improving

3 Helpful Steps for Growing

I’m firmly convinced that God has made each of us to be growing individuals and not merely in girth or width 🙂

We can grow in lots of ways that include:  emotional maturity, relationship skills, intellectual acumen, communication improvements, spiritual development, self-control enhancements, budgeting skills & heaps more!  And if I’m fully honest with you, I like myself better when I’m growing rather than when I’m stagnant.

Here are 3 helpful steps for growing & feel free to add more ideas in the comments!

  1. Always Learning:  learning new skills, exploring new topics, reading a variety of books are a few ways that we can position ourselves to be life-long learners.
  2. Permission to Make Mistakes:  mistakes and failures seem to be the complementary counterparts to growing and success.  Indeed, I think I learn more from when I fail than when I continually succeed.
  3. Rest and Run Rhythm:  When I’m always going, I get worn down & I find it harder to learn and grow because I’m tired.  On the other side, when I rest too much I get lethargic and my ability to grow and learn seems to dwindle.

Let’s be committed to grow into the person God has made us to be!  Eph 2:10 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Timing Is Everything

“My time is not here yet, but your time is always opportune.” This is what Jesus said to his brothers in John 7:6, replying to their advice about His visibility and their marketing wisdom. And there’s lots of value in thinking about the right timing, alignment, relationships, resources, etc.

It seems to me that in our modern world, we don’t have much appetite for patience, refinement processes, aging, maturation and stuff like that. We want the results, but not the time that goes into having the results. And yet I see such massive value in the actual process, time spent, maturation journey. There is timeless wisdom and value in looking at life for the long view and not only the short-term gains. Indeed, since God is the author of time, we would be wise to trust in God’s timing and processes, but most of all that God deeply loves us!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Getting Better

Arriving & Improving: I prefer arriving over improving because to me the difference is destination versus journey. And yet here in Angola, with Saving Moses, I’m reminding myself that improvement is an essential ingredient for destination & change. 

I say this having driven by one of our malnutrition clinics today & observing the improvements to the lodging arrangements. In the past, this clinic had 3 large huts, poorly ventilated & lit, concrete floors & abundant flies. Today, the lodging has vastly improved – I’ll describe it here on my blog tomorrow. 

And still I see friendly moms with malnourished babies, waiting daily for their baby to improve & hopefully return home healthy & strong. Malnourished babies & toddlers meet your eyes with a dull stare or achy eyes. Their motions are lethargic & labored, so as to minimize the energy expense. Sometimes their bellies are swollen with edema & almost always their ribcages look like xylophone strips. And their heads are disproportionately large on their underdeveloped frames. 

So when I see babies in these conditions, it’s difficult to look at the building improvements because people always trump facilities. Nonetheless, I can choose to celebrate progress even if I have yet to see the full realization of helping Angola live in the state of declining infant mortality. 

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Posted by Sarah in Angola, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Growing or Stagnant?

I have the opportunity to grow and I’m not sure that I want this, maybe.  There’s an annual convention on the calendar that’s around the corner and I’m considering going this year, even though it makes me sweaty just thinking about it.

In my mind, I’ve got ironclad rationale to justify not going, but maybe if I go I’ll grow, maybe if I stay, I’ll stagnant.  I’m reminded about Saul and Jonathon in 1 Samuel 14.  Saul stayed under a tree with 600 men, while Jonathon took his buddy and started a skirmish that turned into a major military victory.

Sometimes that growth that God asks from us can be unsettling and outright scary.  But let’s chose to grow rather than stagnant 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Keep Growing, Keep Learning

I’m really excited about the recent release of my newest book on the Holy Spirit,

In Step With the Spirit!

