Growing UP-Baby Steps and Giant Leaps

girl holding hands

Our opening question in Life Group (small group with our church) last week:  “What is the most immature thing you can remember doing as a child, in school, as a teenager, as a young adult, etc.?” 

Think about that for a moment………………………….. 

We’ve all had our less than stellar moments.  (Hopefully as we age, we have less and less of those moments!)

Immediately when I heard that opening question, not one, but FIVE examples popped into my head!  Which to share?

-The stolen glasses incident in 2nd grade?

-Forgetting my choir robe for All-County Choral Festival in high school?

-Receiving chocolates from a boy-friend in 6th grade, but telling him “I don’t like chocolates.”  (Just so happened to be my future husband!)  The ironic thing now:  I love chocolate!

-My younger brother threatening to break my glasses and daring him to do it?  (He DID it, by the way!)

-The Hellmann’s mayonnaise versus Miracle Whip story?  THAT’S IT!  The ultimate immature act.

So, here’s how it went down…….

Our family was a Hellmann’s mayonnaise family.  Still is.  We used Hellmann’s mayonnaise for everything:  tuna salad, potato salad, broccoli salad, pea salad, sandwich condiment, etc.  BUT, my mother also liked Miracle Whip and used it in certain recipes that required a somewhat sweet flavor.  

We ALWAYS had both Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Miracle Whip on hand, EXCEPT for the day when I was fixing a meatloaf sandwich, and I ALWAYS put Hellmann’s mayonnaise on my meatloaf sandwich.  (It is important for you to know I was 13 at the time, totally in the early hormonal adolescent stage.)

I’m embarrassed to say that I pretty much “through a tantrum,” raging about the lack of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.  My mother’s reply was “You will just have to use Miracle Whip.”  (And she said it calmly I might add.  Bless my mother!)  To which I replied, “I hate Miracle Whip!  I will NEVER use Miracle Whip!” And then I ran to my room and had a good cry.  Over not having Hellmann’s mayonnaise! Can you believe it!?

Suffice it to say, I had difficulty accepting disappointment, especially when it came to food.

I’ve come a long way, baby!  I’ve never been good at accepting disappointment easily and maturely, but many “baby steps” later, I don’t let the lack of “Hellmann’s mayonnaise” or other more significant disappointments ruin my day or take away my joy.

Back to Life Group.  Next question:  “How has your walk with Jesus matured over the last 10 or 20 years?”

Wow!  Where do I start?  In the past 10 years, I’ve “grown up in Christ” more than all the first 48 years combined! 


I’ve also faced some of the most intense challenges of my life in those 10 years.  And through those challenges, I’ve learned to let go of MY control (or perceived control) and trust in God’s ability to handle it all!  That’s a GIANT LEAP!

Though I accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 8 and totally gave my life over to Jesus at the age of 13 (made Him Lord and King), I have lived too much of my life as if this were a “partnership.” We walk together, sometimes He leads, sometimes I lead, doing life together.  Right? 


Now I understand it is “Christ IN me, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27.  I listen to His spirit IN me to guide me, teach me, and discipline me when necessary. 

It is a “follow”ship, which is not the same thing as “fellow”ship with Christ. 

“Fellow”ship is……..“Hey, let’s get together and hang out.  How about Friday night?  In the meantime, I’ll text you or give you a call when I can.  Maybe we can chat on Facebook sometime.  And of course, I’ll see you on Sunday!”  Doing life in my own strength and FOR God.  

“Follow”ship is……….“Good morning, Jesus.  What’s on the agenda for today?  What are the divine appointments you have for me today?  I need Your guidance, Your presence today to help me navigate life and be Your light to my family, my Christ family and those still searching.  I need your strength to face whatever this day holds.  Help me to listen for your voice today.”  Doing life WITH Jesus. 

He is my shepherd.  “My sheep listen to my voice:  I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Here are some other “baby steps” and “GIANT LEAPS” I’ve taken in the last 10 years (in no particular order):

  1. Letting go of some of my perfectionist tendencies (still a work in progress)
  2. Learning that relationships are more important than my need to be right or desire to be justified in my opinion
  3. Serving without expectations of recognition or “atta boy’s”- IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!
  4. Becoming dependent on God rather than my own abilities (always been a “I can do it myself” kind of girl, wanting to prove I can do it!)
  5. Giving up my prideful attitude that I know a better way or I can do it better and admitting “His ways are higher than my ways”  
  6. Accepting the things I can’t change, changing the things I can (with God’s strength in me) and leaning on God’s wisdom to know the difference
  7. Finding my worth in Jesus love for me and His purpose for my life – not my career, success, accolades or what people think of me, not even how much I can accomplish for God!

One final question posed at Life Group:  “How would you like to mature in the next 10-20 years?”  

My answer?  Easy-peasy.  Walk more and more in a manner worthy of the Lord.  Make it my goal to please Him.  His priorities become my priorities.

How would you answer these 3 questions from our Life Group?

  1. “What is the most immature thing you can remember doing as a child, in school, as a teenager, as a young adult, etc.?”
  2. “How has your walk with Jesus matured over the last 10 or 20 years?” (If you don’t have a walk with Christ, I would love to talk to you about how you can!  Email me.)
  3. “How would you like to mature (grow up) in the next 10-20 years?

I don’t want to EVER stop growing! 

What do I want to be when I grow up?  More and more like Jesus! 

How about you?

Blessings as you grow, Karen Renae

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ― C. JoyBell C.

P.S. I’m still on the search for God’s “Good and Perfect Gifts” (have 60 listed so far in my Good and Perfect Gifts Journal!), still on a healthy path to fat loss (have lost 10 lbs. since June and 6+ inches) and loving this journey I’m on!




2 thoughts on “Growing UP-Baby Steps and Giant Leaps

  1. I love this!! I hate a temper tantrum over food when I was 15 and I still regret that day. So dumb …. now. Read my blog called the strength within my daughter. She’s lost 20 pounds. Her Instagram acct teamtwinfitness will show you how she does it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How true are your definitions of “followship” vs. fellowship. I find when I am obediently followshipping, Jesus fills me with His fellowship. Oh how I need the intimacy with Him. It comes through obedience to Him, abiding in Him. I read and reread the seven areas of growth God has deepened you with. Wow! They are for all. Number six takes courage. “The courage to change the things I can. Joshua 1:9. Number 7- completion. “Finding my worth in Jesus Cnrist and His love for me and .living out His purpose for me.” Yep! That one definitely sums of my life too. I think this is my favorite writing of yours, Karen Renae, so far for me. I could soak in these thoughts along time and emerge with real growth. Thank you for sharing.


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