What am I passionate about?

It’s a question I ask myself (and my hubby) pretty frequently.  The specifics sometimes change, but there are some themes that I’m starting to see more clearly.  So, in no particular order:

1.  Integrity.  Be the person you say you are.  I care deeply about consistency and am frequently disappointed by others who are inconsistent.  I’m also frequently disappointed when I, myself, am inconsistent.  It’s important to me, though, which is why sometimes people upset me when they claim to be something, but act differently.  No matter what you say you are, your actions tell the real story.

2.  Marriage.  I love my husband.  I love us as a couple.  Our marriage has gone through a lot of changes (because we have both changed a lot in nine years) and it is better now than it has ever been.  However, I have seen marriages destroyed by selfishness and pride, by infidelity, by poor money management, by disrespect and a lack of love, and by reasons that I have yet to figure out (it’s not my business if people don’t want to tell me what happened).  I have also seen couples fight for their marriages through all of those same situations and come out stronger on the other side.  My marriage is important to me and I make working on it a priority.

3.  Money management.  My husband and I have been debt-free (except for our mortgage) for about four years now.  I cannot tell you how much getting out of debt improved, not just our quality of life, but our outlook on life.  The recent recession didn’t cause us to panic because we knew we would come out okay.  We have everything we need and are able to give freely.  I’m not boasting.  I wish that everybody had the tools that we have to be in the same financial situation.  (Incidentally, if you don’t have Financial Peace, check out this website and take the class.  It will change your life.)  I also love getting good deals, which is somewhat related to managing money.  I hope to someday pay off our mortgage.

4.  Giving and serving.  I think I’ve mentioned before how I want to give out of the overflow of my heart.  I grew up giving back to my community (city clean-up day, volunteering at the library, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network or Jerry’s Kids, the list could go on) and it just seems natural to me.  Since I became a Christian I have wanted to give to the community and the Body of Christ.  I am not able to serve in every area that I desire to (because as a mom of two young kids my hands are busy a lot of the time), but I am always finding new ways to serve.  Others might never know what I do, because I tend to stay behind the scenes whenever I can, but that isn’t why I do it.  I give because I can, and I love because He first loved me.

5.  Learning.  I love learning.  I didn’t love school growing up, but that was because I felt like I was being held back (I wasn’t being challenged and eventually got to be a lazy student because of it).  I pick up new hobbies a lot (things I have done for six months and then dropped: snowboarding, running, knitting, piano, guitar, blogging…oops, luckily that one came back) because I like learning new things.  I have tried different diets because learning how to eat in a new way is a challenge (I’ve gone from vegetarian to no-starch and back again).  I am currently learning how to get better at home management (check out this blog for tips, or read Proverbs 31).  Anybody who knows me personally knows that I am not the best housekeeper, so it’s a good area for me to work on.

6.  The Truth.  Living in Utah, I have had to really know my stuff when it comes to the Bible.  I have to know how it is different from what my LDS neighbors believe.  I have a strong desire to make sure that people know the Truth and that it doesn’t come from the LDS Church.  I also get offended when Christian Churches water down the gospel because that means they aren’t preaching the Truth, either.  I wish that everybody could have the same relationship with God that I have and know that the only way to do that is to come to grips with the fact that we are all sinners and deserve Hell; but, thanks to God and the work that Jesus did on the Cross for me, I don’t have to go to Hell, but can be with Him in Heaven.  Nothing I (or you) do could ever get me to Heaven, only what Jesus already did for me could get me there.  And that is the Truth (in a nutshell, but check this out for a better overview of the gospel).

Okay, I know that there are probably more things to add to this list, but I am going to leave it at that for now.  I wanted to make this list for myself, because I think it is a good exercise to think through the things that really get you excited every once in a while so that you can make sure you are being true to yourself (#1).  I also wanted to do this for accountability.  I want to make sure that I touch on all of the things that are important to me here.  I spend a lot of time on #1, #6, and possibly #4, but I want to make sure that all of me is represented here.  I think that part of the purpose for this blog is to be as transparent as possible, but I can’t do that without talking about these other important aspects of my life.  So, look for more on #2, #3, and #5 in the future.

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