Oct 5, 2017

Using Our Gifts + October PowerSheets Goals

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This may seem like an unusual place to start one of my monthly goal posts, but I’ve never felt more connected or passionate about cultivating what matters than I feel this week.

I don’t know what you are experiencing right now. Perhaps you are hurting. Perhaps you are not sure how to feel. There have been hurricanes and fires, earthquakes, suffering all over the world, and unfathomable loss in Las Vegas.

My initial reaction was to fervently call on God to help those who are hurting.

My second reaction, however, was fear. I wanted to gather all the kids in my arms and keep them close to me for the rest of my days, never going too far. Not leaving my house. Not putting myself out there.

Until something shifted.

After the kids were asleep on Monday night, Ari and I sat down for dinner and he prayed. Four times during dinner, he stopped to pray for those who are hurting in Las Vegas and in the world. He prayed almost spontaneously, at unexpected moments.

I share this little window into our dinner as a contrast to something you may not know: just a few years ago, Ari did not have a relationship with God and our marriage was a mess. If you know our story, you know his faith and the fact that we are still married is a miracle.

I wrote those words about praying for our marriage and for Ari’s heart in that difficult season. As I listened to him pray on Monday night, it hit me: I was witnessing miracles. Real life miracles right in front of me.

Reminders of God’s power to give us new life.
Reminders that God is big and He hears our prayers.
Reminders that life is fleeting and what we do here matters.

Hope flooded in.

As Ari prayed, I felt God leading me away from fear to a new place. It was as if He was saying, Lara, let the pain of the world lead you to My feet, on your knees, interceding for those who are hurting and using all you have been given to sow seeds of hope and love in this world. Use your hands and feet and mind and heart to give. And, Lara… do not hide. Get out there and give this life all you’ve got.

As we mourn and pray and give to those who are deeply hurting, I hope we don’t simultaneously fall into the trap that I almost did. The enemy wants us to give up, to hide, to run away in fear and escape. (Which is different than grieving and experiencing deep sorrow, as Jesus Himself experienced.) I truly cannot fathom directly experiencing one of these events and feel inadequate to help through my words here. I have been through devastating hurricanes that changed my family, but I certainly don’t know the specific pain that so many are experiencing right now. My heart aches and grieves and hurts for so many.

For those, like me, who were not on the ground for one of these horrific events, I hope we don’t return to life as usual, but rather life anew. My prayer is that we would be spurred on in a new direction: loving more passionately than ever and giving away our gifts and talents with greater generosity. Let us see all that we’ve been given as opportunities to grow something good in this world. And let us not take this life for granted, because we do not know if we will get tomorrow.

This fact could lead us to fear, or it could lead us to faith.

I pray we pour out our gifts with new tenderness and passion, knowing that there are so many that are hurting and need what we have been given. I pray this leads us to love the people right in front of us and afar with more conviction.

I don’t know what you are experiencing, but I do know the Light that pierces the darkness.

Lord, help us. Help us walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Help us give and love and grieve and give some more. Help us be more like You. Help us use the gift of this life to pour love into others who desperately need it. Help us to dig in right where we are and grow what lasts longer than us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

More than ever, I want to cultivate what matters–even as just one little person in this great big world. (And I sincerely feel so small!) But, I know that it only takes a tiny seed to grow into a towering tree that lasts for generations–providing shade and cleaner air and fruit for many. What we do here on this earth, no matter how small we think it is, matters.

In this new month, I’m keeping my eyes wide open for miracles that remind me of God’s power to do the impossible–taking imperfect people like me and Ari and giving us new life so that we could reflect His light right back to others.

I know I won’t be perfect in using my gifts to grow love in this world, but I think the pursuit of growing good things is worth the risk of not doing it perfectly. Here’s a little recap of September and what I hope to sow and grow in October.

September was a month full of change for us. I started homeschooling Grace (more on that below) and there were some enormous answered prayers.

Friends, thank you. I shared about the challenges we have experienced with Sarah in my last post, and so many of you offered prayers and helpful encouragement. It was incredibly helpful for both Ari and me to not feel alone in having a little one with some special needs. I want you to know that your prayers mattered. They were heard. I didn’t expect to be giving you this update, especially this quickly, but we had one of the best months with her. We have seen some surprising changes in her in the last two weeks, and our ability to help her has grown as well. This is so healing for all of us. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the gift of your prayers. I love her so much.

My girls. Photo by Gina.

My September Goals Progress:

– Start homeschool with joy. – Wow, what a transition! Yes, there have been meltdowns and a few moments of Grace literally standing on her head in protest during handwriting lessons, but overall this has been so good. I am so grateful to get to spend this time with her and grateful for these reminders that are on repeat in this new season.

If there was a photo that captured Grace’s personality, this is it.

– Give and teach the Cultivate book. – Yes, I was grateful to share lessons from the book several times, and I’m especially grateful to continue learning and living them out myself.
– Read + DO What’s Best Next – I don’t often have alone time in a car, but there were a couple evenings this month where I had to run errands after the kids were asleep. I used that time to listen to the audio version of this book.
– Love on Josh in his preschool transition. – Yes, he has loved preschool, specifically playing with playdough and snack time 🙂

This kid. I just love him.

– Wisely and diligently prepare for our 2018 PowerSheets launch. – Yes, I shared a behind-the-scenes look at our shop and how the PowerSheets were first created, and there have been several changes in our business that have helped me immensely in making progress on this goal–and on the future in general.

My PowerSheets progress from September.

