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Finding Your Passion
I spoke at Write Canada, the Canadian Christian writers' conference, this weekend. Made some great connections, renewed old friendships, and had some time away from home just to dream and ask God about my direction.

It was interesting, because I went to that conference thinking I should be going in a certain direction, and came away with a whole lot of other priorities. And I'm excited!

As a member of the faculty at the conference, people had an opportunity to sign up to talk to me and ask my advice. And what I found myself saying, over and over, was: "find your passion".

People would want to know what direction to go, and how to market, and what niches to target, and I said, "find your passion".

I think that's true in everybody's life, whether we write or speak or not. God has given us all passion for something, and we will feel most alive and purposeful when we're able to live out that passion. The problem comes when we try to live out a passion that isn't ours.

Now please--I'm not saying that if housework isn't your passion you can let your house go. We all need a minimum level of cleanliness so that you don't fear catching communicable diseases in your kitchen! But it's within our areas of passion that we leave our legacy. So, for instance, if you have a passion for the Word, you need to be teaching and participating in a Bible study group. If you have a passion for prayer, you need to start an online prayer ministry where you can pray for other moms in the same stage in life. If you have a passion for helping kids from broken families, you need to figure out how to create a safe environment at your house where they can hang out.

But if we ignore our passions, and say that something else is more lucrative, or more logical, or more responsible, we risk running ourselves dry.

Now there will be some periods in our lives when our passions will mostly be home focused, whether it's with raising babies or managing a whole bunch of teens. But even during those times, we can become passionate about creating a fun homelife. If we're simply trying to keep the wheels turning, and making sure that the fridge isn't empty, and worrying about the mundane of life we lose it. But if we see those mundane things in the context of a broader passion, our purpose becomes more clear.

And perhaps I should be talking purpose instead of passion, because purpose implies that there is One who gives it to us, whereas passion can be self-focused. So I do believe that often our purposes and our passions coincide. I think that God often gives us passion in our area of purpose. And that passion usually relates to doing something that will impact others and leave a legacy.

It is wonderful when our passion can actually start to bring us an income. I often tell my girls to figure out what it is that they love doing and that God has gifted them in doing, and then together we'll try to figure out a career path so that they can do those things! I think the most effective people in business are those who are working in areas that they love. Probably the definition of a happy life is to get paid for doing something that you would do for free anyway.

This summer I have a ton to do, and I mean a TON. This week alone I have to finish a book proposal, get three articles written, and write up a business plan for a speaker's training course I'm starting this summer. But I'm so excited about all of it!

If you don't have passion in your life right now, pray that God will show you an area that you are excited about, and that He will show you a path where you can start living out that passion. I think too often we live lives that are dreary by default. We get sucked up into the routine of life, with its TV and its internet and its noise. And we can live day by day like that, until those days turn into years.

So what is your passion? Is it art or creativity? Is it the Word? Is it children, or marriage, or education, or homeschooling? I would say mine is marriage, and helping women get out of ruts and live purposefully for God. That's what I talk about and write about, and I do love it. But share with me yours. It's summer; it's a great time for reflection and prayer and planning. Why don't we take it to make sure that next year we can start to live out some of these things that God has put in our hearts.

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9 Comments:

At 8:56 AM , Anonymous Bekah Ferguson said…

I have three passions: writing, children and philanthropy. It can be tricky to find balance though, particularly between the first two. Sometimes I feel like I'm a little bit crazy but I'm trying to find a publisher for my novel *and* adopt a child at the same time. Even though I've prayed and prayed, I still feel passionate about both. I guess if there's a will, there's a way. God will provide. :)

On a side note, I sat in on your panel class "Developing a Platform for Public Speaking" at Write! Canada. What I took away from that, more than anything else, was that as writers and speakers, we need to tell a story, rather than try and teach. Lead people through testimony rather than dictate through logic. Great stuff - lots to ponder. :)

 

At 9:15 AM , Blogger Fruitful Vine2 said…

It's interesting that you should tweet about this today.

There are times when I think I've found out what my passion is and then there are times when I'm not so sure. I know that lately I've begun to love teaching - I teach a young adults Sunday School class every other month and then the Lord opened doors for me to teach two sessions at our Ladies Ministry anniversary activites shortly after which he opened another door for my husband and I to teach a parenting series to preschool parents for two week. I enjoy doing that but I don't know if I could call it my passion. I love being involved in ministry and church life - period, not all aspects of church life but some.

I think I need to do some more praying about this. Another thing I realize is that in different seasons of life my passions or the things that I enjoy doing change.

This was a long comment. :)

 

At 10:20 AM , Blogger Shaun and Holly said…

My passions:
1.my family
2. gardening
3. photography

I reciently got a part time job gardening and it is such a deight!! Getting paid for something that I love to do! :)
Holly

 

At 3:57 PM , Blogger Kela said…

My passions are becoming more defined.
My first passion is singing, but over the past couple of years it has kind of taken a backseat to me focusing on writing/blogging; which is my second passion. Intertwined with all of that is raising and homeschooling a family with 6 children. My husband and I have a passion together, helping/mentoring other married couples.

 

At 7:43 AM , Blogger Kimmie said…

Hi Sheila;
Thank you for the encouraging godly word.

May God stir our passions and may we truly make a Kingdom impact. In Jesus' name, amen!

Kimmie
mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

 

At 10:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Thanks for your post!
It comes at a time when I am debating completing my Doctoral studies, or whether to just enjoy my work and raising my family.
I am struggling with identifying what it is that's holding me back, fear, or does god have a different plan for me and that's why I am struggling. thanks for your encouraging words.

 

At 12:54 PM , Anonymous Ann Dunagan said…

Hi Sheila!

The Lord has been refining my PASSIONS recently also. I'm actually a very deep-feeling passionate person, and there are many things that move me and compel me to speak out; but I feel the Lord wants me to focus on MISSIONS and FAMILY LIFE.

Right now, I'm doing a "40-Day Mission-Minded FAMILY CHALLENGE" (with daily 5-minute videos on our website) to motivate families to focus more on God's Great Commission.

 

At 7:51 PM , Anonymous Debbie said…

My passion and purpose have seen great transformation in the past several months. I've actually blogged through some of it - which was so helpful. =)

My Passion
1. Writing
2. Photography
3. Human Trafficking

My Purpose
1. Being a Home Keeper for my family.
2. Writing for women's ministry at church.
3. Writing about Human Trafficking and shining God's light on this dark tragedy.

 

At 3:40 PM , Blogger Karen said…

By far, my highest passion is writing Bible studies for women and teaching the Bible to women. I get excited and fulfilled when I'm writing a study or Bible study lesson. And that's just topped off by being able to teach them to women! I've written one complete Bible study and am currently working on another one. I love being a stay-at-home wife and mom as well. And that is part of my calling. But I also know that I am being called to the writing and teaching as well.

Hope you have a wonderful week!
Karen

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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