Have you ever heard of a “word” of the year. I haven’t done this before, but I was thinking about a “word” that I could make my focus of 2024. The word “growth” kept coming to mind. If you have time, I’d love to share why….

I wish I were better at growing plants, but this isn’t a skill of mine. So, I did some research. I found that for most plants, specifically trees, growth comes in stages: Seed → Germination (seedling) → Sapling → Mature (produces seeds and fruit) → Decay. 

A Seed: a tiny thing compared to a mature tree. A seed is the source of life, yet so fragile and lacking control about where it ends up. However, it does have everything it needs to start growing as soon as it lands. This was a reminder to me of how God promises to give me everything I need, even if I am taken somewhere different than what I planned for or expected in life. 

A Seedling: The tree starts to grow inside the seed and will eventually burst through and continue to push both up to break through the soil and down to establish roots. It’s a lot of work, but very important work to ensure the plant is stable and rooted. This stage was a reminder for me of how growing isn’t an easy, smooth, or quick process. There is lots of work and patience required. I currently feel at this stage personally. I sometimes grow weary of doing the little things to grow, yet I know that by doing them faithfully I will have a firm foundation for the future. 

A Sapling: Here the tree is considered a “teenager”. It is able to grow quickly, but it is still very vulnerable and not able to produce fruit. I feel at this stage in my business. We are growing, but not yet as strong as I want to be or “producing” as much as I want. I’m excited to continue in this phase; I thank God for the opportunities coming up to expand and grow. 

A Mature Tree: This is when the tree is able to bear fruit and has a deep established root system to withstand severe weather/disasters. It is also reproducing and often provides shelter for other living things. I pray that I reach this point in both my personal life and business. Personally, I pray that my life bears fruit that points others to the real Giver of Life, my God, so they too can experience the love and joy and peace of the life He offers. I also pray my business can produce quality fruit and be of service to many other people and businesses. 

Lastly, is the Decay phase. However, in my research, this phase is still vital and continues to provide for life. As the tree dies- it gives nutrients back to the soil or a new home for small creatures or wood for human use. This was a reminder for me, that there is no need to fear “death” as I can be confident of what is after. 

In conclusion, this year I want to focus on “growth”. This means showing up each day, even when I’m discouraged, to take action steps in the practices of following God, being a loving partner and parent, and business owner. The rest I have to trust to the Master Gardener, but I heard He’s really good at what He does. 

I hope this was encouraging to you and would love to hear if you picked a “word-of-the-year”. Please comment!

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