topics:
Courage

I’ve been a blogger for three and a half years.  But I’ve been rearranging homes since my Barbie days.  When my husband and I got married I assumed it was normal for a person to try the sofa in 12 different places in the room.  And my husband just laughed about it. Over the years he’s put up with me painting and repainting and changing furniture around and bringing orphaned chairs in our home. And he’s encouraged me along the way.

When we first got married my husband was on staff at a church.  His major in college was youth ministry and then after his first job at a church he went back and got a master’s degree so he could teach.  He was the head of the Bible department at a large Christian school in Georgia while I stayed home with our boys.  It wasn’t long until we figured out that financially, it wasn’t possible to even send one of our boys to the school my husband worked at and loved, much less three of our boys.

Instead of staying at a job he really liked, he took a risk and bought a franchise where he worked out in the elements, under cars so that he could better support our family.  The job definitely had some perks~he made his own hours, the pay was good and we got to move closer to family.  But it was hard manual labor and he always knew he wanted to do something else.  Finally, he sold that business to start a new one but the new one didn’t fly and before we knew it, we were broke and he was buying back into the franchise that we trusted.  Back to something that was a nice fit, but not his passion.

It’s been four years since he went back to the great job that we are thankful for but isn’t his passion or giftedness or whatever it is you want to call it.  All the while he’s been encouraging me to follow my passion and make our home beautiful and encourage women that they can have a pretty home too.  He never pushed me to bring in an income, he was just happy that I was happy.  He saw value in passion following and in that, he taught me one way I could encourage him. A few years ago he got excited about an Advance Discipleship Training course.  Most people would wonder why a guy in the car business wants to be further trained in something he already had two degrees in and wasn’t making any income from. But we knew there is value in getting trained in something you are passionate about.  Even if he never made actual money from it, it was worth it.

Today, Nesting Place has grown from just something I’m passionate about to a work at home business that I love that helps support our family.  And the entire blog was created debt and pressure free.  Not only that but the income Nesting Place generates has now come full circle.  And when my husband comes home and sees my office a wreck, he doesn’t complain, he knows it’s a sign of work getting done, and I know it’s the by product of the privilege of being able to work at home.

A few weeks ago my husband accepted a part time position at a church.  He’s passionate about families and students and I’m so thrilled for him that once again he gets to do what he loves. You’ve never seen a man so happy to have two jobs!

Along the way we noticed a trend that seemed to lead to our new found “jobs”, maybe it’s just us but we’re both getting to do something we love:

1. Be willing to do the work you love for free.

2. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously.

3. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously and continue to gather knowledge in the field of your passion.

4. Be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously and continue to gather knowledge in the field of your passion and if you are married, encourage your spouse to do the same.

When you are gathering knowledge about something you love, it doesn’t seem like work~it’s fun.  Consider it a way to invest in yourself.  Plus, it’s common to find you have the energy to do that thing you love, even if you are exhausted~that energy is good, because you will need to follow your passion relentlessly.

So whatever your  passion is, whatever you were created for or called to or whatever you want to call it, if you are willing to volunteer your time, work hard and late and be generous the chances are one day, someone will want to pay you for it.

Has someone encouraged you to follow your passion?  Are you encouraging someone else to do follow theirs?

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  1. 1
    Rebecca says:

    Thank you for sharing this. You inspire me to do more, not only to follow my own passions but help my husband keep in touch with the things he loves as well.

  2. 2

    i am enjoying learning in and working with my passion…writing newsletters including pictures and a little devotion. It’s my heart to do that for the unmarried group we call unHitched. I do a blog which is more a devotion with Scripture than a daily life blog. Id be interested in reading your blog. I enjoy decorating my home. Thank you for encouraging us that our passion might prosper us one day. That would be so helpful to me if it would. But I love what I do either way.

  3. 3

    Thanks for the good words today! Husbands need to find their passions and calling too! Just the words I needed today :) PS My husband wants to decorate the basement himself…ack! I am sending him over to your blog!….note to self…must let go, Monica!

  4. 5

    Thank you for the encouragement. This is such a great post and something I needed to hear this week. :)

  5. 6
    Paola Pacheco Rarick says:

    Thank you nester! What a straight shot to my heart. Just the other day, I must confess that I tried to detour my EMT husband from persuing Paramedic school becaust Emergency Service people get paid horribly. Our stories are very similar. My husband owned a business it did great and fully supported the family. Then he branched out into a new business, it did even better and made very good money and then the real estate market crashed and we could barely afford food. Now my husband is back at has non passion 1st business which we are very grateful for but in the meantime he has become and EMT. He loves that job but can’t support us that way. I have started my own dance studio which is my passion for sure. I always hate that his job takes him away from us at crazy hours, but you just reminded me that this is what is good for him. I feel so awful for even feeling this way. As a Christian, I should know better but thanks for the reminder

    • 7

      Yes, it’s about balance. And every family is different. This time last year we realized that my husband was busy every Sunday night, Tuesday from 4-11, and Wednesday night plus 3 Monday nights every month. All with volunteer passion following. It was too much for us for this season of life and after my gentle pleading {it may or may not have included crying, fits of rage and bribery} he too realized that he was headed to burnout if he didn’t slow down.
      So he looked at all he was doing and got really intentional about where he spent his time. Funny thing~now that he’s on staff at a church, he’s actually home more than he was when he was when he was volunteering his time.

      All that to say, I don’t think you need to feel awful. You owe it to your husband to communicate your feelings but, I also think it’s important to encourage him to follow his passion. You seem to be really sensitive to both and that’s exactly what he needs.

  6. 8

    May the Lord continue to bless your family!

  7. 9

    LOVE this! Thanks Nester!

  8. 10

    Thank you for your encouraging words! I just read a devotional this morning about this very topic! It can be frustrating to go to work every day in the field that you “went to school” to do but yet you feel like it’s just not what you “love”. I am constantly feeling torn because my passions lie in other areas, decorating, thrifting, fashion… but the dilemma of how to earn a living doing those things constantly pops into my head. I will no longer focus on that and just be content to have a job and have fun with my passions and gifts in the other areas. I appreciate you and I’m so happy for the success you have experienced!

  9. 11

    Thank you for sharing your story and your encouraging words today. My husband and I are very passionate about our hobbies, and were just sitting on the porch, drinking our morning coffee, talking about just that… how to pursue our passions, etc. For me, I just need to find a balance between work, family, and hobby time… I told him I just need an accountability partner and some encouragement… I’m half way there, thanks!

  10. 12

    My daughter!!!! I have always wanted to go to culinary school and study baking and pastry. Several years ago a very good school opened in the area. My daughter kept saying mom you should do this. But I was afraid. My excuse – I’m too old. Finally a year and a half ago I started school again. During that time I was out of work a while, had some difficulties and so on. My daughter still urged, supported (emotionally and financially). I found a passion in chocolate – duh! But I am almost there. Graduate next March – with honors.
    I loved your blog today – reminds me I need to thank that beautiful young woman.

  11. 14

    I am a big fan of your blog, but i love this glimpse into how it all came together. God bless you and your hubs!

  12. 15

    Thank you so much for this. I’m in a place where I work part-time doing something that is not my passion, but it is what I went to college to do… And I do a lot of free work in the area that I love– you’re right it doesn’t feel like work because I am so passionate about it. I needed to hear this today. Your heart shines through your blog. Congrats on being paid to do what you love!!

  13. 16
    Heather says:

    A friend once told me, “Success is doing what you love and getting paid to do it.” Reminds me of your journey.

  14. 17

    Such an inspiring post! I started my blog because decorating is my passion and my husband has been very supportive – Thank you Hubby! I could relate to what you said about being willing to work on it even when you are exhausted…that’s one of the ways you know that it’s you passion and it doesn’t even seem like work! I admire you for being so supportive of each other ~ Good luck to both of you!

    • 18

      agreed, you know you love it if you can do the work when you have the flu, when you are beyond tired, when no one else would want to, if you still have the drive…watch out, it’s probably your passion.

  15. 19

    I absolutely agree with everything that you said! For some people, finding their passion may be the trickiest step. But once you have found something that you love, that you are really good at, go with it and see where it goes! Even if you have to do something else for a while to get the bills paid, do keep working on your passion, developing it, letting it develop you.

  16. 20

    Exactly what I needed to hear today. Bless you for sharing and allowing us to benefit from your passion.

    As a single and sole support parent of two, I have to be very careful about striking a balance. I need my job as there is no one else to support us. It is not my ideal job, but I go about it with passion every day. Living your life with passion even if it’s at your “in the meantime” job, will free you to do exactly what you want to do.

  17. 21

    be willing to do the work you love for free, often and generously and continue to gather knowledge in the field of your passion and if you are married, encourage your spouse to do the same… yes. OH YES! and if you do… another person who is also willing to do the work he loves for free, often and generously and continues to gather knowledge in the field of his passion and encourages his spouse to do the same… just might notice and move a mountain for you ;-)

  18. 22

    nester! it makes me so happy to read this. i know it’s been your heart for him.

  19. 23

    I really love this, thank you for sharing. As someone who also has home decorating related dreams, I love your encouragement to do what you love for free with generosity. There is a part of me that continually worries about whether I’ll be able to make money with this once my course is finished. However, another part of me feels good just doing design work for people who I know need it. I feel that as long as I do it with joy I will be happy… and who knows what it will lead to. Not to say that there’s no importance in considering the business side of things, but I am trying to let go of the worry and just live what I love and trusting the process – wherever it will bring me. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey.

  20. 24

    Thanks so much for your honesty and wisdom. I’m putting my 3rd (out of 4th) kid in school this year. My husband is a teacher which he LOVES…now that it’s time for me to think about leaving the house for a job, I’m in a dilemma as to following my passion or just getting something to pay the bills. Thanks for inspiring me to keep working on what I love….no matter what. Interior design brings me so much happiness…if only I could make a little more money doing it….ha! :)

  21. 25

    I absolutely love this post, because it’s almost a daily conversation around here. We are firm believers in pursuing one’s passion. That is one reason Chris Ann and I started LoveFeast Table. How could we tell our kids to pursue their passions if we weren’t modeling it ourselves. We’ve supported our husbands when they leap, take a risk to follow what brings them joy. It’s a bit of a thrill ride, with lots of highs and lows, but it’s so much easier to wake up in the morning and put your hand to the grind when you’re doing what you love, what you’re made to do and what your passionate about. Not to mention, it’s totally fun to see God take your passions, your giftings, your natural inclinations and weave the “perfect” job for you. I remember when my husband and I were in Ireland teaching a group of missions students about Jesus’ ministry around food. We then had the privilege to prepare for them a final LoveFeast before they left to serve in Rwanda. I remember being in awe that He had made me and my husband for that moment and time, weaving together our love for missions and hospitality. Only Jesus.
    Thanks for a great read this morning!
    ~Kristin

  22. 27

    Thanks Nester for the words of encouragement! This week I will be painting a backsplash in the kitchen for a friend and helping another friend clean and organize her kids rooms. I love doing these things and do them often. So many tell me I am so very talented, I don’t always agree…but know I am here on this earth to serve and not to be served. I wish many blessings upon you and your husbands endevors and the the good Lord would also choose to richly bless your family. Thanks so much for sharing this story! I loved it!

  23. 28

    Right on! This was good stuff.
    Well…I in couraged my husband in his passion ‘the car business’ & currently we’ve worked together at the ‘in town business’ for 5 1/2 years! You’re right about the long hours! We’ve rang in a lot of midnights & 3 AM’s & even a New Year once, together at ‘that business.’ BUT it’s worth every ounce of time spent to do what you love (together)!
    Currently, he’s in couraging me in my passions (that I really don’t have the TIME for, but LOVE oh so much) photography, decorating & blogging!
    GREAT word!
    Bless You~
    Rebecca

  24. 29

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Finding my passion and balancing it with the rest of my life has alway been the challenge for me. I turned a hobby I loved into a business once. Quilting. Anytime I found for quilting I felt I needed to be working on a client’s quilt. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Eventually I just plain got burned out and didn’t want anything to do with quilting. This seems to be a season of change for me. A milestone birthday and a willingness to do what is necessary to make the changes I’d like to see. Thank you for the encouragement.

  25. 30

    How wonderful for you and your husband! Truly, I am passionate about my job..teaching. It is very hard work and without the passion it just wouldn’t work. Doing what you love is the best!

  26. 31

    I agree 100%. You so beautifully communicated following your passion. It doesn’t have to be a high stakes all or nothing chance. Sometimes you have to take baby steps to fulfill you passion, dreams or using your God given talents to make an income that you and your family can survive on. Great story.

  27. 32

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this post, Nester. Thank you so much for your encouragement. :)

  28. 33

    Nester, I’m so excited for you and your husband!!!! Hooray! And thanks be to God. :)

  29. 34

    Congratulations to you and your family! I have small children and haven’t quite figured out how to fit in my passion, but posts like this remind me that I NEED TO. Best of luck with everything – and thanks for all the window mistreatment ideas. I actually have two pairs in my living room now!

  30. 35
    kelly in georgia says:

    waterworks flowing here! your timing could not have been better with this touching post. i JUST (10 minutes ago) packed up 400 wedding invitation envelopes that i have been hand lettering for someone…get this…for free – because (despite my parents naysaying) i want to do something creative in this world. you have to start somewhere when following your passion, and the first step is the important one. your hubbie sounds like a treasure! (and you are one too!) what a great example you two are setting for your children.

  31. 36

    You are speaking to my heart today… thanks for the encouragement!

  32. 37

    What an awesome post!

  33. 38

    Thanks for sharing this, Nester. It was encouraging to me. Recently I was asked to fill a volunteer position, and I have been unsure about whether or not I should do it. My energy is so limited that I haven’t been sure if this is something God is really calling me to do. I want to make sure that I fulfill my duties as a wife and a mom to the best of my abilities, and those are valid concerns. Interestingly, though, my husband has really been encouraging me to take the position. It is from the home, and I can even do it from bed on my laptop. It would be a way that I could reach out to others and have an impact, even in my homebound state. Your post has encouraged me to try it out. To pursue my passion, even in the midst of exhaustion. Thank you!

  34. 39

    What an awesome turn of events! I hope your family continues to do wonderfully as you all follow your passions!

  35. 40

    What a beautiful story! So happy for you… thank you for the encouragement just to keep on trucking.

  36. 41

    My entrepreneurship prof told me the first day of class I was so naturally entrepreneurial I would never finish a traditional MBA program. He told me that after I broke his test, how naturally entrepreneurial are you. I was frankly taken aback by such a pronouncement. Yeah. The next term I walked into his office to tell him I was dropping out to rescue kids in Sudan. He laughed.

    So my passion has led clear across the world, I have 120 kids and am preparing to launch a women’s fashion design line made by women we rescue out of prostitution here, doing art and writing in my spare time. And I wouldn’t be here at all if not for the people in my life who said GO FOR IT! Now I get to pass this along to all the people Papa brings me… our elementary school is called Dream School for a reason!

  37. 42

    That is fantastic. I know God will continue to use you both greatly. I have enjoyed your blog for several years. What a great journey you have been on (and still are!). Blessings, Linda

  38. 43

    I believe if we all followed our passion we would have a Heaven on earth and think how kind we would be to one another if we were doing what we are created to do?

    Thank you for sharing.

  39. 44

    Thank you for sharing such an important part of your life!!
    I too, am a lot like your husband and I have never done anything with my design degree. Our location doesn’t offer the opportunities to have a design career that is unless I want to sell furniture. My passion isn’t there. This is why I started blogging and you were a big influence for me to start. It is the perfect outlet for me to use my creativity and share my love of it with others.
    So glad your husband is doing what he loves because that’s what it is all about.

  40. 45

    Thanks for sharing your story. I definitely agree that it is well worth it to pursue our passions, even if we seem to be in a long preparatory stage. My two passions (singing/speaking and professional organizing) fill me with joy. Whether I’m speaking to 50 women or 500! Whether I’m organizing a whole house or a closet! And I’ve seen the difference in my husband when he’s doing something he loves for a living or on the side.

    Fred Buechner wrote, “There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work . . . (and) the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

    What a joy to know that God loves to fill us with joy as he meets the world’s needs!

  41. 46

    I read this post before church this morning, and I keep going back to the things you wrote. At this point in my life, I am not able to make money doing the things I’m passionate about. It has been a little discouraging lately, but your sweet post has brought me hope. I will keep “doing what I love for free” and let God do His thing in His way. Thanks!

  42. 47

    i’m hoping that by working in my passion i can help supplement our income enough so that my husband can discover and pursue his passion. he has worked so long and hard to support us while not loving his job. i want him to be excited to go to work.

  43. 48
    Beth Williams says:

    My co-worker decided, later in life (50+) to become a Nurse Practitioner – grad school. She is divorced and now has an adult child living with her also in college 0 grad school. They have one income and hers is going down to part-time.

    My co-worker frets over the smallest details of her schooling – even stuff that hasn’t happened yet. I encourage her by reminding her of how far she has come within the program. I also tell her to take it one course at a time – don’t worry about stuff in the Spring, or next Summer – just take care of now and the Fall semester – God will help you work all the details out.

    I believe my encouragement helps in her discontent/worry about everyday life and how to handle it.

  44. 49
    Elizabeth says:

    This is fantastic, Nester! And very timely. My husband got his original degree in theology, then decided his passion was English and writing, so he went back and got a second bachelor’s in English. This fall he’s going to be starting his graduate degree in English at UNCC. I’m a stay-at-home mom to our two year old son, so with him going to grad school at night, after being at his job all day, it will definitely be challenging, but I know it will be worth it since it’s what he loves. Thank you for the encouragement and validation that he’s doing what he should be!

  45. 50

    Searching for this place…

  46. 51

    Thanks so much for this encouraging word today! My husband and I just got married and month ago and we are waiting for a church in NC to vote on him as their youth pastor. We met in college at Liberty University and I graduated with a degree in Women’s Ministry and he graduated with a Biblical Studies degree. As I think about moving and getting involved in ministry at the church along side him, sometimes its hard to think about not bringing in income from my own degree. It is a small town and we are not sure if I will even be able to find a part time job. However, I love ministry and I love women and teen girls, and I am passionate about it. Thanks for the encouragement that it is best to do what you are passionate sometimes, even if there is no pay involved. Maybe one day blogging and crafts and all the other things I love will be able to bring in some cash flow, but I’m grateful that my husband continues to encourage me in those things even now when it doesn’t.

  47. 52

    Such wisdom, so beautifully written, so inspiring. Thank you, Nester. God bless both of you!

  48. 53
    Lisa Massolio says:

    So exciting for you and your family! Just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the time and passion that you invest in your blog allowing the rest of us to share in your creativeness. Since finding your blog accidentally about 3 months ago, I have transformed my home in to a beautiful, warm place for my family and I. Through reading your posts, I have begun painting furniture, made a coffee filter wreath, many burlap projects, painted walls, and even found a pine armoire that I painted and made the centerpiece of my family room. Your blog lead me to other blogs which have improved my style, sense of fashion, makeup, relationship with God, and I even ended up sponsoring a child through Compassion International. My life has literally been enhanced, and it all started with your blog. You and the other women that open your hearts and lives through your blogging are a gift to those like me whom you inspire. Thank you!!!1
    Lisa

  49. 54

    Thanks for sharing and opening your life to readers who can learn and be inspired by your story. Personally, I believe we are to use our “saltiness” that God gave us, no matter the sacrifice. God created us with so many gifts and abilities… all different from each other so we could work together as a family. How neat to see you and your husband excited about your pursuits and still be able to provide for your family.

  50. 55
    DeAnn Miller says:

    I so agree about following your passion. I went to a retreat that the women’s group at our church sponsored and I haven’t been the same since. We started prayer journals on Saturday mornings, we just created the covers using blank journals. I haven’t stopped yet and if I miss too many days I get lost. I record prayers, daily struggles and triumphs, poems and bible verses, it has become my passion. It has opened so many doors in my heart I cannot wait to see where my passion for God leads me next. Thank-you for your post to encourage us all to believe that our passions can turn into good works and a better world. God bless and keep your nesting heart.

  51. 56

    How wonderful to be able to do what you love! What a blessing!

    When we were first dating my hubby told me he used to want to be a pastor, but he did not feel the Lord calling him to that at that time (which was great for me because I told him I never wanted to be a pastor’s wife, lol!).

    Many years later my hubby started saying he wanted to be in full-time ministry. I kept asking “What does that look like?” but he just didn’t know at that time, as doors weren’t opening directionally and he didn’t feel the Lord guiding him to anything in particular at that time. I didn’t know if he wanted to be a pastor, a missionary, or work for a Christian organization.

    A couple of years later he became a pastor, and he still is today. He loves it! When he started as a pastor he kept his day job and his pastoral duties came on top of that. He did both jobs for six months (and man, we hardly ever saw him, lol!) before moving into full-time ministry as senior pastor of our church.

    We see him lots more now that he only has one job, of course. Loving a job and having a passion for it AND getting paid for it is a blessing.

    I think it’s important to find something you enjoy doing and do it, whether or not you get paid for it, as you said, maybe someday someone WILL pay you for it. If not, at least you are doing something you love.

  52. 57

    What a great post. I love my little business, too, even though it’s not exactly the most profitable. And I have such hopes for Kevin having something of his own to love, too. He wants it and it’s in his blood. I guess it’s all a leap of faith.

  53. 58
    Melissa Edgington says:

    Nester, my husband is an attorney-turned-pastor. I’m sure a lot of people thought he was crazy for leaving behind that kind of earning power, but our quality of life has improved 1000% because he is happy and has pursued his passion/calling. Life is good!
    P.S I can’t wait to (hopefully) meet you at Becoming 2011!

  54. 59

    I love this post so much, Nester. I have been writing on my blog for the same amount of time as you and I don’t get paid to do it but I have not veered from my subject matter and love every minute of it. I’ve been published a few times and hope someday to have a book but in the mean time, I feel like I’m fulfilling one of my life’s purposes by writing on my blog about motherhood, family and my life. My husband encourages me all the time and he too is in a transition career-wise. I find you inspiring everyday, love your sites and this post just confirms all that.

  55. 60

    So excited for this new season of life for you all!

  56. 61

    Good life advice.
    I am glad to find your website as well as I am a little design challenged.

    Trying to find a good reupholstery shop. Any advice about finding one that does young/modern and affordable styles?

  57. 62

    Love your story! Love your husband’s story! Love that the Lord brought you into my life!

    After reading this, I know that my family is also on the right track. Thanks so much for sharing so openly.

    Pursing passions is sweaty business and not for the faint of heart, but it’s also rich and fun and you get to meet other cool people (you) who are doing the same!

  58. 63

    I love to follow my passion of encouraging women through teaching and writing. It has been a dream come true although i don’t get paid one dime. I figure I’ll follow God and if its His will for me to make an income I will one day- that’s what i hope for anyway. Until then I follow He leads and I love it!

  59. 64

    Yes! An author encouraged me while another well known author had almost taken my dream away from me with her harsh words. We need to make sure that we don’t destroy another’s dream especially as Christians. We are supposed to encourage each other and just because someone hasn’t perfected their gift, doesn’t mean they have no hope in it. You are always such an encouraging inspiration and I really appreciate that! Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  60. 65
    Stephanie Hamann says:

    I struggle with this concept so often. I know that God led me to the career I have, and there are aspects of it that I like, but what I love to do comes out in my few-hours-a-week volunteer position at my church. Those are the hours that I love, but there is very little money in it, and, as a single woman, I could not live on that alone. So I continue on in a very difficult and demanding job with a few joy-filled hours on Thursday morning. I have been praying for God to show me a glimpse of why He has things as He does in my life. I know that I could not understand the whole of the “why” because His eternal purposes are higher than my purposes. But a glimpse and a little understanding for me would be helpful….

  61. 66

    So..I think you are adorable and amazing and oh so talented. But I need to thank you for cracking my writers block with the opening line of your blog. Ya see…I have to write a 200 word little summary for my company as to why I think I should win this contest…Your Barbie line…DID IT! Whooot! I have ideas…lots of ideas! Wish me luck!

    Thanks again!

  62. 67
    MaryAnn says:

    Well said. I knew in the 4th grade that I was going to be a teacher; 32 years, 3 schools, 5 principals, 7 classrooms, and 350 students later, I am more excited to begin the school year than ever. I teach in a state that recently has created a punitive climate for teachers: my salary and benefits will be cut by about 10% this year, while much more will be expected of me than in years past. But you know what? Outside of staying at home with my daughter for her first 5 years, there is no other calling for me. I have spent several unpaid days this summer in my new classroom, unpacking, organizing, and decorating, and it has been a reminder that I am blessed to be able to spend my days doing what I love.

  63. 69

    Love this! Just sent my husband to the mountains to take pictures…it feeds his soul and I so want that for him.

  64. 70

    Fantastic post, thank you x

  65. 71

    Yes yes yes!!!!

  66. 72

    Oh ya … such timely words are these!

    I’m doing what I love to do … for free … AND I am watching God get all the glory!

    Life is good!!

  67. 73

    THIS is the good stuff. So happy for you guys.

  68. 74

    This post just makes me so happy. Happy to read about how you and your husband have encouraged each other throughout your marriage, happy to read about God’s faithfulness to you, and super happy to read that your husband will be in youth ministry. May God continue to bless you!!!!

  69. 75

    … I loved this because I know the part about when he wasn’t living his passion; and how much do I LOVE that you ARE in your element, being compensated for something that feeds your soul?

    The hard part for me is the search; much more so knowing my husband isn’t living his passion and neither of us being able to put our finger on it….

    I wonder how many people are like me/us and how many are in your position. Oh, how I hope they “know!” :)

    (loved this in case it sounds anything contrary to that!!!)

  70. 76

    Thank you so much. I really love how you pulled this together and connected the dots for us.

  71. 77

    Congratulations to you both! I couldn’t agree with you more. Praying for you both on this journey. ;)

  72. 78
    Toni Blackmore says:

    What a gift these words are! Thank you and every good wish from Oz.

  73. 79

    This is sooooo timely. Just this weekend I was hardcore set on getting rid of a ticket to a blogging conference that I’d been looking forward to all year long. The reason? I’m not getting paid to blog and thought it might be selfish because the conference isn’t free. Well guess what? I’m going. I don’t feel guilty, and just tonight I’m getting the beginnings worked out to start a blog for our church’s women’s ministry. I’m excited because the conference is going to train me on something I’m passionate about- ministry and blogging. Wow!! And to answer your question- YOU are encouraging me to pursue something I’m passionate about.

  74. 80

    Amazing. Thank you for this, it’s why we moved to Africa… but sometimes I forget when it gets hard to be here!!

  75. 81

    Love you, girl.

    You’re truly the real deal.

    xo.

  76. 82

    Thank you for sharing those fantastic pointers. I will now stop questioning the value of working for free and start doing things because I love it.

  77. 83
    Janie Pollard says:

    I love this post and I love your blog.I just recently found my passion a couple years ago,it’s photography and I was just wandering should I do it for free? I would like to be a professional one day,so maybe to get practice I could do it for free for awhile? Lol You just got me thinking. :)

  78. 84

    This is such a great story. It’s exciting seeing how God works things out in our lives. He gives us our passions after all.

  79. 85

    I remember sitting across the table from a dear inspiring friend drinking coffee and eating cupcakes. She is one of those people that you can be real with and share your dreams. I told her what I wanted to do and what I was passionate about. She said, “So do it.” It was like everything kinda fell in place after that conversation. I am forever grateful to this dear, amazing angel friend.

  80. 86

    I don’t even have the words for what I feel about this…
    so, THANKS for writing about this..
    :)

  81. 87

    Thank you for this post! It was encouraging to me as I sometimes think that further study and training in what I am passionate about is a waste of time. But I love it! I love to see and learn something new and I love to share that information with others.
    I too, love decorating even though I do not have a degree or certification in design. I think the idea of coordinating furniture, fabric and color comes from my years in fashion and retail. I love to see something come together beautifully.
    I am really encouraged by your words to keep doing what you are passionate about even if it is for free. I have a feeling these words will stay with me throughout the day!

    Be blessed,
    Monica

  82. 88

    I read your blog entry with so much happiness and encouragement in my heart. Thank you.

    I am seeking my own passion. I have had an amazing year, one that most would consider to be defeating, and at many times I thought for sure I was being defeated. In reality, the year and all of the experiences, both heart-wrenching and beautiful, have lead me to begin building the foundation I need to follow my passion. My eyes have been opened to the gifts that I have and the time I have spent in the past three or four years trying to fit my square peg into a round hole. May God bless you and keep you and your family, as you continue your pursuit of passion–and may all who read your message in this blog feel the ability to answer their own Call.

  83. 89

    I love the idea that you must be willing to do what you are passionate about for free. It’s just a lucky few of us who are able to step into our passion right out of school and stay there forever, getting paid the perfect amount to support ourselves and/or our families.

    It’s also wonderful, I think, how God can take us into a job that is not our “passion” or our “calling” or whatever it is we like to call those things we enjoy, and in that job, he can grow us, mold us, shape us into the person he needs us to be in order to better accomplish His calling on our lives, whatever or wherever that may be.

  84. 90

    Wow, I appreciate that so much. I was just telling somebody that I’ve been doing this since the days of the Barbie Dream House & trading furniture, having yard sales, & rearranging the furniture! I continue to do that in my own home & can’t believe all the changes that have come as I’ve honed in on my true style. I now do my restyling & decorating business for $ (yea!) and started my FB business page (like a blog) to get myself out there and offer decorating advice & makeovers. I’ve barely scraped the surface but it’s my passion. I love your work & your honesty is refreshing. Thanks much & best wishes for a lovely, authentic life with your family!

  85. 91

    Thank you for this post. I agree with everything you said. I am so blessed that I get to follow my passion. I wish my husband had the same luxury. I always tell him that he will support us the first 25 years of our marriage and I will do the next 25. We’re celebrating 20 in September so I better keep working! So happy for your hubby!

  86. 92

    What a great post! I’m new to your blog but this post on passion really speaks to me. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on what I am passionate about. I’m discovering that some of it is in my current field and some of it is related to completely different things like sewing and baking. I’ve been spending time on my blog lately reflecting on serving my passion and making the best of use of my self and my skills. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas!
    sustainingmama.blogspot.com

  87. 93

    I’m inspired. That’s worth about 20,000 more words like that.

  88. 94
    For The Name says:

    Please send LOTS of encouragement & LOTS of Prayers to Sister Debbie Newby debrah_Newby@yahoo.com

  89. 95

    It always amazes me that God will bring me encouragement from strangers (although I feel I know you!) on the days that I am at my lowest. My husband has been miserable for years in his job and we have prayed earnestly for the past 9 months that the Lord would show us what direction he wants us to take. My husband believes he has found his passion and we believe that God is directing us to except a job offer from my husbands brother that would involve a cross country move. The only thing is we don’t know when this will happen….next month or 9 months from now. It is a scary, life changing leap into the unkown but we feel lead and my job as a wife is to provide support to my husbands dreams. Some days are easier than others to be patient and wait on God’s perfect timing in all of this. Your post today was just the encouragement that I needed. Thank you for you honesty. Your love for the Lord and your family is a beautiful thing!

  90. 96
    Stefanie Montijo says:

    Wow that really spoke to me thanks nester!!! It was beautiful….

  91. 97

    It’s so neat when God allows us to follow our passion(s) and then eventually they provide a living for us. God is good, all the time.

  92. 98

    Today was the perfect day for me to stumble upon your blog. I gave my two week notice at my well paid, salaried job I have had for the past four years. (with the support of m

  93. 99

    Today was the perfect day for me to stumble upon your blog. I gave my two week notice at my well paid job I have had for the past four years. (with the support of my husband) I plan on finding my niche for creativity and a career that I can be passionate about. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  94. 100

    Wonderful, wonderful post!

    My husband works in the elements, with trees, it is very physical and I worry about him as we get..ahem, older. But he says he loves it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He REALLY genuinely loves what he does. He says (and I believe) he would be miserable in an office. He loves being outside, he loves plants. He would love to start his own business, but this economy makes us nervous… but this post really hit the nail on the head!

  95. 101
    jessica kiehn says:

    My husband and I firmly believe this. Your Vision (really, God’s vision for you. He’s the one that gave you your drive towards a certain thing) will be you Provision. Absolute freedom!

  96. 102

    Love this post, Nester!
    This is so much like my family. My husband is a banker by day because it is a steady income for our family, but he is a DIYer by night because it is his passion.
    He does so much work on other people’s homes because he loves blessing them with the gifts God has given him. He is passionate about it.
    I pray that someday he might be able to make money doing what he is passionate about. But if not, that’s okay. (Maybe my blog will. I can dream, right?) :)
    God bless your sweet family!
    Traci

  97. 103

    My hubby has not only encouraged me to follow my passions, but he didn’t want me to go out and get a part time job recently because he felt it would take away from the direction I’m feeling pulled into. What a gift he has given me, such amazing support. He’s my hero.

  98. 104

    Thank you for this post. It is just what I needed this morning.

    xoxo

  99. 105

    I needed this post today, right now. We argued this morning as my husband went off to work. I know WHY we argued. He is a paramedic, has been for 18 years but he’s tired of the sickness/death/abusiveness he sees on a daily basis. For the past 15 years he has encouraged me daily to pursue my dream of writing. I do it nearly everyday in the form of a blog that has yet to generate a dime of income for this household. For several years I wrote for small obscure magazines and ezines, now defunct.

    His passion is praise and worship music. He’s worship leader (strictly volunteer) at our Messianic synagogue, we were both dedicated worship team members at our last church, he writes his own music, dreams of recording. He’ll put in a 15 hour shift, then come home and practice for 2 hours most evenings. I’ve encouraged him and encouraged him. We pray nightly for one another in our passions and we pray nightly for the opportunity to see financial fruit in our lives as we continue to be passionate about what we do.

    I know my husband needs stronger encouragement than I can give and because he is the sole support of this household (blissfully debt free but electricity and gasoline and groceries kinda cost a bit, lol) he feels he cannot run after what he is most passionate about. We do doubt at times, but we pursue our dreams, our heart’s fire, every day, ANYWAY.

    God bless you both in your work/ministries. Thank you for encouraging me to continue encouraging him.

  100. 106
    Virginia Mom says:

    I’m a bit late to the discussion, but wanted to tell you how happy it makes me to read such wise words in this age of consumerism and competitiveness. So glad that you are following your hearts.

    Today, I turn (turned? –can’t remember what time I was born — lol!) Fiftysmerummphin Years Old. I have traveled the world, waited tables in South Africa, cleaned hotel rooms in Switzerland, been a short-order cook in Scotland and clerked for famous lawyers in Washington, D.C., founded and chaired a dozen charity events, taught Sunday school, devoted 20 years to parenting… Now, I’m back in school, studying Microbiology and Biochemistry and things I NEVER thought I could master. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I just enjoy the challenge.

    Keep looking for that thing that awakens passion in you. It’s okay if you haven’t found it yet. The journey is the best part. And it’s all ahead of you.

  101. 107

    My friend sent me this link saying this is so “YOU” I LOL after I read the very 1st sentence. My husband is in his 18th yr as a police office (9 of them as a violent crimes/homicide detective) I at the ripe ole (notice I didnt say OLD LOL) age of 48, am realizing and pursuing my passion as an event designer/blogger and him in acting. Long, TOTAL God, story how this all started about 1 1/2 yrs ago when our only son started college. It has been and is an amazing journey!! Yes, some VERY long days but as you said… but when you love what you do…
    We are scared sometimes what our future looks like in 2 more yrs when he is hoping to retire. What will he do besides acting??? not the most dependable work??? I have chronic health stuff… health ins??? We are learning to take one day at a time & God continues to amaze and surprise us with the doors He has opened, people He has connected us with… What a journey life on planet earth is!!!
    So glad my friend lead me to you <3

  102. 108

    great post.. we have been following our passion for quite some time, serving overseas in mission…being part of a team reaching those tucked back in remote places that few ever travel to. we bought a one way tickets knowing the adventure of it would wear off and hard times would drain us. we are 65 now and after living overseas for almost 30 some years we are heading back to stateside living…sometimes very excited over what God has ahead of us even though we don’t have a clue yet…sometimes very anxious about this next step in our journey…….but one thing remains the same, our passion to reach people with the sweet gospel and disciple them….great post

  103. 109
    Kristine says:

    This is one of my favorite posts that you have written, sweet Nester! :-) My hubby went to senimary 9 years ago when we were first married, which at the time was such a huge sacrifice (lots of time, debt, and trusting God!)…at the time, I could not see what God was doing. But all I knew was that he glowed when he would talk about his Old Testament class or his preaching class, and that was enough for me. He has followed his passion, and I would not take back a single minute of that sacrifice in order to be where we are today. Our lives are SO different than what we thought they would be 10 years ago when we were first married- but God has shaped us and refined us and it is so much better than what it would have been had we just set out to do it our way!
    Thank you for sharing your story! Isn’t it so amazing how God can use people from hundreds of miles away (we live in Ohio) to encourage each other through the internet- crazy!

  104. 110

    This is wonderful! And YES! I agree 100%. I have been writing for many years and got the courage to finally share it with people. I recently started writing on a sports (hockey) blog. Every time I try to share an achievement with my parents about this (a boost in readership etc) they ask about me getting paid. It is totally discouraging and upsetting! But I am trying to overlook it because I have realized how much I LOVE writing. I had been struggling to find a job that nourished me. A friend suggested to find a way to channel my passions outside of my job instead. Sure I would love to get paid but this is the way to start sharing my writing with the world and maybe lead to other things. If not, that may be just fine too. I am enjoying myself.

  105. 111

    Thank you! A brilliant, and inspirational post. It gives me hope that the small steps I am taking now are at least taking me in the right direction, even though I’m frazzled at the end of every day! I hope life continues to treat you well.

  106. 112

    I am so thankful for this post. My husband is a youth pastor in a struggling church but God is doing some amazing things. We have recently decided that I will resign my full time job that has our benefits so I can pursue my love of full time photography and be a stay at home mom. I am so scared. It doesn’t make any financial sense but I feel God’s conviction about it heavily and I am trusting in His providence. Thank you for your encouragement so so much. I believe God might have been talking to me through your post today:) Saying itll be okay.

  107. 113
    Harpy C. says:

    I just wanted to thank you for a post that touches and inspires even us non-religious folks. Without a regular Sunday service, or belief in a higher power, I get little in the way of encouraging reminders that my very own happiness (and that of my family) largely depends on little ol’ me. Life really is what we make of it. Gotta focus on the good and find something we love.
    Here’s to finding fulfillment and leaving the world a better place for it.
    Good wishes to you and yours. You have a beautiful family, inside and out.

  108. 114

    beautiful words. thanks

  109. 115

    You are amazing and inspiring. Thank you for all of your hard work and passion.

  110. 116
    Angela says:

    Thank you for this…I needed it!!!
    Angela :)

  111. 117

    Excellent advice! I’m working at hard (and having a blast!) on my 1.5 year-old blog, but I haven’t yet gotten paid. LOL Still thinking about monetizing, but I just hate those pop-up ads… Mostly, at least for now, I’m in it for the passion and ministry opportunities that have come my way so unexpectedly. We’ll see where He leads… :-)

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