August 24, 2011

Uncovering Your Passions

A passion is like a stirring down deep that is trying to get to the surface. It is often something so much a part of us or our lives that we don't actually recognize it for what it is. It's just always been there, that little nudge or desire or interest. That thing we hope to get to someday.

So often, though, we don't let them out because we are good girls and we give our time, energy, and selves to the "shoulds" we believe for ourselves and we believe others have for us. We turn away from the holy must stirring in our hearts and let our souls shrivel up under the heavy burdens and lifeless life of our shoulds.

Now, I'm not talking about getting all self-focused or shoving aside the priorities God has given us as His disciples, as wives, and as moms. I'm talking about uncovering and taking full advantage of the beauty, grace, and abundant life there is to be had as give in to our God-given passions!

So what if you've got babies in your arms and toddlers wrapped around your legs and you haven't thought about your passions in years? What if you feel lost in a sea of possibilities about who you are and what you want to do in life? How do you know what you're passionate about?

I am passionate about writing, but I have just been able to actually label that for three years and say it out loud for one. However, writing has always been there, just under the surface, a little luxury never connected with the shoulds of real life. Now that I've allowed it to the surface, memories have flooded back: the story I made up and shared with my friends in 7th grade (they laughed), the writing assignment that I still remember from 10th grade (a fictionalized account of the Titanic), my mom and her best friend encouraging me to enter a writing contest (I didn't). I realized that I have been compelled to write for most of my life, but each attempt was like a puzzle piece. I never put them all together to see the big picture.

Until I did and there it was: my passion.

So what's yours?

What would you devote yourself to if you knew God had given you the go-ahead and you didn't have to worry about money, time, or failure?

What do you find yourself wishing you had more time for? (could sleep be a passion?)

What is God speaking into your heart? What has He gifted you for that He is calling you to use for His glory?

What gives you life? What fills you up with energy and joy?

What in you have other people encouraged?

What do you do that feels like worship?

I think there are a whole lot of misconceptions and fears women have about pursuing their passions and I'm going to talk about that next. But for today, I hope you will think about these questions and let God bring that stirring to the surface.

Whatever it is--midwifing, discipling, picture-taking, dancing, baking, nursing, advocating, creating, teaching, gardening, painting, designing, speaking, sewing, decorating, blogging, leading, mothering, running--do it and so honor the God who put that passion in you.