– Model our new Incentive-Based Bonus System to see how it works and implement it. – Yes, Emily and I completed this.
– Decide on and plan Ari’s 40th birthday celebration for December. – I wrote out what I think will make him feel most loved, but I moved the tactical planning to October.
– Write and prep the “Cultivated Calendar” webinar with Emily Ley. – I so enjoyed teaching this with Emily and loved reading everyone’s favorite takeaways. Catch the free replay here.
– Pray for and determine our 2018 vision plan. – Yes, praise to God, we have done this.
– Write the Gracie’s Garden book. – I made a little progress here, but I didn’t complete this. Moved to October.

Breakfast before the sun comes up at our house–these three are my early alarm clock!

September weekly goals:
– Continue to practice leaning out our grocery budget. – With lots of sickness in our house and transitions happening in September, this was not a strong focus. We did use what we learned in August during our $100/week challenge though and we were much more mindful of our spending than in previous months.
– Love on my buddy for the month, Nicole. – Every month we have a different office “buddy” to encourage. I loved having Nicole as my buddy for September.
– Laugh and pray in our date nights. – Sickness strikes again. The kids got viruses, then I got a mean one, then Ari, but we did enjoy one date night in September.

September daily goals:
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal. – Yes, I made it to the New Testament and am so grateful for all I’ve learned so far.
– #RunLiftPraise – I continued walking in the mornings (with the exception of a couple morning when I couldn’t get out of bed thanks to the aforementioned mean virus), but I only did weights once in September. Writing this update is so helpful to keep me accountable and choose progress, not perfection. Back in the saddle I go this week…
– Delight our children – I truly had a wonderful month with the kids–sickness, transitions, meltdowns and all. Is may sound cheesy to say, but I love being their mom. It’s one of my greatest joys. We had a lot of fun together this month and I focused on being intentional with them more than ever.

We harvested carrots from the garden in September and hung our new bee house.

– Eat more green. – I made a strong effort here and feel much better thanks to a little spinach at most meals plus lots of veggie soup.
– SLEEP + REST (i.e. Read a good book before bed instead of looking at my phone which keeps me from falling asleep well) – Yes. I made progress here.

Here are my PowerSheets goals for October:

My October PowerSheets goals. The PostIt is the list of blog and newsletters I have to write this month for our PowerSheets launch.

October Monthly Goals:

– Read + DO What’s Best Next .
– Cultivate our 2018 release with prayer (no better fertilizer and soil nutrient!). The 2018 PowerSheets go on sale on October 25th.
– Write Gracie’s Garden.
– Uncover God’s wisdom for our family with Ari. We came to a point with three very different children at different developmental stages, where we needed to get on the same page to help them flourish. From resetting our approach to discipline in these new stages to making progress on our family goals, this has been so helpful already. We started talking through it this week, hitting on the “pain points” first: What situations arise where we don’t feel unified in our approach to family conflict and issues with the kids? What can we do better together to show them God’s love? Even in one brief conversation so far, we’ve seen a difference in how the kids react to us being together on how we love and guide them. Much more to come here.
– Nurture the hearts in this home in new ways. This goes hand-in-hand with the goal above. Once we uncover God’s wisdom, putting it into practice together.
– Create my Cultivate Calendar for Q4 (the last three months of this year) and 2018. I am so excited to go through all 10 of the steps I shared here for the weeks and months ahead.
– Set joyful plans for Ari’s 40th birthday.
– Set our new budget. It has been on our prayer list for many months to be more sacrificial in giving. Resetting our budget is a focus in October.
– Start reading Traction.

October Weekly Goals:

– Meal prep. I am so grateful for a tip I learned from this book about flipping the script on “meal planning.” I am not a meal planner. With Ari’s unpredictable work schedule and kids who eat dinner at 4 pm, I need the flexibility to make meals that fit our families needs that day. I loved the idea of focusing on meal prep – preparing ingredients to be made into quick and easy meals – instead of meal planning, and doing it right when you bring groceries into the house. I gave it a try this weekend and it has been so helpful.
– Homeschool with joy. This may seem small, but this is one of the goals that I feel so deeply passionate about in the wake of all of these tragedies. I pray I can sow as much love into Grace’s heart as I can in my lifetime.

October Daily Goals:

– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal.
– #RunLiftPraise – Start weights back up again so I can have strength to love my family well.
– Eat green + clean for the same reason as above.
– Rest in the Spirit. This points to my verse this month: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).
– Raw prayer (I am grateful for my prayer journal). So much prayer continues to pour out for so many needs in the world, in our community, and in this home. I am grateful for a God who hears us.
– My words for the quarter and for the month: Rely (on God, not myself) + Cultivate (do what He says — dig in, little by little).

Your turn! Do you have goals for October? 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 September’s winner, Jaclyn!

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  1. Amanda on October 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    October will hopefully be more settled than September! I’m trying to eat healthier and wishing donuts were vegetables 🙂 I’ve had broccoli with every lunch this week though! And trying to move my body whether that’s walking or weights.

  2. Amy W on October 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I just love these updates and the gospel saturated love you have. What a joy!

    My monthly goals are: simple cleaning schedule, menu plan the month, put up our new family pictures around the home – those are my three cultivating beauty in our home and at meals. Finish my 2016 iMovie of all our individual movie clips in one file. Library visit twice. Prepare for Advent intentionally (I added this based on your webinar and preparing well for meaningful things ahead).

    Weekly: social media free weekends (yay! 3rd month and loving it.). Weekly computer picture organizing time (using Nancy Ray’s product pdf for my system). Follow our homeschool schedule. Use, don’t throw leftovers.

    Daily: Finish reading through the Bible. Exercise and step goals with grace (infant still nursing in the night… so Grace!) . Get outside! Homeschool well.

