I only recently became familiar with Lara Casey, the bubbly and sentimental redheaded author, business woman, mom, influencer, and newly-turned podcaster.
Being super thoughtful about what books I spend money on (aka, cheap!), I researched her two books, “Make It Happen” and her more recent “Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life.” Since I’d been in a ‘cultivating’ mindset recently, after having ‘planted some seeds’ in my own life, and — let’s be honest — with that absolutely gorgeous book cover, I chose the second book.
First of all, I LOVED Lara Casey’s ‘voice’ in this book. I found the tone super personal, optimistic, and cutesy — in an endearing way. She was matter-of-fact and unresentful about her less than ideal life and choices, sharing how she believed they’d led her to the path where she was supposed to be.
The whole book is an analogy of gardening lessons applied to life, which I found to be clever and relatable — but a little redundant at times. Overall though I appreciated the theme, and as a wannabe gardener myself, got a kick out of some of her experiences and metaphors.
A Faith-Promoting Christian Book
As a strong Christian, I appreciated Casey’s expression of her faith and how God has worked miracles in her and her family’s lives. She openly promotes faith in and reliance on God, acceptance of His grace, and how recognizing and following His plan for each of us leads to a full, intentional, and bounteous life.
One of my favorite ideas she explores is how she likens the different phases of our lives to a changing garden throughout the four seasons. “The seasons teach us how to do life well, revealing a life-giving rhythm: we flourish through intentional periods of stillness, growth, hard work, and rest” (winter, spring, summer, and fall). (page 47)
Some of My Favorite Book Quotes:
“Instead of perfect, I’m making a decision to cultivate an intentional life with what I have, right where I am.” 210
“What if doing the hard thing, taking a risk, or stepping into the uncomfortable will change everything?” 13
“Cultivating what matters, little by little, really does add up.” 48
“Dreams become decisions when you cultivate them.” 76
“Maybe you should finally make room in your life to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, because it’s going to prepare you for what’s next. And maybe what’s next is really good!” 36
“Just take the next step forward. That’s it. Just one step forward…Your little steps forward will add up over time.” 100; 149
“You have no idea how the seeds you plant today will sprout and grow.” 75
“Imperfect progress is still progress.” 136
“Cultivate” is a very enjoyable and inspirational read. I definitely recommend buying your own copy to mark up and write in! There are lots of valuable lessons and principles she shares in her lovely, motivational writing style which, if implemented, will surely improve your life!