Women Wielding The Word | Maree Dee


Are there specific tools you use to grow the most important relationship in your life? Spending time with others is necessary to deepen those relationships. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

We all have a different story. How we came to know Jesus as our Savior, what our lives looked like before and after, how we’ve grown in our relationship with Christ and our understanding of His Word… our experiences are as unique as we are! 

Maree Dee joins the Women Wielding The Word series this week by sharing the tools she uses to deepen and grow in her own relationship with Christ.

Growing the Most Important Relationship

Hands down, the most important relationship in my life is with God. How about you? However, as in all connections, when we don’t actively take steps to draw closer, we end up growing apart. Most likely, we have all experienced lost relationships because we didn’t nurture them. Why would it be any different with God?

A Useful Tool

Years ago, I started a habit of setting aside time on an annual basis to dig deep and make sure God and I were growing in intimacy and continuing on a lifelong journey to become more Christ-like. After all, my relationship with God is my most valuable relationship. It is easy to hit a plateau. The tool I use leaves me with a God-directed spiritual goal for the year.

When is the Best Time?

January is the most beneficial time for me; however, anytime is perfect. It seems most people like to set goals in December. For me, the holiday hustle has me worn out. Plus, my perspective is almost always skewed. This year in December, I would have told you I had failed at my previous spiritual goals. This conclusion was far from the truth. However, it took a little help from God and my husband to see – I had made progress.  We tend to be a little harder on ourselves.

Waiting for the perfect time to set a spiritual goal is not a smart way to grow closer to God.  Start Now!

How to Set a Spiritual Goal

It is a two-step process. First, I take a spiritual inventory and then move on to setting a spiritual goal. This process takes time. I must reflect and listen for God’s voice.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)!”

We must never solely look at where we are today but must consider where we have been and where we want to go.  

Step 1: Take a Spiritual Inventory – A Year in Review

Looking back helps us to see where we have made strides in our connection with God. It can also pinpoint areas where change might enhance our relationship. Be careful, measuring our growth and intimacy with God based solely on our feelings can be grossly inadequate. We need questions to help us get a more detailed look.

Here is a snippet of a few questions:

  • Do I have a daily habit of spending time with God?
  • How active is my prayer life?
  • Do I take time to listen for God’s voice?
  • Was there a lesson or truth God revealed to me over the last twelve months?
  • Is my faith more vital than it was a year ago? What is getting in the way? What is helping?

Step 2: Set a Spiritual Goal including Planned Steps

This part may appear simple – pick where you want to grow and go for it. However, more times than not, God may have something entirely different in mind. Nevertheless, aren’t God’s plans and dreams always best?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).” 

I usually end up with one word, a mantra, action steps, and a verse to go along with it. This year it is, “Seek God in Everything.”

Setting a small spiritual goal each year is a way to move into deeper intimacy with our Lord and become more Christ-like in the process. However, we must always hold our spiritual goal loosely and leave room for God to redirect.  This spiritual goal process is not meant to condemn or tear us down. God is full of grace and love. Remember, it is never too late to start moving a step closer to God.

Every year I put together detailed worksheets to help me in this process. I offer them as a gift, on my website, with the hope we will encourage each other along the way. 

Meet Maree

Maree Dee is a Writer | Speaker | Advocate | Ministry Leader – passionate about encouraging and equipping others to embrace life in the midst of the unexpected. She is a warrior who doesn’t give up when the journey gets tough. Maree believes, together with God, we can all find incredible joy along the way, even when surrounded by tremendous pain. 

Drop by and visit Maree’s blog on Embracing the Unexpectedwww.embracingtheunexpected.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Embracing Faith and Mental Illness from a Caregiver’s Perspective.

Women Wielding The Word

Sharing stories of how God has impacted our lives encourages us and builds our faith. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

This series is meant to be an encouragement to you. I’ve asked other bloggers to share what their time with God looks like and how the Bible has impacted their lives. No two stories are the same. Every woman’s devotional life looks different.

Read about other “Women Wielding the Word” in this series here.

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Exclusively for email subscribers, our library contains 12 themed Bible reading plans. Each plan equips you with 30 short passages and action steps to help you dig deeper. Subscribe to join us in the library!


15 thoughts on “Women Wielding The Word | Maree Dee”

  1. I agree that taking a spiritual inventory should become a part of our yearly goal setting process. We must make sure our relationship with God is on point before we strive to accomplish anything else. As the Matthew 6:33 says, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto you.”

    • Brandi – That is precisely my goal for the year – Seek. I am trying to seek God first in everything I do. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.

  2. I love your intention about this, Maree! I often find myself feeling distant from God before I’ve even known I was drifting. This is a perfect way to stay intentional and focused in your times with God.

    • Thank you, Jenn. Yes, it is so easy to drift away. I still do stray away from time to time, but this helps me stay focused. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  3. Maree, this is so challenging, and the truth is that if we aim at nothing, we’ll hit it every single time. I want to be intentional at the beginning of the year–and I’ve also been trying to take inventory with each new season–so I don’t get stagnant without even noticing it!

    • Michele –
      I like that you take inventory at each new season. It is so easy to get stagnant, and you are right; we many times don’t even realize it.

      What a truth you said about aiming at nothing. Unrelated, but I seem to be doing that with my exercise plan.

      So good to see you here in this space.



  4. I like the point about looking at where we have been, where we currently are, and where we want to be. Over time we can look back and see our growth. And so important is knowing where we want to end up.

    • Looking back has certainly been helpful for me. We just want to be careful we don’t beat ourselves up thinking we haven’t done enough. I am so glad you stopped by to read and comment. Thank you – Maree

  5. I love your focus, Maree. I’m sure I leave everything up to chance. Although I spend time in God’s Word and in prayer daily, clearly it’s not enough. I need a plan and to set some goals if I ever want to progress in my relationship with my Savior. Great thoughts! Thank so much.

    • Wendy,

      You sound a lot like me. I need a plan too. I hope you will head over to my website via the link above to download the worksheets. You might find them helpful. Use the subscribe button to access the free packet. It will give you the option to subscribe or just request the free worksheets. I update them each year.


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