    • Lara on October 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      I’m so grateful the webinar encouraged you, and I love all of your goals. We have a lot in common!

  3. Mary Beth on October 5, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for your opening statement about Las Vegas/hurting/what we can do. I too feel a panic and “what can little old me do?” attitude, but God can do more than I can ever ask or imagine. One of my goals for October is to be more intentional in praying for my husband and his heart. I prayed for him a lot before we met, while dating, and engaged, but I feel like since we said “I do” 9 months ago, he got put on the back burner.

    Thank you for your heart and willingness to share.

    • Lara on October 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      A friend of mine shared with us recently that he and another friend from church get together once every two weeks to ask each other questions that get right to the heart of what matters. Each person writes down a list of questions they know they need to be asked themselves — even if it’s hard — to stay accountable and focused on their path. They simply ask each other their list of questions, if that makes sense. I made my own list of “Essential Questions” after hearing this story and they are hard to ask myself sometimes but so life-giving:

      1. Are you on your knees in prayer?
      2. Have you been using God’s money and resources (my time, talents, etc. too) for His purposes?
      3. In what ways have you been prideful lately (distrusting of God’s power over your own abilities)?
      And number 4 came to mind when reading what you shared–I’m so grateful you reminded me of this question!
      4. Are you doing everything in your ability to love and honor and protect your husband?

      These questions get me. I pray often for our kids, but sometimes I forget to pray as specifically for Ari as I do for them. Grateful you shared your heart!

  4. Elizabeth on October 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    My big goal is to REST!

  5. Kayleen on October 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Lara, thank you SO much for sharing your heart! I too have been struggling with fear being one of my responses this week and have constantly been reminding my heart that God is BIGGER and He already has the victory.

    My goals for this month are to prepare for and enjoy our staycation next week! My husband was able to take a couple of days off work to make a long weekend and we are praying for rest after a summer that left us worn out and weary. Another goal is to faithfully and prayerfully lead our life group through our church’s fall alignment series. My weekly goals are social media free weekends, weekly date nights, and inviting people over for a play date/coffee/dinner once a week. My Daily goals are no phone from 5-9pm, daily Bible reading, reading one chapter from Charlotte’s web to our oldest, and intentionally connecting with each person in our family!

    • Lara on October 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      I love your goals, Kayleen. I hope this staycation brings you much-needed refreshment after a hard season!

  6. Lindsay on October 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    The busyness of life has left me feeling empty and overwhelmed with where I am. My husband is transitioning to a new job that will give him freedom to be with our family more. We have felt disconnected for a long time as a family. Our home has become a place where we sleep. And I’m hopeful for the next month, that we will make our family and our home a priority. Making our house a home and creating an environment of grace and honesty and encouragement. God is so faithful and I am so grateful!

    • Lara on October 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      I will pray for you and your family, Lindsey. You are in such a challenging season, and yet your faith is radiant in it all. I am grateful you shared this. So much love to you in this time of trials!

  7. Mollie on October 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    My big goal is to simply our home. I want it to be a place of rest , comfort and love for myself, husband and kids. I want God to be present in our home. I want our home to be a place for community …sharing and showing Gods love to others.

  8. Sarah Gusky Kemer on October 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I got an answer from God to be more diligent in my faith recently. It caught me off guard! But I’ve gotten away with strong faith weakly practiced and I’m working on strengthening that practice piece. Diligence.

    For me this means: Temple attendance monthly, Visiting Teaching monthly, Scripture Study weekly and reading daily, morning and night personal prayers daily. It means following God’s promptings for me regarding my family.

    This month surprised me by being filled much more with faith and family than logistical things!! All very personal to me so no picture this week (I admire your candor Lara!)

  9. Yocelina on October 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I’m so grateful that I discover your Instagram a week before Hurracain Marìa ( I’m live in Puerto Rico) I read your family testimony, 10 things to cultivating your faith and the guide to goal setting. What a difference in my life after I read that. It prepares me for what I’m living now. I’m a homeschool mom of 5, super desorganice, lazy, selfish,a total mess, but thanks to you and God this weeks have been a totally change. Thanks, thanks,thanks!!! Things are difficult around here but I hope I can buy your book , the powersheets and the write the words soon. I can say that I live by purpose, I have a really reason to get out of bed each morning. I wish I can write in Spanish it be more easy to express what God have teaching me this days. Again thanks for your courage to tell the world Gods words, that He loves us no matter what a mess we are. God bless you and your family!!!

  10. Ade on October 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Breaking an addiction I’ve slowly slipped into. It’s ok to put a “don’t do” on your daily tending list! 🙂

  11. Sarah on October 5, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I’m working on cultivating a discipleship approach to friendship – connecting with people on a deeper level is not always easy in our busy world, but I am praying for new ways to cultivate deeper connections, even unexpected ones!

  12. Sarah on October 5, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I’m focused on trying to maintain (even gain!) some momentum heading into the holiday season instead of letting things slide knowing that January 1st is coming so I can start again then. Nope, there’s nothing magical about January 1st. I’m determined to be doing the hard work under the soil of sending down roots to sprout from in 2018 instead of waiting.

  13. Grace on October 5, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Yes I definantly have many goals for October! I feel like Im going to start doing things that ive been putting off because ive been seeing signs everywhere from God to “just do it.” things like finally talking to the people i feel God nudging me to befriend, getting a job, working on my singing voice so that I can possibly audition for the Voice, staying off social media and living outside more, being more active in my community, and focusing on doing good. The way I see it, God is going to judge us on how much good we have done and whether we did the things he put us here on Earth to do. By the way, thank you Lara so much for your book and blog. It has really opened my eyes about intentional living. You really shine Gods light!

