Do You Want Your Kids to be Inspired? Be the Inspiration!
It took me a very long time to discover my passions in life. Probably 20 years longer then it should have.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have passions. I did. But for a long time, I felt like my passions were sub par or not worth emphasizing.
Some have thought this was due to insecurity, but as I have grown in my understanding of self, I have discovered that it has more to do with how much I had internalized this belief that certain passions or gifts or abilities were more important than others. My passions fell into those not-as-important categories.
I loved working hard and discovered that mixing concrete with a shovel under the hot Australian sun gave me great joy. But what was that in comparison with being a concert pianist? I could hold my own against the boys in a hockey game, but I wasn’t fluent in another language. I knew I loved Jesus and wanted to serve Him with my life, but I didn’t want to be a teacher or a nurse or have any career really and for some reason, this left me feeling embarrassed. I’m supposed to have ambition, right?!!
When I was a senior in high school, I was the c0-editor of the yearbook. I loved it. The layouts, the pictures, the themes, the organization, the writing. I remember thinking that perhaps I should pursue a career in journalism, but I had accepted the belief that I was not the artist in the family, nor was I the English major. Who was I to pursue a passion that other family members had already excelled in?
Unexpected passions started to come to the surface after I married my husband. I discovered an appreciation for decorating my dining room table based on different themes. I found out that taking pictures allowed me to see the world in a whole new way- a way that delighted me. And then I gave birth to my first child and found out that I love to plan parties. Like, really LOVE it!
I also found out that being a mom allowed me the freedom to pursue passions that felt frivolous or unimportant. I get to encourage spontaneous dance parties? Awesome. My daughter loves my sewing creations? Surprising. I have been able to plan 22 birthday parties for my kids (and counting!)? The best.
What I have discovered as I have pursued these seemingly insignificant passions is that there really are no insignificant passions. And I wonder how I ever thought there were. Rather all passions give us a peek into the never ending, continually surprising, incredibly diverse, creative nature of God who created each one of us in His own image. It is His desire that we be who He has made us to be. Not the person next to us who we think is awesome. No, us! Not the celebrity who seems to have no faults. No, us! We’re not supposed to look like anyone else. We are unique, beautifully fashioned by a loving God.
I am determined to encourage my kids to pursue passions, but this will only happen if I faithfully pursue my own. I don’t want them to ever think that any passion is insignificant. So, even when others are critical of me, I am able to remind myself that my passions are not about pleasing anyone else. They are about bringing glory to God.
This morning, I heard my boys getting out of their beds and making their way downstairs. Soon after their baby sister started making happy noises, so I changed her diaper and we joined her brothers. What we found was beautiful. They were sitting at the dining room table, creating works of art.
Gibson added another addition to his dragon notebook.
Ethan decided to make a collage. This was entirely his own concept. It is a woman getting ready to hang laundry on a laundry line. I would love to say that I am his inspiration in this, but that is not the case.
While the boys were working on their projects, they noticed something outside. Ethan ran to the window and excitedly told me that there were three red headed woodpeckers in our tree. His next thought? To grab the camera and capture the moment. Here are his pictures.
I am passionate about nature and about photography. Seeing my son developing this same passion is incredible. But my kids have passions for things that I am not passionate about and I work just as hard to encourage them in those passions. Inspiring my kids doesn’t mean that they will be mini versions of me. It means that they will be free to pursue their own God-given talents, gifts, abilities and passions with freedom.
Lindsay’s newest passion is photo editing on PicMonkey. She is having so much fun with it and I am amazed at what she is able to create. The incredible gift of pursuing passions is that we inspire others and then they in turn inspire us!
The caption on this picture is “God makes all things beautiful”.
Yes, He does, baby! Yes, He does!
I have learned that if I want my kids to live an inspired life, I need to live inspired. The results of living life inspired are truly breathtaking!
This post is part of my “Try Something New Thursdays” series. Because trying something new is all about living life inspired!