Spoonie Study: Cultivate Chp 10 & Final Thoughts

Welcome Everyone! For those who do not know I am leading a Bible study for women with chronic illnesses, and each week we read a chapter, answer chapter questions, and do a live stream on instagram about the book Cultivate by Lara Casey. For more details on the study and how to join the next one click here Please note that this blog post is essentially the written version of the live stream that took place yesterday and will also be available tomorrow on IGTV.

I cannot believe that this is our final week! I have enjoyed walking through this book with you and learning how we can all live more intentional lives.

LIE:THE PAST ISN’T VALUABLE; IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FUTURE

TRUTH: REMEMBERING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS HELPS US CULTIVATE A MEANINGFUL LEGACY

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 202). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Lara starts this chapter off with a story about how after they harvest fruit they preserve them for the winter months. On page 203 she says,

Preserving the good stuff is the act of marking the meaningful. It’s seeing the fruit that God has grown in your life and doing something with it- perhaps to be enjoyed later by you or generations after you.

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 203). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The way we preserve the good stuff is through cards, photos, and special momentos. These help us remember what our lives have entailed and how far we have come.

These treasures brought out from the shelf during dry season of the soul can change everything. They help you to remember. Because it’s easy to forget when the land freezes over again in the winter. It’s easy to forget the little by little and the joy of the journey. It’s easy to  forget God’s faithfulness in the harvest and how He has provided for you. Preserving what matters means intentionally remembering.


Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 203). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Q Do you find this to be true?

A I know I do. One way I do this is with rocks. Every vacation or adventure I go on, I take a rock from that location and write the vacation and the year we went and have them all in a jar. I also personally use my instagram to remember the seasons of my life. That is how I can see that God has moved and how I have grown.

Remember is a word God Loves. He used it 166 times in the Bible to encourage us to preserve the good stuff…. For example: “Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles and the judgements He uttered.” 1 Chronicles 16:12

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 203). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Lara continues to share about how God was helping her remember His faithfulness. She talks about how she never could have imagined the things God would ask her and her family  to walk through.

I wouldn’t have thought we would have the capacity or faith for some of what He led us into. God knew. His plan was to stretch us and grow our faith so that we would rely on Him to be our strength through this journey. He wanted to break us down to build us back up again, new and changed. His plan was to take us through long season of “not yet” and “wait.” His plan was to prune and ripen us for something better than we could have imagined.

Q In what ways has God been faithful in your life?

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 205 ). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

A As you all know God recently delivered us from a 9 month waiting period and now we have access to home health care which is AMAZING. He has been faithful by blessing my marriage and family relationships. But it is important to remember all the little ways He is faithful too, such as He has been faithful by helping my plants grow, faithful in giving me life long friends, faithful in helping us find a church who has online services, faithful in giving us a  fantastic PT clinic, faithful in the ability to allow me to eat more than one meal- I could go on forever

Q What do you want to preserve and remember?

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 205 ). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

A I want to remember everything if I can! When I suffered from memory loss I relied heavily on photos and journals I had written. I know most of us deal with brain fog so here are some examples of ways to help you preserve memories:

  • Use instagram to document my life and also using story highlights for all the little things
  • Using my write the word journal to preserve prayers and daily gratitudes
  • Use my powersheets to help me keep track of my goals and memories

In 1 Samuel, we learn that God helped His people win a great victory, and to commemorate this, “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’” (1 Sam 7:12) Ebenezer means “stone of help.” Every time an Israelite saw the stone, he would have a tangible reminder of the Lord’s power and faithfulness.

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 206). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The way we preserve and remember the fruit God has grown in our lives don’t need to be complicated or perfect. Many times, simple ingredients are the best ingredients.


Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 207). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Q What ways can you make an Ebenezer?

