lara!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us.

  4. Ashley Romney on June 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your journey, what an inspiration you have been to me over the years. I’m dying to get my hands on your book and I will have it soon. 🙂

  5. Cate on June 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Love all these photos- thank you for sharing with us! My husband just called me at work to tell me that mine was delivered today. i won’t rush bedtime with my little one but have this to look forward to!!

  6. Patricia Victa on June 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Congratulations, Lara! Looking forward to reading it.

  7. Emily DeArdo on June 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

    This is so amazing, Lara!!! Congratulations!!

  8. elisabeth on June 30, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Lara! Thank you so much for sharing these precious pictures. It is so sweet to see Grace as a toddler since I found you online only last year. All of these are so special! Thank you for sharing yourself so freely. Congratulations on the release of the book! Expecting mine in the mail tomorrow! :))))

  9. Sara on July 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Beautiful! Listening to your new book! Can you give a step-by-step/how to on your pressed flower project? Would love to do that with leaves and flowers. Thank you!

    • Lara on July 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Hi, Sara! Yes!

      – Pick flowers and be sure the petals are dry (picking in the late afternoon is best, not the morning when things are dewy.
      – Use parchment paper to line heavy books (we use cookbooks) and place the flowers between the two sheets of parchment inside the books
      – Put a few other books on top or something heavy to help press the flowers
      – Let them press for about 2-4 weeks
      – If you are going to use them for a canvas or picture like we did, use an acid-free surface (acid free canvas or paper)
      – Put a layer of Mod Podge on the surface
      – While the Mod Podge is still wet, carefully remove the pressed flowers from the books and place on the wet surface
      – Once dried, carefully paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top to seal
      – Once dried, hang in a spot that doesn’t get direct sunlight to prevent fading

      Have fun! : )

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