photo by Carey Bailey

You are not who you were yesterday,

You are not who you will be tomorrow.

You’re in the middle of the beautiful process of becoming.

We fight that as women, don’t we? We tell ourselves we have to be it all, do it all, know it all now. We deny ourselves permission to learn. And when we can’t learn, we can’t grow.

I thought about this recently as I stood in the curtain section of TJ Maxx saying these words over and over to myself: You’re learning to decorate your house. You’re learning to decorate your house.

Doesn’t that sound silly? But it was much better than what I said over and over last time: You can’t decorate your house. What’s the matter with you?

I thought, somehow, that being born a woman should automatically give me the ability to know if the sheer or heavy curtains would look better, which color they should be, and how every shade of light would look coming through them. And when I didn’t, I felt like a failure. I’ve had similar experiences in the photo frame aisle of target, in the bedding section of a department store, in the cutest little home decor shop you’ve ever seen.

I share this example because it’s amazing how small a crack shame needs to slip through in our lives. When did we decide to judge ourselves on everything from our ability to pick curtains to how good a parent we are compared to the mom next to us?

God doesn’t judge us that way. He knows “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field” {1 Pt. 1:24}. I used to read that verse as simply meaning life is brief. But I’m seeing it with new eyes lately. And I think what God is also reminding us of here is that grass is growing, flowers are growing, WE are growing.

Which means he knows that from our first breath to our last, we are in process. And that applies to everything from picking out curtains to becoming who He’s created us to be.

And you know what? God’s okay with that. He already knows us better than we know ourselves. And if He’s okay with it, then we can be too. He doesn’t ask us for perfection. Just growth. Every day, a little bit at a time, all the way until we’re Home with Him.

You are not who you were yesterday,

You are not who you will be tomorrow.

You’re in the middle of the beautiful process of becoming.

–Holley Gerth is the author of the new book You’re Made for a God-sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You

  • Kim

    Growing, growing, growing. Why do we too often believe it is for others, yet not for us?
    While we may fear stepping out and failing, it is that willingness to throw ourselves into new situations where that growth will occur. I think sometimes God takes us right out of the greenhouse and into the cool spring garden to help strengthen us. He knows we can’t get stronger basking behind the glass, and we need that loving nudge. :-)

    • sonyamacdesigns

      Ain’t that it!

      “Willingness to throw ourselves into new situations where that growth will occur.”

      And it ain’t about the dollars y’all … sometimes those new situations appear to be an ever so tiny detour till the moment HE switches on the light!

      • Holley Gerth

        Well said, Kim and Sonya!

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  • Shelly Miller

    So glad to have this reminder today Holley. We are in the process of becoming . . .always. And it is beautiful, when we have eyes to see it. Thankful for you and the way you open my eyes to what is right in front of me.

    • Holley Gerth

      Grateful to share this journey with you, friend!

  • donna

    Joyce Meyer says something similar, but this early in the morning her exact words are escaping me.

  • Andrea

    This is so great!!!!

  • anuradha

    Every time I say, this is the best post! But this time this is the best best post ever!!! :D

    • Holley Gerth

      Aww, you are sweet! :)

  • karyn

    What a blessing?
    I don’t have to be perfect. Thanks for the encouraging positive input. I really need this at this point of my walk of bible study galore.

    • karyn

      love the hearts by the way

  • Liz

    Thanks Holley,
    A little bell went off in my head when you said about a small crack of shame . . . . I am nearly 65 and realize I am learning all the time. I need to throw out the old record playing I can’t do this or can’t get that right. I can and I will, I am on my learning curve.

    Thank you so much Holley I really needed to hear this. God Bless you.

    • Holley Gerth

      It’s never too late to walk in the freedom that is ours.

  • Tamara L

    I like this article Holley … In process. Nice to think we have permission to grow … to change and or try again.
    The verse from Peter about the grass and the flowers goes further though to say that the grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of the Lord endures. And while you go on to say it speaks to you about growing in can also speak about rebirth in the form of change. The grasses wither but return … the same for the flowers. I thought about this verse several times as well but looked at it slightly different. If the people were like the grass … I thought of it as “many” and the flowers (our glory) that were interspersed in the fields were “fewer” … and even though we grew and withered and had occasional glories to bring light and joy into our lives … God was … no IS with us throughout. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • Catherine

    … the beautiful process of becoming. yes.
    Thank you for this lovely reminder.

