Do what you love

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

If you could do anything, what would it be? Is there something in you that stirs and taps your insides, asking if it can come out and play? In that deep, dark part of the day, when the lights are out and the family sleeps scattered under your roof, what do you hear that voice telling you?

You know, it’s that voice from God who whispers, if you’re really listening, what He’s made you for. Have you heard that voice lately?

Susan said something simple a few weekends ago, almost in passing. I’m not sure she even remembered she said it; it was between two larger thoughts, I’m pretty sure. She said this: “Why do we women feel the need to apologize for enjoying work? Men don’t do that; they don’t say, ‘Sorry I’m spending time making us money.’ If you’re good at something, and your family would be blessed by your doing it, then go do it.

It percolated in the deep part of my mind the rest of my day.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I apologize for working, but I do sometimes feel guilty for loving it so much. It’s almost as though I feel saying I love writing means I’m saying I don’t love my children as much as I could. I’m dividing my love—not only do my husband and my children get love from me, but words do, too.

But here’s what I’ve come to find in the few years since I’ve rediscovered my love of writing: Practicing this craft, and letting my love for it pour out on the paper and the screen, multiplies my love for my kids and my spouse. Much like having another baby enlarges your heart, exercising the gift and the passion I’ve been given makes me a better lover, not worse.

I asked Susan how she balances homeschooling and writing, and also how she keeps her writing creativity bubbling when she’s dividing her brain between finishing her book, business running, teaching, and farm managing. Her overall answer was simple:

“I make the time for it.”

See, she can’t not write. It’s part of her makeup; it’s like asking a bird how it makes the time to fly south. It’s just what it does.

I knew what she meant, and I was also convicted to make the time for it. I don’t mean quantity, because I already do my best to find the hours in the week to write and run this business. I mean making the time; acting as though were as essential to my day as eating and brushing my teeth.

Before that weekend, I’d been squeezing my writing in the empty corners and puckers of my schedule—filling it first with answering email, managing the business details, and other less important stuff. And as such, I’d felt less and less like a writer.

Susan reminded me that if I’m a writer, I should act like one. Just like I act like a mother and a wife. Because I am those things.


All the photos in this post are by Heidi Scovel

A few months ago at Blissdom, Jon Acuff says he steals the hours in the day that no one else in the family wants. For him, that’s 5 in the morning. Except for a few sick days, I’ve been rising at 5 a.m. to write. It feels really good to have gotten several hours of writing in before the first child rises.

I don’t apologize for being a writer, because that’s how God made me, and there’s no reason to justify His creativity. I’ll bet He made you for something, too, and you don’t need to feel sheepish about it.

Perhaps you’re good at sewing, and you light up inside at the hum and whir of your sewing machine. Maybe you’re a runner, and you feel God’s pleasure when you do it. You might be the absolute perfect parent for the children you’ve been given, and there’s something they need that only you can provide in your unique way.

Whatever it is, don’t wish it away. Be happy with how you’re made. And then exercise that gift. Share it with the rest of us.

What’s something you love?

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Comments

  1. Your post is beautiful and reflects your love for the craft. I appreciate the idea of finding those hours that no other member of your family wants from you -brilliant (and I know tiring at times too).

    Like you, I love to write. At this point, I work primarily for one magazine but on occasion pick up additional work (and also dream of penning a book someday). Finding that “perfect” balance is so difficult as I also teach my daughter from home, chase my toddler and balance a host of additional responsibilities like the rest of us.

    This past year I’ve been blessed with the presence of two other women who are also professional freelance writers in my life. Together, we’re “the guild” and we meet monthly to keep each other accountable in our professional ventures. It’s been fantastic and inspiring and most always involves wine and cheese.

    A huge takeaway for me has been the concept of working smart – taking the work that “works” for this time and space and resting in the notion that other seasons will afford more time and mental energy to pursue larger projects.

    As ridiculous as this sounds (knowing that I have an eight year-old) these ladies were also responsible for giving me the nudge (a large yet somehow still gentle one) to hire my first-ever sitter so that I could write during normal business hours for three hours each week. What a gift this has been (for both myself and my girls).

    Thanks again for this post – its tone and rhythm captured me immediately.

  2. A few of my favorite things I love to do is write, take pictures, and teach.

    I’m very grateful to have a spouse who sees these as some of things I love as well. He knows when I’m needing some writing time or a moment to just slip away and capture a flower that will only turn out good in certain lighting of the day. He’s very respectful of that in me. At the same time he is blessed because he has the woman he dated live with him, not the one who gets lost in the mess of laundry and forgets to close the fridge door at night.