A One way is to do what Lara did which was create and Ebenezer wall of photos from their most pivotal moments. Another is to do what I talked about earlier which is picking up a stone or another momento from the place where the memory is. Here are some of Lara’s other ideas:

  • Make a blessings or gratitude jar
  • journaling
  • planting a blessings garden (one seed or plant per each blessing)
  • by pressing flowers

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 208). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

For more examples visit: pg 208

We all go through various seasons in our lives- times of great bounty and times of inward focus. There are times when our gardens are bursting with blooms and times of inward focus. There are times when our gardens are bursting with blooms and times when we aren’t sure if spring will ever come again. Spring always follows winter. But in the meantime, we store up the good of spring to remind us of what we have learned and to give us hope for when the winter comes. And preserving the good stuff doesn’t just mean preserving what has passed; it means celebrating what is to come.


Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 209). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I don’t know what this Spring season holds for you, but whether you are blooming and budding or watching and waiting God is moving and growing. No matter the season or what you can see on the surface- celebrate all He has already done right now. Celebrating His faithfulness does not mean though that we can’t bring our concerns and disappointments to God. Lately (literally this week) I was talking to Caitie (my sister- who side note you can meet if you watch IGTV chp 7!) and I said, “I am struggling, but I don’t feel like I can tell God. I should be so grateful that He showed His faithfulness by allowing me to receive home care, so I don’t know how to tell Him I need Him and that I am confused at why all of this is happening.” Before Caitie could say a word I felt God whispering to my heart saying, “You can be grateful and grieving at the same time- I can handle this.” So as you celebrate all He as done, know that life doesn’t have to be perfect in order to do that.

I often forget the good things that have happened and focus on what’s hard or undone. I forget that I don’t have to be perfect. I forget the way home. In the thick of the mess, I want to hold something in my hands  that brings me right back to what matters too.

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 212). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Lara continues to talk about the legacy she wants to leave for her children, all the things she wants to teach them and wants to show them now how to preserve God’s faithfulness.

Cultivators PRESERVE what matters for future SEASONS, and future GENERATIONS.

SEEDS OF GRACE AND TRUTH

  • It’s easy to forget God’s faithfulness in the harvest and how He has provided for you.
  • Preserving what matters means intentionally remembering.
  • Remembering God’s faithfulness helps us cultivate a meaningful legacy.
  • A cultivated life is an intentionally prepared life. Prepare meaningful traditions and Ebenezers to celebrate what God has done in your life, and watch your faith grow!
  • Preserving doesn’t require anything fancy or too difficult to procure. Just the simplist ingredients- sweet fruit, sugar, and lemon juice- are in the jar. The ways we preserve and remember the fruit God has grown in our lives don’t need to be complicated or perfect either.
  • Here I raise mine Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’m come
  • And I hope by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
  • We are given gifts to turn right back around to the world- helping them see the path forward. The good things we grow with God have the potential to point people home.

Final Thoughts

Friends, I cannot believe we are done. Before I save with you my favorite final words that Lara has to share I want to share my 3 favorite seeds of grace and truth from each chapter:

Chapter 1: Cultivate What Matters

LIE: I have to do it all.

TRUTH: I can’t do it all and do it WELL.

  • A powerful fertilizer to nourish the things that truly matter in life is the word no.
  • If unrushing your life feels overwhelming or impossible, consider that it is impossible for you. That’s why we need God. Where you can’t, He already has. 
  • Choose cultivating over keeping up.

Chapter 2: Embrace Your Season

LIE: I have to be PERFECT. 

TRUTH: It’s in the IMPERFECT that things grow.

  • A flourishing life is possible, no perfection required
  • Coming undone is part of coming alive. Even though we aren’t perfect, God gives us new life. 
  • Your past mistakes, your story, your heartache, your circumstances, and the tension you feel right now in your season—every bit of it is part of your growing ground.

Chapter 3: Dream Like a Gardener

LIE: My life needs to look like EVERYONE ELSE’S. 

TRUTH: I have a life to grow that is as UNIQUE as I am.

  • Sometimes, allowing ourselves to dream about the future is an exercise in faith.
  • Dreams become decisions when you cultivate them. 
  • It doesn’t matter if your life feels like a vacant lot, a highway plot, or a forgotten patch. You can cultivate new life. 