  • Elizabeth Anne May

    I needed to hear this today. I’m all about the result, not the journey. I’m impatient and want it all now. I was just beating myself up for not doing better — I’ve had lofty goals for myself and fallen short. I’m struggling to get back on track, but how much better to convert a personal insult into an affirmation — as you did!– and give myself grace to be in process.

    • Beth Coulton

      I love this, as this is me, too – “I’m all about the result, not the journey”. Amen! And we miss so much if we don’t pay attention to the journey, because that is where God is doing His finest work in us.

      • Holley Gerth

        Elizabeth and Beth, I can so be in the “about the results not the journey” club too. Let’s keep learning together!

  • Tarissa

    Thank you so much for this message. I really needed to hear it today.

  • melinda

    Growing and rooted in LOVE. :)

  • Kimberly Tucker, HHF, LLC

    Permission…what a caoncept! Your blog posts are always so timely for me!
    I am learning the relativity between permission & obedience…let me explain~
    when I surrender my will to God it manifests in the form of obedience…and that willing obedience opens the door for Him to bring change…in essence, I am “giving permission” for God to do in me what ONLY HE can. It has been a surrendering process…
    Heartfelt thanks for this and all of your posts…LOVE LOVE LOVE reading them!

  • Beth Coulton

    Holley- you had me at the curtain and home decor references….I have struggled for years to figure out why decorating is akin to my worst nightmare. “I am a woman, therefore I decorate” seems to apply to everyone else except for me! I need to remember I’m learning to decorate (and garden and sew and cook….).

    This is what hit home the most – “it’s amazing how small a crack shame needs to slip through in our lives.” OH my yes. And the crack grows and expands quickly once we let the first root of shame slip through and get nurtured by the world around us.

    Thanks for this reminder that we are in process of becoming every day, until we are at last home with Him.

  • Kate

    Hmmm, yes. What a sweet balm this is to me this morning.

    I’m all black and white….I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. So yeah – a process seems like a failure. But oh….it’s all about the cultivating….the tending, isn’t it? He is faithful to produce fruit in us!

    Thank you….so much.

    Kind Blessings,
    Kate :)

  • Katelyn Collison (@KVCShutterbug)

    Earlier this year, I bought a ring that says “In Transformation” on it. I wear it over my purity ring. Because while my purity is important, so is remembering (and letting) God transform and mold me.

    • Holley Gerth

      Love that, Katelyn!

    • Donna

      Dear Katelyn,
      What a beautiful model you are to young Christian women . Wear these rings with excited faith knowing God is honouring your hearts desires and transforming you for His great purpose.
      Today I will hold your honourable heart to our Father and give thanks for your faithful heart and pray God showers you with His grace and blessings .
      Sistering love in His name,
      Australia xxx

  • Joanna Tipple

    I am facing a situation that entails much learning and refining. It is rather serious but i suppose in the end, it will be another blip on the timeline of life – on the spectrum of time. I have just come to fully realize the depth of my fears and am trying to live through the anxiety and upheaval this has caused. Some of it entails accepting that our chldren have their own paths…some of it is realizing the depth of my fear of being rejected by those I love (which may be somewhat due to having been adopted – although it was a good thing)…some of it has to do with the basic insecurities we as human beings carry with us. Anyway – this was a much needed reminder that I am loved – by God and others and that life is in God’s hands. Thank you for this reflection.

    • Beth

      Joanna- I could have typed just what you did above (except I am not adopted!). I definitely understand your fears and what you are talking about. I’m going through the same thing. Feel free to contact me so we could email and encourage each other futher! bcoulton (at) msn (dot) com.

