How to Experience Spiritual Growth

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When we were looking to buy a house here in Huntsville, Tim's stepdad gave us one piece of advice. He told us not to buy a house that had a backyard facing where the sun would set in the afternoons. When we were looking for houses, we happened to be looking during Alabama's one week of spring. We also had not lived here in over seven years, so we forgot how hot summer in Alabama really is. If you live in the South, you know that starting around 9AM in the Summer, it is around 90 degrees. Then it just feels hotter as the day goes on.

The day after Tim's stepdad gave us this advice, we found the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood. The only problem with it was that the sun would set in the back yard and there were zero trees for shade. Since it was a lovely April day with perfect Spring weather, and since we loved the house so much, we disregarded the only advice we had been given and bought the house.

We still love our house so much, and if we had it to do over again, we would have made the same decision. However, It didn't take long to understand why that was the only advice we were given. Our backyard gets very hot. Very hot. So, we decided to plant these amazing shade trees. I'm so excited to enjoy them in 20 or 30 years.

One day these trees will grow and be huge shade trees, and many will reap the benefits of it. Even after Tim and I pass away, different families decades from now who live here will get to enjoy the shade and beauty from these trees.  They will never know who planted them or who watered them everyday to make them grow. They will just assume they have always been there. However,  for now, these trees are small and fragile and require that either Tim or I water them everyday. When we miss a day (or two) then they quickly begin to die, and we have to give them extra water to bring them back to life.

We are just like these trees. We are small and fragile. We thirst for something that we cannot produce for ourselves. We cannot see daily growth, rather slow growth over time. We need nourishment daily, or we begin wilting. Many generations will reap the benefits of our daily investment in ourselves and our families.

These are some of my favorite things that have helped me keep an easy daily routine, even with two small kids and a crazy lifestyle. I choose which one I am going to do depending on how much time I have during that season of life.

  • Kay Arthur Inductive Study of different Bible chapters
    • My personal favorite way to study the Bible
    • Requires about 30 minutes each day
    • I use my ESV Study Bible
    • Gives you a very in depth understanding of the chapter you choose to study
    • ESV Bible App Reading Plan
      • Requires about 10-15 Minutes a day
      • Easy to read on my phone during the day
      • Quickly takes you through the entire Bible
      • Prayer Journal
        • Keep a journal of all of my prayer requests with the dates at the top of the pages

Each of these options are easy.  These are things that I can do everyday with a 1 and 3 year old running around to help me continue growing. The Bible reading plan on my phone takes me less time to read than it does to water our trees. When I have more time, I read and study more.

One day we will have big beautiful shade trees. And one day, we will grow into who Christ made us to be. Until then, we have to keep watering our trees.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." John 15:5-7

What are some things you do each day to help you grow in God's word?

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