Friday, June 30, 2017

#weread2017: Cultivate Review





Ok friends. It is no secret how much I love Lara Casey around here. I mean, each month I use the Powersheets she created as a way to flesh out my goals and help me see where I want to make progress. I have followed her blog for quite some time now and am so inspired by her honesty and her desire to live an intentional life in the thick of where God has her. I read her first book, Make It Happen, and was inspired to take my blogging and writing seriously by investing more time in a place that was no longer "just a side thing." I've followed her gardening journey and was so inspired that I decided to finally take the plunge and start my own garden. To say that she's been a distant mentor would be an understatement. So when I saw that she was writing another book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 

In Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, Lara does everything she can to assure the reader that she is just like you. She's just a woman who wants to do everything in her power to live her one life for the glory of God. And what's beautiful about her mission is that she wants you to know that you can do the same. Yes, she is a well-known business owner, writer, and sought-after speaker. But at the end of the day, she is a wife to one, mama to three, and a woman who loves the Lord her God with everything in her being. And that, my friends is not intimidating, but rather inspiring. 



As I read through Lara's story of walking through loss, miscarriage, the adoption process, and stepping back from her business in order to spend time with her family, I was struck with the realization that her life was not that different than mine. We have different stories, but we have similar desires. She's a creative woman who wants to inspire women to use their gifts and talents for the Kingdom. She wants to love her family well and invest in her neighbors. Kindred spirits, I'd say. 

Reading Lara's gut-wrenchingly honest words about her struggles with anxiety and depression, tears streamed down my face. Lara unpacks ten common lies that we believe, addressing comparison, selfishness, and sins that we try to ignore because they're "not that bad." It is so easy to think that you're alone in your struggles until one day, God reveals to you that you're not.  No one is alone in their struggles, and as Lara so bravely shared in her book, "Coming undone is part of coming alive." We have to surrender in order to receive the best that God has for us, which is so much more than we could ever imagine. With beautiful vignettes that reflect the heart of a woman who loves to garden and cultivate and tend to what matters, Lara shines the light of the Gospel. I was deeply moved by her words and will be reading and re-reading them in order to implement the small steps of progress toward letting go and living the abundant life that God has called me to. If you're in need of encouragement right where you are, then this book is for you. You will be encouraged, convicted, and challenged to take a step back and ask yourself, "Am I living the life I want to live?" But the best part? You'll have the tools you need to change what you want to seek the life you desire and sow into the places where God has you. 

I received this book in exchange for my review from the publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, June 9, 2017

June Goals



Wow. I am so glad that we are done with May. It was a crazy month, friends. So many birthdays and celebrations and graduations and such. I am so ready for the lazy days of summer. It is so wonderful to know that we don't have a ton going on in the next couple months, and I am really looking forward to a slower pace!

Here's what I was working on in May:

Monthly

expand/revise Already Chosen
read 31 Women of the Bible
host 2 oils events
wardrobe challenge
meal plan
blog plan
gluten/dairy/soy/sugar free

Weekly

plan Instagram posts
blog plan
work out 3x a week
listen to James
write someone a note

Daily

pray through Armor of God prayer strategy cards
read the Word
encourage Ror
encourage someone else



The Nitty Gritty

Whew! Looking back at that it kind of seems like a lot! And while it was a lot, it was good. May was jam-packed with celebration after celebration. Because of this, I wasn't able to finish reading 31 Women of the Bible, but there were lots of other great things that happened! This month I was able to meet a rank I've been working toward in Young Living for several months now, and that was super exciting and satisfying. Slowly but surely the Lord is providing people who are invested in the business, and our team is growing! You can see the Young Living income disclosure statement here. One sweet friend hosted a class at her apartment, and we had so much fun learning together!

I've also been working toward a gluten/dairy/sugar/soy free diet. Boy is it rough stuff sometimes. Most of the time, foods laden with these ingredients make me feel icky, but there are moments when I just want to scarf a cupcake. Just saying. The That Sounds Fun! podcast episode where Annie F. Downs interviewed Danielle Walker of Against All Grain was incredibly encouraging and convicting to me. I almost want to listen to it again to get all the goodness again. They discussed how the Lord can use food to heal our bodies, and it was such a paradigm shift for me. There might be more on that later. :)



What I Was Grateful for in May

May was so fun and so fast. I enjoyed so much of this special month. It is really sweet to me that Rory and I both were born in May, so that has taken on another level of fun. Now, I almost enjoy his birthday more than mine, which, if you know me personally, you know that's saying something. In May, I was grateful for a really special birthday. We went to Gibbs Gardens, had a fancy dinner, and enjoyed watching movies at our house. We also got to enjoy a visit from Rory's grandfather, with whom I may or may not be obsessed. During the week in between our birthdays, we traveled to Charleston, SC on a mini-birthday vacation, which was a blast. It was a tad nerdy because we did lots of touristy things, but it was honestly just really nice to be in another city, eat some great food, and explore. In May I also got a big dose of encouragement and momentum in my Young Living business, so that was exciting as well.

June Goals

Monthly

continue expanding and revising Already Chosen 
read three books 
-Healing Fibroids
-Cultivate
-The Turquoise Table
paint/project day at the house!

Weekly

work out 3x a week
call a friend
write someone a note
work on my book manuscript


Daily

pray through my prayer cards
read the word
encourage Ror
encourage someone else
preach to my own heart

What are you working toward this month, friends?



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Currently: June



Friends, I am so glad to say that we made it through May! With birthday celebrations, vacations, and graduations, it was a whirlwind month. I am so excited and ready to embrace a slower pace in June. The past two summers we have been busy, with our first summer being 2015 when we got married, and last summer we had a few fun trips. This summer, we are trying to keep it simple (read: we are trying not to blow our budget) and just have one trip and hope to just enjoy a beautiful, slow summer in Athens. Here's what's going on currently:

planning:  We bought some paint at the Sherwin Williams paint sale a couple months ago and are planning a painting day in a few weeks! I am so excited to change up our living area and kitchen. I'll be sure to take pictures for before and after!
wishing: I am wishing and hoping for a summer that isn't excruciatingly hot! 
learning: A few months ago I shared about a diagnosis of uterine fibroids that I received from the doctor last year. I've been reading a new book and also trying a new diet and supplements and have been learning a ton about this condition that affects so many women. 
browsing: A couple weeks ago I treated myself to buying the latest issue of The Magnolia Journal, the magazine that Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper publish quarterly. It is an incredibly uplifting publication, and I love it. Hoping to become a subscriber!
going: This month, we aren't going anywhere! I'm pretty pumped about that fact. :)

What are you up to these days, friends?

Linking up with Anne and Erin today!

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