    The longer I’m a mom, the more I realize doing the things you loved before you became a mom are so important for your total well-being. It makes you a mom that your children admire, and I believe at the heart of every mom they want to inspire their children.

    Thanks for sharing this Tsh!

    • “doing the things you loved before you became a mom are so important for your total well-being. It makes you a mom that your children admire, and I believe at the heart of every mom they want to inspire their children. ”

      Amen! I often remind myself that “motherhood is a temp job”. What is is that I will want to do after my children are grown? When the day to day busyness of mothering is over? If I don’t know the answer to that question now, I better find out quickly. Not knowing it now leads to depression (at least I find).

  3. I think I am finding the balance between my love of writing and my life with kids, homeschooling, and our business. I tried the morning thing for a few weeks and my brain simply does not work at 5 am, no matter how hard I tried. I am resigned to be a late night writer and we just start school at 10 am and end a bit later. But I do find that when I don’t have that time to write, everything just feels stuck to me. I am a much better mommy after I’ve spent some time getting my thoughts out on paper.

  4. i love to sew and i love to blog. your post stirred something in my gut and rings so true. unfortunately i’m not at the point where i can quit my day job and focus on being a mother/blogger full time, but i keep scheming on how to make it happen! until then, it remains an extremely fulfilling hobby.

  5. It is good if somebody loves what they are doing if that love doesn’t overshadows everything else .

  6. avatar
    Jorge Raul says:

    Peoples created by the creator for love others specially kids. So i think it’s a really useful and helpful topic. I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. But what happens when the thing you love, the work you were obviously made for, takes you so far from your family and puts you in such danger as to be totally unsuitable to mix with your role as a mother? Not a common problem, obviously, but the one I face. I chose motherhood, but I mourn the person I was. And I look forward to working out who I am meant to be next.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely not a good thing if the work you love takes you away from your role as a mom. To me, there’s a different between “roles” and “purpose.” Roles come and go, but purpose stays with us throughout our lives. Your role right now might just be a bit different than the other role you’re mourning—but perhaps your purpose is the same. Does this make sense?

  8. have been pondering this so much lately. i have talked with people about that very thing “men don’t feel the need to apologize”…and that goes for a lot of things in the work/life/love balance. thanks for talking about these things, tsh.

  9. Being able to do what you love is a great opportunity that not everybody has. I know many people that are not able to fulfill their dreams for reasons out of their control. In my case, achieving my dreams has been very hard because I come from a disadvantaged background (and because I need to pay a high tuition to become the professional I want to be). However, I will keep trying until the end.

  10. Oh, I loved this Tsh.

  11. Count me among those who have been pondering those questions a lot of late. I am now making more time for my own work that I love than I ever have since first having kids.
    Susan’s own story is so encouraging to me. Thanks for sharing a facet of it here!

  12. I too find myself feeling guilty for doing what I love. As if I have to justify every moment away from my family. Pretty silly, really.

  13. Writing, for sure. It’s indeed therapeutic. Sharing in life together, as moms, women, sanity maintainers, …in whatever ways we can. Relating is crucial.

    Appreciate your honesty, Tsh.
    ~ Kerry

  14. I love your blog and you always write great posts, but this one is especially wonderful. Deep down in my heart I know that I’m meant to be a fictional writer, but guilt and fear of failure keep me from pursuing that dream.

    I’ve never thought of it as the voice of God who’s telling me what He’s made me for. Wow, what a thought.

  15. Thank you for this! Oh, how I struggle. But yes! I feel like I am almost denying a huge part of who God made me to be when I stifle words that beg pouring out. Thank you for the reminder that we are image-bearers. Such freedom!

  16. avatar
    Hannah D. says:

    Actually, I’ve been pondering this very question lately. Now that my children have become a tiny bit more self sufficient, I find that I have the space to develop a new purpose or passion … But maybe because I’ve become so accustomed to never having sustained time for creativity, I find myself asking God what that endeavor is supposed to be. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern, waiting on Him for some direction and inspiration.

    • That is where I am at Hannah, waiting for God to give me some direction and inspiration on what my future will hold? I feel I am ready to pursue a new passion but what??? I’m hoping he answers soon….. Great post :)

  17. Some things I love: teaching, helping, connecting, baking, dancing. I don’t know what God has in mind for me next, but I think I need to be a better listener.

  18. This is such a big issue. Guilt over work is one thing I wish we, as women, could do away with altogether. We’re all made differently & have different circumstances, & so naturally one family’s ideal will vary from another’s. I have found just what you have- that my family does best when my husband & I are happy with our choices. That has meant getting over the working-mom guilt that plagued me for a long time.

