Read Mission-Minded Family Pt. 1: Finding Our Passion HERE!
In my last post, I wrote about how my husband and I stumbled upon a mission that our whole family has embraced. For us, it was through sponsoring a child’s education in Haiti that an international mission became our passion. For many, you need only to step outside of your front door.
When I first became a mom – specifically a stay-at-home mom – I struggled to find my purpose. How silly, right? Obviously my purpose was nestled up in my arms. After leaving the classroom, I struggled with this new role called motherhood. All my baby did was eat, sleep, poop and cry. I needed to find a purpose. Now that I wasn’t teaching, I needed to find a new passion.
Eventually, I realized that my main mission was motherhood. It took me a minute, but I found my way there. I’m sure I’ll blog about that at some point…
However, there was still a void that needed to be filled. I needed something besides wiping butts, folding laundry and “what’s for dinner?” to occupy space in my brain. I learned through talking with other moms that having that void was normal. I needed something to be passionate about that would give me a purpose outside of my home.
Purpose + Passion = Mission
Purpose: the reason something exists
Passion: intense enthusiasm for something
Mission: a strongly felt aim, ambition or calling
To find your purpose, ask yourself these things:
- What am I good at?
- What are my gifts and talents?
- What are my best personality traits?
To find your passion, ask yourself:
- What brings me joy?
- What are my interests?
- What already occupies a lot of my thoughts?
To make it your mission, ask yourself:
- In what capacity do I best serve others?
- How can I apply my gifts, talents, traits and interests to help others?
- What is feasible in this stage of life?
Let me answer these questions hypothetically:
- I am good at cooking. (I said this was hypothetical because in real life, I am not.)
- I am gifted in hospitality and serving others.
- I am friendly and encouraging to others.
- It brings me joy to create tasteful dishes and share them with others.
- My interests are trying new recipes and tweaking old ones.
- A lifestyle of healthy eating occupies a lot of my thoughts.
- I best serve others when I’m my own boss. I don’t like other people telling me what to do.
- I can use meals as a way to reach out to people who need help. I can encourage them by writing a note to go along with their meal and follow up with them throughout the week.
- I always have ample leftovers, but with my kids’ soccer practices, I can make one delivery a week.
Sample Mission: To use my gifts of hospitality and cooking to provide tasteful dishes and encouragement to families in need.
See how easy my hypothetical question answering was? Now you try! The answers to those questions may not come so easily IRL, so pray about them, talk to God about them, let them turn over in your brain and sit on them for a bit.
We don’t always know what our mission is right away, so it may take some time to find it. Start out by simply serving others. Through that, you will find out your strengths and weaknesses, what you love and what you really don’t like to do. Sometimes there is an area of service that just does not bring us joy, and that’s ok! It helps to look for ways to serve within your skill set.
Prayer goes a long way. Ask God, “God, please provide an opportunity for me to serveothers. Use me. I’m ready.”
If you don’t know where to begin, first try serving at church, your child’s school or at a local event or festival. Perhaps you could organize a neighborhood play date or Bible
study group. If you are gifted in hospitality, try cooking a meal for a new family each week or hosting dinner or game night at your house for a different family each month. The way you make any of these things missional, is to make it much more than just a one-time thing.
Be intentional. Be consistent.
If you aren’t intentional about where you are serving, you will struggle to find purpose in it. If you aren’t consistent, your passion for it will diminish. Set intentional goals (monthly, bi-monthly, weekly or daily) for yourself to make what you do a consistent part of your life.
You know you’ve found your passion when:
You can’t stop thinking about it. It may keep you up at night, but you just grab a pen and paper and write as much down as you can.
You can’t stop talking about it. Your friends may be ready to disown you if you don’t switch theconversation to something else soon.
It brings you joy instead of stress. You realize that even if it fills your calendar to the brim, it excites you more than stresses you out.
It energizes you, instead of drains you. You may be exhausted, but as soon as you set to work, you feel a boost of energy kick in.
You are constantly trying to make it better. You lie awake at night brainstorming different ways to improve it.
It becomes your procrastination tool. You know you have a pile of laundry on your sofa and dishes piled to the ceiling, but even though your event is a month away, it’s super important that it gets done right now.
Your enthusiasm for your mission inspires others to help out, too. Even though your friends may be tired of hearing you talk about it, they know how much joy it brings you and they can’t wait to help out. Maybe you meet a stranger at the store and start blabbing away about your latest project and they ask for more information because they would love to be a part of it.
Having a mission-minded family starts with you.
Breathe life into something new. Give yourself something to look forward to each day, even if it is just spending 5 minutes brainstorming. Challenge yourself to put your gifts and talents to use to help others. Check out some of these moms who have made it their mission to serve others using their unique purposes and passions.
Kendra, mom of two, has recently started Postcard Moms, an organization where moms send postcards to encourage each other. Instagram: @postcardmoms
Fostering Animals with Acadiana Animal Aid
Mother-daughter duo Heidi and Jennifer (mom of 3), foster cats and dogs in their homes and help these rescues find their forever homes.
Ryane, mom of five, started an organization that collects shoes for kids in Haiti. Drop off boxes are located all over Lafayette. Emmy’s Shoes has provided shoes for whole communities of children in Haiti!
Miriam, mom of two, has written and illustrated “A Heart Adorned” and “A Hidden Treasure” to encourage women and children in their Christian faith. She has sent her books to women’s groups and children’s ministries both in the U.S. and internationally.
All of us mamas at LAFMB are passionate about sharing the ups and downs of parenting through our own stories. We love connecting with moms across Acadiana and working together to build a warm, positive and safe community for our children.