This is Day 17 of our 31 Days of Less and More series. To read all the posts in order, start with Day 1 and check out our overview page to see the topics for the entire month.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” ~Mark Twain
I am a woman of many passions. I love good books, crisp journals, cowboy boots, good food, coffee, DIY projects, chocolate, and babies. And that’s just the short list. I’m am truly a jill of all trades, master of hardly anything. It has taken me a long time to be okay with that—to truly accept who I am and how God made me, without wishing I had some other set of skills and talents and interests. I am finally living in my sweet spot—the intersection between my passions and my giftings. It only took me the better part of 40 years— but I have finally submitted to who I am and why I’m here.
I am an artist and so are you. What gift were you made to give the world? Who was your life and your art meant to serve?
Slowly realizing what I was made to do has changed my life. That doesn’t mean the journey here has been easy, because it hasn’t. And you’ll work way harder when you discover your passions, because finally work won’t seem like work. While you are immersed in that thing that makes you come alive—hours will pass and yet time will stand still. It’ll feel like you were in a dream, because you were. The challenge is not so much to find what you were made to do as to submit to it. Offer yourself and your gifts to those around you.
When you are not living in your sweet spot, you will always more tempted by distractions and coping mechanisms. Until I realized the meaningful work I was created for, I shopped a lot and often bought things I didn’t need to fill a void. I struggle way less with that now that I’m doing work I love. Your ways of coping may be different, but I can tell you this—until you answer the big questions in your life, you will struggle to find your way. When you finally discover what you were made to do, you will know it, because you’ll feel like you’ve come home.
So, why are you here? What is it that makes you come alive? What do you daydream about? Has your life spiraled out of control in some way? Have you gotten into bad habits because of boredom or stress? The truth is, you may be exchanging valuable days and hours for a life you don’t love. It’s time to rethink your priorities and begin to do the stuff of your daydreams. Start today. It won’t happen by accident.
Some resources that might help you find your way back to your passions are Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job and Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff.
Challenge Day 17: Do you find yourself sliding into bad habits of overindulgence? Think back to the last time it happened and why. Now, identify an activity or hobby you are passionate about, but that you may have given up because of time, circumstances, stress, or money. Is there a way to incorporate that passion back into your life somehow? Start today. Then inspire others by sharing your story in the comments below or on Facebook.
Be sure to read Ruth’s corresponding post, Less Mindless Spending.
Edie, thank you for this post. I’ve felt God nudging me toward a change for a couple of months now. Little signs here and there. This post seems to be the message that pulls all of them together. I love creating art. He made me to create. I have to create, whether there is an end purpose to the item or not. Also, I had to smile when I read your comment about doing what you love and time standing still or feeling like you were in a dream. That is dead one. It’s when we can actually tap into the right side of our brains (the creative side) that time is not measured. It s dream like and I long for that experience more and more. Thanks so much for sharing and for being who God created you to be!
Oh my goodness-this is post really spoke to me, Edie! I’m a sahm, have been for 16 years with 4 kids-and as much as I love it-I’m really feeling the need to do something else besides. What that is-I don’t know-and it’s on my mind all.the.time. Clearly it’s time to start seriously thinking and actively exploring instead of just being anxious about it and then shopping and/or eating way too much/and then feeling awful from that fall-out.
Thank you so much for this series! I look forward to these posts each day!! I am really working on this right now as my youngest starts kindergarten next year and I am thinking about going back to work. I really feel like my calling is working with children. I am just on the fence about finding a position part-time or full-time and where. As a former 2nd grade teacher and now occasional substitute, I feel passionately about teaching. It’s just an added bonus that I get paid too! 🙂
I will have to check out those books. Love this post. I’m reading emily p freeman’s new book and it’s helpful too, similar vein of thought. I’m much like you in having many passions (twenty hobbies, but when I read what Chesterton thinks of women having twenty hobbies I feel better). The trouble I have with so many passions is deciding what to focus on, or if I should focus. There are many things I enjoy but I find myself frustrated I don’t master any of them before I move to something else!
Because I share in your love for the Avett Brothers….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEr9gMYdkHI
Decide what to be and go be it!!!!
Thanks for the encouragement. I am applying this post to my husband as I feel he is doing a job to provide for our family, but not what he is “called” to be doing. We are praying about what it is that God wants for our family and I pray that when He reveals that next step I will have the guts to surrender my comforts and go be it or do it!!
This comment is a bit random – but I’m wanted to thank you for sharing the link to First Lutheran Church in Knoxville a few weeks back – – I’m at work super early on Friday mornings, all alone, and that’s become my Friday morning ritual, to listen to the latest sermon. What a fantastic way to end the week, hearing his words of instruction and encouragement. Since this particular sermon is titled “Happy Thanksgiving”, I thought it appropriate to say ‘thank you’ to you as well! (……and this series is wonderful – – really enjoying it!)
I have been working on that for some months now… I haven’t found the answer yet, but I have not give up looking for it.
Marie at the Lazy W says
“sweet spot” and margins have a lot in common, or at least in relationship to each other, right? So great.
Edie, how much did Homer impact you in this arena? When I read the Odyssey for your book club I thought about this a lot. The homecoming, the purpose discovery.
And it all fits in perfectly with lavishing our gifts on people we love.
I *think* Khalil Gibran said that “Work is love made visible.”
Excellent post, excellet series, thanks lady!
I love this post because I can so relate to everything you wrote. I love your insights!
Oooh Edie, I love this post. For me, finding my passion (or rather, my combination of passions) was such a slow process, but once I got there, it all made sense. That’s when you realise why you don’t have all the answers from the start. Why it’s important to learn and experience certain things in a certain order to really get it and make the most of it. Wonderful post Edie!
Btw, completely unrelated- did you get my email re your ebook? The money has been taken from my account, but I’ve not received the book. I know Paypal has been acting crazy lately, so want to make sure.