Aug 5, 2020

July Progress and August PowerSheets Goals


Feel like your brain is on overdrive lately? As my friend Jennie shared, a lot of everyday decisions have turned into weighty decisions. We’ve had a lot on our minds this year—more than I think we realize. It’s no wonder we’re tired from decision fatigue!

Maybe it’s a good time to reset our expectations. Consider this: would you make better decisions if you did life at 75% right now instead of trying to stay at 100% (or 150%) all the time? Would you actually be more productive in the right things with time to see clearly what those things are?

Extraordinary times invite us to change, to reset our expectation of how much rest we really need, to give more grace, and to go after the things that matter. I think we need more time to think than we think we need 🙂 (Read that again!)

Time to process and land.
Time to come undone.
Because coming undone is part of coming alive.

When life feels undone and plans seem unclear, we say, God, I trust You.
When we’re in the wait, we say, Your will be done.
When we feel lost or alone, we say, God, You are in this place.
When the world presses in on us, we say, Lord, You are mighty.
And when our minds are full and we have decisions to make, we say, God, You know the plan. Let me follow.

August is here and I’m following Him into this new month with fresh expectations and choosing a new kind of rest.

Many years ago I read a book about breakthrough thinking. (I’d link to the book if I could remember the title! Ha! It was 15 years ago.) While I don’t remember the title of the book, I most certainly remember—and have used—this principle:

A key to problem-solving and letting our brains see pathways forward is to do something that engages our hands or body in a more passive way—something we already know how to do, that our brain is used to. Think: knitting, walking, taking a shower, driving, weeding, vacuuming, cleaning, folding laundry, watering the garden. You know that thing that happens when you are in the shower and, seemingly out of nowhere, you think of a solution to a problem or you get an idea? That!

We need physical rest, spiritual renewal, and I think our minds need intentional time to settle. We need time to just lay on our backs and stare at the clouds (try it for even 10 minutes!) and to intentionally let our minds rest as we go about our days and perhaps try some of these passive activities. Enjoy this process, friends, and give yourself more time than you think you need.

Here’s a quick recap of my July progress, and my August goals are below, too.

July Monthly Goals:
— Wait for the Lord (encouragement for us all) — Yes, I’ve been praying and listening more, letting God reveal the next steps one by one.
— Seek answers about my heart and body. — More doc appointment this month, but progress here.
— Commit my refreshed goals to memory. — This has been SO fruitful and I highly recommend doing this. How will you know where you’re going if your goals are out of sight and out of mind? I will continue this in August.
— Pray and decide on fall school plan. — Praise the Lord! After hours and hours of study and planning on the weekends, this is done!
— Release Gracie’s Garden — YES! It has been especially fun to send copies to friends and family. SO grateful you are loving this little book as much as we did making it for you!

July Weekly Goals:
Shabbat joy — The practice of lighting Shabbat candles and singing together on Friday nights has become an anchor in our family that transitions our minds from the workweek to His rest.
— Enjoy the garden + birds — Yes! I have officially subscribed to Birds and Bloom magazine. I am officially a bird-lover, friends! Ha!
— Write in our Legacy Journal — This has been a powerful practice for me to process all that’s happening in the world with my eyes on the big picture. Writing letters to our kids about this time has given me hope and thankfulness as I intentionally notice what’s good and write about the challenges. I look forward to our children reading these stories of resilience and hope against all odds!

July Daily Goals:
— Bible reading — Yes, continuing to read the Bible with a few friends this year. We are in Romans right now.
— Write the Word — YES! Just about every night this year, I’ve opened the Word and written scripture. I’ve found peace and confidence and deeper faith in this practice. 2020 had been the year I opened my physical Bible (not just my iPhone Bible!) and wrote notes in the margins. I have LOVED every second of this! Join me for the 2-week Write the Word Challenge this month!
— 10k steps every day — Progress here! And taking walking meetings helps my brain settle and see solutions.
Digital fast — More progress to make here in August.

Our official final weight this year for the giant pumpkin: 76lbs! If we could have gotten the vine to last longer (the heat has been crazy!), I don’t think any of us would have been able to lift it! We had the best time growing this big guy this year!

