My, How You’ve Grown
By Kathy Swigle
“My, how she’s grown,” are common words I hear about my sweet Ellie. Yes, she has -- from an 8 pound, 13oz. baby into a precocious 32-pound curly headed three-year-old. I too am in awe of how much she’s grown in only three years. She has learned how to eat with a fork and actually get the food into her mouth, how to walk and RUN away from me when it’s bedtime, how to use the potty, how to get along with others, how to share her toys, and she has even learned to pray for her friends who hit others to become nicer. All that and more in only three years.
And then I wonder, could people say the same about me: “My how you’ve grown”? I know I have — mainly in the weight department — but that’s not the growth I want people talking about! After a year of wrestling with God about my own “stuff,” my growth finally looks like this: giving up my teaching career for this season to be home; entering marriage counseling to learn how my marriage can operate at its best; learning to acknowledge and accept the fact that I have a dark side and a bright side, and learning to love both of them. Growth in my life looks like taking a financial class with my husband so we can stop fighting so much about our spending habits. We now live on a cash envelope system where I spend to my heart’s content… until its gone (how sad) and then wait to the fill-up date (pay day) to go shopping again. Growth in my life looks like learning to sometimes put tasks like doing the dishes aside in order to face my fears of intimacy: to focus on my husband and to just sit and play with my daughter.
Growth in my life seems pretty slow, scary and hard at times. There sure are lots of growing pains, but I have to remember it was no picnic for Ellie when she was learning to walk. She fell over and over again. Each time I helped her up, wiped her off and let her try again. I get the picture that God is like that with me in my growth… he helps me up, watches me teeter and fall, but is always there to pick me up. I keep going because I want to grow. I want to hear the words spoken of me, “My, how you’ve grown” and to know it’s true.