Are you listening… for your calling?

Whenever I see a camera around someones neck, my gut instinct is to grab it and start clicking.

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Photographer types understand. It isn’t enough to capture something with your eyes. There’s this incessant need to see what it looks like through a camera lens.

But it goes beyond a simple photo for me. I want to capture a moment, a feeling, a room like never seen  before, turning normalcy into something special and memorable.

I’m not a pro photographer. I’ve never even taken a class. But I do have a decent SLR that can do what I desire… once I figure out how to use it. 🙂 But that doesn’t stop me. I plow through it anyway until I land ‘the shot.’

So last Sunday my son and I went to the church kickoff which included an outdoor picnic with activities. When I saw Pastor Cory walk around with a camera slung around his neck, I didn’t waste a second. I offered to take that ‘labour intensive task’ off his hands so he was free to do his thing. 🙂

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But get this. The borrowed camera I held in my eager hands was IDENTICAL to my own sitting at home. Can you spell “You’re in your element?” 

Time stood still as I clicked to my heart’s content. The only thing able to stop me was a dead battery which eventually happened. We left and I never gave what I did a 2nd thought.

This Sunday, Pastor Cory’s sermon was about listening for ‘that calling’.

It was pretty powerful. Yet I sat in that pew, frustrated. I’ve been waiting for this ‘internal calling’ chit chat forever. I WANT to be useful and the total bonus would be something that can work well with all on our plates. But more so… I desired my calling to be one of my passions. Yep, I wanted my calling to be special. Imagine… 🙂

After the service, I still didn’t get any message or feeling. But I had an urge to talk to Pastor Cory not really knowing why. My son suddenly spoke up and said, “Mom! Ask him about the pictures you took!”

“Yeah, right! I forgot about that! I wanna know if I hit the mark last week!”

Turns out the photos were VERY well received. I was relieved! And further encouraged.

So it seemed natural to offer up a bit more photography time because I knew of their interest for photos during a service.

The offer was enthusiastically accepted! And then came the tricky part. Let me explain…

late service – spacious pews with some empty – no worries

early service – pews overflowing – kinda (alot) scary

And you guessed it. Photos of the early one were desired.

Gulp!!

But know what? The sermon had me somewhat prepared. You see, you may have to step out of your comfort zone in order to accomplish what you set out to do. And this would land in that category just fine.

But I made peace with it. Another photographer will be arranged to join me so it’ll take the focus off of just me. Whew! I walked out of the service feeling 10 20 years younger and wishing next Sunday was today. Bring it on! But it was only until I got home that I figured out exactly what had just transpired.

It was my turn to finally hear a small calling of my very own. Perhaps because I was ready for it.

A calling comes in different ways to different people. You may hear a voice. Or you may feel an instinct or pull towards something. But when it hits, you’ll know it. You may be ignoring it and pushing it away, but it’s my bet it’ll come back if you don’t answer it. You may also fear the calling or perhaps not understand it.

But as Pastor Cory says, a calling can be about far more than just yourself. You never know how many lives will be effected by your actions.

There’s another project brewing involving the church and it too falls in line with one of my passions. And you’ll be the first to hear about it if it pans out. 🙂

It’s my hope your own calling will have something to do with the special gifts you possess. God tends to know what He’s doing after all. 🙂

Sunday morning here I come!

Pray I don’t drop my camera in fright, k? 🙂


Have you heard your calling?
Are you acting on it?


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Categories: Inspiration
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  1. Wow, what a wonderful story to start my Monday with. You have me inspired. I too have been thinking about my calling a lot. I don’t think I have heard it yet, or at least I haven’t realized I heard it yet. I just now that sitting behind my office desk is not it. But I’ll keep venturing into many new things and I’ll try to remember your lesson, to keep my ears open while I do it.
    Have a wonderful week, and may it pass quickly so you can start taking those pictures.

  2. Wow, I’m number 3 in the comments…now that doesn’t happen at all for me….I’m pleased to hear about your talent being used for God’s Glory….helping others is where I’m at in life and has been for most of it….I blog for fun, but that’s not what I enjoy doing….sure I sew and some of what I sew I sell, mostly I give away to the homeless when we feed them….addiction is a cruel thing and most of our homeless are this way….I also bring along my camera…little Nikon…and snap a few…then always give God the glory….great things He has done….so loved He the world…that he gave his own Son….thanks Donna….Mel’s Designs from the Cabin….Mel

  3. Not only does He know what He is doing…He wants us to know our calling!! All we need to do is ask and then listen…!!!
    Bask in this revelation!!! Enjoy! And congrats!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  4. Good luck girl! You will do fantastic. I think often about our callings. I do believe I am doing exactly what I am suppose to be. At least it feels right and feels good in so many aspects of my life. Being a stay at home Mom, carting the kids from here to here..BLOGGING and Blabbing, and helping Newbs, I love my jobs, and I look forward to every day I wake up and the life God has given me so far. One day at a time is what I say, I try not to look too far ahead!
    I can’t wait to see the pictures you take. Sorry for the ramblings, on two cups of coffee hear. I have to go work the book fair:)

  5. VERY cool post! God definitely has a good handle on things — keep using those wonderful gifts he’s given you, people are being blessed because of it. And you’re inspiring others to use theirs too.
    Midge

  6. It never ceases to amaze me the way God points me in one direction or another. I’ve been wondering the same exact thing for awhile now. Then I find your post and it’s like God giving me a nudge to find it, somewhere, some how. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been a fan for awhile and love your blog. Best of luck in everything you do!
    xoxo
    Jeri

  7. That is a beautiful story. I too have been looking for the why am I here and what am I suppose to be doing. In my advanced age (65) I think I’m running out of time. Though there are three things that interest me but don’t know where that will take me. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on the photos you took & hope you get what you are looking for. Have a great week.

  8. Sometimes we just need these things (big or small) to bring us to a point in our lives that makes us rethink where it is we’re supposed to be going. You know it’s right when it feels good and I’m so thrilled for you in this latest endeavor~~

  9. The beauty of a God centered life is that we know He has made each of us for His Glory. We are individuals and our gifts are there to be used. Sometimes they are revealed in small ways and other times HUGE. I am so glad you are encouraged to show your gifts and to use them for His Glory.
    Thanks for sharing Donna…Beautiful words… another one of your gifts!!

  10. Donna that is a wonderful story and I am glad you had your calling. God always knows best, there is no doubt about it and God is good.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. Wow, this is really what I needed to read this morning! It seems so many of are searching… and I think you have just helped a lot of us to focus on God and what it is he wants from us. I feel so lost and need to find that level of purpose. You’ve brought tears to my eyes, and have encourged me to my knees. Thank you

  12. Donna, I have tears welling up.

    I’m so glad you have been moved – and are moving – towards what God wants for you…whatever that is.

    You are an inspiration.

    Me? I’m listening.
    But, I’m not hearing anything yet.
    Perhaps…I need to listen harder 🙂

    All the best,
    Dana @ CafeD

  13. At nearly 68 years old, i’m like the little girl wondering what she will do when she grows up. I love photography too, along with basket making, soap making, and the study of wild plants. I suppose my most successful venture in life has been raising four beautiful children. In the meantime, I will continue searching for another calling in my senior years. Best of luck to you. http://www.mullinslogcabin.net

  14. I think your pastor and mine must have been in cahoots this week. I still haven’t figured out my next step. Want to be part of His plan for this little church community and my neighborhood….oh well, how about for the world? Last year I headed up the church 50th anniversary. Love to plan “parties”, but that was a stretcher. This year has me cleaning up and cleaning out at home and dealing with dizzy spells. So quietly listening for direction. LOVE that you heard yours! Enjoy and I know you and your talent will be a blessing to SO many.

  15. I’m glad for you! It must be exciting to hear that voice and have that ah ha moment. I know He knows what He’s doing but maybe I just need to listen harder…I haven’t heard mine yet – exactly.

  16. I’m reading the comments and thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know so many people feel the same way I do.” Still looking for my calling. Think I may have found it. Won’t know until I dive in or get an audible from God, will I?

  17. Good luck, but you’ll do a fabulous job! I think I’m kind of lucky. My blog and my booth at our antique mall is a hobby that is great fun. My professional life is my calling (along with raising my son). I’m a pediatric speech-language pathologist and giving children the gift of communication is amazing. I figured out early on that is what I wanted and needed to do and have been doing it for over 20 years. It’s an awesome job.

  18. Great post! I’ve been trying to use my blog for Jesus because, ultimately, HE will save my soul…not my stuff. I try to avoid the “stuff worship” that sometimes seems to permeate our world. So happy for you that you found a way to use your passion in a meaningful way! 🙂

  19. Love your story. Hugh blessing to know God has a plan and a purpose for our lives and all it takes is for us to be still enough to listen. I am so thrill for you Donna, truly thrilled. As long as you are seeking God, He will always show up. Love it.

    Vanessa

  20. lump in my throat and big splashy tears welling up, and…yep there go the goosebumps. Donna, you have a gift (dah) and we all have enjoyed your gift for a couple of years now. Remember, you don’t always hear an audible, more like a whisper and don’t ya love how God orchestrates the whole thing…you just thought you were doing Pastor Cody a favor that day, when in reality you were being moved into position to hear that whisper. I am filled with joy about your ministry behind the camera. I can’t wait to hear more about it.

  21. Keep the camera strap around your neck, much harder to drop it that way. I can’t think of the last time I went anywhere without my camera; it’s a part of me, like putting on shoes.
    Good news you’ve found your calling; those with eyes to see and ears to hear…

  22. Thanks for sharing such a great post. I’m not sure I’ve heard that calling but I do my best to listen. I love photography but I’m not that good. I tend to have my camera with me quite a bit hoping for that one really great shot. I actually have my camera today for the book club meeting tonight after work. I became the photographer after the first meeting in 1997.

  23. Love love love this post too !! The info and advice is SPOT ON as well 🙂 I really believe just as you said – if you don’t answer your calling in life, then it will come back to tap you on the shoulder. Some folks (like you) Ms FJI — are EXTRA special and fill several talents and touch MANY MANY other people! I’m sure Pastor Cory knows how special you are and how your “LIGHT” does shine! oxox Happy w-end, Christina

  24. Yeah for you Donna, that is so great! I did some photography for my the covers of my church directory earlier this year and it was very nerve wracking! I am sure you will do great! Take care, Laura

  25. So I have to start with … God is so good! I have no idea how I ran across this blog now…yes I do…God thing. I have been taking photos at church events for the last couple of years; VBS, Baby Dedications, Kidz
    PRaise team, an amazing mission trip to Guatemala. But last Sunday, in the middle of the service, I felt this overwhelming desire to offer to take family photos for some of my friends at church. And tonight I’m looking through a few blogs and find three different blogs talking about how to use your passion for photography in service to others. Thanks for sharing your story. It seems that God loves photographed images of his beautiful creations as much as we do!