Growth > Goals

I bought myself a bouquet of tulips last week to keep in my office as a reminder of a lesson I learned last year. I was at a business event that was held outdoors on a patio overlooking a two-story garden along the back fence last spring. Before the event began, I was chatting with one of our guests and mid-conversation, she paused to admire the tulips.

“Whoever planted those tulips knew exactly what they were doing!” she said as she walked over toward them to cradle a flower in her hand. I followed behind her and asked her what she meant. She told me that, because these flowers sprung up at the same time, they were buried perfectly even. The gardener would measure the depth of each bulb's hole to match perfectly with the others. This intrigued me, so I went home and did a little more research about tulips. Did you know that you plant tulip bulbs in the fall, about six to eight weeks before the first hard frost of the winter season? Some tulip bulbs need up to fifteen weeks of chilling or they won’t grow chutes and bloom.

Just about the same time the tulip bulbs were going into the ground, I had planted some beautiful goals of my own. At that time, I wasn’t aware I was still in the “chilling” season of growth to prepare for the chutes and blossoms to come. I was watching as people in and out of my line of work blossomed while I looked discouragingly at my seemingly lifeless pot of soil. So, this conversation and my tulip research were timely because they helped re-center my focus.

I’ll bet there are some of you reading this blog who have been reflecting on your plans and dreams with a twinge of disappointment because you haven’t “bloomed” yet. I get it. I’m still waiting to see some of the goals I’ve planted in the years past finally break ground.

I have a saying I repeat to myself and the people in my life often.

Growth > Goals.

Don’t worry, I’m not throwing you off the goal train. By all means, buy your train ticket! Show up, stay on board, and keep moving forward toward your destination. But, big goals come with long journeys. Long journeys require growth. If you are growing, you are going.

What if we stopped asking, “how long will this take?” and we began asking, “how long am I willing grow?”

I want to challenge you to answer that question should be, “however long it takes.” Sorry to burst your bubble, but on the other side of the goals you are currently working toward, there are even bigger ones waiting yet waiting for you. This is why growth should remain the focus; it removes the pressure of timelines and calendar years to remind our hearts that this is a life-long journey of becoming. We don’t set goals to just achieve goals; we set goals to give ourselves a measuring stick to grow up against.

Goals prove growth.

If at the end of this year, you can confidently say you are growing, that is all that matters. Unlike the tulips in the garden that day, the goals we sow into the ground of our lives and hearts aren’t planted perfectly evenly. They will spring up at different times with various heights, colors, and sizes. So, whether you hold a beautiful bouquet in hand to display at the end of this year, or you are still patiently awaiting the ground to break to reveal what has been growing, remember: growth > goals.


Hey, I'm glad you're here! 

I'm Tori! 

I believe God has designed good things just for you. I want to see you walk in them. 

Nothing sets my heart on fire like seeing women encounter the love of God in the midst of their loneliness, fear, and uncertainty and leave empowered to live the life they were created for. 

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