Chapter 4: Nourish Your Soil

LIE: It’s impossible to START FRESH or move FORWARD

TRUTH: I can move FORWARD by digging in and BREAKING up the lies

  • Letting God break up the lies, shame, and sin in our lives transforms us from the ground up
  • Let the dirt be dirt
  • Rich soil is transformed soil it’s packed with grace.

Chapter 5: Plant Your Seeds

LIE: I have to know all the details of the path ahead

TRUTH: Forethought is important, but FAITH is ESSENTIAL

  • Forethought is important, but faith is essential
  • Instead of the popular phrase “She believed she could so she did,” consider this truth: She believed she couldn’t, so He did.
  • Prayer changes things. Prayer isn’t just asking for things; it’s an act of surrender. We place our worries, fears, dreams, and questions in God’s hands and let go. We cultivate trust in the ultimate Cultivator

Chapter 6: Grow in the Wait

LIE: Waiting is not good or productive

TRUTH: Waiting is a time of ripening

  • Waiting is a time of ripening
  • Growing means waiting. It means embracing imperfect, grace-filled progress and tending to things over time. It means sitting in the tension and waiting for blooms to come.
  • I can always trust an unknown future to a known and never-changing God

Chapter 7: Tend to Your Garden

LIE: Small Steps don’t make a difference

TRUTH: Little-by-little PROGRESS adds up

  • Good things grow over time. It’s okay to grow slowly.
  • Trust that what you want to cultivate matters enough to allow it to ripen over time as you take small steps forward- and some big leaps along the way.
  • Day by day, decision by decision, step into the dirt with Him, and He will do the rest

Chapter 8: Harvest Contentment

LIE: I will be CONTENT when I have it all.

TRUTH: I will be CONTENT when I live grateful.

  • We risk missing something far more valuable than our productivity in keeping at a hurried pace: life. Real life. Meaningful, rich, cultivated life. 
  • Contentment doesn’t come from anything I can buy, acquire, or accomplish. Contentment grows from God Himself. We are loved, and He is all we need.
  • An abandoned, empty field becomes something marvelous when you notice it’s dotted in humble dandelions,

Chapter 9: Flourish with Others

LIE: I CAN DO LIFE BY MYSELF

TRUTH: I NEED MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

  • The lies of perfection try to hold us back from making any connections at all. You don’t have to be perfect to grow fruitful relationships. Being vulnerable in our flaws is the very thing that connects us.
  • Jesus didn’t have a megaphone or an instagram account. He had two feet and one goal. Little by little, person by person, He changed history
  • Good friends overlook your broken fence and admire your garden

Chapter 10: Preserve the Fruit

LIE:THE PAST ISN’T VALUABLE; IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FUTURE

TRUTH: REMEMBERING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS HELPS US CULTIVATE A MEANINGFUL LEGACY

  • Preserving what matters means intentionally remembering.
  • Preserving doesn’t require anything fancy or too difficult to procure. Just the simplist ingredients- sweet fruit, sugar, and lemon juice- are in the jar. The ways we preserve and remember the fruit God has grown in our lives don’t need to be complicated or perfect either.
  • We are given gifts to turn right back around to the world- helping them see the path forward. The good things we grow with God have the potential to point people home.

Lara’s Final Thoughts:

  • I enter into the season of winter once more, knowing and trusting that after winter always comes spring. I could look out at this patch of white snow and see emptiness or I could see what I know to be true after spending time in the garden: hope 218
  • I can’t stop thinking about eternal impact. About how our seemingly small actions influence our children and everyone we know. Way we can do that are: opening our hokems, asking the second question, getting our hands dirty in the soil, rejoicing in our weakness and receiving God’s limitless grace during the many, many, many times we mess up. 218
  • The times I mess up, get to say I’m sorry, or tell our children about how I’m struggling and trying to rely on God in my weakness, those are gifts. Imperfection is a gift because it opens a door for us to see His ever present grace. Right where we are in every season, His grace abounds 219
  • Begin today. Little by little- and with bold leaps of faith- clear the weeds, plant good seeds, and tend to them with fierce devotion. There is a great harvest waiting for you at the end- and in the in-between.

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 218,219, 220). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

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