If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you one of two things: a teacher or a photographer. When I was 8 years old, I developed a love for both of these concepts. I had this little windup toy camera that would spit prints out framed in butterflies and swirls immediately after snapping a picture. I also had one incredible 3rd grade teacher. Miss Palmer brought her God-given creativity into the classroom on a level I still haven’t seen from anyone else. We had our books of the month that she would bring to life through food, field trips, and art projects. She had her own book she wrote and illustrated about funny stories from her childhood (I can still recall every detail about the funeral her and her sister had for their favorite pencil). She also kept an ongoing journal with each of her students called our “My Connections” journal where we would write back and forth about our day or the topic of the week or what was going on at home. I loved Miss Palmer dearly… and she was the first person in my life to show me the power of creativity and how it can impact people’s lives. So with my windy toy camera in one hand and the confidence gifted to me from teachers and parents alike, I started to foster my creative calling and have more fun with writing, drawing, painting, and taking pictures and being proud of what I would make. Although I knew the importance of getting good grades, learning algebra, and scoring well on the SAT’s, it was those creative moments that truly brought me to life.
Now, the answer from how I got to one $15 windup toy camera to shooting weddings as a full-time job obviously isn’t at all simple. There are so many skills I’ve developed through my life that have allowed me to 1) be a business owner and 2) make money by being creative. So that isn’t what I’m going to talk about today :) Instead, I’m going to challenge you to think about what it is that YOU love to do… and what’s stopping you from doing it more often.
When you think about the most fulfilling, rewarding moments in your life, what was it that you were doing?
What do people point out that you’re good at?
What do your friends say you should do more of?
Do you have a way with words? An eye for details? A keen sense of fashion? What do people ask you for help with?
What lights your heart on fire and makes it easy for you to get out of bed in the morning?
Whatever that THING is… that’s your calling! And it’s something that you’ll love and enjoy in some form for the rest of your life. Some people are fortunate enough to find their calling fulfilled in their “day jobs” and that’s amazing! If you can find a way to have a salary and benefits doing what you love, that’s a dream! Other people either can’t find a job that fulfills their calling or their calling is so unique that it requires them to work by themselves. And that’s just as much of a dream. If you have something you LOVE… but don’t know how to turn it into more than just an occassional hobby… think about how your gift can benefit people. Is there a need you’ve seen that’s unfulfilled? Could you educate people on what you know? Motivate them? Lead them? The world is your oyster… and there’s a reason God gave you the talents that you have! :) When you find something that allows you to utilize your personality, talents, and skill in one day on the job… you’ve found your calling.
So whatever came to mind as you read through this post, pay attention to that. And start doing or KEEP doing it! Even if it’s never meant to turn into a full-time thing, you will enrich your life so much more spending your time and energy doing something that makes you happy. If I wasn’t doing photography, I would probably be a teacher… and I know that at the end of the day, God has the best plan for me and knows the best way for me to use the gifts He has given me to glorify Him. So go start a blog, an Instagram account, go start a group for your friends and neighbors that you can lead, go buy that next piece of equipment you’ve had your eye on that you know will help you improve. Investing wisely in your calling is never a waste of money. It’s my hope that more of my friends, family, and blog readers can find what makes them come alive and do more of it! Those moments are what make life worthwhile… and those experiences are ones you’ll be happy you had when you reach the end of your life. So go discover what it is that you love… and go do it!!! :)