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What a beautiful, life giving book from the joyful Lara Casey This book came into my life just when I needed it most however, it is one of those books that will meet you where you are, in whatever season of life you are in As a self described unlikely gardener, Lara uses gardening and other metaphors from nature to describe how we should view life s difficulties, set goals, and grow an intentional life Lara gives practical, Biblically sound tips to cultivate a life that glorifies God Throughout the book, Lara will lovingly convict you to consider your priorities and goals using Cultivate It prompts, good for journaling or just for pausing to think After each chapter, she summarizes by pulling out succinct phrases from the chapter called Seeds of Grace and Truth, which are perfect to help you remember the main ideas It is clear that Lara put her heart and soul into this book her voice is distinct, encouraging, and effervescent After reading, you will feel like you spent a warm afternoon chatting with her over tea.While I received an advance copy as part of the book launch team, I will be purchasing my own copy when released at the end of June to re read and annotate I wanted to highlight and or underline 90% of this book. This book was so good So many of the chapters were talking about things I desperately needed to hear and be reminded of One of the last chapters about cultivating fruitful friendships was something I especially needed to read I highlighted a lot in the book and plan to re read this again in the near future. I liked the idea of this book I also loved, loved all the gardening references I m big on gardening and I could relate to those analogies In that way, this book spoke my language But this felt like a talk I d hear in church, and less like a book This book is very positive and it brings in how important faith is in living a peaceful life The author also uses scriptures It was nice, but again, it felt like a talk I d hear in church So 3 stars, mostly for the how successful the gardening theme worked with her ideas. This book should really be called Cultivate A God Filled Guide to Growing a Prayerful LifeLike her other book, Cultivate is smack full of God , prayer , and tons of Bible quotes As a non Christian this was completely unappealing and became irritating Casey seems to view anyone who isn t a devoted Christian a charity case who needs to find God She seems to only surround herself with praying friends, her family is religious and she converted her husband too Apart from the religious aspects, the book was okay Nothing new get off your phone, spend time with people, be grateful, be religious, and buy my product that will help you with all of this She turned her metaphor of a garden representing life into a full book, with snippets from her life about her daughter mainly and her gardening This part was not bad The incessant God advice was so annoying that it made me doc 2 3 stars though.Examples of things to cultivate A healthier lifestyle A stronger marriage Intentional connections with family Joy in your children Contentment in what you have Learning education A new business venture Being present Deeper friendships Confidence in your life path Creativity Work that allows you to use your gifts A life giving home with open doors for hospitality Balance and rest Religious points removed Of course every book by this author features the conversion to Christianity of someone in her family in Make It Happen and now in Cultivate I kept thinking of the big picture if I could encourage my dad and share God s love with him, maybe he would want to know God too I can t take credit for any of this change Oh really , but God used my weekly letter writing to open my dad s heart He started asking Ari and me about our faith Casey, 135.Things I Didn t LikeRepetition of the modified word season it got annoying fast There is no formula There is no one right way to tend and grow an intentional life You simply do what God tells you to do Casey, 146 a , why did I pick up this book to have that kind of an answer, and b , how does God tell you what to do Do you hear voices in your head Sounds kinda crazy My tending list in the season after I experienced that heart pain was pretty simple Pray Read the bible Casey, 147 Wow, if only reading the Bible could solve all your problems It can t though And when reading the Bible, did you happen to read some of the bad parts The parts that encourage murder, rape, abuse, etc Hmm..Everything wrong with this quote Complaints can reveal self reliance instead of God reliance We often complain to control, to fix, and to express our distrust and discontent Complaints can sometimes be our way of saying to God, I do not believe You are real. That right there hits me hard But there s hope, and there s grace Grace upon grace Casey, 166 167.Things I Liked Story about Walter the Mailman and Grace author s daughter Cute Cover design From a design standpoint, this book would get a 4.5 from me Ideas about connection with others Ask your neighbour their name repeat it back to