When It’s Time to Take a Leap of Faith…

Our team is busy preparing to host our newest group of Making Things Happen Conference attendees in Chapel Hill, NC next week for our two-day intensive to help them uncover their goals and take action on them. These ladies are taking a huge leap of faith, and we wanted to offer encouragement to them and anyone who might be stepping into the unknown with the expectation of great things to come. Whether you're packing your bags for Chapel Hill, NC or making progress on one of your PowerSheets goals, this is for you!

Ask yourself this question: What if today is the day that everything changes?

Let that sink in for a moment. What if the small decision you make today is planting the seed for great things to come?

Taking any big leap forward–into whatever it might be–can be daunting.

There is a lot of pressure in today's world. Whether it's pressure put on us by others or pressure we put on ourselves, it can oftentimes feel overwhelming to get started on anything new at all. A fear of failure or underachievement oftentimes stops us dead in our tracks and paralyzes us from taking any action on the things that matter to us.

But making the decision to step forward is often the hardest part because it's the first step. It takes bravery to step into the unknown. Making good things come to life requires physical action. And then another action. And another.

Over time, goals and dreams that were once leaps of faith turn into a new life. You have a choice. You can choose to start fresh. You can choose to put the phone down, stop scrolling, and turn comparison into celebration.

This leap of faith? It is not selfish; it takes bravery and gumption. Whether you're taking two days away from your work and family at MTH Conference, spending a few hours on your PowerSheets Prep Work, or stepping outside for a moment to breathe in the sunshine and fresh air, you are worth the time investment.

You are worthy. Just as you are. There is no guilt or shame for taking time to invest in yourself. 

The process of cultivating–breaking the soil, planting, tending, and waiting for the harvest–is where life happens. It's where change and growth happen. The journey to making it happen is where the good stuff lives. Soak it up, friends.

Dreams become decisions when you cultivate them, and the best is yet to come!

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Eight Steps to Embracing Mornings

We've all heard the saying "the early bird gets the worm", but my guess is the early bird likely wasn't managing a career, planning a wedding, preparing for marriage, building community in a new city, and moving all at the same time. Which means it was likely a little bit easier for him to get up early and get that worm :)

Before I start, I want to be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking there isn't enough time in the day, because it's simply not true. There is enough time in the day, but I have to be proactive in prioritizing and making sure my time and energy aligns with the things that matter most to me. My 2018 PowerSheets goals act as a compass for me, guiding me as I determine where and with whom to devote my time and energy.

If I learned anything in this season, it's this: When you feel like you don't have time in your day, you have to be proactive in making time. Whether you need a few extra hours in your week to work on a side hobby or want to prioritize time for taking care of your body, the easiest place to find time is in my mornings! I'm excited to share a few tips that have worked well for me below:


Photo by Marie L.

Ask yourself why. Take a few moments to ask yourself these questions: WHY do I want to wake up earlier? Will this goal get me closer to where I want to be when I'm 80? You'll feel much more motivated to stick to your goals when they are connected to a purpose. For me, waking up earlier gives me time to exercise and read, two of my goals for this year!

Set yourself up for success the night before. I once heard becoming a morning person starts in the evenings, and I couldn't agree more. Create an evening routine to prepare you for your morning ahead. Get your clothes out (exercise or work clothes). Set the timer on the coffeepot. Pack your lunch. Most importantly, honor your bedtime (and put the phone down!) Taking the time to create a routine for the evenings will help prepare you for a fresh start each morning.

Sleep with your shades open. I've found sleeping with my curtains pulled back makes it easier for me to wake up in the mornings. If you have a significant other who likes to be in pitch black, you can find lamps that mimic the sunrise to help your body wake up naturally!

Make a plan. In the same way that you created an evening routine, it's important to eliminate decision fatigue in the mornings as well. Creating a morning routine will help you know exactly how you want to spend your mornings. Whether you want to get your heart rate up by exercising or create more space for journaling or reflecting, a consistent routine will help keep you from climbing back into bed.

Make your bed (and stay out of it!) I've learned this the hard way: If you're reading in the mornings, move yourself to a different spot other than your bed. I'm positive I'm not the only that is guilty of climbing back into her bed in the mornings. Making my bed makes it a little less appealing for snoozing after you grab your warm cup of coffee and book.


Create room for the things you love. Mornings will be miserable if you fill them with the all dreaded tasks on your to-do lists.  Make room for something life-giving in your mornings so you have something to look forward to. It can be as simple as lighting a favorite candle or enjoying a warm cup of fresh-brewed coffee while you read through your current book. Maybe you want more time to have breakfast with your significant other before starting your days. Resist the urge to fill the extra space with tasks, and embrace activities that bring your joy, too.

