Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Book Review: Lara Casey's Cultivate

booksEmily DeArdoComment

I know that if you follow me on social media--particularly Instagram--you've seen me almost jumping up and down with excitement about this book. :) And let me tell you, it's merited. 

Lara Casey's first book, Make It Happen was a big step forward for me. After I left my job and began freelancing, I was sort of stuck. I had lots of dreams, but how do I make those reality? Make It Happen helped me, especially in conjunction with Lara's Powersheets--and without it, I never would have written a completed draft of my memoir, never mind started soliciting agents. I've made things happen because of Lara and her book. 

So with Cultivate, I was wondering how the story would be different. How many times can you talk about goal setting, after all? 

This book isn't about goal setting, really. It's about living a cultivate life--a rich life, one that's full of things that matter, and doing the things that God created you to do. That's so different than just checking things off an arbitrary to-do list. Lara talks to her readers from the heart, addressing several big lies--and I've believed some of these! They include: 

  • I have to do it all. 
  • I have to be perfect. 
  • I can't start fresh. 
  • Small steps don't make a difference. 
  • I have to know all the details of the plan ahead

and five more. These make up the chapters of the book. 

Do you recognize yourself in any of these? I sure do. 

In Cultivate, Lara  shares with us how to cultivate a rich, meaningful life--right here, where we are, with what we have. She doesn't ask us to fly to Indonesia and enter an ashram, or run off to some spa in the Berkshires. She asks us to cultivate our lives right where we are

"But I'm afraid to get messy," you might say. "If I start thinking about these things, it'll be stressful and hard and I don't want to do that. Better just to play it safe." 

NO! 

Don't you want that fullest life? I sure do. And with my twelfth transplant anniversary coming up next Tuesday, let me tell you: It's no fun to play it safe. It's no fun to wonder. We are made to do . We are made to live

Lara's books and products have helped me live life big, and Cultivate is the perfect answer to all of us who feel rushed, defeated, unsure...Trust that God is always with us, always loves us, and always has a better plan. 

In the wait, cultivate, Lara says. And it's true. I'm terrible at waiting. I suck at it, to be honest. You would think, having been on a waiting list in order to survive, I'd be OK with waiting for anything else, but not really. 

Lara's message of growing in the wait is a powerful one for me. I want everything right now! I wanted it yesterday! I want it all to be perfect, now! I don't want to wait. 

But in the waiting, God might be doing amazing things that we can't see just yet. 

This book isn't just a book you read--there's a study guide in the back, for sharing with friends; there are journaling prompts and questions. It's a book to really internalize and dialogue with, and ponder and pray with. It's a tool, like a garden spade or a rake. 

Give yourself the gift of a cultivated life. I promise you, you will not regret it.