Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An important question

"What can I do? What can I do?"  That phrase ran 'round and 'round in my head as I pondered what I should be writing about.  Other phrases followed soon after:  "What gets tweeted?  What gets shared on Facebook?  What gets pinned?  What sells??"

Because, after all, that's what this is all about, isn't it?  We all want to be affirmed for our efforts.  We want to be appreciated for our contributions.  We want to be paid for our  work.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

But if the filter I'm applying to everything I'm doing here is whether it will sell, it may be time to change filters.

Honestly, I want to do work that will be valued.  In the world of buying and selling, it's easy to focus only on the market value of things.  In general, market value is based on the law of supply and demand.  The greater the demand for a product or service, the more resources people will trade to obtain that product or service.  It's a simple concept, really;  an item is valuable not because of its existence, but because people are willing to pay to obtain it.

But market value isn't the only kind of value.  Some things are valuable in and of themselves.  That's called intrinsic value.  Those things might not be marketable, but they're very valuable.  Many of the most important qualities of our lives really can't be measured in market value.  Thanks to the Beatles, we all know that money "can't buy me love."  But love is not the only thing money can't buy.  It can't buy peace.  Or joy.  Or goodness.  Or faithfulness.  If we have to sacrifice things of intrinsic value in order to obtain things of market value, we're making a bad trade.

To tell the truth, I'd be delighted to have commercial success.  I'd love for one of my posts to be shared thousands of times.  I'd love for one of my pins to go viral.  Who wouldn't?  There's certainly nothing wrong with that.  It's great to have that as a goal.  But there's something else to which I need to be more dedicated than to reaching my goals.   I need to fulfill my calling.  A calling comes from God: it's that work that God has in mind for us to do, that particular way we are called to serve, that special work in which we can both glorify God and serve people.

Now, some people are called to work that provides financial reward, and then they are called to glorify God with those resources.  I know a number of people like this, and they are such a wonderful example to me.  I praise God for their faithfulness.  But if I'm completely honest, I'll admit that it's easy for me to become a little jealous of their success--and that's not good.  I need to steer clear of that territory.

The bottom line for me is this:  If I can reach my goals within the context of fulfilling my calling, that'll be great.  If I have to sacrifice my calling in order to reach my goals, then my goals need to change.  I'm the kind of person who needs to stop periodically and assess how I'm doing with this.

Having a blog is part of my calling, I believe.  And within the context of blogging, my calling here is to impart grace--to reflect the love and goodness and generosity of God in everything I do.  That might not sell very well, but it's still my calling.

Is this something you think about?  What's your calling?

**I'm joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading.**


happycanadianhome.com said...

That's such a good question! My calling is certainly to nurture my family ... and thankfully I get to do that as my full-time job. It's thrilling to have a blog post do well, but I believe that is most likely to happen by being true to yourself and your beliefs anyway. Just keep following your heart!

Heather said...

This is such a good question and I think you are doing a fantastic job following your calling.

Lisa said...

Yes, yes, YES! I think about this so often. I will feel myself pulled into being numbers driven and have to pull myself back again. It's a fine balance.

This was so beautiful Richella and I'm grateful to know I'm not alone in this. Pinning (wouldn't it be funny if this was your post that went viral?). Love ya! Lisa~

Elizabeth Day said...

I have just today found (been led to) your blog. I was looking for something more than how to decorate a table or proper clothing. I look forward to being part of your blog.

I feel my calling is to help women love the lady God created them to be by enhancing those qualities with which they have been blessed. Thank you for being faithful to your calling.

Kari at A Grace Full Life said...

I love this and I am pinning that quote.

craftythriftydecoratingwifemom said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. It's not the only blog I get that's God-driven, but other than devotionals, it's up there. My calling now appears to be helping my adult son with autism and helping his dad cope with all that brings. Never expected at 63 he'd still have a child at home with such needs. I'm definitely the caretaker here, trying hard not to step on the toes on the head of the house according to the Word. Thanks for sharing who you are.

Cynthia said...

Very enjoyable post and a great question. Love the quote too.


Olive said...

Yes, it would be lovely to be a mega blog star but the joy of blogging, for me, comes in the friends and kindred spirits I have found here. I think your analysis was brilliant.

Jo May said...

AMEN!...some bloggers just blog for the $$$ for sure,I agree this is fun to me and will never come before my Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

It is so hard not to get caught up in all this, isn't it? I listened to a podcast the other day from two bloggers who shared that they have assistants to help them with all they do. One of them even had two assistants. Wow! I didn't realize what was involved in being a big-time blogger. I love that you are keeping it all in perspective and helping the rest of us to do the same! Thanks

Karmen said...

Thank you for being true to what you believe God is calling you to be! It is an inspiration as I try to realize my own. Right now, I feel my calling is seeking Him and sharing it--and if sometimes that ends up being funny, so be it! :)

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I want to thank you so much for this great quote. I like to keep my blog as personal as it can be...a reflection of me so to me ,and I do not wish to offend anyone, to have all these ads that I see on blogs, would be selling my soul. Again, not to offend anyone but for me personally, my blog is not a business or a way to make money. I have a job and am very nicely paid for the work I do...I am a nurse. That is my calling but being true to me and who I am is also my calling. I don't do twitter or post on facebook even though I do have an account. I only post my own pictures on Pinterest because my son, who is an IT specialist , has warned me about the liabilities of posting pictures other than your own on any site including Pinterest.
And truly, I do not have the time to worry about doing all of this.
My Blog is about me, my home and my little family and that is what is good for my soul!!
I don't want or need to "go viral" or be published...I like how I decorate my own little home and that is what makes me happy and that is all that is important to me...

Thanks so much for this great post!!


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living from glory to glory said...

Hello, Well according to the amount of comments I believe we have a winner! What is our calling? This is what we must consider and be faithful to daily. Hey, I cry sometimed when I read the words from these amazing bloggers, yours included. We do have a calling and no fame or anything will really satisfy our longing for His presence and peace. But I must ask what is He asking me to do, or give or to write about?
Life is way to precious to be famous and not close to others. Bloggers can be so worried about their post that they forget to comment and encourage others. I try to take a day at least once a week on just commenting. Why because were all saying does anybody hear me?
I hear your heart and you do impart grace!
Blessings, Roxy

Patti@OldThingsNew said...

I have thought about this a lot. My blog is fairly new and growing. I never realized how much time it would take to keep it up and make it grow. I do have to keep on asking God if this is what I'm supposed to do, in addition to the ministry we are involved in. So far, I've had affirmations that this too is good. I love doing my blog and my hope is that I would drop it in a minute if God said it was time for something else, but I'll admit it would be hard.

As far as your calling, you most definitely impart grace in all that you do and say. I know that God is glorified by your example to us all.

Showers of blessings on you dear Richella,

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Lovely post Richella, I'm sure we can all relate in so many ways. As a blogger who has been at this since 2007, it is so awesome to see how God works.

I started my blog with no intention of earning money from it. That was quite frowned upon back then and not all that common :-). But God is so good at fulfilling his purposes through us, even when it seems unlikely or impossible! God knew that in order for us to start a church one year after I started the blog, we'd need an outside income that was flexible, something I could do from home and within my limited ability! That was a tough assignment :-).

And today several years later through the grace of God we are able to support ourselves from the blog and in turn fulfill HIS purposes to nurture a small start up church.

I think as we cooperate with Him and are faithful to what He asks of us (our calling) even without expectation of reward or repins :-), he meets our needs so that we are able to continue to faithfully serve. You are so right, we need to keep our focus on aligning our own goals with God's purposes! When those two collide it is an amazing thing! :-)

Love you! xoxo

Calista said...

Oh my goodness, yes, I have been thinking about this alot lately after taking an unplanned, but necessary break from my blog. I've had a hard time coming back, not quite knowing what to say. Did anyone even miss me?

However, I have come to much the same conclusion as you have here. I'm just supposed to write what I'm supposed to write and not worry so much about the result. That is God's job.

My call is encouraging others to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God's love for them. My blog is part of that call.

Thanks for helping me see more clearly.

momstheword said...

I love what you said here: "If I can reach my goals within the context of fulfilling my calling, that'll be great. If I have to sacrifice my calling in order to reach my goals, then my goals need to change."

We do need to stop and assess how we're doing, just as you said. To make sure that our goals are His goals for us.

As women we will have many different responsibilities, ministries and duties in our lives, but we must always first remember who we are and Whose we are, and keep trusting Him to help us keep a balance.

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Julie Fagundes said...

YES! I have been thinking this for sometime...you said it very well.

Have a beautiful day!

melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle said...

Yes! This is something that I think about. I believe that everything we do is to be done to the glory of God. I also believe that as a Christian, it should be done with excellence. I do think that God intends us to lead "life to the full." Yet, I teeter on a fine line of what is self-serving and what is God-serving. I have to be in prayer daily for the Holy Spirit to guide and convict my heart. I love what you had to say! Life to the full, Melissa

Amanda Padgett said...

Oh, I have been struggling with this so much!! I constantly think of that song "Lose My Soul" which has lyrics that say "I don't want to gain the world but lose my soul." I am financially successful but it's at the cost of my family and homeschooling. I'm unhappy and don't really know how to get out of it. Our family needs me to work to help pay bills but I'm miserable.

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