them if you can t remember , Tell a friend you want to grow in friendship with them, Leave an encouraging note for your friend, Send a postcard, Don t think and let go of nice thoughts text or email them, Invite your friend over, Send a message after you meet and say you were glad you spent time together, Leave notes of encouragement for a friend, Grab a box of popsicles, a watermelon, or a basket of peaches and spend intentional time telling your friend all the things you are proud of her for Casey, 192 , Celebrate friend iversaries This quote Ask someone to come over, even if your house is a mess I don t know about you, but I feel so relieved when I go to someone s house that is perfectly imperfect like mine Casey, 197.I would recommend this toa Pious Christiansb People who like gardeningc People who can get over the 50% religious content in this bookI would not recommend this toa people who aren t Christian, who don t enjoy reading many Bible quotes and hearing about Jesus More gardening analogies than you ll know what to do with Each one is super beautiful in its own way. This book was everything I needed this year I read it over the space of about 4 months I used it as my Sunday book and each time I picked it up I needed that particular message so badly I don t think it s one I would read quickly because It would be a little too much and not allow for time to digest what was standing out. A Guide To Embracing Imperfect Progress And Making What Matters Happen, Little By LittleWomen Often Feel Like They Have To Have It All Together In Order To Live A Meaningful Life Instead They Feel Inadequate, Overwhelmed, Paralyzed By Fear And Insecurity, And Are Exhausted Simply Trying To Figure Out Where To Begin The Secret To Living A Flourishing Life Isn T In Engineering The Perfect Circumstances Or Having It All Together The Secret Is In The Small, Says Author And Speaker Lara Casey It S Easier Than You Think To Cultivate What Matters It All Starts With A Tiny Seed Welcome To The Journey Of Getting Messy In The Rich Soil Of Possibility Embracing Imperfect, Grace Filled Progress To Grow A Life Of JoyWritten As Part Encouragement Anthem And Part Practical Guide, Cultivate Equips Women To Uncover And Take Action On Goals That Simplify Life Lara S Signature Goal Gardening Steps Release Them From The Pressure To Achieve And Gives Them Freedom To Move From Planning To Planting Readers Will Walk Through Each Season, Finding Balance As They Interact In Fresh Ways With Their Current Life Scenarios, With God, And In The Communities Where They Are Planted You Don T Have To Be Perfect You Just Have To Plant As You Open This Book, You Are Making A Decision To Leave The Dry Soil Behind You Will Lean In And Unrush Your Life And In The Process You Will Unearth Your Purpose Special Features IncludeGoal Gardening Stepsan Eight Week Fruitful Goal Gardening Guide With Questions For Small GroupsGardening To Start Your Own Real Life Flower Or Vegetable GardenFind The Joy And The Freedom That Comes In Cultivating Cultivate Your Faith Don T Fertilize The Fear And Watch How Your Life Flourishes In The Days Ahead I don t know what it was about this book, but I just could not get into it Maybe it was all the gardening references that I just can t relate to in any way, or maybe it was the cheesy, lackluster writing style either way, I just couldn t wait for this book to be over That being said, I would recommend this book to anyone who is feeling a little bogged down with life, a little overwhelmed, a little lost on their path I think this book could really be helpful to someone else, as there are journaling prompts throughout the book that make it easy to reflect This one just wasn t for me. Cultivate is such a beautiful book Lara is incredibly real and hopeful in her story that she weaves throughout her gardening metaphors This timely book is about going against the culture that is normal and taking the time to really tend to things that matter Gardens don t happen over night and she reminds us that a life worth living doesn t either It takes time, energy, persistence, water, sun, and just a little bit of trust that something is happening under the surface to grow a garden, and our lives are the same It s hard to remember that things are happening under the surface, but this book is such a beautiful reminder I especially loved the stories from the Grace from the Garden sections I received an advanced copy of the book as a part of the book launch team.I received this book in exchange for my review from the publisher The opinions I have expressed are my own.Disclaimer This book was provided by the publisher The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Having followed Lara Casey on social media for two years and love how joyful she always is regardless of circumstances I love the imagery of gardening through life having grown up in the garden with my own dad I m inspired to really cultivate what matters in my own life I love using the Powersheets from her shop and recommend this book to anyone feeling like they are ready to give up their badge of busy and live life fully.