  19. I get so flustered about all this. I really do. I’m not even sure I can pen it out…

    I get so confused when it comes to ‘doing what I love’ and doing ‘what comes to natural’ and then ‘doing what I don’t want to do’ and doing ‘what I feel like I should.’

    At what point is it okay to ‘be ourselves’? And at what point are we supposed to fight against what comes natural and fight the flesh?

    It makes sense in me head – not sure it’s making sense here.

    Good thoughts for me to chew on today, Tsh. Thank you :)

    - Kate

  20. thank you SO much for this post! i’ve been hearing a lot of this lately – that i need to use the gifts God gave me for his glory, just doing whatever i’m good at to serve Him. and it’s not only that you should DO what he made you to do, but just like Jesus said in his parable about the talents the master gave his 3 servants – you need to MULTIPLY that talent… (because that’s what God is asking of you)
    I love to do crafts, and i thought that’s something that doesn’t really fit into the church setting (decorating does, and kids crafts at sunday school do, but not the kind i love to do), but then i asked around at church, and WHOA, so many opportunities arose to serve! SO thankful for that! :))

  21. Nice article! It’s funny you pointed out that mothers often feel the need to apologize for enjoying working. I, on the other hand, often feel the need to apologize for enjoying staying home with my children. I used to have a job I adored, but now I have my kids I don’t ever want to go to work again! Not for someone else at least. I want to stay home and raise and educate my kids. Why should I have other people do it for me when I want to do it? And why is it ok for someone to do it I’d it’s their job (nanny, teacher) but when you do it as a mother people view you as a second rate citizen. Not saying that anyone on here thinks that, just adding it into the conversation. As mothers I find we often find ourselves having to justify ANY decision we make, even though we should just hold our heads up high and know we are doing the best for ourselves and our families.

  22. BAH.
    did you write this for me? no? well…it felt like it. and you just complicated my life. in a good way. but still.

  23. Tsh, thanks for this post – somehow it was JUST what I needed to read today!

  24. Thank you for this beautiful post. While you have provided much needed inspiration to us, your readers, I think that you missed a major point. This guilt that we feel does not simply stem from within us, rather it is a part of social upbringing. The ideal mothers’ role is reinforced since childhood, much like the ideal female body. Thank you for encouraging mothers (and all women) and demonstrating that we can follow where our hearts lead without sacraficing our familial happiness.

  25. If you can’t love what you do, then why do it. It’s all about conviction.

  26. I’m with you… I love writing! I also love to read, drink coffee with my husband, run… all of these make up who I am. Not doing them makes me feel incomplete. Who are we to say to the Potter that He made a mistake when He made us? Doing what we love is being what the Potter created us to be.

  27. Thank you for this validation! There is so much pressure, particularly in the culture where I live, to be a wife/mother first, and yourself last. I can’t handle that sometimes. I want to be and do everything God made me to be and do.

    Sacrificing the essence of our personalities to cater to the whims of others is never what God had in mind. We are meant to make sacrifices, yes, but for the deep progression of our children and families, not their mere wishes, and never at the expense of what we need to progress.

    And since they are our families, they also are required to make sacrifices for our deep progression; I think this is something we are afraid to say, especially as women. We are, for the most part, taught that sacrifices are ours to make, but families that truly work properly allow each member of the family to function as an individual, as well as part of the whole. Including mothers and wives.

  28. I grew up with the message of doing what you love, so discovering and pursuing my passions is at my core being. I was also told growing up to marry a man who loves what he does. Doing what you love breeds happy whole people. A happy purpose-filled person can love a whole lot harder. I also believe that doing what you love does not have to be your job (although it totally rocks when those to line-up). My husband and I really support each other to pursue jobs that make us happy and full of purpose as well as doing what we love as enrichment activities and hobbies. We are so much more interesting to one another when we add things in our lives that fill our cup. My passion is learning new things and helping people who are interested learn it too. I love sharing resources and I love inspiring people to pursue their passions and expertise too.

  29. Love this. I am a writer and a mom of four. I do often feel guilty for taking the time to write, especially when the mommies who feel called to little outside of motherhood become critical. I know God has created me to write, I can’t help it, and that right now I’m called to write a book. But oh how I struggle with the voices of critics – in my head and in real life – who make it sound like the best moms put their families first always…

  30. This post is on the money. Like several have responded, I love writing. As a wife and mom, I feel that pang of guilt when I sit down to write, even when my husband takes our daughter out to play for the specific purpose of me getting some words on paper.
    It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one who fears loving my work too much. I guess if I look at it for what it is, just the way the Creator created me, the only time I should feel guilty is when I am ignoring my GGGs (God-given gifts).

