Welcome to the Beyond $28,000 A Year series–the story of how our family is learning to live a “MORE” life.
Click here to read more posts in this series.
As I mentioned in my last post, writing the original Living on Less Than $28,000 A Year series ignited a process of re-evaluation for me. I started thinking again about why we had made the choices we made and where we wanted to go from here.
If you have been around The Peaceful Mom for a while, you may be aware that our family sold 90% of our belongings and moved to another state in January of 2011 to pursue a dream of working overseas. During the training, we realized that working overseas wasn’t the best decision for our family at this time.
The dream didn’t work out the way we thought it would, but the process of getting rid of our stuff (and moving) enabled us to see who we really were without all the distractions of the life we had previously built around us.
When I started the Living on Less series, it had been about a year since we had left our old life. We had settled in somewhat to our new reality, and I had a lot of time to think. I started making an art journal to process everything that we had gone through and were going through. The photo above is one of the first entries.
Maybe I was going through a mid-life crisis, but I started to think about passion. What was it? Did I have any?
This is what I wrote in the journal:
What ignites your imagination, stirs your soul, sparks your motivation?
Passion burning deep within, the sound that echoes through your soul and calls your name.
The fire that burns within and cannot be quenched.
The breath of life filling your lungs.
The blood pumping through your heart.
You must answer this call. It cannot be denied.
You were created for more.
I wanted to discover what made me burn. What was the call that I could not deny? I wanted to live, not just exist. I wanted to do what I was created to do.
What about you?
Everyone’s process will be different, but discovering your passion begins with thinking about what you truly enjoy and value. If you could only do one or two things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Even if you are a mom to many young children with limited time for yourself, I believe it is important to start thinking and praying about what you really love.
If you would like, leave a comment and let me know what your passion is! 🙂
next post in this series: A Desire for More
It’s hard to narrow down my passions but I’d have to say that my #1 passion is truly people, I love to get to know people who are different from me and learn all I can from them, I love to teach in any way that I feel can bring joy and peace to others lives and I love to create things, most of which are for others. I also love reading but if I had to go without most of the specific things that I love to do I’d be fine because unless I’m put in solitary confinement there are always people to love and learn from and my very favorite people are right here in my home, my DH and 3 1/2 kids.
Aside from my husband and six and eight year old boys, my main passion is veggie gardening. I can lose track of time spending hours out in the yard planting , pruning, weeding and harvesting. For years I tried hard to find my passion, and then gardening just sort of found me. Being as frugal as we could be led me to the No Impact Man Blog, which focused a lot on eating locally (along with a lot of frugal for the sake of the plant things like only buying used, making your own laundry detergent, etc). The eating locally thing inspired me to plant a garden, and five years later I’m hooked, and love everything about veggie gardening including the planning, the way it makes my yard look, how much I learn every year (and almost every day!), the feeling of accomplishment, and inexpensive (super) locally grown produce from my back yard. It’s addicting! Next year I hope to volunteer for a local organization that builds gardens for low income families and teaches them how to grown their own vegetables – to share my passion!
I love how you want to use your passion to help others Heather! I also wish you were my neighbor. 🙂
After raising four children, putting them through college, and our many moves and job changes, hubby and I have downsized to a tiny townhouse after years of living in big spaces. I work as a teacher part time, and teaching is a passion. Other passions are small space living, simple and healthy living, and DIY as we renovate our little place. Having lived in Germany and taught in Poland , I know that, in general, we Americans have much more space than much of the world. I love to paint, fix up, do over old furniture etc., all on a budget. Another passion of mine is reproducing antique samplers that girls stitched in the 19th century. And of course, my greatest passion is my family and three sweet, little granddaughters, age 2, 3 and 4.
Rach Merritt says
I have always wanted to be a teacher. I got dystonia at the age of 16 and thought my dream and passion for it was over. I am now married to a man that saw past my wheelchair and saw me-and I TEACH our daughter. I don’t just homeschool her–but I teach her how to cook,clean, live, follow God’s teachings,etc. My two big passions are my husband and daughter. Not to make this long, but my health has made life at times difficult—but the two so very special people that God had placed in my life need my love-so I fight to do as much as I can when I can. Both my daughter and hubby crave and need extra love. This I can do even on my worse days. There is a long story to each of their lives-my daughter is adopted and has suffered. So my passion is doing in my life what God would want–that is doing what I can for my hubby and daughter. Nothing gives me greater joy!!!
You have such a great perspective Rach!
Rach Merritt says
My parents made a strong impression on me–and reared me to look at the positive. They fought with me through many of my trials–but never let me feel sorry for myself. I’m so thankful they didn’t allow “pity parties!.” 🙂
You are right about pursuing different passions according to the stage of life you are in. I am a “trained” Home Economist (college degree and experience) and have been a real estate agent, a banker, an Extension Agent, a Stay At Home Mom, and now I work in my church’s Children’s Ministry. However, at home, I constantly want to create something out of nothing!! I knit, cook, sew, craft, and try to save pennies all over the place. I am a minimalist in my thinking, but my house is covered with “projects”. My newest goal is to set aside one day a week to create – because right now it gets lost in the shuffle and I only have time at the end of the day when I am too tired to do anything. I think this will reignite that “passion”!!
