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Introducing the Cultivate Series

When we changed the name of our shop, one of our biggest motivators was to create a new home in which to tell other people's stories-YOUR stories. We wanted to simplify, live well, give big, cultivate what matters, and help you do the same. The Cultivate team have been long-time lovers of podcasts, and we kept toying with the idea of creating a podcast for Lara and the rest of our team to interview women and invite them to share their stories.

But creating a podcast takes a lot of work. We didn't have any podcast experience, and we realized that adding something new to our plates would take time, energy and resources away from our current projects and shift it to this new endeavor. That would be okay if we were a big team, but we're a small team of women, and we believe in the power of small! Podcasting also wouldn't give us the ability for each of you to interact live with any guest on the show, which was a big draw for these interviews to begin with! We wanted you to be able to ask questions to each of these guests ahead of time!

Get inspired for an intentional 2017, as Lara Casey interviews three women who are cultivating what matters in their own lives in The Cultivate Interviews. Get practical advice and inspiration, as well as the opportunity to ask these ladies your questions during our Q & A time. If you aren't able to join at the time of these live broadcasts, you can still register and have access to the replay. Sign up for one or all three!

Thursday, December 8th at 11am EST with Sally Clarkson

Sally Clarkson is the best-selling author of The Life-Giving Home, a book about creating a place of belonging and becoming in your home. Register here for free!

Thursday, December 15th at 11am EST with Renee Swope

Renee Swope is the best-selling author of A Confident Heart, a book that gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Register here for free!

Wednesday, December 21 at noon EST with Erin Benzakein

Erin Benzakein is a farmer-florist at Floret Farms, author of a new book releasing in March 2017, and floral workshop teacher. Register here for free!

We'd love to hear any other guests you'd like to see hosted in future Cultivate Interviews! Feel free to leave a comment, or email Jess!

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Bailey’s PowerSheets – Fall Goal Refresh

One of our favorite part in the PowerSheets is our Goal Refresh section every three months that allows you to either recommit to your initial goals or redefine them! Goals change, and that's okay! This is about grace-filled goal-setting. Grab your set of 2017 PowerSheets today! 

Our goal for this community is to create a safe place for PowerSheets users to share their intentional goal-setting journeys. We're excited to share a PowerSheets Goal Refresh update from our contributor, Bailey Robert. If you haven't yet, be sure to read Bailey's introduction here. Thank you for sharing, Bailey! - Jess

Fall, glorious fall. It may not quite feel like fall down in Texas, but let me tell you I’m ready for it. After living in the Pacific Northwest for a while, I know what fall looks like. The bright reds and yellows, the crisp leave crunching under foot (some as big as your face!), coffee shop corners with cinnamon or pumpkin everything, slowing down before ramping up for the holidays. Fall is one of my favorites.

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I’ve also been looking forward to the fall refresh for QUITE some time! The end of summer brought a new job in a new city, a crazy quick turn-around as I launched into my first year of teaching. To be honest, I’ve been in survival mode, and I’m ready to THRIVE instead.

When I look back, survival mode was allowed to happen because I lost my focus. I let my priorities fall to the wayside, and my goals got packed away. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s so so true.

But now that I’ve unpacked my apartment and made it through the first eight weeks of school, I’m finding a new routine. My PowerSheets have a new home on a cookbook stand on the bar that separates my living room and kitchen. I have to walk past them every day on my way out the door, and it’s such a great reminder.

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My fall goal refresh for the last stretch of 2016:

  1. Get in the Word daily + pray with purpose.
  2. Celebrate others well!
  3. Cultivate contentment + simplify.
  4. Fulfill all teaching duties with JOY.
  5. Create life-giving habits.
  6. Continue 52 books in 52 weeks.
  7. Become more financially responsible.
  8. Savor singleness during festivities.
  9. Prioritize self care + create boundaries.
  10. Choose joy.

