**Before I get distracted and forget to write this again, so many thanks to Kelly Sauer for the new header and for tweaking the rest of the blog to go with it. I think I'm in love.**
We try so hard to grow, and I don't want to say there's nothing to that. But I watch my girl, how most of her growth happens when we aren't looking, how every so often we look up to realize she's doing something new and we wonder how we missed it.
Sometimes, that point isn't there for us to see. It's hidden. With my daughter, sometimes I think it's hidden in her sleep. I wonder if she dreamed about climbing that ladder and going down the slide all by herself, because she couldn't do it before her nap but did it like nothing else after. And I know she gets longer and rounder when she sleeps - the longer the nap, the bigger the baby I'll have when she's done, I think.
And that's how I grow, too, more often than not. I mull something for a while, trying to see the lesson or dig my way out, and then, suddenly, between one step and another, or between blinks when I wake up in the morning, I can see what I couldn't possibly have seen before.
All the striving is like prep work in the kitchen - it's the chopping and measuring and mixing of the human life. It's the place where we do all the hard stuff, even though the making of the final product is something that happens somewhat outside of ourselves. After all, it's the heat and the juices and everything that blend together, not our doing. The process needed us, but it didn't happen because of us.
The more I think about it, the more I think that's a very important distinction.
Our actions are essential to making dinner happen. I know that, because there have been days when I've hoped and hoped that it would happen without me. Usually, those are the days where we order pizza. But dinner needs more than me - it needs light and water and food for animals and heat and spice and history and that unknowable something that makes it all come together.
Growing in God is like that, I think. We have to be there. We have to play our parts, to see our growing edges, name them, and explore them. But we also have to let God work. He is the other, and without him, nothing has grown that has grown. And because of His part in it all, most of the time our growth will happen when we aren't expecting it, when we aren't praying or singing or even thinking about anything in particular. It will come to us, and we will be changed.