  • Nicole

    Thank you! I just had a wonderful experience last night with something along these lines. I saw a poster on pinterest that said “I AM- the two most powerful words in your vocabulary. For with them, you define your reality.” And it hit me….How many times do I and the people around me say things like “I am stupid” or “I am broke” or “I am not well liked.” The list goes on and on. We need to start declaring positive things after we say the words “I am” and “I am a work in progress” makes me feel a lot better about the places in life where I have not done as well as I would have liked. It also reminds me to keep trying, that next time, I will have grown and learned and could possibly do a lot better! (this is so great for parenting. So often I feel like I have to get this right, right now, or my kid is going to be a heathen. But that isn’t the case and I need to realize that I am learning to become a parent.)

    Another thing I realized last night, when looking at the “I AM” poster, is that I AM is the name that God gave Moses when he asked for His name. How interesting, that the very words that we can use to define ourselves (for our benefit or for our destruction) are the two words that God uses to define himself.

  • http://www//whisperedwordsofwisdom Chris Malkemes

    Thank you Holly. What a beautiful way to express our “growth”. You might like to read my post on the “good soil”. It’s great how God works to show us just how special he is.

  • Sharon Gibson

    Very well expressed Holly. I love the way you changed your self talk. This encourages me to do the same. I used to always say about our kids, “We look for progress, not perfection.” Sometimes I have a hard time extending the same grace to myself. This is a good reminder.
    Thanks for sharing this encouragement with us.

  • Kathy

    Thanks for the reminder that I am a work in progress. Feeling relief and freedom that God loves me just where I am now.

  • Holly @ the belle mere

    Amen to that. In my journal, I have written (several times and often in capital letters) that I do not have to do it all alone. I am making imperfect progress in letting go of my old people-pleasing perfectionistic ways. I pray that God continues to grant me graces such as your words to keep me moving toward full acceptance of me – just as I am.

  • Janelle

    When we keep judging ourselves it truly does stop up the flow of being who God created us to be. I have been on a journey of allowing myself to love, accept and be more tender with my own heart; actually receive what God has done for me though Christ! I never would have imagined where I am going, and learning. It is like a whole entire side of me has been released that I did not even know existed!! God is so good!! And fun!

  • Linda

    I am so glad God led me to discover your blog…your words have comforted, encouraged, soothed, and challenged me. I am in the process of letting go of so much. My father passed away recently and my brothers and I are in the process of letting go of our childhood home, our grandparents home, our dad’s possessions and relics of childhood. I have been living in my grandparents home for the past 20 years and I must let go of that and all that means….I am so glad you share from your heart and you are honest about your feelings…it has really helped me.
    Thank you so much!

  • Sherri

    OH, HOLLEY! Over the past several months, to few years, I have done a lot of self-reflection, too much of which has amounted to self-judgement and criticism. Not once have I thought of my life in these terms – still in process – only as failed to do or achieve or measure up. I’ve been very hard on myself, to a point at times that I’ve sometimes wondered “what’s the point?”

    Thank you so much for your insighful words! My prayer is that by taking this approach, or training myself to look at things from this perspective, I will find more peace!

  • Beth

    Wow! Comparing ourselves to others in the most mundane of ways? It;s called being human, right? I get your point, though, and it is an important one. Whatever you do is fine; take yourself from where you’re at and with God’s grace and guidance you will find peace in your endeavors. Thanks again for you insight on the obvious for I find myself falling into the trap of being too hard on myself every day. With your helpful advice, I think I will be able to be at more at piece with my choices.

  • Lily

    Thank you so much, Holley. I can’t tell you how much this post meant to me today.

  • Terre

    Experiencing Growing Pains :)

  • Shelly Trivette

    One day when my oldest daughter was all of five years old, she made a revolutionary statement to me that was life altering. Well, actually it was a question really. I was driving up the road, she says to me… “Mom, do you know why God made me?” she paused … “just because He wanted to!” His Presence filled up the car like a cloud! I thought WOW… I just heard the voice of God come out of a five year old mouth.

    I was reminded of that while I was reading the parts about decorating. God made us all just because He wanted to. … although we all are made in His Image, we are all different. He instilled in us all different “likes.” So when it comes to decorating, its okay to like what you like. If you can’t figure out how to get it to look how you like it, Figure out how to tell someone knowlegeable in that art how you want it to look (the way you like it.)…. They will tell you the technical aspect of what to buy and how to put it together.

