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A WORK IN PROGRESS
As a child I was shy and withdrawn, insecure and anxious. I was a sensitive kid that was afraid of the dark and meeting new people. But I loved to teach my younger brother, read funny books, write stories, make crafts and create neighborhood clubs.
When I grew older, my talents grew, as did my weaknesses. With big changes came bigger challenges. Marrying young and living across the country from my family, death of my mother-in-law, post-partum depression, a chronic illness and an aggressive toddler.
I walked through many days of confusion and exhaustion, until I learned that even doctors have their limits on how much they can help. I learned in each of these areas, that my spiritual growth had to be part of the equation. Learning to trust, leaning to hope, learning to pray.
Even in my talents, came trials.
After I got a job teaching second grade, I thought my biggest worry would be classroom management. It ended up being things like dealing with CPS, a year where 60% of my kids had recently gone through divorce, or two of my kids losing their parents during the time in my class.
Again I had to turn to my Father, the only one who could give me true peace and wisdom in a world where things often don’t make sense.
LEARNING TO LET GO OF CONTROL
Life is so much more complicated as an adult than it was as a child.
Some things can be helped from self-help books or experience. Others can be helped through community, such as a friend reaching out, or a doctor prescribing medicine. But some come at a harder price. Complete surrender. Loss of control in a situation where the only option you have left is to give it to God.
Life is full of twists and turns and lessons we may have never wanted to learn in the way we did. And so, as I train myself to grow in the ways God calls me to, I find myself taking my problems to Him much faster and with much more trust than I have in the past.
GROWING IN FAITH
No matter where you are in this journey, you my friend, need to set some spiritual goals. We set goals for our careers, our health and our finances. Why wouldn’t we then set them for our spirituality–the one thing we claim matters the most in life?
When I need to grow in confidence, I focus on surrender and study. When I need to grow in positivity and hope, I focus on prayer and worship.
Where are you struggling? Set your goals in these areas and look for ways God is growing you spiritually. Don’t see your trials as a roadblock, but as an opportunity.
Ready to get started? Me too!
10 AREAS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
“His praise shall be continually in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
- Listen to a Christian radio station
- Discover a worship style you prefer
- Play instrumental hymnals while you work
- Sing Sunday school songs
- Watch Praise Baby with your kids
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.” 1 John 1:9
- Repent of a sin and list tangible ways to improve
- Find a mentor or accountability partner to encourage you
- Attend counseling to work through forgiveness issues
“She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.” Luke 2:37
- Fast from a type of technology (TV, social media, phone)
- Cut out food indulges (sweets, carbs)
- Fast from spending money (impulse buys, extra purchases, treats)
- Take a break from a hobby (use the time in study and prayer)
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
- Host a get together with family or friends
- Join a small group at church
- Join a women’s Bible study
- Pray with others
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5
- Commit to reading your Bible daily
- Commit to daily prayer
- Seek out spiritual mentors at your church
- Fast and pray over a specific decision
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
- Take up meditation as a way to train your mind to focus
- Buy a Bible study workbook or Christian Living book
- Do research on Biblical history and timelines
- Learn about Greek and Hebrew word translations
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12
- Pray as a family at the dinner table
- Pray during an activity (brushing teeth, in traffic)
- Read a book about prayers
- Pray with your kids at bedtime
- Write your prayers in a journal
- Ask for and keep track of prayer requests
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them…when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4
- Give money to a homeless person
- Buy the meal for the person behind you in the drive thru
- Participate in Toys for Tots, MAGI boxes, or Angel Tree
- Go on a personal retreat to read, fast and pray
“Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13
- Visit a nursing home (teach something, play music, pass out cards)
- Bring cookies to a Fire/Police Station
- Buy/make items for kids in the hospital
- Bring a meal or help clean a sick person’s home
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
- Wake early to spend quiet time with God
- Go somewhere to sit still and enjoy nature
- Let the little things go
- Have a tech free day and be present with your family
SET ONE SPIRITUAL GOAL RIGHT NOW
Pick ONE area that sticks out to you the most right now. Then write down the action steps you need to get there. Work your way through them. Then move onto the next, building and growing in your spiritual walk. Click the image to print your goal sheet:
BEFORE YOU GO…
After you set your Spiritual Goal, check out the rest of the Bible Series here:
- Choosing a Bible
- Old Testament Timeline
- New Testament Timeline
- 5 Ways Jesus Modeled Self-Care
- 5 Styles of Note-Taking
- How to Navigate the Bible
- Tips for Memorizing Scripture
- Spiritual Gifts
You’ve got this!