Posted in Blogging

Come grow with me

She’ll grow into it.

Growth. Isn’t that a good word to focus upon for a brand new year?

Growth involves change. Growth generates transformation. And with a pristine new year lying ahead of us, maybe it’s time to embrace some growth and step outside that limiting box of life that has become your comfort zone.

“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” ― Roy T. Bennett

I’ve been contemplating direction for this blog since January 1 rolled around. Do I want to change it? Do I want to grow my readership? And must I head down a different path to do so?

Should I embrace that word growth?

For over a decade I worked for a Christian non-profit organization. At each year’s end, we gathered together – staff and volunteers – for a lovely Christmas luncheon.

Great food and even better fellowship were just a couple of aspects we looked forward to, but one activity we participated in at the party caused our hearts to soar.

Prior to the gathering, our executive director would spend much time in prayer asking God to give her ‘words’ for us for the upcoming new year. Words that would become our focus for the new year to come.

Sometimes the words were contemplative, sometimes the words seemed odd.  Every staff member and volunteer in attendance would pluck a folded up small piece of paper from a basket we passed around the room. Written on those notes were the words.

But before we chose the new ones, we shared aloud what our past year’s word had been and how we saw it manifest in our lives. Sometimes there were tears as we shared, sometimes laughter, often wonderment.

One year, I distinctly remember receiving the word growth, but I honestly cannot recall if that word displayed any special meaning to me that year.  Had I embraced the word? I guess not.

I must have grown in some fashion that year because I believe we continue to grow in certain aspects of our lives just as surely as we age one year after another. I must have faced challenges to bring about growth, but whatever they were, they’ve faded away into the inconsequential file.

I do recall other words that I received over the years when I was a part of that ministry because they were particularly meaningful to me, but some I don’t remember at all.

Choosing a new word to focus life upon for the new year has become a ‘thing’ in certain circles, but I no longer participate in that endeavor. For me, it’s kind of gone the way of making resolutions, a practice I abandoned many years ago.

I don’t or won’t keep those pledges anyway, so why bother? It’s the same with choosing a focus word. Nine times out of 10, I’ll forget about my focus word or just won’t incorporate it into my daily life.  

All of this comes to mind today because of a weekly photo challenge theme  – growth

Maybe I’m just more of a go with the flow kind of person than I ever thought. Or maybe I’m just not disciplined enough. Possibly I’m just a tad rebellious and the thought of sticking to one word for the year makes me want to just say no.

Perhaps that’s really growth. Realizing who you are and accepting it. Going your own way instead of following the crowd.

And for now, that’s what I intend to do with Mama’s Empty Nest. Go my own way. Grow in my writing and not worry about growing my followers list. Keep doing what I’ve been doing because it works for me and it seems to encourage my readers.

That’s why I write. To be an encourager. To share what works for me and hope it helps someone else. To make connections with those who read my blog.  To write what inspiration God places on my heart.

And in the meantime, I’m betting I will experience growth.

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” ~ Eric Butterworth



Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view gorgeous sunsets off our own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

15 thoughts on “Come grow with me

  1. Titus 2:3-5 comes to mind when you are on my mind. I haven’t commented in quite some time. I pop in every now and then because I miss you. I’m glad you are committed to your writing about whatever it is the Lord prompts you to write about. You are encouraging women and pondering out loud your relationship with the Lord. The great thing about age, when we walk with Lord, is the wisdom He has taught us (and that we prayed for as younger women). Now is the time to share and teach and encourage. He will continue to teach us because there is always a design for us to share that wisdom. Keep on keeping on Mama! Your posts are full of godly wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so blessed by your words of kindness and encouragement. Yes, Titus 2:3-5 runs through my mind a lot too. I do feel a calling to reach out to younger women – not just younger by age but also those younger in faith – because the Lord just keeps teaching me as I go and I do want to share that. As long as He provides the material, I’ll keep writing. Thank you, sweet friend.


  2. I don’t make resolutions either. Many years ago I found it was a waste of my time. Besides, who’s to say we can’t change things around or commit to something new during the year? Glad you’re still writing and thankful I found your blog. Love it!! And Happy New Year WITHOUT resolutions! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for standing with me on this one! 😉 The way I look at resolutions is it’s setting yourself up for failure. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in setting goals, changing behaviors or getting rid of bad habits, etc. It’s just I’d rather take one day at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you will be continuing on here. I am one who picks a word but half way through the year I lose my focus. I don’t make resolutions either. I used to set goals. Maybe I should get back to that but then those goals always changed before I could get them completed anyway. Looking forward to a year of “growing” this new friendship! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Monica! Maybe we should set mid-year goals instead of year-long ones?? 😉 Anyway, I’m so glad you’ve joined me here at my empty nest blog and I look forward to a growing friendship as well. Be blessed.


  4. I’m glad you’re planning to keep your blog going in the same direction as before! Oftentimes, I think about how my readership has changed over the course of these 7+ years of blogging. My comments started off really low in numbers, then increased, and at one time, I had what I considered to be a high number of comments. But many of my fellow bloggers stopped blogging for one reason or another. I’ve also lost two cousins who used to comment faithfully, as well as my dear sister.
    But, I keep plugging along with it because it’s something I enjoy doing. And I’ll bet when you see friends/acquaintances around town, they say: “I love your blog!!!” (but you’d never know they ever read one post!).
    Here’s to a happy, healthy, blessed 2018 for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, same thing happened to me. A lot of fellow bloggers stopped blogging and comments went down. I’ve gained new followers but they don’t comment. So, I wondered if I should change direction, but you know what? Like you, I just keep blogging because I do enjoy it and I hope to make someone smile when I do. So on we go, huh Dianna? And I second your motion for a happy, healthy, blessed 2018 for us all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year! I look forward to reading more of your writing! I make resolutions and goals now more than ever- the years are going by so fast and I want to make the most of my time. I’m glad you are an encourager


    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Jena! Oh, how I agree that the years are flying by so quickly. I find myself thinking wasn’t it just yesterday I was a busy mom with three small children? And now, I’m a busy Nana with two small grandchildren and of retirement age. I try to make the most of my time too, but for some reasons, making resolutions just doesn’t work for me. Thanks for joining me here at Mama’s Empty Nest. I appreciate your kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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