  14. Mary on October 6, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I would LOVE to hear more about how you and Ari are thinking through leading your family in a new season and what questions are helpful. We are in a place where we need that but not sure how to go about it. We are doing a major top 7 allergen elimination diet for our family which feels huge and daunting but I’m also excited to see what it reveals. Trying to cultivate better stewarding my body and health along with our girls. Cultivating health is a pretty major focus this month for us in general both spiritually and physically. Looking forward to what progress is made this month!

  15. Liza on October 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

    My goal for October is begin using my Write The Word Journal. I picked Renew because I feel the last 18 months have been about renewing my relationship with God and trying to establish good habits to maintain it, something I’ve not really had in the past. I feel like the journal is a tool to help with that.

  16. Kelli on October 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

    My biggest goal for October is to be mindful & present. Using apps like Calm and Forest have helped me to not just put down my phone but take intentional breaks to be still. I have been taking care of both of my parents who are sick – since April 13th. Add a husband , 3 kids , after school activities , church an hour away and a part time job. I am easily overwhelmed these days. I have made a choice to to take my mental health seriously by taking mindful breaks through the day. It has helped me. Sometimes I lay still for 10 mins and cry, but sometimes I just rest – and it helps so much!

    And …. next week I’m trying a yoga class for the 1st time 🙂

  17. India H. on October 6, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    My goals for this month are to transition into my new job well- I’m working from home now and I want to make the most of it! I also want to have a great birthday- It’s October 25th, the same day as Powersheets launch! And make some big decisions about moving from one city to another!

  18. Connie on October 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    In October I plan to cultivate myself! I began the Powersheets in January but by April they had slipped to the back of my priority list. I have pulled them back out and am reviewing the goals I had set earlier this year. Using October to plan for the remainder of the year, one new goal I have is to purchase the spiral bound Powersheets for 2018 and begin to explore how to make those an integral part of my 2018 focus.

  19. Sophia on October 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    My goals are to develop a deeper prayer life and really nourish the souls of my children during our homeschool days.

  20. Jen on October 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    In the last 10 years We have made 6 moves, 2 of which were cross country moves, I have given birth to 3 children who are now 6, 4 and 2 and we have walked through many painful situations with family like addiction and divorce. Im tired. We finally made (what we hope) is our last move and we are done having babies. I feel burnt out physically and spiritually. We have decided our goals this next season are to REST in many ways. To say NO a lot and to maybe come out on the other side feeling healed and ready to set new goals of using this new home and farm God has given us as a way to love others.

  21. Sarah on October 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I am loving setting intentional goals each much, but I’ve started to hit a wall at my job so this month I have a goal of putting excitement and joy back into my job. Practical steps: meet with my mentor/boss and have a conversation about being passionate about what God has called us to do and try and figure out some new things to fill my time at work.
    I have a much easier time setting family/life goals. This month my goals are to celebrate my husbands birthday well and make him feel loved and to reestablish date night after giving birth to my amazing little girl.
    Lots of needed progress in little areas this month and I’m learning to choose grace daily.

  22. Sunny s. on October 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I’m cultivating rest and release. Basically finding my rest in God and releasing things that are hindering me in my spiritual walk. Even releasing things that are taking away from my focus on what’s truly important. I’ve been daily finding 15 mins a day to rest and focus on the Word. Thank you for this site.

  23. Katie on October 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Lara, I love your heart and how the vulnerability pours out of every word. October for me is about getting through our last travels for a while and then really thriving at home after that. This year has been tough and I’ve floundered a lot. I’m trying to refocus on my home as my job; that when I’m lax in taking care of it, everyone is suffering. So, cleaning as we go through the day, not putting off that chore, making meals, spending quality time together are focuses for me. I’m also making a manageable to do list each day and it’s been so rewarding to feel like I successfully got everything done without getting burned out.

  24. Jessica M on October 6, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    My goal for this October is to stick to our food budget! We have a very manageable budget, but every month we decide it’s so much easier to eat out versus cooking at home. I’ve found I just need to lower my expectations on meals. If I try for a “Pinterest” meal I don’t normally make, it slows me down and I just decide it’s easier to go out to eat! Simple meals mean fewer decisions to make and no excuses!

  25. Emilee on October 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I am focusing on SAVING.
    Saving money from unnecessary spending.
    Saving time for people and events that matter.
    Saving space for myself to get creative again! Draw, write, hand letter. Have fun!
    Saving my mind for more meditation and yoga.
    To get my dad out of the hospital and healthy again.
    In seeing that, choose healthier options for myself–mental, physical and emotional health goals.
    Try something new. Maybe start teaching yoga. Who knows!
    Drink in this life. Drink in FALL. And sip slowly.
    Prayers to your little (but mighty!) family. 🙂

    • Lara on October 6, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      You are so generous to pray for us! Thank you so much, Emilee! And I love all you shared.

  26. Jenny on October 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    My biggest goal is putting down my phone and being present with my kids. In fact, I think I’ll go do that right now 🙂

  27. Melanie on October 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    My main goal for October is to simply rest as much as possible. There is a change stirring in me–hopefully it’s good instead of bad–not sure yet though! I’m gearing up for something new 🙂

  28. Myra Kushon on October 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I have so many goals in my head but I know in order to move forward I need to focus and be intentional. My main goal is to be more present with my children and to put my phone down. I also want to give myself more grace and know that it’s not my timing. I’m constantly reminding myself progress not perfection!

