Blogs

The Waiting of Advent
Christina Fox
Creating a Good Schedule
Courtnaye Richard

About Courtney Stanford

Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart.  She is the wife of a worship pastor and the mommy of three little men. Courtney is an elementary school teacher on hiatus, while she is currently a stay-at-home Mommy and the keeper of a joyful (yet slightly noisy) home that she lovingly refers to as her "frat house."  Whether she is leading a Bible study for women, teaching her adult Sunday School class, or writing for her blog, Courtney is an enthusiastic encourager of Christ followers, especially women and children. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!  
 

When Growing Up Means a More Abundant Life

Courtney Stanford
RSS this blog Archives Contributors
Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart.  She is the wife of a worship pastor and the mommy of three little men. Courtney is an elementary school teacher on hiatus, while she is currently a stay-at-home Mommy and the keeper of a joyful (yet slightly noisy) home that she lovingly refers to as her "frat house."  Whether she is leading a Bible study for women, teaching her adult Sunday School class, or writing for her blog, Courtney is an enthusiastic encourager of Christ followers, especially women and children. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!  
 
#Christian women #20-somethings #Lessons Learned

 
Aging is my new favorite.  I’m all about growing older.  There is something so freeing about growing up and becoming who we truly are.  Am I right? Something happens.  We see the foolishness in keeping up with others.  (That was never really my thing anyway, but it is even lower on the totem pole of priorities these days.) We stop trying to be like anyone other than our genenuine selves.  We are free from the bondage of that silliness.  The weight is lifted.  The future stops being “one day” and becomes, “I think I’ll go ahead and do this right now!”  We prioritize the bucket list and we leap into life ready to check some boxes.  I like this growing up thing.  I like it quite a bit.

I’m so over being trendy or cool or young or whatever that stuff we did in the teens and twenties was.  I’m not certain that I mastered that jazz anyway.  I’m all for being dorky and genuine and real and happy and the like!  For example, I took up knitting last night.  Yep!  Some ladies in my church family (of a more mature generation, mind you) decided to host weekly Bible studies and knitting lessons.  They are some of the wisest women I have ever known and they have serious skills and even more heart!  There was some chatter in my generation about whether or not we would be weird to give this little adventure a go.  I was delighted when my friend, Kelly sent me a text yesterday that read, “I’ve got knitting needles!  Borrow some for yourself.  We’re going!”  Friends, it was a good time!  We learned something called “how to cast on” that you probably know all about.  Kelly and I were certain we’d forget the steps by next week so we snuck in a quick filming of the steps via an amateur iphone demonstration starring yours truly.  Our generation brings technology to the knitting circle.  Voila!  {We all bring what we can to the mix.  Amen?} We also learned the actual knitting part and what “working yarn” means and all of that (unfortunately) required a bit more skill and two knitting needles instead of just one.  Nonetheless, we are in process and will press on despite our clumsy, untrained fingers.  There’s hope for us at this point!

  Nevermind the raw beauty of my freshly showered top-knot and make-up barren face, dear friends.  Knitting selfies do not pause for beauty regimens.



This summer, I learned the art of gardening and that wasn’t a total flop either!  Thank you, Jesus, for an abundance of cucumbers, yellow squash, and zucchini!  The tomatoes and I still have some work to do on our relationship but I haven’t given that up just yet.  There’s always next summer, tomatoes.  I believe in you.  {Please, rotting tomatoes do not make me look a fool in front of my grandmother, please and thank you.} Seriously, dear readers.  Isn’t it refreshing to learn new skills?!  Buying cucumbers from the grocery store has never been this much fun.  

  
In other news, I’ve formed a loving partnership with coffee and have begun spending more and more time with my nose in a book which is much more fun than time spent with social media.  Knitting, gardening, coffee drinking, excessive book reading, and I’m just getting started.  I’m telling you, sweet friends, that I am all in favor of being a real grown-up!  Sign me up!!

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you are very likely aware of my intense love for the people of Haiti and the meaningful relationships I have formed through an well established organization in Haiti that I am blessed to be connected with.  Short-term international missions were always a “someday” on my mental list of possibilities.  I had absolutely no idea how much my heart would be impacted once it became a very present part of my reality.  I am learning so much still.  I am beginning to understand the very real difference in true, meaningful mission work that has a lasting impact on a community and in the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ versus the tragedy of our misconceptions and unintentional harm when we engage in poverty tourism.  It’s all coming together: this beautiful puzzle of Kingdom work as I learn more and more about what it means to follow Jesus.  When we keep learning as we grow older?  That is where I see God.  I see Him remaking me, refining me, resculpting all of us as His image bearers in the Body of Christ. 

 
  

As I grow older, I grow closer to God.  I am finally maturing just enough to see the relationship between growing up and spiritual growth.  Could it be? The more we live, the more we see God at work.  Perhaps aging (even a little) can mean growing in His grace to be more and more like Him.  It doesn’t happen through knitting or gardening or even mission trips.  Yet God continues the good work He began in us seed by seed, stitch by stitch, and soul by soul.

 

 I recently celebrated a milestone birthday surrounded by some of the women I love.  To me, each person represented a part of my life that God had crafted for His glory.  The room was full of women around my age, give or take a decade.  Some have shared Bible studies, others have shared this season of raising little humans, others have shared huge chunks of my life that would have been much different if not for God’s hand orchestrating those women into the chapters where we bravely walked alongside one another.  God is so present in our lives and we must be in the habit of welcoming Him into every season, every milestone, and every adventure along the way.  He is with us.  The conversation with Him must never end as we grow into the woman He ordained us to be.  
“All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:16

  

Perhaps the beauty of growing older is simultaneous to the goodness of knowing and living the freedom we have in Christ.  Is the happiness found in the abundant blessings of His gracious presence in every season?  There is an overwhelming and unexplainable contentment when we know His peace.  May our hearts be opened to the daily communion with our Savior.  In every season of life, may our hearts prepare Him room.

Let every heart prepare Him room and Heaven and nature sing.”        ~Joy to the World

May your September unfold with a deep exchanging and sharing of grace, wherever this season finds you.  Live fully with God at the core of your day to day adventures!  May the growing and changing, the heartbeat of life, be consumed with His peaceful presence and His radical goodness.  Amen.

Let Every Heart.

From my heart to yours,                    ~Courtney

00

Comments