Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who is Me? {part 3}

For the past two days I have been sharing about how God finds us beautiful on the inside and about how He wants that beauty to shine on the outside.  Today I am excited to share about God's desire for us to follow our Passions ... and add to His beauty around us!

Here is the final installment of my mini-series on our identity.  Enjoy ... and be inspired!

If you were to ask my mom, she would tell you that I’ve always loved to write.  At a very young age, maybe 7 or 8, I wrote my first book.  It was about a girl and her horse and I remember I used the word “humongous” multiple times.  Later on, I was famous for my storytelling.  As kids, my siblings and I would pile into one room and I would tell silly stories until my audience drifted off to sleep.  Even now, if I have a episode with the kids to retell, I can’t just say:  “Ashley stepped in some red ants and nuts.”  I have to tell you just what happened.  For example, I recently recounted just such an adventure.  Here's a snippet ...
Sweet Le-le screamed and started tap-dancing in place.  Her little legs were flailing around.  She flapped her arms wildly, sending her jangle-y bracelets up into the air, scattering across the sidewalk.  She was terrified.  (And so was that poor little ant.)
I got back into the habit of writing when Aaron was born.  I would of send out to family and friends newsy little emails sharing our adventures with pureed peas and trips down that twisty slide at the park.  I loved chronicling my stay-at-home days (it gave them significance) and people loved hearing from me.
As you can see, I love words and I’ve always loved how you could string them together to create a story.  But, I would never have considered myself to be a writer.  That title, that identity was not something I could claim as my own.  It was too lofty, too esteemed, too highly regarded for little ol’ me.
That is until God started calling me out.  A few years ago, I had people (people besides my mom, that is) asking me what I was going to do with my writing.  I would shrug and shake my head ... just as curious as my inquirers.  Then last year, my mom suggested I start a blog.  The first thing I did when I got home was to Google, “Blog”.
It was then that I really felt like God opened a door for a passion that He has been nurturing for a long time.  Suddenly at my fingertips was a place for all these words and sentences and stories that were piling up in my head.  Within reach was a platform for sharing my heart about the worthiness, the challenges, the exasperations and the privileges of mothering.  In my hands was an opportunity to grow in a whole new way, to develop a gift that God had given me and share His grace and beauty with my readers.  
Since that first post here on, Snapshots, I have discovered that I am in fact a writer.  This doesn’t surprise my mom ... but I am daily stunned and humbled by that title.  

As I go about my day, I feel like my eyes are open to everyday experiences that actually have spiritual significance.  I have front row seats to the snapshots God points out and suddenly the ordinary aspects of my day (laundry, dishes, walking to school and bed time routines) are sacred.  I get so excited when I finally get to sit down at the computer to transfer those thoughts to the computer screen.  And no one is mores surprised than me at what comes out of my fingertips!  This writing gig is 100% God!
I fully believe each of us is hardwired with passions God has given us.  Think through your life and interests.  Maybe it’s music, art, cooking, teaching, crafting, dance, serving, sports, a church ministry, hospitality, interior design, make-up and hairstyling, sewing, gardening, crafting ... the list goes on and on.  

In order to discern what your passion is (and distinguish it from, say, an interest), I would encourage you to ask the following questions:
  • What energizes you? (actually charges your batteries)
  • What excites you?  (you think and talk about it a lot)
  • What do you think about doing with longing?  (wishing you had more time to do it)
  • What activity can you lose yourself in?  (5 o’clock already?!)
  • What makes you sad or frustrated if it’s lacking?
  • What gifts and abilities has God given you? (others can help here)
Once you have pinpointed your passion, it’s time to cultivate it.  And this is the most challenging aspect!  Especially as mothers of preschoolers.  The demands on our time and energy often result in our allowing our God-given passions to go dormant.  That’s perfectly natural for this season of life, but we don’t have to ignore it completely.  In fact, I don’t think it’s healthy for us to put our passions into a MOPS-induced coma!
God gave us these passions with three purposes:  to bring Him glory, to benefit others and to fill us with joy as we share the beauty He has imparted to us in our own unique way.  If we neglect our passions, those things don’t happen.  And personally, I don’t want to miss out on the satisfaction, joy and fullness that comes with writing!
So ... what does this look like in my life today?
  • I have to be intentional about carving out time to write.  (nap time and some evenings)
  • I have to be realistic.  (not my first priority ... it will get bumped)
  • I have to be willing to sacrifice a bit.  (giving up other pleasures to capture available moments)
  • I have to be creative. (any opportunity to write, jotting down thoughts for later times)
  • I have to be patient.  (not my season to devote hours to writing ... but someday)
  • I have to be focused.  (the purpose of this passion is to join God in sharing His beauty)
I want to leave you with a song of encouragement.  This is by one of my favorite, passionate musicians.  Sara Groves is an inspiration to me.  She is a songwriter, a story-teller, a transparent lover of Jesus and a mom.  Her songs have ministered to me in powerful ways throughout this journey of redeeming my Person, revamping my Package and releasing my Passion.

Add To The Beauty

by Sara Groves & Matt Bronlewee

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work
It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth
Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are
And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside
This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation
Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out our best
And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

Now it's your turn ... how are you going to add to the beauty?


Day 6:  Me, Myself & I
Day 9:  I Heart You
Day 12:  Who is Me? {part 3}


  1. What a nice post.

    I also started writing at a young age. I wrote books about big families since I was an only child.

  2. It reminded me of the kids' book, "Miss Rumphius"- we own it if you want to borrow it... "there are three things you must do in your life"... I enjoyed your talk at MOPS, and we had great discussions at our table!


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