Do You Know God’s Call for Your Life?

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“I sensed God was calling me to the mission field.”

“We really felt God was not calling us to leave just yet. We felt there was more work to be done.”

“I’ve always felt called into teaching.”

Have you heard people say these types of things when they’ve been discussing their life’s plans or work? Maybe you’ve said those things yourself because you have a clear idea of  “God’s calling” on your life; I hope you do!

I’ve got to tell you that mine has been rather muddy for most of my life. Lately, more and more of God’s call is coming into focus for me and my family, though, and I can tell you what’s helped us to better figure out where to go from here.

How You Can Determine God’s Callingfile0001525508692

1. Look in your house. Really. Walk through the rooms and halls of your house. What do you see? For so many of us, we choose to ignore the very callings that stare us in the face. Family, work, skills, gifts—all of these things show up in our daily lives, if only we’d recognize them for what they are: God’s nudge to say, “Hey! This is the way I’ve equipped you; get to work using what I’ve given you.” Pantry full of food and pots and pans? You may be missing God’s call to begin a meals on wheels ministry, a catering business, or to become a nutrition counselor.

2. Embrace your passion. What has God put you on the planet to do? What has God gifted you to do that only you can do? Now—go do it.

3. Seek the person of Christ. One of the most transformational aspects of Jesus is that he did not simply embody good, wholesome characteristics like kindness or truth, as you and I may do. No. Jesus IS goodness, truth, love, kindness, self-control, and more. When we are hidden in him, our relationship is more than mental ascent. We possess what he possesses. We have access to the Father and his power through Christ! Stop and think about that. We have access to resurrection power.

4. Get yourself out of the way. Believe that his way is far better than anything you can do on your own. Now, move over!

5. Accept and celebrate that this life is temporary. We are just passing through. God’s calling—whether it’s exciting, boring, dangerous, or mundane—is not for your comfort, your success, or your fame. God’s calling is to advance his kingdom and impact others’ lives. Period.

6. While you may live out several callings at once and many throughout a lifetime, you are always required to abide by one above all others. Your highest calling is to be an instrument of God, doing his work.

 

Interview With Alyssa Avant, Author of FaithLeaps

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FaithLeaps

 

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 7 of the Virtual Blog Tour for FaithLeaps: The Christian Mom’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Profits by author Alyssa Avant. On the last stop of the tour, Alyssa visited Rosann Cunningham’s blog at Christian Supermom.

Below is the great interview I did with Alyssa about FaithLeaps.

Why did you write this book? Alyssa

ALYSSA: I was inspired to write this book several years ago, as I was attempting to navigate the overwhelming journey of working from home.  I had taken a “leap of faith” and quit my part time job and really needed to make an income from home.

Through trial and error, I found my way, but wished I would have had a guide or friend to help me along the way. There is also the issue of passion and purpose, which ultimately is what this book is about.  Yes I talk about working from home and ways to do that, but a stronger theme throughout this book is finding one’s passion and purpose and ultimately profiting from it (not necessarily financially).

What are the two or three main ideas you hope readers take away from FaithLeaps

ALYSSA: There are several main ideas that I hope readers will take away from FaithLeaps.  One of those is that we are all created by God with a God-given passion and purpose.  It is important, I believe, for us to identify and explore that passion and purpose.  Secondly,  I hope that readers will take away from this book that God enables us and can work through us to help us to accomplish our dreams and desires.

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Do You Know Your Limits?

I was a little bit surprised to hear some words come out of my own mouth the other day:

“I know my limits.”

To which my husband replied, “Yes. But it’s taken you a while to get there.” (And, for the record, I am still a work in progress and struggle every day. The difference now as opposed to this time last year is that I’m more aware of the process.)

Finding and respecting limits of mental, physical, and emotional reserves must be an intentional process. Our fast-paced culture will not slow down for us saying, “Oh, I’ll wait right here with my demands until you can cope with me.”

Our responsibilities, concerns, and obligations will suck every last ounce of goodness out of us if we aren’t careful.

This past year has been a crucible for our family; all sorts of challenges have produced great periods of fiery heat and those impurities are melting away. Some of those impurities include my delusions that I’m super-human with limitless ability to love, serve, and work.

What about you?

  • What would happen if you faced your limits—and respected them?
  • What would happen if you surrendered to the inevitable and instead of fighting it, you embraced it as God’s perfect call for you?
  • What if you delegated responsibilities to others who enjoy and are good at them?
  • What if you concentrated on doing one or two things to the point of greatness instead of spreading yourself too thin?
  • What if you got enough sleep and laid off the fast food?
  • What if you prayed more and spent more time with God?
  • What if you pursued meaningful work within your gift and skill set?
  • What if you simply eliminated destructive distractions and instead focused intentionally on living in Christ?
  • What if you refused to be controlled by the tyranny of the urgent?
  • What if you looked around your house to notice God’s blessings and sincerely asked him for guidance in being a steward of his creation?

Dear readers, I pray that you (and I!) would prioritize and recognize that some things are just more important than others in this life. We deny God’s graciousness when we equivocate temporal “stuff” with everlasting souls.

Keep pushing decisions and responsibilities through that grid of priority and continue to evaluate. My guess is your limits—those beautiful boundaries of protecting restraint—will become vividly apparent.

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photo: Jenny Rollo

Work That’s Meaningful: Work Within Your Gift and Skill Set

I realized something cool the other day. I have a built-in check to evaluate whether or not I’m working within the parameters of my true gifts, skills, and talents.

In my previous business pursuits—everything ranging from data entry and broadcast journalism to school teaching and direct sales/referral marketing—I’ve tried super-hard to convince myself and everyone around me that I was good at my work.

Now—I don’t know that I’ve ever been completely rotten at a job (OK; maybe one or two), but I do know that I have struggled with jobs simply because they weren’t a good fit.

But I never wanted to be reminded of those struggles. No. I constantly sought validation from my husband—and other family members—that I was good at the job. I really wanted to hear, “You’re good at that. That’s a good fit for you. I know you are going to be successful,” and so on. And when those comments were not offered spontaneously, something triggered the doubt center inside. That’s when I’d “fish” for compliments and encouragement, knowing that I wasn’t very good at that pursuit and that some (or many) aspects of that business endeavor drained and bored me to the core.

The other day, Chris spontaneously told me how much he is enjoying this new blog, especially the podcasts. Those words of unsolicited accolade meant so much because I knew he meant them.

And? I had a hard time believing it. Really? I thought.

So, when I find it incredulous that someone would tell me they think I’m doing a good job; when I find it unbelievable that someone finds my work helpful and I actually have so much fun doing it, then I know I’m onto something.

Are you working within your gift and skill set? Or does work feel like a struggle, a bore, or an insurmountable challenge? Are you fishing for compliments? How do unsolicited compliments offer validation and encouragement?