Address the pain points. Ask yourself why mornings are so hard, and then fix it! If it's hard to get out of bed because it's cold in your home, invest in a space heater or warm slippers. If you don't enjoy showering in the morning, start showering in the evenings. Find your pain points, and eliminate them!

Take baby steps. We embrace growing slow, knowing that overnight results and quick fixes aren't the way to long-lasting success. Becoming a morning person isn't something I expect to happen overnight, and I've given myself lots of room for grace in my PowerSheets. Instead of adding "Wake Up at 6am" to my Daily Goals, I chose to add a weekly goal to exercise two mornings before work to my PowerSheets Tending List, I'm taking small steps and hope to work up to that consistent 6am wake-up time!

I'd love to hear from our early risers! What has helped you embrace the mornings? Leave your best tips, tricks, and resources in the comments below!

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Starting Steps: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Bigger is better. It's a lie we find ourselves believing at times, whether we realize it or not. It silently permeates itself into our culture: a bigger home, more clothes, a heftier bank account, and over time, we start to see it play out in our own lives.

But when it comes to our goals, less is more and smaller is better!

You don’t have to know the whole plan when you set your PowerSheets goals for the year—you just need to write out your specific starting steps and, in general, what has to happen after that. A bonus? Breaking down goals feels good because you experience tangible hope and momentum as you get those goals moving!

For some added inspiration, our team is sharing one of our 2018 PowerSheets goals and our first three starting steps below! You'll see that these starting steps are simple, tangible, and can be easily added to our Monthly Tending List! We hope you find some inspiration to start making progress on your goals, and buck the statistic. We hope you're encouraged!


Amber Housley, Marketing Director
Goal: Read 24 books this year that support my other PowerSheets goals
Why: Reading is a form of self-care for me. It distresses me, and it helps influence my creativity.

1. Print out wildcard page
2. Make an inventory of current books on my shelf and review current Amazon wish list. Add these to my wildcard pages.
3. Choose my next 2 books for the upcoming weeks

Casey Marchbanks, Designer

Goal: Find a church home in our new city!
Why: To find life-giving community for my family. To have a place to serve regularly. To grow my relationship with the Lord and with others!

Starting Steps:
1. Research & create a list of churches in our area that align with our beliefs
2. Visit a church from our list every Sunday
3. Go to a discovery class, or meet with a Pastor at the church that God leads us to!


Catherine Marks, Editor
Goal: Create a life-giving home in our new house
Why: Our little space is the domain God gave us to steward and shepherd well. It is the backdrop for our family’s life and a resource we can use to bless others.

Starting Steps:
1. Kon-mari (purge and tidy) every inch of our space so we have only the things we need and love (plus a place for everything and everything in its place)
2. Create a family goal and schedule wall where we can keep our mission statement and calendar, as well as track our goal progress
3. Order photos of our daughter to update our gallery wall to include her!

Emily Thomas, Creative Director
Goal: Refine our home
Why: Our home is the arena for learning, growth, ad unconditional love, and nothing matters more than love. If we can make it better, we should.

Starting Steps:
1. Walk our home and make a list of areas to be purged and decluttered. Use the PowerSheets Wildcard page.
2. Schedule each area of my calendar–no more than one per week
3. Pull together a new inspiration board for our first floor’s color scheme.

Jess Metcalf, Community and Content Manager
Goal: Phone down, eyes up
Why: Life is too short to be tied to your phone, and I want those around me to know how much I love and value them.

Starting Steps:
1. Set phone hours/boundaries
2. Order an alarm clock
3. Make a to-be-read list of books to read instead of mindlessly scrolling


Kaylee Hobbs, Customer Delight and Operations Manager

Goal: Find time and space to use my creative gifts
Why: This fuels my excitement for life, and I feel energized when I’m learning more about a creative hobby.

Starting Steps:
1. Set up a regular meeting time with a friend who encourages me to use these gifts!
2. Create an inspiration collection on Instagram.
3. Read a blog post related to furthering a creative skill–in this case, photography!

Kristin Winchester, MTH Conference Chief Encourager
Goal: Intentionally take care of myself.
Why: Filling my tank will make me a better wife, mama, daughter, sister, and friend. It will give me the ability to pour out and love all of my people well.

1. Block off one morning a month on the calendar and make sure someone can watch the babies so I can go do something on my 'fires me up list' (i.e. coffee with a friend, a manicure, etc.).
2. Schedule an at-home date night with KPW in February to review calendars and try to schedule a summer vacation.
3. Pick out 6 for-fun books to read this year.