Some of these are pretty broad, but it’s on my monthly tending list that I make them more specific, and the action steps change every month and every week. Some of these have also carried over in every refresh since the beginning of the year. For example, it was my goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks, and I’m on book #49! Every month I add “Read 5+ books” to my tending list. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t, but I add that goal without fail.

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The fall/winter also holds several weddings and holiday celebrations, and I want to celebrate others with joy and generous giving while also tending to the tender places of my heart. Relationships are changing and transitions have happened, so this season is going to look different than last year and the year before, but I cannot wait to see what is actually in store!

What are you making happen in these next few months, friends? How are YOU going to finish the year strong?

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My Word of the Year – Diana Kerr

We're excited to share the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring PowerSheets user Diana Kerr! Diana has been sharing her PowerSheets journey on the blog this year, but we realized we never shared her "Word of the Year" with each of you! Read below about how Diana has implemented the phrase, "Intentional Foundation-Laying" into her life this year and how she's continuing to make what matters happen in the remaining months. -Jess 

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:

Hey, friends! I’m Diana Kerr, a Certified Professional Life Coach for overwhelmed, go-getter Christian chicks. I’m a wife to my best friend Kyle, a warrior against rheumatoid arthritis since age 12, and, most importantly, a chosen, redeemed daughter of the King.

What fires me up:

  • Undeserved grace
  • Living sold-out for Jesus (Which is always an imperfect work in progress!)
  • Building relationships with our neighbors
  • Wisconsin summers
  • IF:Gathering
  • Dance parties—With my foster sister K, in the kitchen with my husband, or by myself!
  • Fighting sex trafficking in my city
  • Seeing my husband succeed or get excited about something
  • Passionate conversations about Jesus with my sisters
  • Having my whole family together
  • Personal growth books
  • Beaches, oceans, water, boating
  • Running
  • Entrepreneurship! (I have almost constantly had businesses since I was 8 years old, starting with Beanie Baby accessories! Haha)
  • Decluttering/getting rid of stuff/simplicity
  • My coaching clients’ successes and breakthroughs
  • My values (below!)

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What do you value the most?

Beyond the common values of faith, marriage, and relationships, I also really value stewardship. I cannot escape the truth that everything in my life exists because God gave it to me—my marriage, my relationships, my home, my possessions, my business, my time, my health. Using all those things to God’s glory is what stewardship means to me, and it majorly fires me up, even though I’m certainly not perfect at it.

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?

Running boldly, intentionally, and free to the tune of Hebrews 12:1-2, throwing off everything that holds me back and running with eyes fixed on Jesus. Nothing’s more fulfilling than that, right?!

What is your word for this year? 

I chose a phrase this year instead of a word: Intentional foundation-laying.

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How have you implemented this phrase into your life so far this year?

I want to lay a strong foundation in both my business and personal life, stewarding my time well in this season I’m in until God blesses us with children. I’m focusing on one specific thing this year for each major category of life, such as:

  • Drawing even closer to God through more quality and quantity time spent with him
  • Praying more often with my husband
  • Journaling prayer each day about relationships and focusing on loving others like Jesus did
  • Ramping up my Sabbath days and resting more throughout the week as well
  • Strength training at least 3 times a week
  • Paring down our belongings so I can hold loosely to the world and to possessions
  • Implementing tons of systems in my business and hiring even more help

What are you saying yes to this year?

  • Surrendering my agenda to God’s perfect plan
  • Lots of Sabbath and intentional rest
  • Communing with God all throughout the day instead of just during morning quiet time
  • Contentment
  • Fun and joy

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And, what are you saying no to this year?

  • Distraction
  • Using anything except God to fill me—food, Instagram, affirmation, etc. (Can I get an Amen?)
  • Shrinking back (Hebrews 10:36-39)
  • Stuff that doesn’t matter in light of eternity
  • Fear of what others think

Where do you want to be when you're 80?