  29. Anita on October 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    October is HUGE for me! I turned 30 on October 1st & just had baby #2 — STILL transitioning into being a mom of two instead of one. It has been rough & I didn’t even get to really celebrate my 30th because of the demands in my life right now. I know self care is vital, but I currently don’t have “the village” it takes to raise kids. It’s mostly me–90% of the week.

    My October goal is to not seek outside help the way I’ve dreamed of it in the past. I need to set realistic expectations on myself & not let my goal oriented personality drive me insane during this season.

    I just started following you on Instagram, Cultivate What Matters, watched you cultivated calendar seminar, & am finding hope through it all. It’s been my lifeline.

    I’ve marked my calendar to purchase the Power Sheets ASAP on Oct. 25th & get started immediately (by ordering the one that isn’t dated).

    Thank you for all you’ve started to inspire women in my season.


  30. Shannon Dirmann on October 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I recently launched my website and blog for my health and wellness/encouragement business, so this month I will be praying over what topics I should include and write, write, write. I have a 7 month old and experienced postpartum depression, and while I am doing SO much better, being a new mom has impacted my ability to reach goals like I used to. Thoughts are fuzzy and unclear sometimes and I put pressure on myself that I know Satan enjoys. I am working on finding the right balance and amount of time to write on the blog and coach others. (I know many here understand when all of your ideas and goals run 90 miles a minute in your head!)I know very sincerely that God wants me to share my experience with other moms who suffer in silence with this all-too-common condition. I am just working on the “how.” Thank you for your encouragement and for you perspective Lara – it helps bring me some peace and organizational inspiration. I will definitely be a longtime reader now.

  31. Aly on October 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve never been in the habit of making goals because I expect myself to fail at them. I love the idea of Power Sheets because of all of the GRACE! And “progress not perfection.” Love it. I’m so excited for 2018 Power Sheets to be released! I’d say my goals for October are to spend more intentional time with my kids rather than just getting all the stuff done, using my Write the Word journal every day, and being intentional about serving my hubby. It feels good to have those written down (or typed out) somewhere!

  32. Cortney on October 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    My October goals include scheduling weekly prayer & bible study time to get back on track with my relationship with God. I also plan to finally read Make it Happen this month. I’ve had the book for over a year now. This will help get me back into gear of letting go of self-inflicted pain and anxiety and looking forward to more peace and rest.

  33. Teish on October 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Movie night with the kids every week because the love popcorn and snuggling on the couch to watch something with Mom! I’m working through some books and online classes and trying to figure out if a particular idea is the direction God has for me.

  34. Bobbie Jo Shockley on October 6, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    The non profit I work with launches our month long fundraising campaign tomorrow. My big goal is to help them raise $64k for families coming out of domestic violence. http://www.lighthousenw.org

  35. Kaitlyn on October 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    My goals are to save money for the winter (hubby works seasonally), work on communication in our marraige, and to make steps forward on planning the book club a coworker and I are going to start hosting!

  36. Catherine on October 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    My October goals –
    Deep clean and organize every room
    Start Christmas shopping

  37. Jessa on October 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I feel like I continuously have goals but more than just having goals I want what I am working towards to be intentional. I have always struggled with migraines/sickness my whole life and I think it is partially due to all the stress I hold in. I know I am not supposed to carry the weight on my shoulders but I tend to forget that and try and do everything myself (which leads to very little rest , sickness and even more stress). My goals for October are to stay intentional and focused on God everyday in every situation. I know He will sustain me and give me the peace and strength I need to walk out everyday. I am still learning to live a life of full surrender but I am thankful that I don’t have to walk this life alone. I really want to focus on rest, loving others, letting go and even setting aside time to do the things I love 🙂

  38. Becky on October 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I simply love your words “raw prayer”. It put me in mind of the fact that when we don’t know the words the Helper intercedes. Certainly had need of such prayer this month and have some coming up.

    • Lara on October 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Yes, indeed. And I’m so grateful for His leading!

  39. Anna C. on October 6, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Lara! I love your progress over the months 🙂 My goals for October are connected to my Q4 refresh goals and my big picture goals:
    1: Savour my relationship with God by:
    -Going to church.
    -Write the Word journal every day (currently on Renewal).
    -Make a list of people I want to pray more regularly for. Then pray for them more regularly.

    2: Savour my education and work by:
    -Thriving and hustling at work and cheering my team.
    -Staying up to date with studies.

    3: Savour my relationship with myself by:
    -Completing the second month of the contentment challenge.
    -Practising the art of silence. Actively listening to others.
    -Fill my well each week.
    -90 days of gratitude challenge on Instagram to remind mys of the unendless blessing God has bestowed upon me.
    -Ease into meditating 5min in the morning.

    4:Savour my family and friends by:
    -Spending quality time with a friend each week.
    -Texting my parents and siblings every other day to see how their day was.
    -Writing down fam&friends’ important appointment/milestone to call/text them to check up on them and encourage them.

    These are my goals for October and I’m so grateful for the Powersheets to help me see the important things and the fluf – so I can focus on what’s in my heart each season 💚

    Big hug !

    • Lara on October 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      I love your goals and big hugs right back to you! : )

  40. Nicole C. on October 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey last month and your goals for this month!

    For October, I’d like to cultivate and tend to relationships with ladies that we work with and joyfully serve our team however I can! There’s more than just that, but that’s really the overarching picture of what I want the month to look like and my top priorities on my tending list!!

    Thank you for doing what you do.

  41. Andrea on October 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    My October goals are mostly centered around settling my new home, finishing strong on a year-long Bible study, sending weekly notes in the mail to people I love, and daily working out and practicing piano!

