God is the Master Gardener

Each month, I co-lead a 10 day morning routine challenge called “Morning Miracles” - it’s one of my favorite things, and while it is the smallest of our groups, I consider it the heartbeat of the Ambitious Christian Ministry.

Years ago, when I started getting serious about putting God first in my life and days, I had difficulty finding likeminded women, specifically Christian women, who were actively pursuing a strong Jesus-centered morning routine. 

Now, there are about 500 of us meeting monthly in the Facebook group located here: Morning Miracles Challenge

The group is managed by 7 amazing co-leaders:

Mary Mulligan Stipp, Illinois
Bekie Blanco Abiro, Texas
Debra Abisher, Arkansas
Beth A Summers Eilers, Illinois
Julie Jeno, Utah
Alison Tegano, New Jersey
Jennifer Reaves, Texas

These women have all been working with me practically daily for the past 1-2 years. In addition to helping keep the Morning Miracles machine running month after month, they help me think through complex social issues, like the ones we are facing with Coronavirus and Black Lives Matter, and hold everything up to the truth of the Bible, before opening my mouth to speak formally as a representative of the ministry. They are wise, loving, and fun! We finally met just for fun last month (Bekie’s idea) and we learned so much about each other. 

I’m sharing all of this for two reasons. 

Firstly, in just two days the Ambitious Christian Women ministry turns 4 years old! 😍 I plan to post separately about that, especially for those of you who support us financially. 

And secondly, part of today’s challenge was to reflect on Genesis 2:8 and 2:15 and how we should be tending the garden we’ve been placed in.

I think it honors God to reflect on all He’s doing and consider how you can be a better co-laborer. 

When I think about my garden I think about all the wonderful opportunities I’ve been given, and all the things budding, about to burst forth - how my daughter is growing beautifully strong and fast, how we are possibly buying our first home soon, how I was just offered my job back at work on my own terms, and how the ministry continues to flourish despite change and pressures of life. I think about my approach to motherhood and how I’m being constantly refined. I think about my relationship with my husband, and how parenthood is growing us. I think about my friendships online and off, and especially our church. 

There is always so much happening! And I see God’s hand and favor in it all. 

When I think of areas that need my attention, it’s overwhelming. I think that for sure I can never do ENOUGH. I am always thinking of new projects, Bible studies to facilitate, snail mail to send, blog posts to write. And if we get this house, I’ll have my fair share of home projects to keep me very very busy. But I want to be walking in step with the Holy Spirit, so that means I’ll need  more self-control than ever.

I learned a while ago to give it all to God and ask for the grace to complete the MUST DOs plus a little more, and to run my own race with excellence. I know for sure that for me it starts in the morning, every morning by meditating on God’s word (the Bible) and praying real, thoughtful, strategic  prayers. Those two things are like the watering of the whole life Garden. If you don’t have the watering consistent, all your hard work is at the mercy of the weather.

And LOOK OUT, because if you haven’t noticed - the weather isn’t very merciful! 😂

I will never be a master gardener of my life, but thankfully I look to Jesus, the rock that is higher than I, the one who is and will always be THE Master Gardener. He leads, guides, and directs me, and I don’t need to worry about anything,

If you’re considering putting God first every day with a strong morning routine that’s centered on Him, you’ll love our little group. You are placed with accountability partners who want the same and encouraged to check in daily with your team showing you are completing the various steps of the challenge. Scroll back up for the link - I hope to see you inside! 

❤️ Never stop learning, growing, and reaching 


Laura's Christmas Gift List... EXPOSED!

This is my fun little video sharing all my Christmas gift ideas for my in Laws, Gifts for Men, Gifts for Kids, and all the women in my life! There are ACTUAL spoilers in here so please if you even MIGHT get a Christmas gift from me, please skip this video!

When you make a purchase through one of my links, you support this ministry at no additional cost to you! Sometimes, because of the discounts and promo codes I can offer, the price actually comes down. Thank you so much for watching, clicking, and liking and commenting!

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Lauras Christmas Gift list

And all the links to the gift ideas are below in the show notes!

