Growth Spurt: A period of rapid growth. I have witnessed growth spurts in my dancers for years and over the last 3 years have watched my own children go through the growing pains of them. I don’t know about you, but in our household growth spurts = the need for extreme patience. My 3 year old turns from sweet and loving to mean and aggressive in 2.2 seconds, my 2 year old doesn’t sleep and screams at the top of her very big lungs and holds her legs and both of them say “Mom, I want a snack” what seems like every 5 minutes on a day when the pantry is empty and I should have gone grocery shopping 2 days prior. Yes extreme patience is needed. In these moments, I have to remind myself to take a deep breath knowing that this is necessary for their development and is beyond their understanding.

Then it hit me today. I myself am in the middle of a growth spurt and I am acting like my 3 year old because of the growing pains and I know better. I picture God with His big blackboard and my name is written in chalk at the top. Emily Weber. Underneath would say GrowthSpurt = the need for extreme patience. Although my growth spurt has nothing to dowith my height of 5’2.5’’, it does however have everything to do with where God is leading me. If you read Our Story, you would have read that we ignored God’s calling to Yorkville for about 3 years and finally listened and followed. Knowing now what He revealed to us in the property, community of people, experiences, arts center and additions to our family you would think I would learn to listen and obey as soon as He calls. Nope, I am just like my children when they don’t listen and follow and we know how what that looks like. “Brinlee, it’s time to go to bed.” “I want to watch a show.” “Brinlee, it’s time to go to bed.” “Ok, let me grab my lovie.” When we hit the top of the stairs and are headed to the bedroom she says, “Wait! I need to get a drinky.” Down the stairs she runs. “Brinlee, it’s time for bed.” We head back upstairs and get into the bedroom where we read a book and get tucked in and say our prayers. “ Mommy, the blankets aren’t nice, can you make them nice?” “Yes” I say as I make the blankets nice and lay next to her for a minute and sing her our goodnight song. As I finish the last chorus of our goodnight song she says, “Wait, I have to go potty!” The nicely laid blankets go flying onto the floor and she goes running into the bathroom flipping on the hallway lights and waking up her 2 year old sister who had just settled down herself (that’s a whole separate blog).  From here, we usually have 10 more excuses as to why we cannot go to bed as I had asked her to do 30 minutes ago. As I type this I imagine God shaking His head with His arms crossed saying,“See! Now you know what I deal with.” Truth is though, God doesn’t do this. He sits and waits patiently, with His arms lovingly open and makes gentle soft reminders until we choose to hear Him. I need to start praying for the kind of patience God has with me for the kind of patience I have with my children because the situations are just the same.

Which leads me to my last 3-year stint of not listening. For the last 3 years God has been encouraging me to lean in, to fast from distractions and listen for His still small voice. Well I tried a few times to “fast” from distractions, I even did an amazing study called 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker. I didn’t lean in to this project, I merely just shifted my weight. My eyes were opened to a lot of things I believe God wanted me to see and I did grow from the experience don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t a growth spurt by any means. 13 days ago I heard it. I heard it while I was sitting in a small café in LaGuardia airport. “Lean in Emily, lean in.” That was it. A 5 word statement.  13 days ago my growth spurt began and I knew it would involve growing pains but I also have experienced enough of God’s callings to know that the promise far outweighs the pain. After I heard the still small voice I turned to Brian and told him I felt like God was asking me to do a 30 day fast from a distraction in our life, immediately Brian said ok, let’s do it. “Wait, what? No questions, no push back,” I thought. Brian was on board and actually feeling the same calling and I knew without a doubt we were about to embark on something really big and I was excited, little did I know confirmation was right around the corner. Right after we made our commitment to fast for the next 30 days we emailed our friends to cover us in prayer knowing that this fast was going to take a community of people circling us in prayer. After asking our friends to pray for us I also messaged my friend Amber Nichols about sponsoring a child in Haiti through Compassion International and she told me she had 3 children left to be sponsored. She sent me the picture cards and there she was. Our little Wislore, and do you know what? She was born the exact same day as our Brinlee. December 2, 2010. Over 400 children were sponsored that day but God saved her knowing she was our next blessing.  Wislore, was no coincidence. She was a gift for listening and obeying.

Well that was the beginning of my growth spurt and here I am just 12 days later. I have been soaring on the wings of eagles in one moment and hanging off the edge of a cliff in another but you know what. I cling to the fact that I know I am not alone and that makes all the difference. That gives me the strength to pull myself up and stand on top of the mountain and look at the beauty God has created right in front of me. The road blocks, the red lights, the traffic (literally if you live in Kendall County you can agree with me), the honking horns, the green lights, the back roads and the free ways of life are all gifts, we just need to see them through God’s eyes and if we ask I know He will give them to us. When you look back at the marks inside the pantry door that have marked the height of your kids over the last year you will see the growth spurts, the same goes for your growth spurts in life. When I look back at the last 12 days, and mostly in the last 12 years I am amazed in the ways I have grown and the growth spurts along the way and I am thankful for God’s grace and unconditional love during them. So I end with this, a challenge. I mean come on who doesn’t love a good old challenge.  If you haven’t had a growth spurt in life in awhile, I challenge you to lean in and ask God for one. WARNING this type of prayer is not for the weak, but my guess is if you have made it to the end of this blog YOU my friend are not weak and remember growth spurts are necessary for our development even if it is beyond our own understanding. Now is the time. What are you waiting for? I am circling you in prayer tonight and I hope to one day hear where this growth spurt took you and if you want accountability for an area of life you need a growth spurt in comment here or message me!

In love and prayer,

Emily

Phillipians4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.