  42. Aubrey June on October 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    my goals are to buy 2018 power sheets (yay!) and start brainstorming for Christmas gifts!

    • Lara on October 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Hooray! I’m excited for you to get the 2018 versions on the 25th!

  43. Jen on October 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    My main goal in this season of business and excitement with a 3, 2 and 1 year old, plus a baby on the way, is to embrace when life gets crazy at home and to remember that this season of crazy is just a phase, I don’t want to miss it. I am hoping to carve out time to get lost in The Word everyday and to start my days with my eyes fixed on Truth instead of waking up to my babies each morning.

  44. Kimberly on October 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    In October I want to the. Down the noise. So many things are fighting for our attention and my attention is notalways going where it needs to be going. Little by little, I hope to turn all unnecessary distractions off (or at least manage them better..). Oh and order the 2018 Powersheets!

  45. Nichole on October 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    To be totally honest, I found you somehow on Instagram. I still can’t remember what led me to your instagram account, all I know is I had been in a rut for a few months with God, and whatever I tapped, whoever I was following led me to your page and your book. I started Cultivate as soon as it arrived a few days ago and what a breath of fresh air it has been. The metaphors you create that we can all relate to are so real and thought provoking. So, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights with us and the ways you have cultivated your life. I read today about the acorn. I purchased for my daughter the book by Max Lucado, The Oak Inside the Acorn. So much of what you wrote reminded me of that book and how important it is to cultivate our life and help our children learn to cultivate theirs. They are our seeds and we need to teach them how to seek God and a balanced life to grow into strong individuals!
    I am so excited for PowerSheets. I will be ordering them As SOON AS THEY LAUNCH!
    In my life I feel scattered, and I often seek distractions. So my goal is to seek HIM instead of the distractions of the world. Another goal is to really be present with my family. To listen, to play, to read and to enjoy this time in my life with a 3 and 4 year old. I also have a goal to start meal planning. I have exercised faithfully for almost 2 years now, but I never have meal planned-I feel like this will help in so many ways (grocery budget, less waste, etc) and help me stay focused throughout my day. I also have a goal to pray daily for my husband and marriage – to keep it strong and to keep us connected.
    Again, Lara, thank you for being a blessing in my life. For the first time in a long time I’m excited for this new journey!

    • Lara on October 6, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      I’m so grateful to meet you here, Nichole! Your words encourage me deeply. I am praising Him for all He is doing in your life!

  46. Stephanie on October 6, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    My October goals include growing in my faith, planning a first birthday party {eeeek!}, and blogging more. I want to savor the change in seasons and not push myself to the max with all the things. Thanks you all you all do and share. Can’t wait for the new Powersheets!

  47. Bekah on October 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Hmmm. The calendar fills up; there are things that I want to do and things that are necessary. I get some of each done, but outside of long to-do lists, I’ve never had an intentional plan with steps and checklists. I think that it’s time to start there. I want to continue reading through the Bible (I’m almost to the NT), start exercising regularly, have more patience in reacting to my kids’ mess-ups, and take the first step in faith towards adoption. God has been speaking adoption into my heart for a long time now, and I think I need to move past inaction due to living in an apartment, not having space in our income, having a busy life, etc. Thank you for the reminder that NOTHING is impossible with God.

  48. Emily DeArdo on October 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    What great goals, Lara! I’m launching my first ebook next month, so this month is about getting pre-orders and FINISHING all the tiny finishing touches to make sure it’s great! I also have a few knitting commissions that need finished, as well as a big financial goal of saving $150. That’s a big number for me, so I’ll see how I do! I’m working toward a $1000 emergency fund.

  49. Laura Rahel Crosby on October 6, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I love how much much focus you put on your family with your monthly goals. You and Ari have such an inspiring story of love and God’s grace. October is a month of intentional focus for me. Instead of having 10 goals, I am focusing all my efforts on 2 goals. Goal 1) Intentional rest to prevent burn out and depression. Especially with fall being a difficult season for me, it being the anniversary of my infertility testing and diagnosis. So intentional rest and practicing joyful activities on a regular basis (like scrapbooking and reading books,) is important to me this month. Goal 2) Work on my next course with love. I know I can help so many women make peace with their bodies using my knowledge and experience. I want to include all my love and heart in it and I’m really excited to tackle that, slowly. 🙌 Wishing you a fruitful October 🎉

  50. Jeni on October 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I got a six-month set of Powersheets for the first time this year, and just when I thought I got in the groove of them, the universe threw a wrench into my plans.

    When it got to my Powersheets Prep Day, I was burnt out and I had little to no motivation. Even brainstorming and dumping my ideas down on paper felt like a burden.

    So this month is all about taking it slow, staying strong (mentally, physically) and being present for family and friends. I left a lot of margin for myself initially, filling in just the daily goals with habits that I already have but want to keep up (so easy stuff to check off), and then stuck in some semi-silly, totally-easy goals like “laugh” and “go to the beach” (since the beach is <1 mi away).

    This week is just week 1, and while I've had both good and bad days, the Powersheets keep me motivated to at least make an attempt at my good habits instead of letting everything go.

  51. Holly Veihman on October 6, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I’m participating in Bible Study Fellowship and we are studying the book of Romans. I have been so convicted so far and it has been really good! My goal is to completely surrender ALL areas of my life to God, not just the easy stuff!

  52. Mary R on October 6, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for another thoughtful and inspiring post! This month I want to focus on building my faith andlistening and doing what God wants me to do. I want to be more intentional in my relationship with my husband and spend more quality time with him. Last month I got off track with excercising and tracking my food so I want to get back on track with those.

