Cultivate by Lara Casey
Do you ever have the experience of a book finding you at just the perfect time? It happens to me often, and is one of my very favorite things in life. This past week, leading up to Easter, then over Easter weekend, I read two books, both with strong faith-filled messages of hope and goodness that found their way to me, and they were the perfect compliment to the message of the holiday.
The first is this non-fiction memoir self-help book "Cultivate". To begin, I want to say how much I love this cover. In this spring season of overcast days, rain, and snow, this rainbow cover warmed my heart and made me excited to open the book. Lara is a warm, charming, Christian woman who dug deep when life got hard. She miscarried and her marriage was on the rocks. She felt broken and empty inside and wondered if her career as a magazine editor was really what she was supposed to be doing with her life. As she turned to God, reaching out for His guidance, and working with Him to create a plan for what she wanted her life to look like, she learned many great and simple truths. This book is so full of living-a-good-life gems. It's overall message is "bloom where you are planted" but unlike the platitude, it is full of helpful, dirt-under-your-fingernails tips on how to do that, how to nourish your soil wherever you are, so that your life CAN actually bloom. One of my favorite passages from the book says “In fact, it’s in the imperfect—the dirt—where things grow. Not despite the mess and tension, but right smack in the middle of it.”
I saw myself in Lara's struggles and realizations time and time again, and am so grateful that she was willing to share those tender places in her heart, those hard experiences that she's been through, and the joy and difficulties that have come her way as she has changed her life. This is a book that I know I will read over and over and come away with new insights, particular to where I'm at that day, every time. I adore this one, and know you will too. If you have a gardener in your life, they will particularly love Lara's little gardening anecdotes at the end of each chapter that teach life lessons.
And, to end, a picture of a gorgeous rainbow taken from my back yard one day a couple of weeks ago- it was so lovely and my heart swelled with thanks for the opportunity to see it, a pre-Easter blessing.