  • Jessica

    I hope it never ceases to amaze me, how the Spirit moves and weaves through the lives of his children.

    Too often, I tell myself that if I let people know I’m in process, I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m healing… they will flee. They’ll see I’m broken and not worthy of their time or energy or love. It seems recently, when I start to doubt that it’s ok to just BE, to just do what I need to do to take care of me, so that I can really begin to bloom… God shows me that I’m not alone, that the lies aren’t true ( and it’s ok to. be. me.

    Also, you should know, I’ve been radically impacted by God’s Heart recently, and the post linked there is FULL OF YOUR WORDS and impact. Thank you a million times over, for following your God-Dream. He is changing me because, in part, of you.

    And I LOVE your interpretation of the 1 Peter verse. I will be meditating on that one today. Thank you!

  • Ruth

    Needed this today. I’ve been so frustrated learning a new software application at work, after using something else for 18 years and being able to do it almost blindfolded. And then having a co-worker who could never grasp the old program moving past me in understanding and using the new program makes me feel like I’m wearing the dunce cap when I used to be at the head of the class! Most of the time my expectations of myself are probably much higher than God’s. Thanks for the encourgement.

  • Holley Gerth

    Thanks so much for sharing your hearts and thoughts here, friends. You are an encouragement to me to keep growing! XO

  • Caryn Christensen

    Such a perfect reminder Holley! I typically hate the idea of process…sometimes it seems SO S-L-O-W! But when we remind ourselves, just as you did, that it’s okay to be in the middle of it, the pressure comes off to be perfect! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • renee@joyful mom

    My mantra lately, “I accept and love myself today”, sometimes I say “in the moment” when I need more IMMEDIATE affirmation!

    I am SO laughing because today I not only went to buy knobs . . . at Target, Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. I have let a simple knob become the focal point of my life . . . “I accept and love myself when I spend too much time looking at knobs.” “I accept and love myself when I put so much love and pride into my role as a homemaker.”

    Be Blessed.

  • kelli woodford

    ” how small a crack shame needs to slip through in our lives.”
    BOOM. Nailed it, friend.

    Powerful truth here. Setting captives free.
    Thank you.

  • Margaret

    Can’t help but be blessed each time i read your post . God bless you .

  • Donna

    Thank you for encouraging us. I needed to hear that today. I’m feeling not so much pressure from me as from outside. Their concern is right and good but i’m feeling more and more irritable. I need to find words like you did to cheer my heart up.

  • Deborah Bolton

    1) I love the heart picture. So pretty… 2) ”I share this example because it’s amazing how small a crack shame needs to slip through in our lives. When did we decide to judge ourselves on everything from our ability to pick curtains to how good a parent we are compared to the mom next to us?” Are we all born with this? Ugh! Sometimes, I think it is the Enemy or one of his henchmen whispering, “You will never be Good Enough.” Nope! We won’t, but we have Jesus. 3) I am sixty, almost 61 and I am still in the process. I have come to the conclusion “the process” doesn’t stop, and I should enjoy it. Also, I finally learned, the perfection gene passed down through the generations was not something I want to own. It’s nice to “be.”

  • Sarah

    Never thought of that before about the grass and the flowers! And I like the quote about becoming. Brilliant post – thanks Holley! :)

  • Valerie Hohenberger

    Oh how I wish I had read (and internalized) this post about 20-25 years ago! Perfection almost killed me! I used to be afraid of new things because I could not do them perfectly! Now, I am not afraid to try new things, but I find it stimulating the old brain cells!

  • Janet

    One of my favorite bumper sticker sayings is: Be patient; God isn’t finished with me yet/
    And he’s shown me that fact many times. Years ago I was sitting in my rocking chair bawling because I just couldn’t take life anymore. Praying to God to just take me home, away from the demands of a son with autism, a daughter with bipolar disorder, both of whom had attempted suicide. My husband and kids were there an no one noticed. I moved to the bathroom, still praying, and my husband finally noticed I was missing. I told him my prayer and that Satan kept telling me very viable ways to push that along. As I prayed, saying I knew that wasn’t God’s voice, I heard what clearly was: It’s not time for you to come home yet. I still have work for you to do. My husband had left me in the bathroom wanting to die because he couldn’t handle it. My Heavenly Father never did.

