I was sent an advanced copy of Lara Casey’s new book Cultivate two weeks ago. It sat in my inbox unopened for over week because I just couldn’t take one more thing. It was the end of the school year (and if you’re a teacher, you know how hectic that can be), my husband’s high school baseball team was coming to the end of their season, Rypken started tball (with my husband coaching), and I had my heart set on something I will share with you in just a minute. With ALL.THE.THINGS. piling up I felt like I couldn’t even open the advanced copy…but in all reality, it’s exactly what I needed! The full title is Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life. I don’t know about you, but when I read those titles of books, or Pinterest boards, or Instagram posts in the midst of my mess it just feels like another punch in my gut…another thing I just can’t do perfectly. *I’m a perfectionist, btw.* I should know better, because every single time I watch Lara Casey’s Instagram stories or Facebook Lives it’s like a breath of fresh air encouraging me to live on purpose, not perfectly. Her book Make It Happen was the same way…this though…this book is MORE. Much MORE! I was crying before finishing Chapter 2. I’m not a crier. That’s how deeply her words spoke to me. Why? Here’s why…
My husband’s been coaching high school baseball for a couple of years now. These kids are the same kids that sat in my 5th grade class years ago. Watching them grow up, turn into young adults, all while having late night after late night kitchen conversations with my husband about baseball and life… Well, you get attached. The week of Easter rolls around and I have this gut feeling that Chris needs to invite these boys to our church’s Maundy Thursday service. I remind him and remind him to the point that I’m like an annoying little fly on a peach pie. He took the subtle hint and two of the players showed up that evening…the prayer leader on the team and another came with him. That night the latter of the two came to know Jesus with the help of his teammate. I tell you this story because that Thursday night stirred up more of a feeling in me to work with older kids. I’ve been working with 5th graders for 9 years and I enjoy it for many different reasons, but God has been stirring up a hunger in me lately to work with teenagers. Scary, right? ha! I just feel like I can relate more… I mean, some of you who are reading this are probably teenagers.
“Trying to cultivate an intentional life without making a mess at times is like trying to garden in white pants.” -Lara Casey (Chapter 1 of Cultivate) This is where I am right now. As a certified teacher you can test out for different certifications. Well, there was an opening at the high school in our district, but I wasn’t certified… So, off I went to take a test I never went to college to get the full knowledge for. I failed…BY ONE POINT. I told them I had to wait three weeks and I would take it again. During the wait there was a board meeting, but they didn’t hire anyone for the position I was after. Bullet dodged. Studied. Studied some more. Went to take the 150 minute test again. I PASSED! I immediately emailed to share my great news feeling like I was on cloud nine! Called Chris and celebrated. Went to Starbucks, checked my email for a reply. They didn’t wait for me. Although we tried another route, it was inevitable… There isn’t a new season for me right now.
In Chapter 2, where I broke down, Lara says, “Sometimes God is showing His love more through what feels hard than through what feels easy.” Romans 8:28 reminds us…in all things God works for the good of those who love him. This book is about exactly what I am currently living. My life isn’t exactly where I want to be, but it doesn’t mean I don’t stop growing where I am or blooming where I’m planted. God obviously has something better in mind.
You can download the first three chapters of Lara’s book RIGHT NOW! FOR FREE! Just click–> HERE !!!
You can preorder the entire book right now with extra bonuses! Just click–> HERE !!!