Nester wrote this post originally in 2011, but the encouragement to follow your passion continues to resonate!



I’ve been a blogger for five 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 more than 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 (at the time this was originally posted) 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?

  • Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    My wonderful husband has encouraged me to follow my dreams and my passion for writing. He knows that is what really gets my juices flowing…even if right now I’m not getting paid for it. He sees it like I do – as a ministry. Even if just one person is touched then it is all worth it. I do remind myself that I am ultimately writing for an audience of One! In turn, I try to encourage him and be supportive in his passions. When we attempt to out love one another in our encouragement, it is a win-win situation. Thanks for the encouragement that I needed today!

    • Maxine Gonzalez


      I can relate with all my being to what you just said here….I also write for ONE, not being paid for it, but knowing that HIS WORD never comes back void! So I encourage you to keep writing!

      • Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

        Thanks Maxine! We will keep on together :)

        • The Nester

          what a sweet conversation this was to read!

  • Jenny Barker

    For reasons I can’t quite put my finger on yet, I needed these words this morning. They stirred something in me… to keep pushing towards and pursuing my passions, not looking to the outcome or the results of that effort, but rather just the continual, forward motion of leaning into them and into Jesus as he draws me more deeply to the things he created me for. Thank you…

    • The Nester

      actually, Jenny your words
      “keep pushing towards and pursuing my passions, not looking to the outcome or the results of that effort, but rather just the continual, forward motion of leaning into them and into Jesus as he draws me more deeply to the things he created me for.”

      are doing that for me right now, so well said.

  • Jackie van Overdijk

    ooh my word, this cannot have any more truth to it! I have a passion for event planning, from the execution stage to seeing the vision in head become a reality right before my eyes. I have been helping people plan events and weddings free for years. It was approximately four years ago I volunteered to put together a grade 8 grad for 120 people on a $3,500 budget. Thank God for my contacts in the industry and getting all of my supplies and materials at cost. I pulled it off.
    The reward and my wake up call was one of the teachers at the school asked me if I knew who had done the decor, as it was the best he had ever seen in all the 20 plus years he had been teaching at that school. I responded that it was me. His response was, “Girl you have missed your calling in life” I know see doors opening and preparing a way for thus to generate income.

    • The Nester

      I always love it when someone has a really specific passion like that. Excited for you!

  • Jennifer B.

    This post is so on time for me and a huge encouragement! Love it thanks

  • karyn

    O I’m so glad you wrote about this very subject. I’ve not really worked in an office all my life and would find it so difficult to do so. I love to volunteer my time and help out at church and stuff. But my passion is being at home and listening to JESUS speak to me and at night I love to study the bible. I love to read commentaries. I used to read books and would go through a book daily. But now, it’s all commentaries and word for word translation into Hebrew or Greek and everything that pertains to the word.
    I just would love to teach other ladies to have such a passion for God’s WORD and will most probably start some home study that is light. But we will see how it goes.
    I love working with kids and have so connected with those I’ve seen to for two years now. I’m more like a long term person rather than a short term one and well, I’m just happy about what I’m doing. As little as it may seem. It’s still God’s work.
    I know others who are able to do so much but I love to write about JESUS and well ….. it’s my passion.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Lisa Spina

    A very timely piece of encouragement for me. I am in the midst of life-turmoil and am choosing to use my written poetry pieces as art forms. I am collaging them, teaching myself to paint, and whatever I create, I am writing the words in calligraphy over the project. This has been a slow process the last 4 years, interrupted by great joy and sorrow. My writings began after a prayer asking God to use me as an encourager. He gifted me with pieces I wrote down verbatim, and then cried afterward. God is so faithful and gives us more than we ask for. My struggle has been how to use this gift. I spoke a few of the pieces during worship times at my former church. People were touched and encouraged and inspired. I am in a great season of challenges yet again, but am believing and seeing God giving me a clearer focus of how to use my talents to truly encourage. I believe He gives us each wonderful abilities to touch others, and not just in eye-popping magnificence. I wrote a piece called “Greatness” and it starts like this…”The spark you were born with. The thrill of what you will become. The purposes placed within you…” Even in midlife, I am believing that I am finally moving into my God-gifted greatness. We should never give up…

    • The Nester

      ” I am finally moving into my God-gifted greatness”

      I love those words so much Lisa

  • Maxine Gonzalez

    First, your office looks so cozy and inviting and I love your pup who looks like my recent rescue Molly. Anyway, thanks for this encouragement to us all…..a couple of years ago my husband encouraged me to quit a job that was robbing me of my soul. Today I am happy with a dog/house sitting small business that has happened through GOD’S grace for me and by word of mouth. HE truly gives you the desires of your heart so you can live life with passion in whatever you decide to do.

    Loved reading here all the comments and passion for HIS WORD. Let that always be our first priority! And yes, let us never give up the good fight….

  • Traci

    This hit home in such a heart-warming, humbling way ♥

    Through leaving a job (that I thought was a career), selling our 1st home, living too long in an apartment in between, thinking we were set to move closer to family (2 hrs away), only to move 1.5 miles ‘as the crow flies’ to the next house, losing our beloved family pet to cancer months after losing a cornerstone of my childhood, knocking on so many ‘doors’ to dreams that weren’t meant to be ours…we have had our world set on it’s ears in ways we never imagined in the last 2 years.

    Now my family is settled in our new home, and I can proudly say I have a husband who’s faith has NEVER waivered in me, even as the world and circumstances continued to disappoint. His unfailing love, uncompromising faith and encouragement has allowed me to pursue my dreams – to be a wife, mother, friend and daughter that I otherwise may not have had the courage or faith to become.

    In the in between, I get to pursue my passions and make a little income along the way – same husband is proud to say, ‘You’re profittable’ – sounds accomplished considering I spend my creative time/talents making pretty pictures and being crafty :) I’ve never been happier and more fulfilled. My head hits the pillow at night, my heart knowing that I’m living my passion. God is surely steering the ship but thankfully he gave me a great partner and friend in my ‘1st mate’ ♥

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

  • Shelley in Cali

    Yikes. Be careful what you pray for!!! One minute before I clicked on your article I was talking with my Mr about an inquiry I had made to a local place of ministry about volunteering. I told him I was torn between starting up a required training process with them and looking for a part time job. I spent 20 years homeschooling our kids (such a great JOY of my life) and they are now in college. His words were so encouraging. “Do what you love!, God will provide for that tuition.” I had yet to respond to the email they sent, but I think the direction Ive been praying for has been affirmed…by your insightful words and that of my Mr. Thanks for your transparency.

    • The Nester

      How exciting!

  • Kathy

    I have been retired for six years and enjoying the freedom and yet the desire to be “more” by tapping into what God has planned for me. Words and writing have always intrigued me and two years ago I started a novel. It is still in progress and the Lord directed me to a critique group that helps me edit and redo much of what I write. I keep plugging along knowing that this is my passion and I can write to my audience which is God who is director in this process. Thanks for affirming to me that following my passion can lead to doing God’s will.

  • Beth

    This was so timely for me. I make zero dollars from following my passions, and I constantly remind myself that riches aren’t the goal, but following Christ is. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jamie

    Oh my! I so needed to read this. My husband and I were having this very conversation just today. He’s encouraging me to pursue what I’m passionate about but my heart gets all muddied up when I throw money into the equation.

  • betsydecruz

    What an encouraging story! I especially like the spin you put on it when you write about encouraging each other as husband and wife. My husband encourages my writing hobby and my passion for giving parties and planning events. And I’ve encouraged him to work full-time in ministry even though that means a lower income!

    What a great ending that your husband is now again doing something he loves.

  • Kimm at REINVENTED

    Wow. It looks like this post was quite timely for many, and definitely a “God thing” for me. I’m sure you haven’t yet had a chance to read my e-mail, sweet Myquillyn, but when you do you’ll see that this post met me right where I am. I am continually amazed by the ways God uses friends and timely words to speak to us. His timing is always perfect and His message always what we need to hear. Muah!

  • Ali

    Thank you for sharing about your journey. A lot of times when we are stuck in jobs we don’t like or we aren’t passionate about we start to sink into misery. I love hearing stories of others that show that God has a plan and a purpose. We have no idea what skills he may be sharpening or what he may be doing in our heart with where we are right now.

  • Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista

    In agreement with so many commenters…very timely! I have an opportunity to do some freelance writing. It would be easy work but I am feeling conflicted because it is not in align with my passion. I don’t need the money but it sure is tempting. I have been praying about it and was about to say yes but then I read this…and I sway again. I have had jobs that I did not like in the past. Staying there too long was a mistake I need to honor my passion as well as God’s calling on my life and trust that He will provide the right opportunities. You are a reminder that I can only be me…the only wife to my husband, the only writer to my blog, the aunt to my sweet nephew I take care of. I need to say no to something that someone else can do and is not a priority. Thank you for your words. xo

  • Beth WIlliams

    My husband has always encouraged me. If I say that I “hate” my job–he says go ahead and quit. He’s always been there for me.

    I’m praying that in 7 or so years from now I will be able to quit working full-time and just work part-time to pursue my passion of cooking. I love to cook, but don’t have enough time to do it right now. Perhaps some day I will be able to enjoy cooking delicious meals and maybe just maybe make a profit from it.

    Blessings :)