How to… Grow

When I compare my mental, physical, spiritual & social health 2 ½ years ago to today, I see complete contrast. This changed happened through many small changes, all of which would be impossible to remember let alone list.

The following 10 small changes illustrate the principle of incremental growth as it took place in my own life. I offer them now by way of testimony of my struggle to victory in my life.

  1. Found the root cause of my poor health.
  2. Learned as much as I could about my health conditions.
  3. Eliminated bad & increased good nutrition.
  4. Asked for help. Lots of help.
  5. Took naps. Got the rest needed to heal & grow strong.
  6. Said “no” more in order to be able to say “yes” better.
  7. Rediscovered exercise. Quit timing, measuring & comparing.
  8. Made reading a daily requirement.
  9. Retired. (That’s what my husband calls it… I call it quitting my job.)
  10. Spent time daily in prayer & reading my Bible.
  11. Took my thoughts captive.
  12. Started a blog to tame those captive thoughts.

These small changes may or may not trigger ideas for changes needed in your life, but hopefully they do indicate over-arching areas needing attention for anyone’s growth to endure.

Courtesy of stock.xchng

Luke 2:25 indicates that Jesus grew physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially. Applying that to my own life comes throu

gh realizing that all the small steps I take are leading me down a path of growth that follows Jesus’ example.The cedars of Lebanon grew to 120 feet tall and 30 feet in circumference. They were solid, strong and immovable, and the writer of Psalm 92 saw believers who placed their faith in God as upright, strong and unmoved much like these cedars. And strong believers know that following God is not a one-time event but an ongoing, moment-by-moment experience.Just as a cedar of Lebanon didn’t pop up overnight like a dandelion, victory in our lives doesn’t spring forth without being first built through small changes made over time. Come to think of it, that’s how God builds an enduring faith too.

DISCUSSION: How are you growing physically, intellectually, spiritually & socially?

Related Reading: I have covered this topic of small steps leading to big change extensive at New Hope Ladies, a blog especially for the ladies of my church family. The post Focus on Small Changes and the study Small Changes: Little Things Make a Big Difference both focus on helping others understand how God works in the small areas of our lives in wonderful ways.

 Subscribe to Struggle to Victory by Email or Subscribe in a reader

15 thoughts on “How to… Grow

  1. I think we tend to look for short cuts to growth in any area. Just like farming there are no short cuts. You have got to do it all. You have to prepare the soil, plant the seed, water it, weed it, water more, weed more, sometime you have to prune, and sometimes you even have to start over after a crop fails. Such is life as well. There are no short cuts to growth and it takes work. It just does not happen. Without it you get the weeds in your life.

    One thing I like to do to help me grow is to read Kari's blog to challenge my thinking.

    • Short cuts never work out too well, do they? I tell my kids that easy is not always, and often is not, better. The hard way is usually the best way. Love the farming analogy, especially since one of my husband's and my favorite quotes is to "Prepare for rain." While my flesh really wants to take the easy way out, I have learned that I will usually have to redo anything done when taking the easy way, so the easy way ends up becoming harder and longer than the original hard way would have been. You are such an encouragement to me, Mark. Thank you.

      • I like that… Prepare for Rain….. We do not know when the rain is coming so we need to do all we can to be ready. Also when it does come it will be a blessing. When it rains it also makes up stop doing some of the things we normally do since "it's raining". Rain renews in more than one way.

        • It's a quote from one of our favorite movies, Facing the Giants. My husband and I love its application to our lives, because it's all about stepping out in faith. Hmmm… That might have to be a separate post sometime!

  2. Love your list, Kari. 1-3 and 10-11 are the things that help me grow the most. I've been doing these same things with insecurity and perfectionism. Find the root cause of my problems, learn as much as I can about the issues – this usually just means studying the biblical concepts, eliminate the lies I'm believing and increase the truth and do it all through conversations with God in #10 and #11. I love growing because I love living in peace and joy and I love the intimacy with God created by growing.

    • Your point of eliminating the lies and increasing the truth is so key in the struggle to victory. We can't just get rid of the bad, we have to replace it with good. I love to grow too. The process may be hard and painful, but the benefits – peace, joy & intimacy with Christ – make it more than worthwhile!

  3. Saying "no" in order to say a better "yes." That's wise counsel.

    As for growing, I spent some great growth time in Dallas last week (ACFW Conference). For Christian fiction writers, the conference provides both spiritual challenge and practical tools for crafting better stories. I have loads to write in the near future about my ACFW experience.

    • Hard lesson to learn too, that's for sure. Your example of how to grow is terrific! I look forward to reading about your experiences. Also, I have been thinking about finding a conference myself, but haven't found the right one yet. Great way to grow! Used to do them all the time when I had a job. Again, looking forward to what you have coming.

  4. My transformation began seven years ago following a personal crisis. At the time my choices were throw myself at the feet of Jesus or completely lose my mind. By God's grace my fragile self found itself at the foot of the cross and He has lifting me up and molding me piece by piece since that time. Total transformation is always unsettling and messy, but the end result is so worth the painful process.

      • You're right Kari, I was clinging to people when God wanted me to cling to Him. His blessed transformation has taken me from a life filled with fear, to one with peace, joy, and even a bit of courage. He is sooooo good.

    • Yes, they do. It is amazing that He, in His infinite wisdom, leads us through gradual change knowing we can't handle a lot of change all at once. Consider lottery winners. Most sure don't handle the big change well at all. He loves us enough to only give what we can handle. At the same time, we learn to depend on Him. His ways are definitely higher, because that's not how I would naturally do things.

  5. Pingback: How to… Be Victorious | Struggle to Victory

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *