One piece of pineapple upside down cake. Homemade, fresh from the oven with the promise of sweet, sticky goodness. A celebration, a gathering of people and an invitation for my dad to join in the fun. An anniversary celebration in the middle of a rehab center one evening led to this delicious pineapple upside down cake. To hear my dad describe it you would know it was the best cake he has ever tasted. The glee in my dad’s eyes left no doubt that he had a passion for pineapple upside down cake.
I want that passion. I want to know that there is something that brings me that much joy. I want to feel the fire, enthusiasm and energy from that one thing that makes my heart sing.
When looking at potential two weeks ago, I shared that we have unlimited potential within us. God created us with endless possibilities of who we are and can be through the gifts we are born with and how those are realized in the story of our life. We also have a purpose, a reason that God has written us into His story. Last week I wrote, “Potential is already part of who we are, but purpose is how our potential is realized“. The two are interconnected. But what about our passion? Our ability to dream and wonder about the pieces of our life that make us come alive?
I was an elementary teacher for thirty years. I dreamt about being a teacher from the young age of five years old until I realized that I could makes this dream come true. But it wasn’t just a job! Teaching was my passion, purpose and potential all wrapped up together. My kindergarten and first grade teachers spoke truth into me at that young age and opened up the door of the potential I could find in teaching. I had the privilege of knowing my purpose and using my potential to feed my passion. I was truly blessed.
But is discovering our passion as easy as finding the perfect piece of pineapple upside down cake? Life tells us “no” but our hearts say “yes”.
When I chose Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I chose Him as the Author and Guide of my life. He made me a new creation.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
For when we believe we were made by God and for God’s purpose, we have a new understanding about our lives. Our hearts are ready to receive God’s plan for our lives and in the details we find our purpose. Dreaming about the future and seeking God’s guidance to lead us there, fuels our passion. Our passion can show the way to our purpose. They both are interconnected.
Thirty years of teaching fulfilled my potential, purpose and passion, but now that I am retired, I am seeking it all again. I am in a holding pattern that looks like I’m stuck, but I know God is still working behind the scenes. If I know God and He has crafted my story, I need to let it unfold in His timing. This doesn’t mean that I stop dreaming and seeking my passion. I continue to do both with an open posture of receiving the gift of a new chapter when God is ready to reveal it. It is possible to dream knowing that when you set the dream free and God catches it, all will be right with the world.
[Tweet “Dream, set it free, let God catch it and make it into reality. “]
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
I am challenging myself to dream and seek what makes my heart sing, knowing God is holding the passion until it is time to set it free. Will you join me in this challenge?
Blessings of grace along the way!
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I admire you for your patience…not easy to be when you’ve fulfilled one of your passions for a long season. I’ve found that God uses our passions in new ways. He combined my passion for teaching and my passion for writing in an endeavor that I would have never in a million years dreamed up. (There’s still room for you, my friend…I’m serious…we could use a champion like you). Seeing these orphans and destitute children have their lives transformed by an education is so very rewarding and I get to write about it in my blog, in PR materials, in a Newsletter. Broadcasting the news of God’s good works is indeed gratifying…praying for you as you wait on His timing.
Thank you for your wise words. I guess I wasn’t thinking that God would use my passions in new ways. God knew I needed to hear that which is why you stopped by to leave a comment. He is amazing like that. You have a beautiful mission with the children at your school and God is doing great things. Your prayers are cherished and your encouragement always fills me up. Love you!
May the Lord guide you to His purpose for you in this new stage, Mary! I love that TD Jakes quote about our passion leading us to our purpose. So good.
I’m sure your waiting time seems long, but the good thing is that God is never late in revealing His plans, and you won’t miss what He has for you!
Thank you Betsy! I pray the same for you as you make your way back home with your family. God has created a beautiful story for each of us and we need to wait patiently for His perfect plan to be revealed. Love and hugs!
Finding our passions in the second chapter of our lives is quite a challenge, Mary. I get this and want my “second chapter” to unfold in God’s timing, just like you. But it’s hard to wait and be patient. As you might have guessed, I’m not the most patient person in the world! 😉 I always love your heart here, Mary. You are encouraging us in our passions even as you seek to find and establish your own passion and “second chapter.” Love ya!
The bottom line is that I have this gift of extra time that I want to use well. There is a sense of impatience because I don’t want to waste any of the time I have been given. I know God’s timing is perfect and all will happen as He has planned but it doesn’t make it easy to wait. May God work in both of us to fulfill the dreams he has for us in this second chapter of our lives.
“It is possible to dream knowing that when you set the dream free and God catches it, all will be right with the world.” Absolutely love this statement! God’s been whispering to me, “Let it go, Lynn.” So I’ve been praying on that as wondering what am I to let go? Maybe it is to let go of trying so hard so make the dream instead of responding to Him. In this season I pray you continue to respond to His whispers, His stirrings in your heart as He reveals to you in His everlasting loving ways, His will for you.
I love that you say God is whispering for you to “let it go” because part of the process of seeking what’s next for my life has a second part-letting go. So as I listen to God’s whispers for me I know there is the one telling me to dream big and the other one that says reality will happen when I “let it go”. Thank you for your insight in helping me understand what God is doing in my life. I’m praying for you as you lean in to hear better the whispers God has just for you.
I really like this! This is exactly what God has been showing me in my life. I believe that if I come to allow God’s love in my life and transform it, I can understand that I have a purpose in God. He is guiding me and I need to draw near to Him. Very encouraging. visiting from #tellhisstory #20
Thank you Kristina! I love what God is showing you and I pray your heart remains open to receiving the love of God. His love is transforming and will certainly lead you to your purpose. Blessed you stopped by today.
Yum pineapple upside down cake! Oh and yes I want to do what makes my heart sing too! Loved this post friend!
Praying we both seek what makes our heart sing! Thank you for stopping by!
Now I’m craving pineapple upside down cake ;). I seem to be finding myself in conversations about passion a lot lately. I so agree with your words here, Mary: “Our passion can show the way to our purpose.” I just read a great book from Holley Gerth about this same topic, how God gives us certain passions in order to reveal our purpose, just as you have so wisely shared here. I absolutely love your thought on letting God catch our dreams and turn them into reality. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement, my friend.
What is it about passion that it keeps coming up over and over? It has been on my heart lately too and part of the reason is the tie in with reaching for my dreams. I know the two are connected. Anything by Holley Gerth is great and I love how she connected passion and purpose too. Sounds like great minds think alike!!! Praying we both can dream, release them to God and then stand back to see what happens!
Believing God has planned something for you and yet having to wait for clarity as to what it is can be so hard. I pray the Lord will give you light and understanding, Mary. It must have been so hard to give up teaching. I know that by experience when God led me elsewhere.
I love how you have fitted potential, purpose, and passion together. Blessings and hugs to you!
I chose to retire from teaching because it was time after 30 years. But I have this beautiful blessing of time that I am anxious to use in a way that honors God. That is the reason for the waiting. God’s timing is perfect but it doesn’t mean it is easy to be patient while waiting. Your encouragement in the waiting means a lot to me. God is faithful and when His plan is revealed I know it will be amazing.
“They” say whatever you were doing at 8-10 years old, the thing that you loved doing, THAT is your passion.
I was writing, publishing, distributing a neighborhood newspaper typeset with a five and dime store block print set.
I believe at 65, I am following my passion!
You never cease to amaze me. I was blessed to have fulfilled the passion of teaching for so many years. But I believe there is more out there. Let’s just day I’m not finished yet! 🙂
Praying for you Mary! What an exciting (and I’m sure, sometimes frustrating) time for you! Believing with you that God is planting new dreams on the horizon for you to fulfill, stirring up hope and passion and new perspectives of what is possible!
I cherish our prayers, Karrilee! I feel this anxiousness to discover the big picture right now. It can be hard in the waiting especially when you know God has an amazing plan for the next part of your life. You inspire me with your big dreams and your church plant. I love seeing what God is doing in you.
Hello Mary I know you will find the fire your heart desires. No worries God is working behind the scenes for you and Linda.
Keep pressing on God bless
Thank you for your words of confidence. There is a little bit of me wanting to know the whole story right now instead of waiting. I do believe God has big plans right around the corner for myself and Linda! Blessings and hugs!
Such an inspiring post, Mary! I truly believe that our passions, the things we enJOY are directly linked to the spiritual gifts God has given us. I love how you’re weaving this all together! Have a blessed day, my friend!
I believe in the connection of our gifts and passion too. Being in a holding pattern can be difficult especially if you feel you are ready right now. I hope all of my words are making sense in these last three posts. I have been praying hard that God lead me with just the right words. Thank you for being here as always.
I needed to read your words today, reassuring me that God is at work behind the scenes — even if He seems silent. Thank you, Mary.
I’m glad Michele!. I will be praying that you find peace in the waiting and comfort in knowing that God has not forsaken you. He’s working on the inside before He reveals the outside. Hugs friend!
Yep, I’m in that holding pattern, too, Mary. I’ve often smiled as I read your posts because we’re in the same boat.
Yet I just have to believe that He has something substantial for both you and I to do, to be, in this next season. And it’s so good to have a companion who’s on the same leg of the journey. You’re fine, inspiring company, friend …
It certainly is wonderful knowing I have a friend on this journey with me. It brings me peace knowing that I am not in this alone. I do believe God has great things in store for both of us.
Mary, I loved reading this post today because I also wrote about dreams and God’s timing this morning. So grateful our God opens doors and possibilities in just that opportune moment. Praying He does so SOON for you! Blessings!
I love how our thoughts were connected today. God has a way of bringing us together when we need to learn something from Him and hear it more than once. So glad we can share in the possibilities of what God has planned next.