  31. So true, Tsh! I’m doing what I love – blogging about what I’m passionate about “Stylishly Frugal Living” and I’ve created a business around that with teaching classes, speaking, and one-on-one frugal living makeovers. It’s a sweet deal that I can share my expertise and what I enjoy and continue to be at home when my kids are. It also helps that my husband consults from home and we can shift routines/responsibilities as needed. Yes, I give thanks each day :)

  32. Thanks for this post – I love health coaching, but sometimes I do feel like I should be focusing more on my kids – and I do, but I need to remind myself that there is NOTHING wrong with doing what I love – especially in the time that they don’t want or need (early morning, during school). Love the reminder!

  33. When my daughter was 6, she told me that she didn’t want to be a Mommy because she wanted to be an artist, and she always wants her art to come first. When I suggested that she could do both, she looked me dead in the eye and said, “You can’t. You always have to put us first, and you don’t get to write very much.”

    It was a punch to the gut. 8 years later, I still haven’t figured out how to be a provider, a mother, and a consistent writer. My daughter still doesn’t want to have children. This is all the source of a deep ache. While I love the sentiment of this post, the issue is quite complex. It’s about much more than carving out time, or having conviction, or recognizing gifts, or even societal messages. It’s an economic issue as much as a spiritual one, and my current situation is based upon not recognizing that when I was making some (poor) choices earlier in my life.

    While part of me grieves that my daughter feels the way she currently feels (as having children is the absolute best choice I ever made), part of me is thankful that she will have more realistic ideas of how to get what she wants/needs than I did, whether that includes mothering or not.

  34. So true! I love writing (and reading) – and sometimes I have those guilty moments where I’d rather sit and read or write blog posts than do anything else. But – I mostly keep my reading to Eleanor’s naptime, and if my house gets a little dusty, eh, I can always clean later.

  35. Loved this post, Tsh. LOVED it.

  36. avatar
    Katherine says:

    This is wonderful and I want to thank you so much for writing. Your writing was a blessing this morning to me, this mom in North Carolina as well as many others I am sure, so that is an example of how God’s whispering is real and true, and when acted upon makes a real difference everytime. This writing is inspiring and helpful which is also very cool in my opinion. I am very grateful for your hard work. Best wishes to you and your family.

  37. Thank you for putting into beautiful words the wispers of my heart! I love your perspective Tsh.

  38. I love this post. It really speaks to where I am now. I recently decided to homeschool my 6 year old. I’m an unemployed teacher, and I have felt for a while that I was made to teach but couldn’t understand why God hadn’t provided a teaching job. Then this year, we discovered that our child is gifted and public school is just not working out for him. He’s frustrated and not challenged. He knows he’s smarter than the rest of his class (now I have to figure out how to help him understand that his giftedness is a gift from God. I don’t want him to be arrogant. LOL) . Since making the decision to homeschool starting in June, I have felt like this is what God made me for. I tell people and they think I’m looney. But it’s how I feel. It’s like all the pieces finally fit. I was made to be a teacher. His teacher. To help develop his potential and guide him through his educational path so he can learn at his own pace. Now if I could just get others to understand and support me.

    Check out our new blogs. We are going to blog about our adventures. I’m having him blog as a way to get him writing without knowing he’s actually doing it. I’m a tricky mom like that. He’s finally excited about writing. We just started our blogs, so there’s not much to see, but if you follow us, you will see a lot more coming soon. Thanks!

    www dot searchingforclue dot wordpress dot com
    www dot homemadebest dot wordpress dot com

  39. This writing is inspiring and helpful which is also very cool in my opinion. Thanks that you’ve shared.

  40. I relate so much to this article. I am passionate about food. Cooking it, eating it, buying it. This is what I know for sure.

  41. Thank you for this. As a homeschool mama I feel guilty that I like to spend time doing other things that I love. I feel guilty that I don’t always love to homeschool, like I am failing in that. But God has given me a gift that I just discovered. Why now? I don’t know. But photography is the one thing that I have sunk my passions into and yeah, sometimes I feel guilty about that. And sometimes other homeschool mamas can contribute to that guilt.

