Nester wrote this post originally in 2011, but the encouragement to follow your passion continues to resonate!
I’ve been a blogger for five and a half years. But I’ve been rearranging homes since my Barbie days. When my husband and I got married I assumed it was normal for a person to try the sofa in 12 different places in the room. And my husband just laughed about it. Over the years he’s put up with me painting and repainting and changing furniture around and bringing orphaned chairs in our home. And he’s encouraged me along the way.
When we first got married my husband was on staff at a church. His major in college was youth ministry and then after his first job at a church he went back and got a master’s degree so he could teach. He was the head of the Bible department at a large Christian school in Georgia while I stayed home with our boys. It wasn’t long until we figured out that financially, it wasn’t possible to even send one of our boys to the school my husband worked at and loved, much less three of our boys.
Instead of staying at a job he really liked, he took a risk and bought a franchise where he worked out in the elements, under cars so that he could better support our family. The job definitely had some perks~he made his own hours, the pay was good and we got to move closer to family. But it was hard manual labor and he always knew he wanted to do something else. Finally, he sold that business to start a new one but the new one didn’t fly and before we knew it, we were broke and he was buying back into the franchise that we trusted. Back to something that was a nice fit, but not his passion.
It’s been more than four years since he went back to the great job that we are thankful for but isn’t his passion or giftedness or whatever it is you want to call it. All the while he’s been encouraging me to follow my passion and make our home beautiful and encourage women that they can have a pretty home too. He never pushed me to bring in an income, he was just happy that I was happy. He saw value in passion following and in that, he taught me one way I could encourage him. A few years ago he got excited about an Advance Discipleship Training course. Most people would wonder why a guy in the car business wants to be further trained in something he already had two degrees in and wasn’t making any income from. But we knew there is value in getting trained in something you are passionate about. Even if he never made actual money from it, it was worth it.
Today, Nesting Place has grown from just something I’m passionate about to a work at home business that I love that helps support our family. And the entire blog was created debt and pressure free. Not only that but the income Nesting Place generates has now come full circle. And when my husband comes home and sees my office a wreck, he doesn’t complain, he knows it’s a sign of work getting done, and I know it’s the by product of the privilege of being able to work at home.
A few weeks ago (at the time this was originally posted) my husband accepted a part time position at a church. He’s passionate about families and students and I’m so thrilled for him that once again he gets to do what he loves. You’ve never seen a man so happy to have two jobs!
Along the way we noticed a trend that seemed to lead to our new found “jobs,” maybe it’s just us but we’re both getting to do something we love:
1. Be willing to do the work you love for free.
2. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously.
3. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously and continue to gather knowledge in the field of your passion.
4. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously and continue to gather knowledge in the field of your passion and if you are married, encourage your spouse to do the same.
When you are gathering knowledge about something you love, it doesn’t seem like work~it’s fun. Consider it a way to invest in yourself. Plus, it’s common to find you have the energy to do that thing you love, even if you are exhausted~that energy is good, because you will need to follow your passion relentlessly.
So whatever your passion is, whatever you were created for or called to or whatever you want to call it, if you are willing to volunteer your time, work hard and late and be generous the chances are one day, someone will want to pay you for it.
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Has someone encouraged you to follow your passion? Are you encouraging someone else to do follow theirs?