I want to be that wise old woman who’s tight like spandex with God. I picture myself as the kind of 80-year-old who has a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face when she talks about God, who acknowledges the hardships she’s endured but praises God’s faithfulness in the storms. With rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t know what God’s plan is for my health at age 80, but my husband and I hope to still be active and serving the Lord, as well as radically, wildly generous. I envision spending tons of time with family and friends, and getting away to warmer weather each winter. I would really love to acquire a bit of a Southern accent in my lifetime. ;)

Where can we find you online?

dianakerr.com

@dianadkerr

Thanks for sharing, Diana! This post was written a few months ago, and we're excited to share that Diana and her husband are now expecting! We can't wait to see what this next season has in store for her family! Join us in congratulating the Kerr family below! -Jess

 

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My Word of the Year – Ashley Landry

We're excited to introduce the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring Ashley Landry! Read below about how Ashley is implementing ABUNDANCE into her life this year and how she's making what matters happen.

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:

Hi! I’m Ashley Landry, a photographer from the beautiful state of Louisiana. I work in a financial position by day and spend my spare time photographing motherhood and family moments by night. I am blessed to spend each day beside the man I love alongside two spoiled puppies who have stolen our hearts.

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What fires me up:

  • Black and white photographs
  • Fresh flowers
  • Saturday morning walks with our puppies
  • Sunday mornings in church and breakfast dates
  • Quiet time and writing
  • Yoga
  • Budgeting, accomplishing savings goals, and spending wisely
  • Traveling and experiencing new things
  • Cooking for others and trying new recipes
  • Reading a good book

What do you value the most?

Family. Growing up in a small town, I was raised on family and spending quality time together. My family relationships are very close to my heart, and we make it a priority to spend time together as often as we can.

Challenging myself to continue to learn. I believe that there is always something to learn. This is what drives me to grow into a better individual. Because of that mindset, I continue to challenge myself and be open to new experiences in life.

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If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?

If I could envision my most fulfilling year yet, it would include more purposeful living and less tiresome and busy days. It would include more days where I use my gifts and talents for meaningful work and helping others. It would include more exercise and fresh food and home cooked meals and less putting my health secondary. It would include more purposeful spending and saving and less splurging on clothing or "sale" items. It would have more travel and family and memories.

What is your word for this year?

Abundance. To give abundantly. To receive abundantly. To bless and be blessed abundantly. To love abundantly.

How have you implemented ABUNDANCE into your life so far this year?

Abundance for me this year was a way for me to remind myself to continuously give and bless throughout the year. I want to focus on more consistent action and less on the size of the action. So, whether that is offering more of my time and knowledge to help a friend with financials or cooking a big family meal to feed those that I love or helping a coworker write beautiful words to kudos staff, I want to do each action with a giving heart.

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What are you saying yes to this year?

  • Budgeting and being smart with finances
  • Photographing more everyday, honest moments
  • Writing, blogging and sharing more of my story
  • Exercising, yoga, breathing, and less anxiety
  • Home-cooked meals
  • Traveling
  • Days filled with gratitude
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Ungratefulness
  • Spending on unnecessary items
  • Procrastinating 
  • Taking on too much and not finding time to do what I love

And, what are you saying no to this year?

  • Anxiety and worry
  • Ungratefulness
  • Spending on unnecessary items
  • Procrastinating 
  • Taking on too much and not finding time to do what I love

Where do you want to be when you're 80?

When I am 80, I hope to be filled with plenty of good stories and wise words to pass down to my family and loved ones. I want to share how I approached life with a hard-working attitude and faith knowing that anything was possible with those two concepts. I hope to be healthy, happy, and still constantly laughing with the one I love.

Where can we find you online?

Website: www.ashley-landry.com

Instagram: @missashleylandry

Pinterest: @missashlandry

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My Word of the Year – Kinsey Roberts

We're excited to introduce the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring Kinsey Roberts! Read below about how Kinsey is implementing FOCUS into her life this year and how she's making what matters happen.

