Cultivating What Matters With Our 2020 Summer Intern

Cultivating What Matters With Our 2020 Summer Intern

by: Emily Thomas

Friends, I have a treat for you today! Team Cultivate had the absolute JOY of working with our first-ever Cultivate summer intern this year, and we could not have lucked out with a better gal for our inaugural post. Lauren is incredibly smart, a gifted writer and marketer, bubbling over with enthusiasm, and a great encouragement to us all. She wrote a few thoughts to share with the Cultivate community as her internship came to a close, and I'm thrilled to share them with you here! — Emily

Take a walk on any college campus and you’ll hear the same word mentioned any time someone asks a friend how they’re doing. 

“Busy,” he or she will say. “Staying busy!”

If there was a world record for the number of times a college student has said the word “busy,” I would probably win. 

But my obsession with busyness didn’t start in college. It began in high school when I piled on extracurricular activities to fill my resume. When I ran for Class President and won. And then won again. 

I felt needed. I felt important. I felt accepted. I felt loved.

So when I received that phone call senior year that I had lost the election for Senior Class President, I was crushed. What would I do with all my time? What would I put on my resume?

Or, was a title giving me worth and affirmation? And why was I so afraid to lose it?

That moment defined a choice for me. I choose to acknowledge the underlying lie I was believingthat my worth came from the list of accomplishments on my resumeor I could push my fear away and shove it further down inside. After all, no one else had to know I was falling apart. 

I let go of the lie and started grasping on to truth. And for the first time, I began to realize that I had an obsession with busyness. 

Could I feel worthy without a packed schedule?

The answer is yes.

And sometimes, we have to lose control of the things we grip most tightly if we truly trust who God says He is.

I think back now to that phone call and smile. A few years ago that moment felt like the end of the world, but it was God reminding me where my value comes fromwho I am in Him. 

During my time at Cultivate, I have been struck by this question: What if we traded busyness for meaningfulness? 

What if my work and my life meant something? Something bigger than myself? What would it look like to leave a lasting impact on the world? What would it look like to be 85 years old and tell my grandchildren that I had no regrets from the way I lived my life?

What would it look like if I stopped saying “yes” to everything and started saying “yes” to the right things

As I head back to Baylor (sic ‘em!) in the fall for one last semester, I want to live differently. I want to say yes to things that matter.

Being on Team Cultivate this summer has answered my questions with a resounding “YES!” 

Yes to meaningfulness over busyness.

Yes to unashamedly choosing rest.

Yes to grace over guilt. 

Yes to progress over perfection. 

Yes to cultivating what matters. 

Every person on this team is a cultivator themselves. I have watched in wonder as they live each of those values out every single day because they keep these goals in mind:

To watch a woman find confidence in herself that she never knew existed.

To watch her set and achieve goals she thought were impossible.

To watch her become a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend because she’s making room for the people and things that matter. 

To stop being held back by fear and start living in freedom. 

That’s why we do it. 

Every morning, our team gathers via Zoom for a morning pep talk. I often wish each of you could be a part of those Zoom calls because your names are mentioned often as we share your stories.

Because you are our friend. 

We pray for you. We cheer you on. We love you. 

That’s what makes this job—this mission—worth it.

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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