By: Gabriela Yareliz
It’s that time of the year. The fashion weeks are coming to a close, pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menus for their fans, sweaters are back on hangers, and the sun doesn’t stick around for quite as long.
For some of you on the other side of the world, spring is starting to bloom and break winter’s stronghold on you. Wherever you are, and no matter which season you are experiencing, whether it’s spring or autumn, it’s one of those in-between seasons, where you are either planting, nurturing or harvesting.
I recently read this beautiful book, Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, by Lara Casey, which explores some timeless but profound themes that I would like us to explore together, as we enter into these seasons of change.
I will be sharing the principles of Cultivate, in three parts. This is the first installment. Make sure to stick with us, through the series!
As we begin to reflect, it’s crazy to note that we have one quarter of 2018 left. As the new year approaches us, full speed ahead, let’s pause and talk about cultivating. Seasons inspire balance, Ms. Casey wrote. What season are you in?
“What season are you in?”
First, we have to grapple with the fact that the idea of “cultivate” is completely opposite to our societal expectation of immediate results and instant gratification. Ms. Casey’s illustration that runs like a thread throughout her book is gardening. Cultivating beauty and fruit takes work, but it starts with vision.
“Cultivating beauty and fruit takes work, but it starts with vision.”
The first step is a shift in mindset, where you decide that you are willing and ready to put in the work.
Next, we each have to decide what we want to cultivate in our lives.
“What in your life needs to be revived or given a fresh start?” Lara Casey asks.
Make a list, say a prayer, journal it— say it, out loud. Write it, say it and plan it. It doesn’t matter if you have doubts or you aren’t even sure if your vision is quite possible. Pray. Let’s earnestly empty our hearts and pour them out before God our Father. Let’s open ourselves to the dreams and desires God places on our hearts. Even the ones that seem impossible.
“Let’s open ourselves to the dreams and desires God places on our hearts. Even the ones that seem impossible.”
“Doubts are doorways. When we lean into our doubts, seeking truth where we feel restless and unsure, God leads us to greater faith, and sometimes to unexpected new paths,” Lara Casey wrote.
Ms. Casey reminds us that “Mankind’s first job was to cultivate and keep a garden.” (Genesis 2:15) Let us start with the garden in front of us, our hearts and our lives. This includes our relationships, our careers, our ministries, and our families.
As you reflect on what you want to cultivate specifically in each area of your life, remember an amazing point that Lara Casey highlights: “It is in the imperfect— the dirt— where things grow.”
“It is in the imperfect— the dirt— where things grow.”
Let’s get our hands dirty and start planting.
I hope that through this three part series you are inspired to cultivate what matters in your life. For more from Lara Casey, pick up her book Cultivate, and check out her lovely site, Cultivate What Matters, filled with so many resources for the busy woman, like you and me. Stick with us for more on how to Cultivate what matters in your life.
Check out our post on Cultivate on Instagram. Drop us a line and let us know how we can pray for you, as you begin to cultivate. Cultivate What Matters and Ms. Lara Casey have partnered with us to give one of our readers a Write the Word journal.
To enter: 1. Find our Cultivate post, and let us know what you would like to cultivate; 2. Make sure to be following @modernwitnesses and @cultivatewhatmatters; 3. Tag at least three people you are inviting to cultivate, in this season. IMPORTANT: Open only to residents of the United States. Winner will be chosen on October 4, 2018 and announced on October 5, 2018. The winner will receive her prize directly from Cultivate What Matters. A special thank you to Cultivate What Matters, Ms. Lara Casey and Ms. Marissa Kloess for making this possible.
Go to Part II.