Well, friends, it has been a long while since I did one of these Little by Little posts, and for good reasons. To cultivate what matters, we often have to let go of one thing to make room for another. I can’t do it all and do it well, but I can choose to focus on what God wants me to do in each season and circumstance. So, I let go of writing any words that weren’t being put in the pages of my book! : )
After two years, many life changes, and starting over completely once (see the story here), my manuscript for Cultivate is done. PRAISE HIM!!!! Y’all know this was quite a journey, but God’s timing is always perfect. I needed to live out this story in order to write the words He wanted me to write. I am grateful for having to start over and for all the imperfect progress along the way! Here’s a little update on the last few weeks, and a peek at my new book cover…
Here are ten things to help you cultivate what matters in the week ahead!
1. Don’t microwave your goals. Most of the world tries to fit 2017 Goal Setting into the few days between Christmas and New Year’s. But, we aren’t going to squish intentional planning into those sometimes-family-filled days. As I mentioned in my last post about the Cultivate Interviews, we’re excited to announce that our first-ever PowerSheets Prep Week is next week! Join us for a week of preparing for 2017 with our best practical tips each day (follow Cultivate What Matters on Instagram), and I’ll be doing a live 2017 PowerSheets webinar on Wednesday. Sign up for free here. If you can’t make it live, do not miss getting the recording to watch later. This will be a quick broadcast packed with all our best PowerSheets prep tips from the last four years! Register here.
2. Cultivate a life-giving home. I had the joy of chatting with Sally Clarkson yesterday about cultivating a life-giving home, how to weather challenging seasons, and so much more. Sally is a wealth of wisdom! Catch the replay for free here, and be sure to join for my live interview with Renee Swope next Thursday at 11am EST too. Register here.
3. Read meaningful (and fun!) words. It can be challenging to find compelling books for Grace’s age (she just turned five a couple weeks ago) that are rooted in Biblical truth, and also fun to read as an adult. Adam Raccoon has become a new family favorite! Highly recommend.
4. Cultivate a year of prayer and hospitality. I’ve got a stack of mail sitting on my desk from this last month of being sick, and locking myself in my office to finish the book. Two things I can’t wait to dig into: Val Marie Paper’s 2017 yearly prayer journal, and the new Welcome Home Guestbook.
5. Know that it’s not too late. It’s not too late to start meaningful holiday traditions with your family this year—it’s only December 9th. We keep it simple around here! We celebrate the holidays that Jesus celebrated, like the feast of Dedication, also known as Hanukkah. It’s an awesome time to remember God’s faithfulness. We also celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas time. But, we do the tree (or trees!) a little differently than most people.
We have a lot of fruit trees in our garden: two lemon, three orange, and two kumquat. In the winter, it gets too cold for the fruit trees to live inside, so we bring them into our house. There is no room for a traditional fir tree, and Josh and Sarah would end up eating it! So, instead of decorating a big Christmas tree, we decorate two of the smaller fruit trees that spend the winter on the dining room table.
This year, two new things we are loving are Star from Afar and the Archer Advent journal (a Gracie favorite). Let me tell you, I cried when I opened the Star from Afar set that my friend Natalie sent us. She included a dark-skinned angel to represent Sarah’s birthmother watching over us. It is so special. We’ve had so much fun placing the star in different spots, and even Ari took the lead last night and wanted to hide it! It has helped us tell the story of Jesus to Grace. This will definitely become a long-standing Isaacson tradition.
Finding the star this morning!
What are your holiday traditions? Does the idea of starting new traditions overwhelm you/excite you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I really enjoyed Emily’s post about this too.
6. Get still with God. Really. A personal holiday tradition is reading through the Amen Paper Company Advent Devotional. This was one of the most faith-centering things for me last year, and I’m grateful to be a part of this year’s devotional (day 8!) You can still get it as a digital PDF here, and it’s not too late to start.
7. Waste no time. Having sepsis was sobering for me in many ways. Among many things God taught me in that time was how my soul had become infected with an overload of junk too. So, I significantly cleared out my internet usage. I unsubscribed from all but three newsletters, installed Waste No Time and Newsfeed Eradicator (thank you, Diana, for telling me about this one!), and took a social media hiatus. Fasting from social media is always good for my soul. It helps me remember Whose voice I should be listening to. I’m grateful for the new freedom and joy I feel in these fresh boundaries!
8. Get your PowerSheets! Because people are often sad they miss the PowerSheets boat, I’m putting a reminder here for you! The last day to order PowerSheets for you or a loved one for Christmas delivery is next Thursday, December 15th.
My mom came to visit in November, and helped us plant our winter garden, including hundreds of pansies! : )
9. Shhhh…. this is a little surprise for you. We haven’t given a discount code for PowerSheets this year, but I am so grateful for the love and encouragement you all have given me. So, here’s a code for 15% off anything in the shop: THANKYOUFRIENDS. This code is only good till December 31st at midnight. We are getting close to sold out of the one year workbooks, and the six month undated sets will be back in stock in a couple weeks. Sticker books are also close to gone. Feel free to share this code privately with friends. A little inside info: our sold out pens are coming back next week in a special bundle! Stay tuned. Thank you so much again, friends. I am grateful for the last year here on the blog with you! *This code is only for new orders. I didn’t ask my team if I could do this discount code and I realllllly don’t want to create an email flood for Jess our customer service gal. So please know that this discount cannot be applied to orders placed previously. Thank you for honoring this special gift! If you already placed an order before seeing this, we are so grateful for your order and can’t wait for next week’s festivities with you! : )
Proof of God’s faithfulness above : ) I love her so much.
10. Raise your Ebenezer. These words from Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing have been ringing in my head and heart for the last four weeks:
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
Here I raise my hands in praise–here by Your great help I’ve come, Lord! This year, our family, living out the pages that became a book, and so much more—all praise to God for His faithfulness.
Here’s to a great rest of 2016, knowing that we don’t have to be perfect because He is!