About the Founder

Lancia E. Smith

Cultivator of beauty, teacher, word friend, and camera jedi

My name is Lancia (pronounced Lawn-see-uh). I am a well-married wife, a mother of seven, and a nana of seven. I am founder and Executive Director of Cultivating Oaks Press, Cultivating, and The Cultivating Project. I write most often about the work of restoration in a cultivated life, about faithful people mending broken places and people, and the calling we each share to reclaim whole lives rooted in Christ.

By trade I am a photographer who has been shooting professionally for better than 40 years. I can say, however, that I am a writer by deepest inclinations. I loved letters before I could use them just as I danced before I could walk. My first mother taught me to read at three & a half and reading became my saving grace as a child growing up in traumatic circumstances. From my first encounter with each of them, I have held an abiding interest in the lives and works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald. Most especially Lewis. 

Always of an entrepreneurial bent, my “day-job” is the executive management of a thriving environmental consulting and construction firm in northern Colorado. But my deep roots have always been planted in serving the body of Christ directly, in tending communities, and in nurturing the individuals who make them up.

One of the defining elements of my life is that I have been in recovery from drug-addiction and alcoholism for 42 years. Closely tied to that is the fact that I have lived with and managed chronic depression for much of my life. Why tell you that in the middle of an introductory description of me when it would be so much easier, and possibly safer, to leave that out? One reason is that part of my recovery requires a certain measure of transparency. Disclosure. That part is for me. The other reason though is for you, and it carries the greater weight of motivation for me.

More of Lancia's Story

You need to know if I am a reliable voice to listen to and whether I have any understanding of the landscape you are traveling and overcoming. 

It is important for your sake that you know we share common ground in our human experience – and that while I write about things that are beautiful, true and good, it isn’t just “sweetness and light”.

I don’t live in a protected ivory tower, any more than you do, and I don’t have easy answers. For all of life’s heartaches and mysteries, I know that God is faithful, and I know that He is Good. Always Good. From that starting point I am working out a living faith in the daily struggles and joys of my own life.

Back to the Beginning


I deliberately cultivate what is good, true and beautiful, not in denial of suffering, but it in response to it.

The shadowed experiences and conditions that have been most difficult for me to come to terms with – mixed thoroughly with all the sweetness and joy in my life – are fundamental elements of redemption for me. These very conditions and the experiences that caused them are the reaping field in me for Christ; the bitter, broken places made whole and sweet, clean and new, for His Glory.

Out of them He is making something new – beauty from ashes.

A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship

Enjoy our gift to you as our Welcome to Cultivating! Discover the purpose of The Cultivating Project, and how you might find a "What, you too?" experience here with this fellowship of makers!

Receive your complimentary e-book