I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, January 6, 2012

Change Equals Growth

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I work with children on a daily basis. One of the most amazing moments of being an early childhood educator is seeing their physical and cognitive skills development. I praise my infant Little Darling for learning how to clap her chubby little hands. I praise my preschool Little Darlings for their letters and spelling their names. I praise my toddler Little Darling for sharing toys with her friends. One of the saddest things about these precious Little Darlings is they outgrow me. Their changes as they develop and grow older require higher levels of learning than what I offer.

And don't even get me started on my own boys. Our older son has chosen to leave his current university and course of study to enroll in culinary school ... three hours away. Our younger son is a senior in high school this year. In June, he will graduate and begin a new adventure as he studies photography. His flight from the nest will leave another empty place at the dinner table. 

While we may take out a leaf and make our dining room table smaller, this change equals growth in our home--growth as Hubby and I rediscover ourselves as a couple, growth as our boys study their passions and soar to reach their dreams, and eventually growth in our family size as they find a wife and start their own families. 

These changes don't come without bittersweet tears and tugs on the heartstrings. But we can't keep them children nestled under our wings forever. We need to encourage them to take flight and spread their own wings. With tissue in hand and memories of their childhoods scrolling through our minds like a Sunday afternoon matinee, we need to gently push them in the right direction to find their own ways in the world. And continually pray for God's protection and provision as they stroll down the paths He has laid before them. 

Proverbs 22: 6 reminds us, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

On Monday, Beth K. Vogt posted the MBT Ponderers are pondering a phase of discovery to see how we can meet our readers' needs. After all, our purpose is to touch our readers' hearts. Heidi Geis posted the following comment: "Personally, I've always sort of resisted change, but the older I get, the better I understand that change equals growth." Her words of wisdom stayed with me all week long, showing themselves in many ways. 

Change happens. And yes, it often comes with growing pains. We can resist change and grow stagnant, or we can embrace it and look forward to new opportunities and blessings.

Your turn: What changes are affecting your life right now? How do those changes make you feel? How are those changes helping you to grow?

Lisa Jordan


  1. Love this and so needed it today. Thanks so much for the precious reminders here that truly hugged my heart!

  2. Wise words, Lisa! I actually sort of crave change. While I do take a degree of comfort in routine, if a long stretch of time goes by without change, I get restless. Which, quite honestly, is the stage I'm at now. So I can't exactly answer the question about changes affecting my life...'cause at the moment things feel familiar. :) But when I hit that restless stage, often something as simple as redecorating a room or trying something new or rearranging my schedule gives me a temporary fix. :)

  3. I love this post, Lisa. You make it live. As an unseen observer, I'm there at your dining room table as you take a leaf out, but with a sense of more growth, suitable pride as you watch your boy/men soar, and of good things ahead.

  4. Amy, I'm so glad you found wisdom in the words. Every time I read your blog posts, I always leave with your words lingering in my soul. Thank you for visiting.

  5. Good job, Lisa on raising boys who aren't afraid to stretch, to reach for their dreams.

    My feelings about change are complex. On the one hand, I love trying new things, but on the other, I don't always like stepping out of my comfort zone. I agree with Heidi that change equals growth.

  6. Melissa, I, too, take comfort in the familiar. It's been the last several years that I've learned to embrace change. In the past, change equaled fear of the unknown, but learning to trust God helped me to learn to embrace the growth that change brings.

  7. Dee, thank you for your sweet words. You're one of the wisest women I know. Perhaps someday you will be a guest at one of those extra spaces at our dinner table. :-)

  8. Pat, I'm with you. I like my comfort zone. It's warm and cozy in there. But I've also felt the warmth of unexpected blessings when I've stepped outside my comfort zone. Change takes change. That first step is all it takes. Thankfully God stretches down his hand to clasp ours so we don't have to do it alone.

  9. Awesome post, Lisa! I think what scares me most about change isn't change itself, but the uncertainty that comes with change. I'm a routine, like to know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there. Change brings lots of not knowing. And that can be scary. :)

  10. Lisa, such a beautiful post. Reading about your grown sons made me think that you and your hubby have enabled them to soar, even if it is right out of your home to begin new lives. Your word pictures for change in your life were poignant.

    I don't have a lot of outer change right now. I'm seeing changes as our children stretch their wings a little--I'm learning to adapt and change my parenting style with them.

    What helps me grow (and maintain an accurate perspective) through times of change is keeping the most important relationships in my life vibrant.

  11. Lisa,
    Great post and so very true. My boys are growing, becoming independent and I'm enjoying this season.

    I pick apart any change in my life and try to make myself look at the best of any given situation and pray that my attitude follows! :)

    Thanks for letting us see into your life!

    Alena T.

  12. I used to be all about "please, please, keep everything the same!"
    And then I married a guy in the Air Force ... and we had children ... and they grew up ... and now 2 are married ...
    Change, change, change ...
    And I've learned to let go, and open my arms to embrace the new things even as I hold on to the precious memories.
    What a delicate balance that is.

    Thank you for this post, LJ. For the glimpse into your heart. For the reminder that change is truly bitter-sweet. And we need to be willing to taste both.

  13. Great post, Lisa. It has been such a joy for me to see my children spread their wings and make their way in the world, and stretch their faith. This past year I've especially enjoyed the change of welcoming a new grandbaby into our fold! But as I was dusting family photos this morning of some cherished vacation pictures. It was a little sad to think that those days are behind us. Yet, new adventures lie ahead!!!

  14. My life has changed a lot in the past year, but not all in a good way. However, God never afflicts us with change that He cannot work together for good. The change I'd like to make it to return with more vigor to writing. I face handicaps now, but I pray they will make it even stronger.

  15. As a mother of older kids and younger kids, it was sobering this week as one of my "younger" sons began learning to drive. Before I know it, he'll be leaving the nest.

    Funny thing about my story is that I left the older kids in the nest and I was the one who moved away this past summer.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Lisa!