We hear a lot about purpose these days, about finding it and living it. I’ve read dozens and dozens of blogs and articles and some of them make the whole process seem so complicated, it’s a wonder anyone ever figures it out. There are checklists and surveys and admonitions to choose carefully. As though, if we’re not paying attention, or if we take a wrong turn, we’ll be doomed forever to wander aimlessly, never sure of where we were going.
It’s exhausting. And terrifying.
But what if we’re making all this much too complicated? What if we’re agonizing and fretting for no reason?
Bishop T.D. Jakes said, “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” The minute I read that, everything in me quieted. “Yes. That.”
Because maybe, just maybe, it really is as simple as finding what we’re passionate about and doing that. Every day. And when we get overwhelmed by the need we see all around us, maybe we need to take another deep breath and remember: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something” – Max Lucado
Since I’m a list-maker, I grabbed a pen. Here’s what I’ve discovered. Besides my family, my purpose and passions fall into three categories:
- encouraging women through my writing (whether my books or my blog),
- working as a boat captain and teaching children about nature, and
- trying to make a difference in this world.
I spent six weeks in the Philippines during college, so the street children in Manila hold a special place in my heart. I’m excited to partner with The School in a Cart in their work with the poorest of the poor.
I also work with The Blessing Basket Project and Seeds of Blessing, which is helping women in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty. I can’t imagine seeing my children hungry, or having to get involved in the sex trade to feed them.
By selling the baskets these women make, I am helping them feed and educate their children and build a better life for their families. (Find out more at: www.connie.seedsofblessing.com).
If you’re not sure where to start, spend some time thinking about what tugs on your heart. You don’t need all the answers at once. It’s ok to try things out, see if they ignite that passion.
Recently, my daughter Michele and I had a chance to visit the Blessing Basket headquarters in St. Louis. (By the way, these photos were all taken by Michele, a fabulous photographer!) We saw the warehouse and met some of the ladies and it confirmed what I already knew: this is something I want to be part of. (If it sparks your interest, too, I hope you’ll contact me.)
And if you’re looking for unique handmade gifts this holiday season, I do hope you’ll check out what’s available through Seeds of Blessing. Every single purchase really does make a difference. (You can also purchase their products at Whole Foods Markets.)
I love this quote: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
Maybe finding our purpose is really as simple—and as beautiful—as that.