  • Elise Daly Parker

    …it’s amazing how small a crack shame needs to slip through in our lives. Yes, it is amazing. And we do need to be aware of this and the way we are talking to ourselves. Otherwise we tend these feelings of shame and they blossom almost unbeknownst to us. I really appreciate the way you expose our dirty little secrets Holley…exposing them to the light. Thank you…always!!

  • Joy

    Thank you for sharing this reflection! I am in progress, and I am learning that sometimes the space between here and there is the most fertile..and when I rush through it, I miss the moments of nourishment, moments I might not see external shifts, or even feel internal shifts, but I know are happening, because organic growth models it for me. Before these Spring blossoms began growing, they were in the space between here and there as well!

  • Beth Williams

    Right now I find myself in the middle of a tough journey–one I don’t like and wish would end quickly. I know God has plans for me and I must be patient and wait on Him.

    Just wish I could fast forward quickly out of this journey (job) I hate and move on to something more my style. All in good & God’s timing!

  • Tina C

    Thank you for simply being YOU. You encourage me on my journey. I pray for you often and consider you a friend.

  • Shavay Gaines

    I absolutely loved this because speaking from experience, I wanted to bypass the process and just end up in that place called “there”! But what I’ve learned is that the process can’t be rushed. That’s where God completely dismantled me to strip me of me. And because there was less of me, there was more room for Him! We have to go through in order to get to His blessings for us. And for me, I’ve grown so much, and I’m so grateful! Thank you so much for your posts! May God continue to bless you always.

  • Maria Chambers

    Thank you so much for reminding me that life is a journey, holding the hand of my Heavenly Father, who is transforming my life little by little each day, as I trust in Him.It has taken me a lot of years understand this process, and I often wish I had known this as a young mum with my children, Bless you for writing it and the love and encouragement it gives to the women who are fortunate to read your words. Maria xxxx

  • Catherine

    Thank you! To remember that I am always in a process and never finished. Always in the midst of growth and change. That is living!

    I must say I haven’t always been aware. I have “survived” life by thinking I need to have all the answers all the time. That’s where I sought security and safety. Now I have growing courage and faith in living each day with the gift of uncertainty. Knowing I will learn and grow with the support of God and my fellow travelers.

  • Missy

    Oh Holley, you are singing my swan song. I did not inherit the decorating gene either. But, I so appreciate your encouragement to hang on to the fact that we are all in process.

  • Michelle

    Thank you! I’ve had many of your Target moments over the past few years. Not seeming to have the “right” mom genes, work genes, wife genes – life genes. Feeling like I’m not up to the challenges or the opportunities God has placed before me. It has lead to depression and sadness. This post really lifted my thinking. I need to let go of some “stuff” and give myself permission to progress and grow. This means admitting I can’t do it all, be it all, or have the answers to all – a hard lesson for a workaholic and supermom!

    God gave us flowers in different varieties-each with there own special unique growing experiences. Flowers “Let Go and Let God” making the best of each blooming experience until the last. This post helped me realize that I need to let God be my gardner (water,feed,prune), it’s okay to be a flower-in-progress, and the growing is life journey.

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  • Bev Duncan@ Walking Well With God

    Thanks, Holley, for the reminder that God doesn’t ask for perfection…just growth. I have to constantly be wary of letting shame sneak through the cracks. Your posts always speak to my heart.
    Blessings to you,

  • Anita

    “I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not even what I hope to be. But by the cross of Christ, I am not what I was”. – John Newton.

  • Su

    Just because someone else thinks it is wrong and doesn’t like it does not mean it is wrong. We all have our own opinions, likes and dislikes. It’s ok to be different
    I think we as women can be really bad about wanting others approval when what we need is to do what our Lord wants us to do.

  • T.C.

    Holley, you have a way of saying exactly what I need to hear, and you say it beautifully! Thank you for letting Christ use your words.

  • Sandy

    this remind of Alan Jackson’s song “work in Progress.” Thank you for these posts. They are such an inspiration. I feel we are all a work in progress or process. God gives us a new beginning every day and we should take every advantage of the day that he gives us.

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