The thought of a “peaceful mom” was intriguing to me. So i signed up for your newsletter. While i am a lot older then you and at a different stage in my life your ideas were useful. But being a Christian and knowing that God didn’t intend for us to live without, i wondered when you would come to that realization. He does not intend for us to live above our means but not to deny ourselves either. It is wonderful to watch your transformation and your mind thought. I have been there…done that…! And as we have retired, I have remained working but in a different field. I think I will start a blog and maybe speak of my trek to get to my real passion because while we can look and see ahead and find a passion, it is only when we look back that we see that our passions have changed over the years and as usual, God has directed our lives to use the search for our passions…as in more than one…to deliver us to the next passion. Everything i have done in the past…jobs, kids, business, hobbies, friendships…have lead me here, doing a job i never thought I would even have an opportunity to do. I am a TV producer of a national TV show! Me? wow…At 63! While it is my passion now…I never set out to be a TV producer. But my career has lead me here. Every passion i had along the way has lead me here. Today’s passion is only a prelude for tomorrow’s passion! Keep up your dreams and keep us informed. Your blog is such a delight! Your family is lucky to have you.
That is so good. I believe everything in our lives works together too. It’s funny because I wanted to be a tv anchor when I was in high school and although I am not a reporter, I have made a few videos–LOL!
Living and conquering disease while in pursuit of your passions can be challenging, but it can be accomplished. I am a homeschool mom of four currently(1 married and 1 in college). I have homeschooled six together at one point. I have been homeschooling since 2003. I was diagnosed with dermatomyositis(a rare myapathy) as a young adult and lupus in my thirties. They are both uncontrolled right now. I stay prayerful because GOD is my strength to continue. My sons are teenagers now and they are wonderful. They have helped me in obtaining some of my passions and even find new ones that I would never have chosen. One passion that my sons and I are working on currently is a cookbook designed exclusively for people with auto immune diseases. Getting back to healthy the natural way. It’s a lot of work, but listening to your body is key. Some days are better than others, but GOD, my children and determination is whats making this cookbook go forward. I will be able to see the results in me. I’m also on many networking sites bringing awareness about dermatomyositis. Which happens to be another passion of mine. I’m so delighted that I signed up for your newsletter with so many helpful articles. Thank You!
Hi Sherrie–I love your attitude! I am so proud of you for pursuing your passions in spite of struggles. Way to go!!!!!!
Rach Merritt says
Yes,Sherri, it can be accomplished-illness or not!! Thanks for your post. I also am involved in Deep Brain stimulation networking sites and have met some great people as a result of my disorder. That is actually how I met my husband-long story! 🙂 TOTALLY, agree on natural foods. I would be interested in your cookbook when it is complete. God bless.
This really hits home with me today, Kimberlee! We have been on a similar journey to yours since late January of this year. While there are parts of me that love the life of less (stuff), the emotional security that comes from more (financial) still calls my name! Some days, I feel like I have lost my passion and parts of myself in this process because so many days just feel like survival and this post is encouraging me to reconnect with that. Thank you for sharing as you do!
I have recently discovered that my passion is teaching and public speaking. I have been doing some part time, but I realized that I would be living the dream if I could go full time. I am now plotting and planing how I will make it happen. I never would have imagined how fun it is!
That’s awesome Laurel! Do you have a website?
Really inspiring post, Kimberlee! I’m so encouraged to hear others have gone down this path recently, as well. I found myself thinking about this question a lot at the beginning of this year. I kept digging and asking myself “why?” until I found the truth of my passion. My passion lies within food and cooking, but I also found something brand new this year and that is to share with others how to live healthfully. This revelation brought me back to school where I’m training to become a holistic health coach. Nothing has ever felt more right for me and I’m so thankful that I started down that path of questioning what I was doing, why I was doing it, and where I wanted my life to be to guide me to this.
I love it! Thank you so much for sharing Rachael and good luck with your coaching! 🙂
Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I must admit I do not have a website. But your post got me moving! I’ve been working on it ever since, still under construction, but thank you for the push on that issue! 🙂
So glad to hear that I’m not the only one at this point! Praying regularly for God to guide me where He wants me to be. I find that I am passionate about so many things that I have a hard time limiting myself.
My passions include birth, breastfeeding, gentle mothering, writing, babywearing, natural living and wellness, herbalism, sustainable living, helping other mothers run businesses and making business plans, and starting/running new business ventures for myself. I would love to get back into music (singing, playing and writing) but don’t have the mental capacity or physical space in my house at this point. Add to that whole list learning in general. I love learning new skills.
I would burn out if I followed every single one of those passions!
True, but many of those could be combined if you were a doula for example, or you could just enjoy exploring those passions as they naturally come up in the season of life you are currently in. Thanks so much for sharing. It is inspiring to hear about other’s interests and pursuits. 🙂