  53. Beth B. on October 6, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    My biggest October goal is to delight in my kids each day. I love them endlessly, but I often find myself FACILITATING life with them instead of truly ENGAGING in it. I loved what you said recently about looking into your kids eyes and smiling. I need that! It’s become a routine of checking off all of these necessary daily items (school, homework, meals, baths). I need to inhabit my life with them and really enjoy my time with them. I just want them to feel my delight to the tips of their toes. Is that too much to ask? 🙂

  54. Charissa Steyn on October 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    My goals are heart centered:: practice joy everyday-watch,read, or do something that makes me laugh!, create a restful, peaceful atmosphere in our new homeschooling venture(my oldest is 5, then w have a 3 &1 year old),& stay excited for the dreams God has placed on my heart, even though they are happening at a slower pace than I’d like!

  55. Brandi Leary on October 6, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I just received The Lifegiving Table and just finished The Lifegiving Home both by Sally Clarkson. So my main goal this month is cultivating a special family culture for not only our home but at our table also. Learning to serve and be served with gratitude and love.

  56. Michelle on October 6, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    October is a big month for celebrations. I want to celebrate the people I love well while still sticking to our budget. I want to write the story of my daughters birth before I forget the details (she is 10 months old already!) I am continuing several goals from the last few months like weekly meal planning and prep, flossing daily, and staying connected to out of town friends and family.

  57. Pam on October 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    My goal for October is to get everything ready for our online business so that we can launch it on November 1st! Then in November, I will start on my own blog! I can’t wait!

  58. Mattie on October 6, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    One of my goals this month is to be intentional about thinking positively and also find creative ways to save money! We are inbetween homes right now due to Hurricane damage and using this time living with family to revise some of our yearly financial goals!
    Looking forward to seeing the new Powersheets!

  59. Susan G on October 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I started a fitness challenge in September and am about halfway through. It’s usually about now that I start to lose steam and find excuses not to keep going. But not this time! I’m truly hoping to use October to cement those new habits and make my way to a happier, healthier me.

  60. Sammye on October 6, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I am pretty new to goal setting, but right now I am going to get my SP planner set up and refine some routines for our family. I worked very hard in Sept. to get a good morning routine in place and a good rotating meal plan in place, so this month I am working on a cleaning routine and more decluttering and organizing. I homeschool my five kids, so I also want to stream line our school more. I worked on this in Sept. but plan to do more this month. Also, I want to finish reading Cultivate. It has wrecked me in all the good kind of ways so far. I am SO excited to order my Powersheets this month (this is my first time) and get started on really thinking through my goals. I wrote a mission statement recently, so I’d like to begin planning some action steps to make it happen!

  61. Rachel on October 6, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    One of my goals is to work on training my puppy more this month. We had a nasty three weeks in September where he was battling worms (💩&🤢) and it took two weeks to realize it. Lots of middle of the night bathroom emergencies and accidents. Because of his tummy issues his training fell by the wayside so I could focus on getting him well and comfortable. Choosing grace over guilt there. I realize he’s just a dog, but he’s given me such joy and comfort in the short time he’s been home with me so Fallon is a huge priority of mine. Trainig him is a continuous goal I have as he gets older. 🐶

  62. Rebecca Jerrain on October 6, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Love hearing more and more from you all the time and learning about the cultivate products from a friend. I’ve loved reading your books and thankful for your openness and the help you give others.

  63. Brittany on October 7, 2017 at 6:52 am

    First of all, thank you for sharing this! Especially the part about your family and how each of your kids are in different stages and you and Ari are working through that. This is a huge struggle with us right now! I have a 4, 3, and 1 year old with different schedules and needs and transitions and, honestly, it’s been brutally eating me up on how to care for my children best. I can’t wait to sit with my husband and pray and seek wisdom on this! I don’t know why I forget to seek the Lord in these “little” issues, but thank you for reminding me!

    As for cultivating new this month, it’s prayer!! I am committed to waking up earlier than my kids – praying – and then “staying one step ahead” of my children by joyfully preparing things like breakfast, lunches, backpacks before they wake up (got this great tip from Emily Ley!).

  64. Mar on October 7, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I absolutely love this post! I am new to cultivating what matters and it has already been life changing!! October I want to focus on preparing better! And planning and getting organized without feeling overwhelmed!

    Thank you for this!

  65. Fuzzy on October 7, 2017 at 7:19 am

    1. Word God first
    2. Rest
    3 Walk 10 minutes x 2 everyday If i can manage it
    3. Sort the house
    easy nope but i can only try

  66. Amy M on October 7, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Thank you for the encouraging words! My goals mostly revolve around making our house a home. We moved this summer and still aren’t settled. After reading your post, I added intentional prayer to my daily list. Our Father can do soooo much, we only have to ask!

  67. Cati on October 7, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Thank you for this post. So much of it encouraged me, but especially the first part when you talk about your husband praying and the miracle of his faith and your marriage. My husband and i have been going through a really hard season; the last nine months have been heartbreaking. I’ve felt like giving up many times. Yesterday, I had a really tough counseling session with my pastor and his wife, and then i came home and saw your blog post…and it was literally God saying, “Don’t give up. Keep praying. Nothing is impossible with ME.” So thank you. Thank you for continuing to share your marriage story as a light in a world where most people say “just give up. Nothing will get better.” My main goals for this month are continuing to pray and trust, have hard conversations, and in all of that trying to plan something special for my husband’s 40th birthday on January 1st. Thank you for helping me keep going and sowing into what matters and reminding me that God is able and God is good.