  42. I have struggled with enjoying my creative business because I do feel guilty that I’m not focused enough on my children and home when I’m concentrating on designing. In the same way, I sometimes feel guilty for wanting to make money. I find myself having to refer back to the Proverbs 31 woman and Lydia the seller of purple. Two very successful business women who didn’t neglect their families and worked hard. They were a blessing to the church and community as well.
    I think the biggest reason that I struggle is because I have a “religiously” based way of viewing my creative pursuits. I categorize my life as “this is important” and “this is less important” and I forget that the scriptures exhort: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
    Having shared this now, I am encouraged to go and do my creating “heartily” as to the Lord! :)
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to articulate the heart of my struggles…

  43. Love this! I so needed this call to action right now as I look towards a Summer with 6 kids home and wanting to keep up (or increase) the pace of writing and learning social media. So thank you for sharing!

  44. Yes! With the help of a life coach, I have finally given myself permission to do what I love–which just happens to be writing, as well. It is so incredibly freeing to wake up every morning and know that I can add another joy to my life without taking away from the many other joys I have–because they are all a part of what I was put on this earth to do or be.

  45. Just curious — if you are waking up at 5am every day, what time are you getting in bed?

    • Was going to aak the same thing! :)

    • Around 10 p.m. :) And then reading in bed for about 30 minutes. It seems to be enough for me, but if I’m hurting, I’ll sleep till 6. It’s been nice to wake up early, though.

      • Seems like you have good bed time discipline. I can barely get myself to bed prior to 11pm!

        I was also curious — when you wake up at 5am to write are you doing business writing (your blog work), your book, or journaling/free writing? Curious.

  46. avatar
    katie f says:

    I have been struggling a lot lately trying to decide what it is exactly i am meant to do! Seriously who knew it would be so difficult to figure out what I love! I hope i can figure it out soon I need to get out of my current job! My heart just isn’t in it anymore!

  47. Thank you for this. This was some needed reinforcement for me this morning.

  48. I love being a resource to others. Thank you for this great post!

  49. And if we can’t remember/don’t hear that voice/dont know what it is we love, how do we find that? I know the things i USED to love but for various reasons, those things don’t stir me like they used to and i often feel rather passionless.. How to find a new love?

  50. When my youngest went into 1st grade, I returned to my “love” of teaching. When we moved to a new city in 2011, we came to a school district that wasn’t hiring. Since it looks like teaching is not in my immediate future, I’m trying to find a new “love”.

    While I’m searching for that love, I’m doing my best to volunteer in the community wherever I can, hoping to find that new passion.

    • What about substitute teaching? I know many districts are in desperate need of qualified subs and you might just find that the distinct that “isn’t hiring” will be looking for a place for you when they discover what a treasure you are!

  51. This post is now on my someting to love list! I also find my time early in the morning to blog or to create. I am going to show this post to my DH, he has a hard time grasping the fact that he needs to do what he loves.

    Thanks for sharing!

  52. I think I have the most bizarre love. Of all the jobs I’ve done and all the schooling I have been through… my favorite things to do is create spreadsheets and forms and checklists. It wasn’t supposed to be a big part of my last job, but I did it the best in the company and I loved doing it that I ended up spending 50% of my time doing so. I loved it. Not sure anyone would hire girl who makes super awesome Excel or Numbers spreadsheets though.

  53. I love what you said about not having to justify God’s creativity. I think about the many times I put off doing for myself, but if God designs our dreams, passions, and talents…well I’d better be true to my God.

  54. Thanks for this post, Tsh – it’s JUST the reinforcement I needed today.

  55. Wonderful post. I love being a doctor, and I’m a good one, but the Lord called me to lay it down for a season. Married to another physician, both of us working 80+ hour weeks, when our first Little announced her presence, I left my successful career/ministry in the hospital. There was a verse in proverbs that helped –”the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Part time wasn’t an option for me then (and really, part time for doctors is really 40 hour weeks, which for the rest of the world is called full time, duh). Anyway, I’ve since practiced on a volunteer basis in Christian free clinics, but had trouble finding malpractice coverage when we moved to our new area (yes, people love to sue us even when we don’t charge them!), but finally will be starting back later this summer, once a week or so, in a local Christian clinic. am so thrilled get to return to doing something I was made to do. Thanks for the reminder that dividing our loves to our calling outside of our primary calling as mothers doesn’t lessen our love towards our children. Love doesn’t follow mathematical laws : )

    • Also, meant to say, thanks for the mention in your post of early morning writing as the way “take the time no one else wants.” I really need to start getting up early too. I’ve got one novel published but lots of ideas churning for number two, and I need to get on it!

