That Which We Will Not Give Up

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Friday, Sept. 4: What are you passionate about?

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This one is not as easy as it sounds.  I tend to rule with my emotions, so on any given day I could be passionate about any given thing, depending on my mood.  Hence, the need to filter through all those emotions to land on my true passions.  As I have gotten older, things have shifted and I’ve been learning to curb the emotional tide that can overpower reason from time to time. I truly believe that our passions our woven together with God’s purpose for our lives, and as such, require careful curating.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

Maybe the real passion comes from those things that emerge as the non-negotiables.  Sometimes, we waste our energies and passions on causes that aren’t ours to bear.  It’s rather like the overuse of the word love (guilty here, too!).  We use love to describe everything from the latest trendy socks, to food, to our job and the people we’d do anything for.  Sometimes in all that love, it’s hard to know what love really is.  It’s more than a word to describe a feeling.  It’s an action that springs up from our very depths and will not be squashed.

For example, I love Pizza, but I could survive without it.  I love my husband and I don’t even want to think about surviving without him.  Obviously, the word love here is used to mean more than one kind of love.  I think it’s the same with passion.  Some things on our passionate list may have more priority than others and listing them together may seem shallow.  But, as long as we understand the difference, then I think everything I”m passionate about from the mundane to the world changing can make peace with being on the same list.  From that list, I can then narrow my focus to those that are non-negotiable. Those that I will hold onto for dear life. Those that most define my God-given purpose.

Some of my current passions, in no particular order, are: Alzheimer’s, my husband, my family, chocolate, Italian food, Writing, decorating and organizing my home, napping, watching Blue Bloods, the current political and moral climate, enjoying a girls day out, taking drives, snapping pictures of everything, day dreaming and my faith in God and the gift of salvation.

I must add here, that I think the things we are passionate about don’t necessarily mean that we love all of them.  Sometimes, our passionate focus on something can stem from our desire to fight back against that which we we truly hate.  I also think that some passions are for a season and some are for life.

A prime example of this is the fact that my mother has Alzheimer’s.  I’m very passionate about Alzheimer’s during this season of life.  Not because I love the disease ( I truly hate all that it represents), but because I love my mother. I’m passionate about protecting her and helping her, not because I want to make decisions for her, but because she needs me to and I love her, so I want what is best for her.

Alzheimer’s was not on my passion radar until it knocked on my door. Whether or  not it continues to be a passion hinges on a lot of variables, one of which could mean that I too may one day stare this ugly disease in the face.  I passionately hope and trust not, but it is not mine to decide.

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Another current passion that made my list is Blue Bloods.  It’s just a TV show people.  No big deal.  Really, could I be any more shallow.  Is it a true, fight to the death, passion? No, of course not.  But, during this season of life it represents a lot of things to me: time spent with my husband, a chance to unwind from the real world, a glimpse into a family dynamic that speaks of love, service, trust and passion.  All the things I think are important for family to cling to in times of distress.

Especially in times of distress.  Those are the times we most clearly need to be passionate.  Much of life requires us to fight for our needs to be met, to fight for what we believe in, to fight for what feeds our soul. It is during these times that we need to know what we will not give up.  

I can give up Blue Bloods, I can even (hope I don’t have to) give up chocolate, or a lot of other passions, but there are a few that I will fight for such as my faith, my husband, my family my friends, and the need to be creative.

Writing is a gift from God and I know it is woven into the very fiber of my being.  Even in those times when the well seems to be dry, or I am frozen to publish anything  I still know that writing is a part of me.  I still know that my survival hinges on being able to express my thoughts in words; being able to paint you a picture with my words.  That is why I keep writing, even the mundane, so that I don’t lose touch with the passion of laying down words, because I don’t want to miss the day when the purpose in the passion shines through in the most brilliant of ways and my soul sighs in blissful contentment. 

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Finding purpose and passion in grace,

Teresa

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Five Question Friday

There is a blog that hosts a link party called Five Question Friday (I know, it is now technically Sunday).  I decided to answer this week’s questions just for fun and because I hadn’t posted for a week.  If you want to see other bloggers answers or link up you can visit My Little Life and join in on the fun.

The Five Questions:

If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which 5 books, movies, people and foods would you take along?

Books:   The Bible, Forsaking All Others by Emilie Loring,  Margin by Dr Swenson, a hymn book, and a poetry anthology  (as a book lover narrowing down to five books is really hard, but I think this group could keep me well read and entertained until I was rescued).  I should probably have a blank journal type book, but maybe I can write my stuff on the margins and the blank pages in all the other books and maybe Ty can figure out how to make paper for me.  I’m sure this experience will result in a best seller.

Movies: Green Card, Baby Boom, You’ve Got Mail, Funny Farm, Mary Poppins

Petit Fours & Chocolate Chewies from The Fresh Market

Food:  Pizza (counts as one, right, even with several toppings), walnuts (have to get those omega threes), CHOCOLATE, tomato bisque soup, cheese, crackers.  I’m assuming there will be a freshwater source and plenty of fruit on this tropical island to add to my diet, thereby making it pretty balanced.

People: this one is harder, or maybe not so much.  I’d take my husband of course, he is my main support.  There are a lot of people that I love dearly that I wouldn’t take for various reasons, so I’m thinking the rest of my family could be safe at home, living their lives, praying for my safe return.  So, the other four that I would take – For survival etc I’d want a Doctor( Dr. Andrew Weil), a handyman (Ty Pennington), a comedian (Robin Williams or Chonda Pierce) and a minister (Billy Graham).  I would take these people for what should be obvious reasons.

What is your thought on year round school?

My first instinct as a former teacher is to say no, no, no – I like my three reasons for teaching – June, July and August (off that is).  However, as a former sort of Nanny for a couple of young girls that attended year round school I’d have to say that the schedule is really not that bad.  All their breaks (three that were three weeks and one that was five weeks)  were spread out in such a way as to feel balanced and the time off was about the same as a traditional school year.  So, I could probably do that.  And, it is probably better for the children.

What is your most embarrassing potty story? 

I’m sure I have many…

What’s the temperature where you are?

Cold, we did have sunshine today  – I think earlier I heard  Mr. Piano say it was 55 – that was probably during the warmest part of the day.  I had the inside temp on 73 and was still bundled up in blankets while I read a book.

Are you a winter/spring/fall/summer person?

Definitely Fall – that was the main reason (and the heat) that I was glad to move away from Florida.  Have to have my October blue skies and fire leaves. Fall is also one of the main reasons that I miss my beloved Tennessee mountains.  Spring would be a close second, if I needed a second runner up.

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So, there you have it.  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me some of your answers to these questions.  And please don’t feel free to make me one of your five people as obviously I didn’t choose you – I wanted you safe at home.  I still love you very much though!  However, if you choose Mr. Piano, then I go with, can’t do without him.

Surviving in Grace,

Sadie