  68. Sharon Meekins on October 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I am continuing my goal of being debt free. I work 2 jobs. My part time job is at Hobby Lobby which I love. I have no creative bone in my body so my money has been safe. 🙂

  69. Charissa on October 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

    First off, I cried like a baby when I read about Ari praying so fervently at dinner, what a miracle! My faith is new as well, so I know the miracle behind such a thing! My goals for October are to start losing weight (2 pounds so far!), work on my book, and enjoy my favorite season of all!

  70. Hannah on October 7, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    date night, plan for a saturday morning pjs and pancakes encouragement for the women at our church, take my little one to a pumpkin patch, finish my one year old’s EL baby book, plan our Bible study meet-up for Beth Moore’s Entrusted Study, plan creative fam days with my husband and one year old, prep for Christmas cards, organize our bedroom/bookshelves, prayerful in serving, weekly friend time (coffee,lunch,texts), discipleship with college girls, text/call (out of town friends), prints more pics, get in the Word everyday, pray EVEN more, savor time with my boys

  71. Claire on October 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    My big monthly goals are: have an intentional date night, clean out books and donate excess, and buy renter’s insurance. My weekly goals are: Write the Word, be caught up on homework, check on/upkeep finances, and care for my succulents/propagation babies. My only daily goal right now is to read my new devotional and pray.

    Thank you for such a long, heart-felt post! It was so encouraging to me.

  72. Jeanne on October 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    My primary goal is to recover and rehab from knee surgery and get moving again. It is hard but I am trying to proceed with grace and accept the support I need. Day by day!

  73. Rebekah Coffman on October 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Love you October goals! So inspiring. Thank you for being so open and honest in all that you do.
    October already has been a month of relying on God and His provision, and though that’s not always comfortable, I hope it will continue to be such a month and that my husband I will walk (not run!) through October with open hands and open hearts, letting God do HIS work. Brief backstory — We made a cross-country move from Texas to Orlando, FL 10 months ago, and God continues to confirm and bless that move. Now that my husband (an attorney) has taken and passed (praise the Lord!) the Florida Bar Exam, he can begin to set his new Florida practice in motion with the goal of officially launching Jan 1.
    1. We are praying God will show us where HE wants my husband Josh’s office to be located and who HE wants us to serve through our business and through our family. A goal for this month would be to have the vision and plans for the FL office set by the end of the month.
    2. We also have another October goal of deciding if we’ll be placing our 2-year-old son in pre-school, or if we’ll hold off and continue to keep him home with me. Big decision!
    3. Like you, we’re trying to lean out our grocery bill. I would like to look back at October and see that we have spent significantly less (at least $200) than September.

  74. Lisa on October 8, 2017 at 12:12 am

    This month I want to work on eliminating the fluff in my life and automating or systemizing some of the things I can’t eliminate. I’m all about streamlining and simplifying- especially since we’re about to move.

  75. Erin B on October 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    My October goals revolve around this upcoming week that I have a week vacation from work for the first time in 15 months. While it is tempting to fill the month with overbooking plans and to-do’s I am using this time to take care of me for a change. This includes meal prepping, yoga, organizing my office space, meditate, pray, journaling, working on my blog…self care that I need to care for my children and husband. I am putting on that airplane oxygen mask so I can be there to help everyone else. While at first glance this seems selfish, I have neglected myself for so long that I find I am not the mom and wife I want to be. So those are my October goals (as well as enjoying as picking pumpkins and eating apple fritters as often as possible!)

  76. Lauren Morris on October 8, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I am cultivating my faith this month. I have gone through such a similar story, Lara. And am reading your “Make it Happen” book right now and I simply want to take the leap to love the Lord. And I’m praying for the impossible that God will change my husband’s heart too. Thank you for your empowering words!

  77. Olivia on October 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    My October goal is to give my personal life, professional life, and hobbies my all. I often find myself coming to the end of the week feeling as though I was sleepingwalking for days on end — simply going through the motions. I want to dive in, give 100%, and accept with open arms the vulnerability required to do so.

  78. Emily on October 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    *Respond with grace to my very active 4 & 5 year olds
    *Pick a new reading curriculum and start it
    *schedule two play dates
    *Daily exercise
    *Use my evening free time to finish Make it Happen and to journal

  79. Kate Laing on October 10, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I was in Vegas with my dad a few blocks away from the shooting last week. We had no idea what was going on or where it was taking place at the time, so we ran. I don’t think we were ever really in danger but it felt like we were, so that experience totally changed my perspective on what matters most to me.

    This October, my goals are these ::
    – to talk to loved ones every single day, no matter what.
    – to know what my body and mind and spirit need to recover in the weeks following.
    – to go on adventures and check off things on my list that I want to do before I die.
    – to start writing my book.
    – to take every day as a reminder that I was given more time to be alive and breathing.
    – to get into the Word and look for God Winks in everything.

  80. Rosemary Berry on October 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I love that you share your goals with us, Lara! My goals for October are to assist more love, peace and joy in my home (I have specific ideas for this), finish the editing job I’m working on, and sort through old autumn magazines – take the best parts and pitch the rest! Thank you for your encouragement!!

  81. Susan Bricker on October 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    My October goals are to do things differently than I have been. I love Powersheets and how it really unearths what is pressing and what matters. My October goals are
    1).Start working out 3 times a week
    2) Take better soul care of myself. Immerse myself further into the Lord’s word and make more quiet time with Him.
    3) Take my Dad on more day trips
    4)Finish my book by blocking more time to write.
    5) Block time for joyful things.
    6) Keep focused on what matters and let go of the things weighting me down and casting my cares upon the Lord.
    7) Each day is a clean slate.
    8) Ride my bike 4 days a week

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