I know friends, I know! It’s been over a month since I’ve had the joy of sharing words with you. Now here’s the thing. I would like to make excuses based on the following list of tasks I’m handling:

  1. My awesome three small children
  2. My first ever garden
  3. Laundry
  4. I’m still (!) continuing to settle my Dad’s estate a year and three months after his departure
  5. The necessity that meals be made three times a day
  6. My joyful contribution to Quiver Tree Photography (I promise this list is not a complaint list! I love working alongside the Hubs!)
  7. Laundry

But really? Those excuses are not valid. It’s been on my heart to share a number of things here recently, but sadly, I haven’t been taking (making?) the time to do it. I’m excited to discuss my cloth diapering experience with you guys, to share photos from the last trip to SA, and to mostly just talk about God’s goodness — a topic I still haven’t gotten tired of.

But today, I’m coming up for air (because I feel a bit like I’ve been swimming under water and I need to see which way I’m headed…perhaps you can relate?) to ask you an important question. Which starts with an observation.  {And the reason why my list isn’t exactly valid.}

Writing is the thing that makes me come alive inside. I love to write. LOVE. And the way Eric Liddell spoke about how he loved to run, that when he ran “He felt the Lord’s pleasure” with him, I get that sense about writing. I sense that the Lord says write and speaks to me and through me when I do.

But then, hold up — you might say — why isn’t writing on that list up there, ya cottonheadedninnymuggins?

Isn’t that a funny thing? One important thing I absolutely believe I was created to do isn’t on my to-do list?

Here’s my diagnosis: The world does not always give us permission to do the things we love. Sometimes we even begin to feel guilty about taking time to do the things we love. Here are some reasons you might have for not going after something you love:

  1. It doesn’t make any money. (Often a major one these days among us capitalists, I think).
  2. It requires time that you don’t feel you ought to give it.
  3. It might require some monetary investment… and you feel like you just can’t do that.
  4. You’re afraid of trying to do it and failing.

That list could go on and on, but you get the point. We often feel like we need some sort of “permission” from the world around us to go after something we love. To take a risk and dive in to something new.

I once read a story (tell me if you can remember where) about a young man who was on a trip with his Dad and his brothers, and they were going to go hike up Mt. Rainier together. The views along the hike are breathtaking, and Seattle spreads out like a blanket in front of this beautiful peak.

When they arrived at the National Park’s Visitor Center, he got scared. There were (a few) interesting things to see around the visitor center, so, really out of fear, he excused himself from the hike and stayed at the visitor center. His Dad and brothers went on the hike, but he stayed behind and waited for them to return. He learned a lot about Mount Rainier at that Visitor Center, but fear kept him from truly experiencing Mount Rainier, and afterwards, he regretted the choice he made.

Is there anything in your life, right now, that you think, in five or ten years’ time, you’ll look back on and think, “Gosh, I wish I’d just made some time to ____________ back then”?

Trying to do something you love in a world that is telling you to just get on with being productive can feel a bit like hiking up a mountain. Scary for some, exciting for others. 

Know that the thing you love to do does not need to make money for you in order for it to be valid.

Lots of people enjoy photography as a hobby. They eventually decide to begin working as photographers, charging for photo sessions. They feel that they are validating their hobby, by turning it into a paycheck. But the truth is, they aren’t really doing what they love. They don’t necessarily enjoy working with people they’ve never met before or children or dogs. They find paid photo sessions incredibly stressful. They don’t want to quit their full time job to pursue photography, and they’re in this sort of limbo, where they’ve started turning something they passionately enjoyed into something to help pay bills, which has turned it something they no longer enjoy.

The truth is, sometimes photography can be a profession and still be a passion (we know this personally), but sometimes a person needs to have a 9 to 5 doing something else, to allow photography the space to be something they enjoy as a creative outlet when they’re not working.

For me, writing isn’t paying any bills (yet) but it makes me come alive inside, and I love it. So I should stop waiting for the world to give me permission to do something I love and believe I was created to do.

What is that thing for you? Is it screaming inside your head as you’re reading these words? Shouting “stop ignoring me, please!” perhaps?

Here’s an important truth:



via the awesome Jon Acuff

The world might neither give you permission nor encouragement to follow your dreams and do what you love. And it is likely it will give you resistance.

But the first step is acknowledging there is something you’re not doing that you’d really love to do. And the next step is to figure out how, even by tiny measures, you can actively work toward making that dream a reality.

So ask yourself: what’s it going to take to get me off the sidelines and onto the field?

Let me be one voice today giving you permission to give some of your time, your heart, your self to doing something you love.