🎁 Gift 1: Luxury PJ set!
I got my Cosabella Pima cotton, mother of pearl button pajama sets from Stitchfix Extras

🎁 Gift 2: High Quality Bra

🎁 Gift 3: Christmas Card stuffers

🎁 Gift 4: More Christmas Card stuffers

🎁 Gift 5: The Christian Daily Planner

🎁 Gift 6: Purchase an Acre of Land in their name
  • I used www.highlandtitles.com for Scotland, and you can find other websites for things like naming a crater...

🎁 Gift 7: (Oops I skipped 7 sorry lol there is no 7)

🎁 Gift 8: Coffee Table Book of photos of their favorite place or home city https://amzn.to/2OVBFuM

🎁 Gift 9: Picture Book of Psalms

🎁 Gift 10: Experiential gifts! Check Groupon for good ideas near where they live.

🎁 Gift 11: TOYS - Big but not as expensive as they look!

🎁 Gift 12: All my Friends Have Issues

Thank you for watching and reading! To learn more about this ministry please see our Ambitious Christian Women Patreon page!

Happier by the Minute with Stacey Yates Sellar - a new online community

Thank you Happier by the Minute for entrusting me with the soft launch of your first flagship digital asset and corresponding Facebook Group. Now we nurture this fledgling online community in their exploration of positive psychology!

The group is open to the public: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happierbytheminute if you'd like to learn to apply the science of happiness to your everyday life.

Here are some engagement and growth statistics from our first full month:

The corresponding Instagram page which I manage, @happierbyminute has been seeing excellent growth at the pace of about 75 new followers per week. See that here: Happier by the Minute Instagram

We begin with her professionally pre-recorded videos which I reformat for social media and apply captions. I also source beautiful imagery to go along with her science-backed happiness tools and tips. We continue to trend in the top 9 for the #positivepsychology hashtag and we are discovering new avenues for reach every day! 

Soon we will launch an initiative to turn followers into group members, and I can't wait to report on how that goes. We also have a new influencer outreach campaign which will really take things to the next level.

As part of the monthly management package, also I restructured the Happier by the Minute YouTube channel, adding a Trailer Video which I made, organized all videos neatly into playlists to boost SEO, and applied clear calls to action where applicable. Take a peek at her new look: Happier by the Minute YouTube Channel ...Who else needs a YouTube makeover?

If you're curious about how to leverage Facebook Groups or social media to build an online community or enhance your offline community, come to me! I am available for consulting only, and would love to be a springboard for you. This is what I love to do and it's one of the few things that is working on Facebook for organic (unpaid) reach right now.

How to Attend the Facebook Communities Summit

I'm really looking forward to the Facebook Communities Summit coming up in February.

Attend the summit by RSVPing on the Facebook Communities Summit Event Page. The live summit will stream directly to that event page on Friday, February 9 at 10:20am GMT. You bet I'll be putting on my big girl pants and getting up to watch it! The opening keynote is from Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook, and with all this change happening to Facebook within the past week, this is an event I'm not going to miss!

I have personally benefitted tremendously from Facebook groups and I know that in the wake of recent changes to the Facebook Pages algorithm, building real community in Facebook groups is key to maintaining organic reach on Facebook.

Many of my clients and collaborators use Facebook groups to build communities around their ideas, apps, brands, systems, educational products, and digital assets. 

For its members, a Facebook group becomes a place for customers to become friends with each other and receive crowdsourced feedback, tips, encouragement, and troubleshooting.

Without advertisements of any kind, my personal brand's Facebook group now grows at the rate of about 20-40 members per week with the main lead funnels being various digital offerings and my YouTube channel. The average post in my group receives between 4-25 comments and as you can see, growth has been steady.

Growth chart, Facebook group "We Are Ambitious Christian Women"
I expect growth to increase as I begin to invest in unique digital offerings and run promotions for this great niche of women that I personally admire and learn from.

We have already created 3 sub-groups to aid with organization of the growing community, allowing us to serve them better.

How did I create a growing Facebook group that truly serves people? Necessity is the mother of invention. It was the community that *I* needed. If you need help determining how to build a community around your brand, I highly recommend the book It Starts with Why and considering what's the thing YOU need that you wish you had? 

Thanks for reading! Are you coming to the summit? What has your experience been with Facebook groups? Drop me a comment below!

Never stop learning, growing, and reaching,

Content by Laura Gabriele