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When I was about six-years-old I declared to my mom, as we drove down the street with the wind in our hair (probably because the A/C didn’t work!), “When I grow up, I want to be a mom and drive a blue convertible.”
Over the years, the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has changed and evolved for me. Although I stuck with about half of that original declaration–being a mom–I decided the blue convertible might not be that practical. But there were other dreams and loves that I had as a child and teenager that I had forgotten about, or shelved, in the busyness of fulfilling my dream of motherhood.
In a previous post I mentioned the book Quiet by Susan Cain and promised some follow-up on my blog about introverts. Well, I came across this particular section of the book where Cain gives some very practical steps for introverts to discover where they fit in the workplace (but it translates to ministry just as well). I thought it was fantastic!
Cain says: “First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child…the answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil?…If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now.
Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to…
Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth” (218).
Good stuff, right? Like I said, it got my wheels turning and I remembered, for me, those things I loved as a child were writing and creating things. Making things with my hands. Creating beauty with words or objects. Those were the things that brought me joy–and really still do–I had just forgotten. I’m so glad that God has given me the opportunity find the joy in these things again. I’m pretty sure he’s delighting in my delight! 🙂
What did you want to be when you were a child? Why?
How can you find an outlet in your life and ministry for the things that bring you joy?