In case you missed these!
–– Need a fresh start? 2021 PowerSheets are coming!
Gracie’s Garden launched! Order now and join Gracie, Sarah, Joshua, and me in the garden (and Nutty, too!)
— Join me for the Write the Word Challenge August 17th – 31st. It will be a fruitful two weeks in the Word!
— Learn how to cultivate legacy with your PowerSheets, in the garden, with a Legacy Journal, or by keeping a quarantine scrapbook.
— Prepare for the upcoming school year with joy.
— Let me guide you page-by-page to do your August PowerSheets (complete with music and a trip out into the garden!) in the August PowerSheets PrepCast.

On to August! I have 2 goals for 2020 (each with 4 mini goals under them) that are focused on growing something that matters to me in the big picture. Above are my refreshed PowerSheets goals for the rest of 2020 after doing the refresh! Here’s what’s on my Tending List for the month ahead:

August Monthly Goals:
— Finish fall homeschool planning, using the FREE Cultivated Homeschool Planner. I am DEEP into homeschool planning right now. This will be our first year doing full school at home (normally we have co-op) and combining ages/grades! The matrix has been blowing my mind a little, but I’m making progress and feeling very excited about it. (Currently mulling over which history curriculum to go with this year!) If you’re interested, I’ll share a full homeschool planning post soon. Let me know!
— Plan my fall schedule
— Print my What Fires Me Up list from the Making Things Happen Conference
— Do the Write the Word Challenge. I’m just about to finish the new Blank Write the Word Journal. I have loved this journal and getting to choose my own verses. I think I may start another one next, focusing on a specific book!
— Have a planning party for upcoming birthdays and our waterfalls hiking trip

August Weekly Goals:
— Shabbat
— Lift weights (this is one of those things that helps my mind settle!)
— Memorize my goals
— Enjoy the garden + birds
— Write in our Legacy Journal

Download the Cultivated Homeschool Planner here!

August Daily Goals:
— Bible reading
— Write the Word
— 10k steps every day
Digital fast

Prepare for August with me! Listen to the August PowerSheets PrepCast below. Be guided step-by-step to prepare for the month ahead—with great music and time out in the garden:

Your turn! How are you doing? Anyone else feel like their brains need more rest than they imagined? I’d love to hear!

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  1. Ashley on August 5, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I love this! I’ve really been struggling with knowing what my goals are this year since I’ve been stuck at home with two littles, but I feel like seeing yours gives me some fresh inspiration for ideas! So thank you! Also, I would love to hear more about what your family does for Shabbat. Would love to implement that tradition/rhythm/practice in our home!

    • Lara on August 6, 2020 at 10:29 am

      I’m so grateful this encouraged you, Ashley!

  2. Ilea Bingham on August 5, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Such a great and timely post-I was just talking to my friend about how even the small, silly decisions are causing me so much stress, it’s totally decision making fatigue!! I love how much your family has worked on creating culture during this craziness, and please share your homeschool plans!!

    • Lara on August 6, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Yes! Extraordinary times invite us to change, to reset our expectation of how much rest we really need, to give more grace, and to go after the things that matter most!

  3. Elizabeth Cravillion on August 5, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Absolutely. My brain is so foggy. My main goals all summer have been to just invest in my kids and care for my body. Even so it’s been hard.

    • Lara on August 6, 2020 at 10:33 am

      In these extraordinary times, we need rest and lots of grace! Rooting for you, Elizabeth! Grateful for your heart to tend to your littles!

  4. Faith on August 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Lara, I’m about to retire from nursing and am interested to see where my journey forward leads me. The powershheets look like a great way to help me find my purpose in this phase of my life.

    • Lara on August 17, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Hi, Faith! I’m so grateful for your service to heal and serve those in need. I’m so excited to see where this next season takes you! PowerSheets will guide you to live your most Cultivated life!

  5. Erin Alaimo on August 20, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I always love your Goal review posts! I would love to hear more about what you’re planning for homeschool curriculum this year – we’re on the fence (I’d like to… husband still mulling it over… school starts September 8 here in Ontario!). Also, just received the Write the Word for Kids to add to morning time this year for my six-year old! We’re giving it to him when we have a mini-party at the end of this month celebrating him finishing the “100 Lesson to Teach Your Child to Read” book. Thanks for all your encouragement!

    • Lara on August 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      Hooray, Erin! So glad you’ve enjoyed these posts! Thinking about you as you plan and prep for possibly homeschooling! Can’t wait for your little one to dig into Write The Word!

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