I used to think that my interests, gifts and passions were random.
To be honest it has taken me many years to realize that my interests, gifts and passions are not an accident at all.
Sometimes I have let a day get away from me as I think back to growing up and I let my imagination take me back in time. Sometimes it is with fond memories and other times I can lose myself in the thoughts of “Why didn’t I?”, “What if?” and “If I had only!”. I find myself picturing the artsy girl in high school that I dreamed of really being and making the loft of our barn into my art studio. I can picture myself going to art school in Chicago and can almost taste it. I can mentally beat myself up over not being stronger or wiser or more confident to just be me. I have cried over lost years and beat myself up over trying to fit into someone else’s mold. What a waste of time, guys.
What I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that we get second chances. The path that I have traveled has brought me here to this life, with this man and these children. THEY are the path that I wouldn’t want to change. The other stuff? I have been given a second chance to live. You have second and third and forth chances too to do the things in your heart. Those interests, gifts and passions…no one else can do them. The world is anxiously waiting for what pulls you!
I have often wondered why my heart isn’t for some of the things my friends or family members have a heart for. That is because the Lord has given me my own pulls of the heart. The Lord has called me for conversations with women and the message that we have all been creatively made. I have a love for the Pacific Northwest with an indescribable peace that comes over me while I am there because that area is my path. That pull? It is NOT random. The women that I love there? It is NOT random. It doesn’t make sense but I know that my heart is there because the Lord wants my heart there. I have art to make, women to love and a message to share there. I have a huge heart to help women see the joy and honor of loving their family and caring for their home. To remind them it is not a burden but a part of making your whole life your art. I don’t have a pull to be a missionary in far off lands but a huge heart to reach out to those right here in my city. That is NOT random. There are so many things about who I am, the places I love, the people I am drawn to that I know have been placed in me for a purpose. The same is true of you!
Can you image if we all had the same pulls of our heart? Don’t compare your pulls to the pulls of others. Big or small they are all significant. How can my pull to reach out to the people in my city not be as important as reaching out to a people on the other side of the world. There are people traveling far because of their pull and there are others right now bringing a meal to a neighbor that is hurting because of the same pull.
Look at your gifts, your interests and your passions. Have you asked lately, “Lord, what do you want me to do with them?”.
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This is such a beautiful, heart-felt post from you. I tell you…life changes while we are growing up. It seems the ones who are the more talented appear to get the most credit for being such amazing artists, or they get the most praise, or the most encouragement while growing up as children, while some of us are slow beginners, and maybe we are much like Grandma Moses who learned to paint in her old age, but she DID learn!
The joy is in the learning and many of us are late bloomers, OR, our lives were put on hold because Life had to happen first. I know there are mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, little girls (and boys too!) who will blossom when their time comes to be creative. And it is something we have to make time for, as that is what makes us who we are.
I take joy in my creativity. Fortunately I did do craft shows for over twenty years and people did buy what I made and I did this while raising four children, one of them being handicap. I had to have that outlet of expression to fulfill myself with the gifts God gave to me in the way of creativity.
My heart is also pulled toward encouraging others in whatever way I can be used to uplift those who are down-hearted, or don’t know which direction to go with their lives.
My desire is to help people individually, but not be a go-between, or take sides in conflicts of life, but try to give sound advice that God would sanctify and be honored by, and to help people to stand on their own two feet when it comes to setting boundaries, saying yes, or no, and sticking with it. I think honesty in a Christian’s life is the best path to take, even though it may seem harsh, but if given with love and compassion, people need to confront their own monsters within and rebuild their lives with love and forgiveness. Sorry. If you get me going I could write a book!
Because of my handicap son, God put my life on hold in many aspects of it. I don’t get out as much as I would like to, such as women’s Bible Study groups. So I am very thankful for the internet and various ning sites, and the encouragement I have received from being here on this site with so many women being totally dedicated to being who they are in Jesus with their creativity. BEING HERE HAS BEEN A HUGE ENCOURAGEMENT TO ME!
I think it is amazing that the field of art is constantly changing with new ideas. It is an open arena for all types of creativity to burst forth from each individual. I used to think how in the world could people create something new, as there is such a thing as ‘artist’s block’. But by viewing others creativity the inspiration does eventually come and since there are so many incredible workshops available all over the internet, the possibilities are endless for learning new art techniques every day.
Thank you for this post and for encouraging us to ‘leave a comment’.
Oh thank you for writing this!
I appreciated your post so much. There’s a lot of truth in what you shared. I’m 54 and starting a new season after homeschooling my children for nearly thirty years. I’m glad that you have found a peace in the timing and direction of your life. I struggled with that for a long time but God led me to an article in Where Women Create Business. There was a quote by Barbara Rainey that read “Trust the timing of your life. There is a Master Designer that makes no mistakes.” I do believe that God is leading us on our creative paths and I’m so grateful. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging us to follow ours.
Thank you for the reminder. It is so easy to ignore our own gifts because we feel it isn’t the “best” or “right” way to serve. You are so good at showing us how our different talents are all purposed and can be used for good.
thank you for this blog, this morning…you hit the nail on the head with what you have written. It resonates and it speaks to me deeply. I am given second, third and fourth chances. I do live and move and breath where God has placed me. I am where He wants me to be. And I want to be all that He wants the me, He created me to be. AND I do regret seeing “the other side of the fence” as greener and more worthy and more special and more wonderful…..thank you Jeanne. Thank YOU!
This is so how I feel. Years wasted because I believed what people told me I couldn’t do. It is a real struggle. Thank you for this post and all you do. I love the creativity takes courage and other classes. You are such an encouragement to me.
Everything you said, right on! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thanks for the reminder about 2nd chances and that our paths aren’t all the same. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing and feeling that our interests/life/passions aren’t as valuable as someone else’s. God does gift us all differently–why is that so hard for me to remember?
dear Jeanne…this post really touched me (and from the heartfelt comments above I’m not the only one!) A good reminder to be at peace with my creative path, it’s not random…and to listen for God’s reply when I ask what is next for me. thank you!
What a beautiful text! Thank you, Jeanne.
such a timely question! thank you! Was just pondering very similar things just this morning. “where are you drawing my heart? where is this going? i’m open?” Jeanne, The Lord has spoken through you… to me & my stuff….so many times. I’ve worked in women’s ministry in my church for many many years, then the door closed… we changed churches after 25 yrs of ministry and then suddenly I found that area of my life felt “silent” and I was surprised to find it has lasted a couple of years. I’ve grieved the loss. Now, In 2015 I took a big delayed step of obedience and have started hosting workshops in my studio. Fear was trying to suffocate and cripple me…how much to charge? what to teach???? Well, As I reluctantly & fearfully lifted my foot to take the first steps toward doing this, it was your voice, from the courses you’ve offered, through your emails and blog posts, I could hear reminding me…you CAN do this! Do it! I’m telling you this because I know the Lord was using you to encourage, strengthen, and challenge me! So each time now after each group has left and I finally sit down exhausted, but overjoyed at what was accomplished HE has changed my perspective to see a little more clearly. the “silence” is no longer there. He has given me a glimpse of the bud of ministry that has broken through the ground. The “silent” time was not dead time…. It was preparation time for me. You had a huge part in that! Thank you my friend!
I really love your message so beautiful and inspirational! take care nancy cretaro
I realize that when I compare myself with others I diminishes the beautiful and perfect plan God has for me… And comparing ourselves with others isn’t wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). I think as women we all need help in this area. Thanks for the reminder.:)
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