‘’Establishing growth isn’t about how much we’ve read or heard. But about how many of those truths we’ve become.’’ – Graham Cooke
In the past, and sometimes still, I can find it difficult to slow down the intake and focus on being established instead of frantically going for more. I’m learning that it’s okay to give myself permission to listen to the same message or read the same chapter over and over again; to learn and re-learn a new habit; to move in peace and let the message or lesson sink deeply into my spirit. Orphan performance mindset will drive me to frantically go for more and quickly move to the next thing/place for help—pushing me to move ahead quickly to the next lesson.
What if real growth is being able to sit and drink deeply, deeply, deeply of the same truth over and over until it becomes part of my spirit woman? What if real growth is being okay with needing to consciously say ’yes’ and submit to learning the present lesson until it becomes reflex obedience?
I am currently in some spaces of needing to deeply learn truths and embrace obedience to those truths. The word GRACE has been popping up over and over in different ways while I’m here. Some days I feel like I’m repeating a grade. Re-doing a lesson I should have gotten right. I generally like to be efficient. To not waste time or energy re-doing things. I did not like erasers in school and I do not like them now. I can still see one of those difficult math lessons I had ‘failed’ at being vigorously erased while tears and eraser crumbs mixed together. I had a good heart. I had a good brain. I really did want to learn. What I didn’t understand then was grace. Here in these re-do spaces and in learning new habits He is teaching me GRACE beautifully. I’m learning that GRACE takes the pressure off. There’s not a quick fix or another book that I’m missing that holds the magical cure. My learning curves are beginning to fill up with joy as I learn to frame them within my relationship with God. He’s all about relational learning! Then why would He look at me with displeasure and put on the pressure to ‘get it right’? He doesn’t! That’s me. Not Him.
At home with Dad, the frantic ‘going for more’ and doing slows to a restful pace. It allows for establishment and growth to happen gracefully within the perimeters of my relationship with Him. The other week my daughter heard me re-listening to the same message for the umpteenth time. She asked ‘Mom, why do you listen to that one so often?’ I surprised myself when I quickly and easily answered, ‘Because it’s something new to me and just like I need to tell you the same thing more than once with new habits you’re learning I need to hear a lesson I’m learning more than once’. In that moment, Daddy God’s words back to me caught me off guard: ‘And just like you give her space to learn and love on her while she aims for new growth, so I do with you.’ It was one of those inhale sharply, ‘did I hear right?’ moments for me. ‘Wait. So God, you’re saying…’ to which He just seemed to smile and answered, ‘yes.’ In that moment, I felt so incredibly tucked in. So relieved. No need to work for this place. It’s mine. He doesn’t see the eraser as a sigh deeply re-do stigma place. He sees me—a good heart willing to learn; a relationship.
I’ve slowed down my intake considerably during the last months. The results? Much more restful. Learning that growth happens better in the confines of relationship with Dad when I’m restfully patient and leaning into grace. I know I’m ready to move on from a lesson/chapter/message when my spirit begins to feel restless as I am re-listening and I begin to feel hungry—like a growing caterpillar searching for a new leaf. And then we move to the next space easily.
He is who He says He is. A GENTLE Shepherd. If I am feeling rushed and pressured to quickly learn, that’s likely the voice of a hireling robber. Robbers generally leave pretty fast when things become still enough for their movement to be detected or an arrow of truth hits them. So, don’t be afraid to go slow and savor the process that goes with relational learning.
Slow down the intake when necessary and embrace the process.
‘’Assimilation, not accumulation, is the goal as we learn and grow.” – Graham Cooke
March 24, 2021
by Vera Smoker
Hi there! I am Vera, blessed wife of one and mom to three wonderful little people who make my world go round. I am an unashamed lover of Jesus, passionate about authentic relationships rooted within the identity that comes first from my relationship with Him. I’m a lover of good books, fat journals, sunsets and sunrises, long quiet country walks, and time with my family around campfires or on our front porch. Growth and mentorship are high on the list of values for me and I always thrill when I get to celebrate the wonderful journey of growth and discovery with others. The Hubs and I both love hosting so come relax with us sometime and we will chat the time away and connect over a good cup of coffee or chai!
God Made All of Me Matching Games
This set includes 16 matching games each featuring 4 vibrant real-life images with life-giving identity statements. As children place each matching card on the corresponding photo, they are speaking out words of truth and life over themselves. For non-verbal children, allow them to match the card as you speak the words over them. This fun and interactive set is perfect for engaging your little ones as they use their brain and their spirit to learn, grow and love life!
Kintsugi has always intrigued me. When a small dish from the treasury of my Grandma’s china that had been passed down to me broke the other week, I almost tossed it right into the trash can. But mid toss I stopped and said out loud, ‘No. Verna! She knows how to do kintsugi! I want to do that with this dish.’ At that point I immediately picked up the phone and put in my request for a little help and know-how for the project which turned into a fun morning and lunch together.
I haven’t always done well with living in touch with the desires inside of me. I haven’t always seen or treated them as gifts. But God is teaching me the beauty of them. The more I learn to lean into and trust the Holy Spirit, the more He’s teaching me the joy and the graceful art of embracing those desires while simultaneously releasing them and going quietly on with what is ‘today’.
I used to think the only things of worth were the big things ‘out there.’ It was difficult, actually, almost impossible for me to find fulfillment and satisfaction in doing the everyday stuff. Now you moms out there realize that so much of mom life is made up of exactly this—normal everyday ordinary stuff. And when I became a mom at 34, I wasn’t prepared for all it would show me. It showed me I hated the normal hidden everyday stuff. It showed me I’d never learned to thrive well in the everyday gears that are so important in the foundation before going out in the bigger world for all the bigger things.