Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Defining our Passions
On Saturday I was able to go to the annual MOPS Summit, where MOPS leaders converge from all over the US into churches and connect through a live simulcast. We were able to hear from Liz Selzer and Margaret Feinberg, both amazing communicators who challenged and inspired us. Out of the entire event, one statement stuck out to me the most. A mom asked the question, "if God has given us as mothers SO many different passions, how do we narrow it down and focus?"
What a great question! If you are like me, you are passionate about many things- our families (including our children and husbands), education, reaching the many needs of others, working, pursuing our hobbies, etc... How do we narrow it down and at the same time not neglect the needs of our families?
One panelist on the stage took the mic and answered the question. She said that we just need to pray that in the "great melting pot" of our passions, God would raise to the top the one or two that He really wants us to focus on. That really spoke to me, because I seem to have a LOT of passions: mothering, photography, MOPS, ministry, lactation counseling, orphans, education, being a godly wife and mother, teaching the Word of God, and more. I often feel torn because if I pursue these things, am I taking time away from my kids or my husband? Yet at the same time, having an outside passion often gives me more energy and motivation to be a better wife and mother. I come home energized and more able to focus.
What are your passions? Make a list and see if one or two of them comes to the top. When I did this, one of them came to the top more than others: ministering to mothers. This would not have been my passion 5 years ago, but God leads us through different stages in life. This might not be my passion 5 years from now, but this is the season I am in. I want to reach out to mothers so that "no mom feels alone." (That is the mission statement of MOPS, by the way). Maybe that's why I have such a heart for MOPS and love being involved! Another avenue of my passion to reach out to moms comes in the form of lactation counseling. I love helping moms who feel hopeless and seeing them then succeed.
If you could name your top two passions in life, what would they be? Did you expect me to say photography? Because although I do enjoy photography, it is not one of my top two passions (I do it mostly for the money, I admit). But for others, photography is a HUGE passion for them!
Once we narrow down our top two passions, what can we do to incorporate them more into our lives? How do we combine them with love and care for our children? For me, when I go to MOPS, I can bring my children and know that they will be cared for and taught while I am with the other moms, and they will have fun with the other kids. When I do lactation counseling, I often have to leave the kids with Martin so that I can pursue that (same with photography). I don't want to spend too much time doing things away from my kids or I will not be able to enjoy it as much. But at the same time, it is good to be able to pursue a passion just for yourself that gives you a break from the constant busyness of taking care of the kids. It is a balance that I have not fully figured out yet, but I'm trying.
All I know is, when we are not pursuing our passions, we become discouraged, lonely, and bored. What are your passions, and are you pursuing at least one of them? Make it a priority; it may even make you a better mommy!