Tell us what fires you up:

My husband Derek and two boys, Liam and Landon fire me up like nothing else in this life. I'm also fired up by spending time with my brothers and our family because we spend 98% of the time belly laughing which is so good for my heart. These things give me the courage to pursue the other things that fire me up like Vista View Events which is my new wedding venue on our family ranch, taking pictures for my stock shop, writing a book, history and marketing! (Yes, history and marketing fire me up. #NerdAlert)

What do you value the most?

I value my sweet family (seriously, I can't believe they're mine), love, tradition, honesty, integrity and a sense of humor.

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?

I hope this is ok to say, but, my most fulfilling year yet looks like not confining myself to one version of fulfillment. My "Purposeful Year" statement in my PowerSheets is more like a living document in the sense that I update it, cross things off and add new ideas/hopes/dreams throughout the year. I spent a lot of my early 20s seeking one version of 'fulfillment' in what I thought should make me feel great about myself and my life. What I've learned is that A LOT of things make me feel fulfilled and that's OK. My life doesn't look the same as anyone else's and while I have goals, a schedule and desires like most people, I no longer wrap my sense of self-worth or joy around what I 'accomplished' in that year. All that is to say, my most fulfilling year looks like me loving on my people, taking chances, exploring everything I'm interested in and pivoting when I need to.

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What is your word for this year?

FOCUS

How have you implemented FOCUS into your life so far this year?

I chose the word FOCUS this year to remind myself to be fully present in whatever task I'm doing in the moment. I'm interested in so many things right now and I'm so over being fearful of what people will think of me if I try something new. For me, my word of the year does not just apply to business or to my personal life. It is for both. I want to focus 100% on my family when we're together and I want to focus 100% on building Vista View Events or my other businesses when I'm in business mode. I also want to focus on my hobbies when I'm in that mode. I've implemented this word so far this year by creating work hours and off hours. I'm not at point yet where hiring childcare makes sense for me so in order for me to have fully focused work time, I have to work when my kids are sleeping (in the early morning hours and the evening). The hours may sound crummy but to be honest, it has been AMAZING! I feel zero guilt about not doing anything during the day because I'm FOCUSING on my kids and my life as a wife and mom. Last year I would tell myself, "Oh, I'm not an evening person so I can't work at that time or I'll be too tired." Or, I'd say, "Getting up at 4am is crazy, I don't know why anyone would do that, I just can't." Well this year I've completely changed my attitude thanks to my Word of the Year. I CAN work in the evening, I CAN get up at 4AM and I CAN FOCUS on what is important to me in life and in business and achieve goals that I have defined as important to ME. I make time for myself, for my family and for my work and they all get 100% of my attention when I'm there. Does it look perfect? Absolutely not - and that's fine with me.

What are you saying yes to this year?

This year I'm saying YES to: Honestand respectful communication with my husband, Derek. A lot of time hugging and playing outside with my little boys. Absolutely killing it with Vista View Events (MY definition of 'killing it!') :) Cultivating new friendships on and offline and just LIVING. Oh, I'm also saying yes to coffee, which will probably never be on the 'no' list!

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And, what are you saying no to this year?

I'm saying no to: Fear, analysis paralysis, meaningless relationships and judgement.

Where do you want to be when you're 80?

When I'm 80, I want to be sitting on our porch, still on our family ranch, surrounded by our children and grandchildren. I want to be proud of the legacy that Derek and I have built and will pass on to our kids. I want to still be a fan of belly laughing, long walks on the ranch and reading. And to be perfectly honest, I still want to be rocking a full face of makeup when I'm 80 because that's how I roll.

Thank you so much for sharing, Kinsey! We're cheering you on as you chase FOCUS this year!

Follow Kinsey:

@vistaviewevents  •  @stockshopgirl
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