  56. Tsh, thank you so much for this! I have been struggling with this issue. I am just on the road to learning what I love. I know it is education, music, simple, frugal, intentional living, and writing. I am just in the process of figuring out how they will all meet. :)

    Thanks for your great inspiration, as always!

  57. Thank you. This touched my heart. I have been struggling with balance in my life. I keep thinking that when the kids are older I will get back to writing, but I never feel whole without my creative outlet. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way.

    “I don’t apologize for being a writer, because that’s how God made me, and there’s no reason to justify His creativity. I’ll bet He made you for something, too, and you don’t need to feel sheepish about it.”

    This spoke volumes to me and I feel encouraged to rethink things and make time for what I need too. For me that means taking time each day with my thoughts and writing them out.

    Again, thank you!

  58. This is truly a beautiful post, Tsh. I needed to hear this, and I know many others do too. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  59. Tsh, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel a little sheepish saying, “oh, I’d love to be a full-time (or part-time) blogger.” It’s like I anticipate someone laughing at me and saying, “oh you don’t really find that to be a viable career path do you?” Makes me feel like a teen-ager telling my parents that I’m off to Hollywood to be in blockbuster movies. Inside the blogging world it’s perfectly acceptable (aren’t we all, really?) But there’s a BIG portion of my life where people don’t get blogs and still feel like we all just post pics of our babies poopy diapers every day.

    I do love doing bloggin though, and I’ve been doing it for free (or for maybe $50/mo) for almost three years now, mostly as a hobby, on nights and weekends b/c I’ve had the luxury of a well paying career. At the end of this month, that career is ending quite abruptly.

    As I consider trying to do my blog-as-a-business it means making a whole different mindset and change in how I do it and what I write about, so I guess there’s the fear of change…but the BIG fear is of course: will I ever be able to make a living wage off of this? Can I afford to do what I love? Will I succeed or will it all be for naught?

    I’ve been working on a book (also on the side) for over 5 years now, so that’s always been in the cards, but again: there is no guarantee it will pay off or ever be a viable passive income source.

    So, in the meantime I’m STILL going to work on my book, and I’m still trying to slowly change the direction of my blog to become more business and less mommy-blogging but I admit I’m scared, worried and really just trying to trust God and seek Him about whether being a “professional blogger,” or writer is the path He has for me. It’s just hard to say that out loud, Tsh! I guess I’m thankful that I can say that here in this space, since you are a professional blogger by trade and you won’t make fun of me or think less of me.

    (By the by, I’m not usually a spaz, I think I’m just fluctuating wildly between at the idea of being a high earning career woman to a stay-at-home-mom wanting to be paid for something I love to do…..and being broke. forgive me. =)

    • Oh, I get weird looks every time I say I’m a blogger when someone asks what my work is. It sounds fake, like I’m saying I play with my Barbies for a living. Most people have no idea you can make money blogging, much less a full-time income.

      My short $.02 for you is that it can be done, but it takes a looooooot of hard work. And it’s a weird irony—when you try to make money at it, sometimes you burn out because you’re not doing it for the love. But when you love it, the money seems to come a bit easier. Hard to explain.

  60. I have felt the inexplicable and irrational need to apologize for working full time as a pastor. My husband is a stay-at-home dad; we can’t very well both be home! I love what I do and am incredibly grateful that I am able to support my family through this incredibly creative and meaningful way of life; it is indeed an “odd and wondrous calling.”

  61. singing in front of a live audience

  62. Thank you so much for this post! I have really been struggling with this lately. I also love to write. Not only that, but I feel compelled to.. no, called to do it. Every time I make headway, though, I hear my inner critic telling me “it’s not worth it; you’re not good enough.” I finally had the courage to publish my first book a couple of weeks ago and now that it is time to publicize I have become frightened. Am I good enough? Is this really what God called me to do? Is the book really going to help other women at all? If anyone is interested please check me out at Amazon; the book is free on Kindle if you have Amazon Prime: “From Cube to Farm: Surviving and Thriving as a Stay-at-Home Mom” (http://amzn.com/B0080ZE4V8).

  63. I love this post, and it couldn’t of come at a better time for me. I recently had my first baby and chose to stay home with her; however, I’ve gotten lots of opportunities thrown at me to do things that I love. It’s hard to figure out how to tap into your passion and talents while still fully being present as a mom and wife. I’m slowly figuring it out, I think :)

  64. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been struggling with this quite a bit myself lately. These past two years have been ones of intense self-exploration to determine what I am good at… and what I am not. Circumstances have humbled me and God has brought me to my knees. After much introspection and prayer, I have felt called to write – to encourage and support other moms who also choose to forgo their careers and stay home full-time with littles. I even went so far as publishing a book last month (http://amzn.com/B0080ZE4V8), but I am constantly struggling with fears of inadequacy and doubt.
    I LOVE helping people. And I love researching. I love sharing what I have learned with other women. I also love gardening and cooking. And raising my babies. My writing, through my blog and my book, allows me to do all the above! I am so grateful, so blessed, that God has challenged me these past few years so that I could put my priorities in order and spend my time on what matters most: glorifying Him, encouraging others and joyfully serving my family.

