Robin Y. Greenlee, Acting Chief Risk Officer of MapleMark Bank in Dallas, TX, outlines how anyone can create a “Personal Growth Plan” that includes every aspect of your life, from career to relationships to spirituality and more.
Don’t have time to read this blog? Listen to it below!
“…And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…”Philipians 1:9
As women, we are prone to carefully and thoroughly focus only on the growth and care of those. But, as we are constantly reminded, we must take care of ourselves in order to be there and effective for others. So let’s assume this neglected message has made its tired way through our stubborn minds and onto our list of priorities. How do we take the next step from paper to practice, from agreeing that we should care for ourselves to actually doing it?
As we’ve engaged in our conversations about calling and purpose, we’ve sought our Why, we’ve gained assurance about God’s promises, we’ve identified where we are and whom we have along for the journey. We’ve begun building disciplines into our lives to help us take our next steps, and find that we must continue to grow personally in order to keep moving forward to the next destination along the journey…and the next and the next.
So how and when do we go about this spiritual, scriptural mandate of personal growth? We could use a plan to help formulate a strategy.
Principal #1: Sabbath is not just rest, but also for gathering, learning, growing and praising together.
“The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” [Ex. 20:11]
“On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” [Acts 13:44]
Principal #2: We should take times and seasons for these activities on a regular recurring basis.
“God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky …and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years. [Gen. 1:14]
“Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.” [Ex. 34:23]
God made us to need and respond to certain rhythms and seasons that help us remain in healthy, growing relationship with Himself. This principle also applies to the whole person – not just to our sacred times of assembly and celebration. So let’s begin our Personal Growth Plan by selecting the timings and frequencies that work best.
- Daily – We need some time each day for well-being, learning and growth. This might be a quiet time each morning, or a planning time each night to help us prepare for what’s next.
- Weekly – God made no secret about his plan for weekly rest.
- Yearly – Most of us pause with the New Year to look at our progress, but you can select anytime during the year – perhaps vacation time or when you prepare your taxes – to look back and plan forward.
Whatever works for you, set your times, and make them a priority. But what should you do with them? Your Personal Growth Plan should include every aspect of your life from career to relationships to finances to spirituality to hobbies.
Isaiah 54:1-2 challenges me to look at where I am and where God is leading me, and to consider how I have been responding to that leading. Is it time for changes in any of the following, or am I exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I need to do?
- “Burst into song, shout for joy” – Are there victories that you need to take time to celebrate?
- “Enlarge the place of your tent” – Is God calling you to expand your business or move to a larger city?
- “Stretch your tent curtains wide” – Are you being challenged to expand your influence in some way? Perhaps you should plan to take on new responsibilities, mentor additional people, or write a book!
- “Do not hold back” – Have you been setting limits on yourself or others that are not in keeping with God’s plan? Or are you stepping out in faith where God is leading?
- “Lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes” – Is it time to build a stronger framework for the future? Do you need to change your organization to meet the desired goals?
God rewarded Daniel for setting his mind to gain understanding and humble himself before God in order to live out his calling in a hostile culture. [Dan. 10:12] Daniel knew he needed God’s answers to all of the people and problems that he faced, and he went to Him daily. Even Jesus got away to quiet places to spend time with His Father. And Jesus promised that His people will do even greater things than He did, indeed do anything we ask in order to glorify Him. But we can only know how to glorify Him when we seek Him first. Take some time to build your plan for seeking Him and then celebrate what He does with your faithfulness!
Robin Greenlee currently serves as Acting Chief Risk Officer of MapleMark Bank in Dallas, TX. She has 20+ years of experience in Lending, Credit and Risk Management as well as servicing in the community through financial education and non-profit Board service.
Robin is also a long-time avid Bible teacher and student, currently teacher adult Bible Study and servicing on the worship team at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. She loves to public speaking, writing, singing jazz, and visiting family in her native state of Alabama whenever possible.
Robin holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama and also attended the University of Montevallo. Robin is an effective communicator and problem solver, who loves to collaborate with others to achieve great results. This includes making an impact through mentoring, including serving through the 4word Women Mentor Program where she can make a difference in the lives of others.
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