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).

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)

Begging in Prayer

I often compare the relationship of children with their caregivers and the relationship I have with my heavenly Father. How children communicate with their caregivers is quite indicative of how I’ve communicated with God.

One common communication behavior of a child is begging. Sometimes their desires are so intense they feel they have to beg. Children can be relentless, often demanding for an answer now! But, if a caregiver denied them what they wanted it was because they didn’t need it, it was unsafe for them, or they could benefit from it at a later time.

I have often exhibited these same relentless, demanding behaviors when praying or begging God! I want an answer now! But, am I truly opening up my heart to hear God’s response? Maybe God knows I don’t need what I’m asking from Him. Maybe God’s telling me that my desires are unsafe for myself or others. Maybe God has decided that I could benefit more from it at a later point in time.

As a little child matures, they learn to better accept (or at least tolerate) their caregiver’s response. As I mature more in Christ, I can better accept the response of my loving Father. No matter what His answer may be.

In scripture, Jesus instructs me to pray by simply asking. But God’s response will be in accordance with His will and His timing.

  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.- Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.– Mark 11:24 (NIV)
  • And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.- John 14:13-14 (NIV)

In all of these scriptural guidelines, ask translates to beg, call for, crave, desire, require. It’s human nature for us to beg. But, begging should not be mistaken for being demanding. It should not foster a selfish attitude if I do not get an answer immediately. It should not cause me to internalize negative feelings about my own worth or the value of my prayers.


I have taken some time to seek guidelines regarding the attitude of my heart when praying to my heavenly Father. I have no doubt that you, too, will benefit.

  1. Acknowledge His power. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.- Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)
  2. Understand He hears me. I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their
    prayers!- Isaiah 65:24 (NLT)
  3. Believe nothing is too big or too small. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.– Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
  4. Have faith the slightest probability becomes the greatest possibility. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”– Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
  5. Be confident (free and fearless)And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.- 1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)
  6. Be humble (submit self in a lowly spirit). So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.- 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)
  7. Never give up in prayer and gratitude. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.- 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NLT)

God’s word is our instruction manual. He has given us a clear guideline for how we should pray. Sure, we may feel the need to beg. As long as our attitudes are pure and our hearts dwell on these scriptures, we can more easily accept the response of our heavenly Father. Just like a matured child!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”- Romans 12:12 (NIV)