  65. ah… so needed this right now! I have two little ones and a husband at home, a private practice, fitness goals, volunteer work… and I’m struggling with all my hats ~ trying to fit it all in to 24 hours. Someone once told me that 24 hours is actually a long time, and if it’s important, you can fit it in. I feel like I can accomplish the things that I’m currently doing with some juggling, but there are a few dreams out there that I haven’t yet been able to make time for. And yet those are the things I lie awake thinking about… hmm…

  66. Thank you for writing this! I’m currently trying to figure out what I love to do. I have lots of hobbies, but I don’t know what I DO yet.

    • I agree on you that do what you love..Yet, I am still wondering right now what would I love to do. Perhaps, time pass by I can be able to determine what i want to do.

  67. Just another reason to love Susan – and you Tsh! I wrote about this recently on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog (I never leave my own url in a blog comment, this is someone else’s blog. Teehee: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2012/04/how-to-find-time-for-your-blog/)

    I explain that women don’t need to apologize for their writing/blogging time. It really irks me that we do this in our culture. I was reading a book about French women the other day, and it mentioned that French women do not apologize like American women do – they simply shrug their shoulders. I wonder if that’s part of their mystique and appeal? I’m working on doing this, because I notice everywhere that women apologize for their opinions, their bodies… their existence, it seems.

    Ok, that was deep. ;)

    Yes, it’s ok to enjoy work!

    • I love it! “they simply shrug their shoulders” So going to start using that!! How much happier will we all be if we just stop caring what anyone else thinks about our choices and simply do what we know we should for ourselves and our families regardless of how different that may look from anyone else’s life?

  68. Thank you so much for this post! I love gardening, experimenting in the kitchen and raising my little munchkins. I also love sharing my misadventures and lessons learned … so much so that I finally had the courage to publish a book last month. Here’s hoping the courage and luck continues so that I can spend more time writing. I would love to make my living this way some day!

  69. avatar
    Howard Jones says:

    If there is one thing that I resorted I will be doing is to completely put love ahead of what I do, because even if that thing does not yield the results I wanted but I did it will all my heart then I will have nothing to regret about, totally.

  70. avatar
    Katie N. says:

    I thought about your post all day yesterday. I appreciate this post and I appreciate that you said in so many words that being a mom is enough too. I am a SAHM and I love it, it is my passion. Yes it is hard at times but I love it. There are a lot of things that I don’t do. I don’t have a blog, I don’t make anything well enough to market and sell and you know what – I don’t desire to and the Lord hasn’t revealed any secret talent or passion that I should be doing or following.

    The simplicity of my life allows for me to pursue other interests under the umbrella of my role as Christian, wife, mom. I can pursue exercise, crafting, reading, organizing, friendships, serving…in balance with my main role. Not all at the same time or with the same intensity, but because my base is SAHM and I want to be good at it and give it my best not my leftovers. I have a 1, 3, 5, and 7 year old and I was able to train and run a 1/2 marathon this spring…because of the support of my husband but also because by God’s grace I kept other things in check. I can’t do “it all” at the same time but in my opinion there are different seasons in life. Seasons to give more, seasons to give less, to receive, to wait, to be still, to sacrifice, to be busy…hope this makes sense, it is where this person is coming from.

    I agree with making time. It is true.

  71. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning!!

  72. Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear! I have been struggling for years to do what I love (photography) because I felt guilty to spend the money on a decent camera. I have always felt pressure to conform to the world’s view of what I should be doing instead of actually doing what I crave. It’s taken me ten years of wishing I could do what I love to see that until I do, I will never be completely myself. I’m a mom to a 2 1/2 and 7 month old now, so timing isn’t great, but I feel that if I feel more like “me” then both my kids and I will benefit.

  73. A wonderful, thought provoking post on how we are designed and what are we can do or are doing with that information.

    I agree that to do work in that sweet spot where your passion meets your strength is empowering and gives such joy and energy. This makes for a much happier mom, I think.

