A Growth Process: Transforming with Knowledge and Understanding

I feel as if I am reliving the same day over and over again. Within that concept lies another underlying problem. I’m also repeating the same things over and over again. “What did I just say?”, “Are you even listening to me?”, “How many times do I have to tell you?” are just a few of those sayings on repeat to two toddlers.

Not only am I reliving this moment by moment, day by day, but I am reliving the frustration and impatience with it all. I figure, they know these things. I’ve modeled these things to them. Yet they still don’t do it! Other words, why can’t they just match what I do and be like me?!

Simply put, that’s an expectation that’s unachievable. The reality is that they’re toddlers. They have a short attention span. They have not yet acquired maturity. They may have knowledge of something, but they have not received the ability to carry out that knowledge. Because the growth process entails taking time. I train, guide, and correct them until they are transformed in such a way that mirrors the potential for who and what they can be. And it’ll be a continual process.

This requires more than just knowing something in their mind. They have to understand it with their heart. Take my son for example. He is completely obsessed with construction vehicles, tractors, emergency vehicles, etc. He both knows and understands about them because he loves them so much! On the flip side, he knows about his sister’s kitty obsession, but he doesn’t understand it because it’s not something he thoroughly enjoys.


I realized the implication this had on my walk with Christ. I was striving so hard to match what I knew about Jesus. I was so hard on myself every single time I failed. On my own I could not think, say, do, and behave in such a way that mirrored Jesus. So I loathed in my condemning thoughts. “I’m just never going to be or do enough!”

Simply put, that’s an expectation that’s unachievable. I’m not meant to match Jesus, to think, say, do, and behave all in my own efforts. Only, I live through Him. I love how The Passion Translation says it like this:

“The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him“.- 1 John 4:9

I was, then, reminded of the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with His disciples (Matthew 14:13-21). At this point, the disciples knew Jesus could perform miracles. Jesus had modeled miracles before their very eyes. Then, in the very next chapter, (Matthew 15:32-39) Jesus calls His disciples to feed a different 4,000. Their response? “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?” [-Seriously!] Sounds familiar, right?

The reality is, just like those disciples, I have not fully figured it all out. I still have to attend to Jesus. I still have maturity to acquire in Him. And while I may have knowledge of Him, I have to allow Him to help me carry out that knowledge. It’s done by gaining that understanding through deep revelation within my heart that only He can provide.

“These people honor me only with their words, for their hearts are so very distant from me. They pretend to worship me, but their worship is nothing more than the empty traditions of men.” Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “Come, listen and open your heart to understand.”– Matthew 15:8-10 (TPT) [emphasis mine]

And it’s a growth process (aka: sanctification). He trains, guides, and corrects me as I surrender to Him and His word. Moment by moment, day by day…

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

…until I’m transformed in such a way that mirrors the potential for who and what I can be in Him.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.- 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT)

No longer do I have to feel frustrated and impatient when my children don’t follow through with my instruction or perform to meet my expectations. Nor do I have to feel frustrated and impatient with myself when I don’t follow “having a mind like Christ” or performing like “Christ lives in me”. That type of thinking leads to striving and results in condemning thoughts. Right now, I surrender all those expectations.

I thoroughly enjoy the word of God and love Him- just as my son loves his machines! Which means I have the ability to both know and understand who Jesus is in me. I can trust His sanctifying work that is declared in Galatians 2:20, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

To my children, to myself, and to anyone who can relate to my circumstances: “Come, listen and open your heart to understand”.

The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.- 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NIV).

First Best

As of late, my toddler has had an intense fondness for spending time with his daddy. If daddy is home, mommy is second best. I do my best to try to include myself in their activities. Instead, my son quickly shuns me by pushing me away, or shouting, “No, No, Mommy!”.

To say this rejection hurts would be an understatement. I do know this is a normal behavior for a toddler to explore. But, he’s my first born, and he has certainly been a ‘Mama’s boy’ for so long.

I adore spending time with him, to be around his presence. It brings me great joy. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to the ‘stay-at-home’ lifestyle. Maybe it’s because he’s a part of me. But it’s most definitely, simply because I love him.

I imagine God knows these feelings all too well. I often find myself having an intense fondness for spending my time either trying to constantly acheive or by tending to useless affairs. I begin each day by tackling my daily chores, and I generally do not stop until they’re all done. I find myself frequently utilizing social media outlets. I browse many online shops and essentially waste time because I’m not intending to purchase anything anyway.

I came to the realization that when I wake for the day, God is often second (third, fourth, or even last) best. Most assuredly, God tries to include himself in my activities. He beckons me to show love by my words and actions. His Holy Spirit brings to my remembrance songs of praise or memorized scriptures. He even lays people on my heart and mind to encourage me to pray for them. Instead, I have shunned God by pushing Him, or those nudges, away. I shout, “No, No, God”, as if my work on Earth is more important than working for God’s kingdom.


I do not know for certain, but to say this rejection hurts God is probably an understatement. God knows the true heart of mankind is selfish at best. And He knows these affairs are “normal” behaviors for those that live in the world. But I am called His child, and I am certainly required to be set apart from the world and to be ‘Daddy’s girl’.

Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LordDon’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.- 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NLT) 

It’s true. God adores to spend time with me, to be around my presence. He asks for the same in return. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”- John 15:5 (NLT)

It does indeed bring Him great joy. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”- John 15:11 (NLT) 

Maybe it’s because that’s the lifestyle He initially intended me to have. Maybe it’s because I am a part of Him, made in His image. (Genesis 1:26-27). But it’s most definitely, simply because He loves me.  “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.”- John 15:9 (NLT)

With this in mind, I seek a heart change. One that can shun those so-called acheivements or useless affairs. One that places God back in His rightful position. I have declared that I allowed God to make His home in my heart, and He should always be first best.

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”- James 4:8 (NLT)

While I Wait

I was taking time to prepare breakfast for my toddler and I, to carry out my daily chores, and to get myself ready for the day. Through this very typical routine, I noticed a consistent pattern in conversation with my son. “I need you to wait”, I uttered at least a dozen times within an hour.

What a grand demand for a toddler with such small requests from his mommy. Without giving him redirection, waiting can seem like an eternity. I realized I needed to plan and provide a different direction for him to place his focus while he waited.

This simple, daily happening reflects an even bigger picture. I may find myself in a period of waiting upon the Lord. For example, I’ve requested for guidance in which path I should take next. I’ve asked for healing both physically and spiritually for myself or others. Regardless of what I pray, God’s response may not be immediate. I’m simply required to wait.

In the gospels, there are recorded events that lead up to Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion on the cross, and resurrection from the dead. Jesus had continuously foretold these events to his disciples. Leading up to it are accounts of what took place while they waited.


I noticed there was a considerable difference in how the disciples chose to wait versus the provisions that were given by Jesus. The disciples reacted in their own flesh and by their own strengths. What was made manifest due to their choices was painful to witness.

  1. They rebuked (to blame, to groan). While he [Jesus] was in Bethany.. a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume.. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present.. rebuked her harshly.- Mark 14:3-5 (NIV) 
  2. They betrayed (to deliver up treacherously). Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He [Jesus] is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” ..immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.- Mark 14:44-45 (NKJV)
  3. They denied (to reject, to refuse). And when she saw Peter.. she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.”.. Mark 14:67-68 (NKJV) 
  4. They slept (to yield to sloth and sin). Then He [Jesus] came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?- Mark 14:37 (NKJV) 

The disciples clearly made poor choices that lead to much regret as they witnessed the prophesy of Jesus being unfolded before their very eyes. But, Jesus planned and provided a different direction for them to place their focus while they waited.

  1. Jesus was anointed (to make contact). Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil.., anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.. Jesus said, “..she has kept this for the day of My burial.- John 12:3&7 (NKJV)
  2. Jesus requested preparations (to make ready). Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”- Luke 22:8 (NIV)
  3. Jesus gave thanks and took communion (to obtain fellowship in the dignity and blessings of the Son of God). While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.– Matthew 26:26-27 (NIV)
  4. Jesus said to watch and pray (to be cautious, to take heed). Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.- Mark 14:38 (NIV) 

There is much to be learned from both accounts. This has caused me to reflect upon what I will do during my period of waiting while on this Earth. I may be waiting for a prayer to be answered, or even grander yet, waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Regardless, I have the choice to follow that same painful path as the disciples did. Or, I can choose to follow the provisions that Jesus gives to redirect my attention while I wait.

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”- 1 Peter 4:7-11 (NIV) 

A Time to Rest

Time. It goes by so quickly. Minutes turn into hours. Hours turn into another day come and gone. Each day I can be overcome with a hectically busy routine. I know I’m not alone. Cleaning, cooking, taking care of a child, errands, grocery shopping- the lists could go on forever.

Amongst the busy of my days, it seems there is just no time to rest. I must intentionally schedule “rest”. But that does not come without sacrificing another portion of my busy day. This requires, though, that I wake up extra early before my son, utilize his nap time, or wait until after he goes to sleep at night.

I often joke with my husband about this exact situation. He chooses to stay up an hour after our son goes to sleep in order to retrieve his rest. I’ve always said, “I’ll get my rest with my eyes shut”!

But as I pause to reflect upon our joking, I have to admit… He’s actually [almost] right! gasp! I do need to set aside time to rest. And not just the sleeping kind of rest. Not the kind of “rest” that has my eyeballs glued to the TV or my phone. Not the kind of “rest” that has me pampering myself while being surrounded by everyone else’s problems.

Im talking about a soul rest. A time to rest at the feet of my Heavenly Father. A time to be in prayer without asking for something in return. A time to study, meditate, and reflect upon the Word. A time to just sit and listen to God’s voice.


I am reminded about how Jesus often took a time to rest. He spent much time traveling, teaching, healing, performing miracles, etc. Amongst the busy of His days, it could have been that there was just no time to rest. He had a lot of work that needed done for the sake of saving souls.

But Jesus. He still found a time to rest. The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.- Mark 6:30‭-‬32 (NIV)

And the need for rest is not just stressed here. Another account where Jesus commends a woman for her rest is found in Luke 10:38-42..

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha felt there was no time to rest. She allowed the busy of her day to consume her. But, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. In this context, “sat” is to place near, to sit down beside. And, “listen” is to give ear to teaching or to a teacher, to comprehend or to understand.

This is the key in what it means for me to enter in a time to rest. I must choose to sit down beside the Word of God, to give ear to His teaching, and to comprehend and understand Him. This is where my soul will truly find rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”- Matthew 11:28‭-‬29 (NIV)