Lara Casey, Founder
Goal: Pray the Word of God while reading through the Chronological reading plan again. Study Psalm 119. Use my prayer journal, say my prayers out loud, or record my prayers to my phone notes.
Why: To directly connect with God and to align my life, expectations, and value with the truth of the Word of God, not the ways of the world. To grow my faith, the faith of my family, and to build up the faith of others.

Starting Steps:
1. Sign up for the Chronological reading plan again
2. Print Psalm 119 and put on flashcards and in phone album
3. Set up 2018 prayer journal

I know what you're thinking! These are great examples, but where do I start? You're in luck! We created Goal Action Plan Guides full of ideas to help you cultivate some broader goals! Check them out for some starting steps for yourPowerSheets Tending List:

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment and share one of your goals and your first three starting steps below. I'll choose one lucky commenter to win a Goal-Setting Sticker Book on Monday! 🎉

Having trouble coming up with starting steps? That's okay! We can help each other on in the comments and offer suggestions!

Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire shop order this week! Stock up on stickers, one of our companion goal guidesLara's books, or our best-selling Write the Word journals!


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TODAY ONLY: Get the Cultivate Book for $1.99 on Kindle

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! TODAY ONLY, treat yourself to Lara's second book Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life for your e-reader for only $1.99 today!

You don't need a Kindle or e-reader to read electronic books. You can download the Kindle app for your iPhone or laptop and read them there. If you've been wanting to add Lara's book to your library, today is the day!

cultivate book lara casey

Head to Lara's blog to read an excerpt!

Already own the Cultivate book? Head to the shop to stock up on other goodies! Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire order through Friday!

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10 Things We Love About the Cultivate Family

One of our greatest joys is serving the women in our community, and we thought there was no better time to share 10 things we love about the Cultivate family than the eve of Valentine's Day!

1. You don't give up. This is my favorite thing about our Cultivate family, and it's on display this week. When the rest of the world decides their goals aren't worth it and jump ship, you buck the statistic and keep moving forward. And you do it with excitement and energy!

2. You are wise! When we create our PowerSheets each year, we work extra hard to make the best product for your lives, but you continue to blow us away with how creative you are with using PowerSheets in your lives. I've adopted many of your  PowerSheets hacks and tips for using Tending Tape, and it's helped my goal-setting process so much!


3. You are willing to step out of your comfort zone and be vulnerable for the sake of encouraging others. We've witnessed and heard of countless stories of connection in the PowerSheets Facebook group and on social media. When someone is sharing a struggle, you're willing to speak up and say, "me too" so that others don't feel alone.

4. You celebrate the little by little progress. The number of you celebrating Cultivate What Matters week with us is proof! When the end of the month rolls around, you don't look at the empty boxes on your Tending List with a sense of shame or defeat. Instead, you look at the progress you DID make on your goals with an excited vigor to keep moving forward.


So many friends showed up to Lara's Cultivate book launch party to celebrate! We love you LaShawn and Maggie!

5. You have fun! There's never any shortage of emojis, GIFS, high fives, and exclamation points from you ladies, and we wholehearted approve of that :)

6. Your story of cultivating what matters is uniquely important, and it has the potential to impact others in a profound way when you choose to share it. Whether it's on a blog or in an email to a single individual (including myself), taking the time to share your story takes bravery, and it pushes others to step out and do the same.

7. You make us look forward to Monday. We love our weekends with our loved ones, especially when they're social media-free, but knowing we get to start our Monday mornings dreaming up content and products for our Cultivate community!

8. You know where you're headed. In a world where distractions are calling out for us from all sides, your unwavering commitment to your purpose and big picture inspires us to stay on the forward path. It's one thing to ask yourself the question, "Where do I want to be when I'm 80?" It's another thing to have a clear vision, and our Cultivate family does!


Real-life PowerSheets users from our 2018 PowerSheets photo shoot: Brooke, Bailey, Deah, Elisa, and Kaylee!

9. You're everywhere! There are PowerSheets friends meeting in all states, in countries across the world. This is amazing!

10. You are leading the way. Whether you realize it not, every single time you take a step forward on your goals or encourage someone else, you are the start of a ripple effect that changes lives.

And because we love you so much, we couldn't narrow the list down to only 10!

11. You appreciate color just as much as we do, as evidenced by the support of our sold out PowerSheets Goal Planners and Write the Word journals! Because of that, we're extra giddy to release the new products we have in the queue. 

Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire order this week in the shop! Now's a great time to stock up on gifts for yourself or loves ones!

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