    I believe that the aha moment of discovering that “thing” is easier for some than others. I found that the tremendous pain of my last “real” job led me to hire a life coach to help me find my way to what it is I was designed to do. My husband says I am the happiest I have ever been, and I agree.

    Like anything, though, we still have to choose our priorities, whether we are working at a something we gulp like incredibly refreshing glasses of water, or if we are working at a place in which we have to hold our noses to take our bitter medicine every day.

    Thanks for the encouragement you share. Working in your strengths, whether as a mom, at a vocation, or both, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.

  74. What a wonderful post!

  75. This reminds me of what Eric Liddell, who is going to be a missionary, says in the movie Chariots of Fire, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. When I run, I feel his pleasure.” Now if only I could figure out what brings me pleasure! I am planning to back to school for a masters (maybe a doctorate) when my youngest enters preschool, but I don’t know what in!

  76. I’m sure if you realized it in writing these words, but I believe they were written just for me (sure the other people who read it). I’m a little teary reading. It’s just been recently where I keep hearing His voice. I think it’s when you wrote her words,
    “Why do we women feel the need to apologize for enjoying work? Men don’t do that; they don’t say, ‘Sorry I’m spending time making us money.’ If you’re good at something, and your family would be blessed by your doing it, then go do it.”

    I felt acknowledged. I love being at home with my children and feel blessed to stay home in these young years. And there is still that part of me that lights up when I think about it. I remember you quoting Chariots of Fire in feeling God’s pleasure–I feel his pleasure when I cook or bake, write about the spirit of eating & food, the why of the table being so vital in everyone’s life. I know it’s because that is where people can find themselves. thank you

  77. I am what most of you would call an older women. I stayed at home and worked very part time when my children were young. Then as they got to the Jr. high and High School years I bought the lie that I could work out of the home full time that my family didn’t need me. I missed the stories they needed to tell someone right when they got home from school, I was out of town for birthdays, my house wasn’t very clean and organized so they didn’t really want to invite their friends over. Now the good news.. my girls are wonderful Moms.. home schooling their kids, loving their husbands. and they still love their Mama and share when they need someone to talk to.

  78. I have always loved work, but the last year has given me a new sense of freedom. It’s seriously awesome. I won’t apologize. ;)

  79. Yes. This so hits home for me. I’m in the process of writing a sewing book right now which requires a lot of two things that I love (sewing and writing) and I love the process, but so often there’s that guilt that comes along with all that time I spend on it, even if it’s after my daughter’s asleep and my husband is busy studying. Anyway, thanks for this post. It’s such an excellent reminder and so well put.

  80. I feel this way about photography. My hubby gets annoyed that I take the camera everywhere, but it is IN me to capture moments, people, beauty, in my own special way.

  81. A) I love sewing. I’m still surprised at how it invigorates me.
    B) I love Chariots of Fire.

  82. In the last two days I’ve done more day dreaming and praying than I have in a long while. My mind has floated to ideas of starting a homemade craft business. I am a mom to a 16 month old girl. I LOVE being a wife and mom. But I also love to create things (scrapbooks, sewing projects, photos, etc.) There’s been this desire to begin creating things for a few reasons: 1. to help create extra income so that we may reach our financial goals quicker 2. to have something that will make me budget my time better throughout the day 3. for me to have an outlet and 4. to earn money that could be shared with a local charity that is near and dear to our family. All that to say, I’ve been floating as I begin to realize how very close this easily this dream could become a reality for me. At the same time, I’ve been terrified. Too many unknowns! Then I read this… “If you’re good at something, and your family would be blessed by your doing it, then go do it.” My heart is encouraged! I’m still a little hesitant but I know that the Lord is opening doors :)

  83. Love this article! It resonates with me.
    I recently became an Avon rep and absolutely love it!!! I’m eager to learn about the business and the products. I absolutely love what Avon offers.
    Sharing my experience and love for it is wonderful.
    It does NOT feel like work! It’s pure joy!!! I can learn about the business and the products all day long and I’m in bliss!
    Never thought I’d ever feel this way…but I’m so glad I do!

  84. It percolated in the deep part of my mind the rest of my day.

  85. I love reading & writing. I tend to get really really cranky when I get too little of each in a day… :)

  86. I love being a stay at home mom, home-school teacher, sewing, crochet, gardening, working at home with eveventure (www.evmamas.com/sueleke). But most recently I have started working with the church I go to and several of others there to get a crochet/knit charity started to help our community. Adding this charity to my life has calmed the voice in the quiet moments of life! I feel I have found the last of what I am being called to do! Now to get a better balance with it all :).

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