Living Out Passion

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“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:  Who should I send?  Who will go for Us?  I said:  Here I am.  Send me.”  Isaiah 6:8*

It is exciting to start a new year!  No goals for me, but a new intention.  I have selected the word “devotion” and I am applying it all facets of my life; my time with God, my relationships, and my writing.  I have decided to take twelve synonyms of the word “devotion” and apply it to my writing calendar.  For the month of January, I have chosen “passion” as my word of the month.

PASSION-Strong liking or desire for some activity, object, or concept**

Growing up I regularly noticed my father with his nose in a book.  I would ask him what he was reading and he would show me the front of the book with a whimsical title of “Quantum Mechanics, the most exciting theory using mathematical interpretation”.  I would try to hide my puzzlement with a poker face, but there was no fooling dad.  He knew I was clueless.

My dad grew up in a small community in Ohio.  He learned early on his love of learning would open up opportunities for his future.  My dad used his passion for knowledge to gain several bachelor’s degrees in mechanical, petroleum, and chemical engineering along with a master’s degree.  When he passed away in September 2014 at the age of seventy-four, he was taking online courses to complete another degree in electrical engineering.  His thirst for knowledge was evident not only in formal education but in everyday activities.

When computers became a way of life, my dad taught himself how to use a computer, how to write code, and how to build one from parts.   He also learned how to work on cars and rebuild them, how to tackle plumbing issues, and later how to build furniture out of wood and scroll pictures into wooden keepsakes for the family.  My dad had a passion for learning, growing, and challenging himself.

Later in life, dad began to pour his passion for learning into his bible.  He would read, discuss with his bible study class, and share his thoughts with family and friends.  His favorite book was Isaiah which documents how God reveals His judgment and salvation.   When we are willing to learn about Him, accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and repent of our sins, we are extended God’s grace and forgiveness.  Isaiah showed his passion in a proclaimed message of repentance from sin and hopeful expectation of God’s deliverance of Judah in the future.***  I am thankful my dad was able to be open about his personal relationship with God because it assured his family where he would be for eternity.

My father led by example in following his passion to learn until his last breath.  I am inspired to follow in his footsteps, not so much about engineering, but pushing myself to learn about the subjects which interest me, like writing.  I look at learning as an opportunity to challenge my brain and discover and develop my God-given talents to witness to others of God’s love and grace.  I want to thank you, dad, for living out your passion and leaving the legacy for your family to carry forward.

* The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

**https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passion

***The Study Bible for Women Copyright 2014 by Holman Bible Publishers Nashville, TN

disTRACTION

DISTRACTION

I am working in my office and becoming increasingly frustrated at the fact my “to do list” is not getting done. The annoyance in my demeanor is coming through quite clearly in my voice, e-mails, and the grunts and groans for all to hear in the office.  This is not one of my awe-inspiring moments and I feel the situation spiraling out of control.

I want to be calm, cool, and collected under pressure, but sadly this is not generally the case.  In these moments, I am drowning in the distractions and unable to focus and control my thoughts and time.  This is where I have to step back, take a breath, center my thoughts, and gain some traction.  Here are a few tricks I use to regroup and move ahead.

Breathe-taking a few moments to quiet my mind and take deep breaths to clear my lungs.  Sometimes there is a conversation with God about the circumstances at the moment where I can lay it down at His feet.  When I take a “breathe break” it reminds me of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”* To be still, allows me to renew and recharge and face the real world.

Sign Out-Isn’t technology the bomb Diggity?  It can also take multi-tasking to a whole other level.  In order to focus and complete my tasks, I will make sure my e-mail is closed down, and no other social media options are open on my computer.  Additional options are to shut my door and send my phone to voicemail to avoid any interruptions.

Focus-Frequently I will have to dig deep and use all my energy to stay sharp and on task.  Using time management, I will set time limits for certain tasks in order to hunker down and accomplish my goals.  For example, I have a project to complete in three days so I will break down what is needed to finish the project and assign time limits for all the parts in order to meet the deadline.

Count-I am reminded to be grateful for all my blessings.  What I realize is I am experiencing first world problems and should be thankful for my life, job, family, and give the glory to God.  This is the point where I gain traction and realize what the true priorities in life.  I can release the frustration of “in the moment” trivial issues and embrace the joy of my journey knowing I am blessed.  “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.”*-John 1:16  tweet-graphic-4

If I take the time to go through these steps when I feel the pressure of an unmanageable situation mounting, I can take back the control and gain traction.  In addition, going through this process enables me to adjust my perspective and embrace the challenges placed before me.  After all, how else will I learn to grow in my purpose?

*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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