Book Review: Cultivate

Note: I pre-ordered a copy of this book several months ago. The author was kind enough to send me a digital advance reader copy for me to peek at before the book officially launched. I paid for my paper copy out of my own pocket, and I’ve not been paid to write a review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

You’ve heard me mention Powersheets a time or two around here, I’m sure! The developer of my favorite goal-setting tool, Lara Casey, has also published two books. I read her first book, Make it Happen, at the beginning of this year and immediately pre-ordered her newest book, Cultivate. I was thrilled to receive a digital advance reader copy a little early so that I could get a sneak peek at Lara’s new book!

I’ve always been rather vaguely aware of the concept of being purposeful with my time. Putting it into practice is a little harder for me. It seems like a million little things end up needing my attention, and some of the big things just never quite fit into my days. Lara’s example of cultivating a garden just clicked with me. Now, I’m not at all an expert gardener. In fact, plants left in my care don’t tend to remain healthy for long. I did grow up doing plenty of planting, weeding, and harvesting in our family’s garden though! Growing a garden takes time and work. It’s something that you really can’t rush! It’s also something that needs tending a bit at time though.

The chapters in Cultivate address a lie, such as, “I have to do it all,” and counter it with a truth, “I can’t do it all and do it WELL.” Lara shares parts of her own story and experiences throughout the book. She keeps pointing us back to God, which is something I find myself in need of all too often! There are questions to ponder and prompts for writing as well, so keep your journal handy when reading. I’ve enjoyed reading the digital copy, but I’m so glad that I’ve ordered the paper one! There are definitely some underlines and notes that I want to make in my book. I particularly enjoyed the Grace from the Garden sections in the book. These are stories from Lara’s own garden that help to illustrate important truths.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “It’s okay to grow slow.” In fact, that quote is my phone lock screen at the moment. I need the reminder that this is often a slow process. I want instant results, and I want it all to be perfect right now! That’s not the path that I’m called to be on though. My job isn’t to make my life look perfect, it’s to cultivate what matters. Sometimes it takes a lot of cultivating before you see anything come of your hard work. Perhaps this is my chance to learn more patience, right?

The discussion guide at the end of Cultivate is perfect for book clubs or Bible study groups. It’s definitely nice to have a comprehensive discussion guide included in thebook, instead of needing to buy a separate workbook to go with it!

I’m already planning to read through this book a second time this summer and do some journaling along with it. I do a lot of planning and evaluating during the summer, and reading Cultivate is a great way to help you sort out what kinds of things you really want to cultivate in your life, and maybe help you decide what things you can let go of too.

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