Jan 27, 2017

LITTLE BY LITTLE / Progress Not Perfection

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You guys. One year ago today (right as I’m typing this to you), we were talking to Sarah’s birth mom on the phone for the first time. Besides saying yes to following Jesus, it was the most life-changing conversation I’ve ever had. We hope to see her and talk to her again someday. Till then, I’ll keep writing her letters and sending photos of this little muffin. She’s pretty wonderful!

FullSizeRender-2More thoughts on our adoption here.

Sarah will be one next month, and we’re trying to think of a meaningful way to celebrate. I’ll keep you posted! For those of you who often tell me, “she’s always so smiley!” (which she is most of the time) here’s another pic from our visit with Ari’s mom last weekend! ; )

IMG_8191Hehe. I love her.

It’s been a great first month of the year. Besides these little one’s growing, our garden has also been blooming. Our plants are enjoying the unusually mild North Carolina winter so far. February is typically ice-and-snow-filled though, so we’re enjoying this while we can!

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January has also been a month of steady growth on my 2017 goals. I’ve made progress by pacing myself and relentlessly embracing progress, not perfection. Some things have been easier than I thought (working out at home with the kids), and some things have taken longer than I thought (scripture memorization–post coming soon on that), but what’s been SO freeing is letting go of the race to the finish line entirely. The pace at which we grow something doesn’t matter as much as what we are growing. Little by little progress adds up–and imperfect progress is still progress. Around here we celebrate even the tiniest seedlings popping out of the ground, and we are learning to do the same with our lives. Good things are cultivated over time, not all at once.

Here are 10 Things to Help You Make Little-by-Little Progress in the week ahead!

1. Get yourself some Good Goals (and win some amazing prizes!!). It’s never too late to uncover Good Goals, but the giveaway that goes along with my sixth-annual Goal Setting Series series is almost over (ends Tuesday!). Someone is going to win these prizes. That someone might be YOU if you take the leap and dig in. My hope is that these prizes encourage you to do each step in the series, and cultivate what matters this year–right where you are. Get started here.

2. Come to Making Things Happen! I loved our live chat this week with four of the MTH alum. Their stories are so inspiring! Catch the replay for free here. The early-bird rate for our only Making Things Happen Conference in 2017 ends on Tuesday (save over $1000). If you would like info about payment plans, email Kristin @ SouthernWeddings.com and she’ll get you all set up! Get your seat here before Tuesday!

3. Read good words. The words we say have power, and the words we let into our hearts are powerful too! I shared some new books this week on my Facebook live (which I’m doing once a month now on the second Wednesday of each month–mark your planners for February 8th at noon EST!). The books I shared: Sweeter Than Honey (I love this coloring book and Lindsay’s art and heart!), Different (Y ‘all know I love Sally Clarkson!), Chasing Slow, Cut Flower Garden, and Jennie Allen’s new book Nothing to Prove comes out next Tuesday. So many great reads!

4. Encourage your husband. My friend Kayse is doing an Encourage Your Husband challenge. Join here!

5. Share your progress. What goal did you check off this month? It can be a weekly, daily, or monthly goal. I love hearing your answers! And I love the new progress bars on the 2017 PowerSheets!

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6. Get some real inspiration. Hop over to the new Cultivate What Matters blog for tips on productivity, goal setting, choosing your word of the year (it’s never too late to dig in!), and much more.

7. Get organized. First of all, I didn’t know Chick-fil-A had a blog, did you? We love “chicken-fil-a” around here, as Gracie calls it. I’m so grateful to have shared some organization tips with my friend, Emily!

8. If you want to grow something, tend it. I used to be addicted to instant gratification. I wanted overnight and instant results in everything. But, over time God changed me (and continues to change me). I’ve learned the power of little-by-little progress, hence the name of this series! You can’t soak a plant in water all at once and be done. Good things grow over time with consistent nurturing. PowerSheets friends, here are some great tending tips.

9. Prepare intentionally for February. Look ahead in your calendar, and prepare for a meaningful month. February tends to be a beast here. It’s a weird month of sharp weather, drawing us all inside and making us long for spring. So, I’m preparing ahead of time to make this month joyful! Join the Cultivate ladies on Instagram stories today to dig into your February PowerSheets. I’ll be doing mine on Instagram stories next Tuesday.  Also, February 15th is statistically the day when people fall of their goals and resolutions. We aren’t doing that around here, though! We are committed to progress, not perfection. And we have decided to make a new holiday that week: Cultivate What Matters Week! SO much more to come on that, but get ready. We’re flipping that statistic on its head, and embracing little-by-little progress together. No perfection required!

And I’m giving the last spot to my co-worker and friend, Jess…

10. Be like pizza and make people happy! Some encouragement for you to remember if  Fri-yay! If you don’t follow Kid President on Twitter, might I recommend it? It’s a guaranteed day-brightener! -Jess

Cultivating what matters alongside you,

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3 Comments

  1. Candace on January 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Different!!! So blown away! I haven’t pre-ordered a lot of books but I did this one and began to devour it- tears and smiles and a whole lotta underlines!! Sally and Nathan tell an awesome story!

  2. Patricia Victa on January 29, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Thanks for the encouragement! Here’s to not giving up by Feb. 15 and beyond!

  3. Melissa on January 30, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I live the idea of ‘tending’. I love to plan– yet struggle in the ‘in between times’ … I appreciate the gentle reframe!

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