I’ve had lots of really good feedback & people expressing how much this book is helping them to walk with he Spirit! This is massively encouraging & I LOVE IT!!
At the same time, I find myself going through some soul searching related to my walk with the Spirit.  Just because I write books about the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that I’ve learned everything about this journey & I’m an expert. That’s a dangerous pitfall & I sense the Holy Spirit alerting me to this trap while beckoning me to nestle into the Spirit’s presence more & deepen my roots into our intimacy like never before. To this end, I’m wholly committed to walking in daily integration with he Holy Spirit, deeply rooted & abundantly fruitful! I hope you’ll agree to this adventure with the Holy Spirit in your life, taking your own steps with the Holy Spirit!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Defining Moments

Being the mom of three teenagers, we have some interesting conversations & experiences. In their lives, there a significant events that seem to be defining moments, like getting a driver’s license, taking their first solo missions trip (without me), getting their first job, etc. While these events are very monumental, it seems to me that the more important stuff happens in the preparation for these events. For example, my husband has been massively attentive to help them practice driving so they’re fully prepared when they take their drivers license test. And the work they do at home to clean, do laundry, etc prepares them to do good work on their first independent job, hopefully.
I say all of this to encourage both you & me that the defining moments are hopefully nothing more than the cumulative total of preparation & practice to ensure that these moments / experiences go off with great success. Don’t neglect the importance of daily routines & practice as these set us up to succeed for what can seem to be pinnacle experiences & events 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Improving Some More

I’m sitting down to eat lunch as I write this & enjoying a tasty lunch. My lunch is comprised of Swiss cheese, triscuits & leftovers from last night’s delicious stew. As I’m eating this stew, I notice that it tastes better than it did last night, which is often the case with leftovers.
When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a leftover fan until I had an epiphany. One day, I suddenly understood that when something is given a bit of time to culminate, it often turns out better than the initial product.
So when we want to grow & Improve, consider what it says in James 1:4, “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing.”
Never underestimate the important ingredient of time when it comes to the final product of growth & improvement 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Getting What You Want

Despite our best intentions, all of us can struggle with getting what we want. And what we want seems to flitter from stuff, to time, to clothes, to gadgets, to health, to relationships and lots more. I was recently giving God an earful about not getting something that I thought I wanted. Instead of getting my way, it seemed like the exact opposite was happening & there wasn’t anything I could do to change the situation. But what I could change was my attitude – and our attitudes can be a powerful tool when we make wise choices. 
On top of working through my attitude choices in my recent situation, I also learned that while I may not always get what I want, I can trust God to give me what I need 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Costa Rica, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, travel, values, watch, 2 comments

Trust, Again

I recently did a blog about practicing our trust in God. As I’ve thought about this whole idea of practice, I’m also aware that there can be a few pitfalls along the practicing trust adventure. Here are a few things that you might find helpful with the practicing trust and pitfalls with adventures:

  • practice isn’t the place where we get perfect every time. Heaven is for perfect & earth is for practice
  • practice & mistakes go together like peanut butter & jelly, salt & pepper. Practice & mistakes are natural complements on the road to success 
  • practicing trust can have good bleed over in various areas of our lives: if we find it “easy” to trust God with our finances, then consider that the same trust can also be expanded to maybe your health, relationships, job or school 
  • trusting God is an essential component to growing in an intimate relationship with God
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Things to Forget When Traveling

While I don’t consider myself a hard core road warrior, I do seem to travel a fair amount. With all of my traveling experiences, you’d think that is be a really nimble & savy traveller. Wouldn’t that be nice?!??
Alas, here are a few things I’ve learned in my adventures:

I often forget what I like the least. For example, when I travel I’m super attentive to remember my coffee supply but have often neglected to remember to bring my makeup. So I wind up stopping at Walmart or looking in airports for makeup & this can be very frustrating to be certain. 

In my traveling education, I’ve also learned to travel light, because I have to carry whatever I bring. Less luggage = less weight & smoother traveling. 

Being flexible makes traveling more enjoyable than being rigid & demanding

As we travel through life, these are good lessons to carry with his everyday:

*keep a healthy appetite for the Bible, prayer & consistent church in your life not merely as accessories but more so as essentials

*let go of the luggage & weights that could keep you from being lithe & agile: forgive quickly & well  

*remember that God is sovereign & our role is to adapt to God rather than demand from God 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment