Do You Know Your Life Purpose? with Teena Stewart
Posted by Lisa Lickel on July 18, 2012
By Teena Stewart
This past year has been a year of discovery and assessment. I stepped out of a highly stressful job at a non-profit the end of June in 2011 and have been figuring myself out since. Being married to a pastor who currently isn’t being paid a salary from our start up coffee shop ministry, means I need to help bring in income as he works sports officiating jobs for pay. I’ve been collecting unemployment and piecing together freelance jobs including writing, art, and managing a pet silhouette business for a friend. It’s been a rocky ride.
I’ve spend lots of time figuring myself out. Who am I really? Where should I be working? What’s my heartbeat? What I have discovered is that God has made me a creative individual who thrives on variety and innovation–not status quo. I usually become miserable in jobs that become routine. More than anything, (and this has been going on for years) I love of turning trash into treasure.
How do these all connect? This theme of broken but beautiful comes through in my art (you can see on my Serendipitini art website and Serendipitini blog and is present in my most recent book, The Treasure Seeker, though I wasn’t fully aware it was in the book at the time. The theme of the Treasure Seeker is of being lost and found and being refined into something valuable. Sound familiar?
This same life theme has been slowly forming over the past several years. It even manifested itself through Java Journey, our Christian coffee shop ministry. First, through the physical look of the place with its golden hues and funky decor. I had no choice, because of our limited budget, but to implement creative reuse. And that has really connected with people’s hearts. Something about it draws them in and second with our ministry purpose itself.
Java Journey, a non-profit coffee shop community in Hickory, North Carolina, provides hope and restoration to the hurting and broken by sharing Christ’s story, showing His love and by empowering the restored to serve others. We also serve up a great cup of coffee and other palate delights.
Interesting. Trash to Treasure again. This period of reassessment has made me realize that every individual has certain values and passions and over time they can become our life theme. They are something we cannot turn off. Mine continually rises to the surface. If I try to ignore or squelch it by focusing in the wrong area, writing on the wrong topic, or applying for the wrong job position, it’s a recipe for misery and disaster.
So here’s a suggestion for my readers. Take a good look at what makes you tick. What you are passionate about? Does this theme keep replaying? Is it your heartbeat? You may have discovered your life theme and mission statement. Embrace it and then hone it and try to make it more of your focus. Use it for your benefit and the benefit of others. You will waste less time, be more fulfilled, and will impact more lives in a positive way.
Teena Stewart is an author/artist/ministry leader. Her most recent book is The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father. For more info on her books and writing visit www.teenastewart.com or http://nearly-brilliant.blogspot.com
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