Called to What?


Today’s writing is more a blog list than a post. With every click, another piece of inspiration showed up that I wanted to share. I couldn’t narrow “our calling” down to a story, so I decided to include it all –  quotes, links, and insights, especially since working our calling is the essence of what I blog about. It’s our way of getting our own lives. (#GettingYourOwnLife)

Compelling Quotes about Our Calling

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman

“Live bravely enough to follow the calling in your heart.” Melanie Moushigian Koulouris

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Bishop T. D. Jakes

“God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.” Unknown

“The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.” Fabienne Fredrickson


Work Put Into Perspective

Here’s what Michael Hyatt says about saying “no” to retirement in his blog post, “Why Retirement Is A Dirty Word.”

“In fact, the more I think about the purpose and meaning of work, the more I’m convinced that nothing destroys our sense of purpose and health more than the modern notion of retirement. It’s detrimental to us individually and collectively,” said Hyatt.

In the same blog post and under his subtitle “How To Murder Your Heart,” Hyatt wrote, “The effect (of retirement) is that we’ve now raised a few generations to look for fulfillment in the pasture, not their work. Satisfaction is a future thing, not a present possibility. Joy is for later. Meaning and significance comes from checking out down the road.”

He winds down the article with a story about Duke Ellington. When Ellington was asked why he didn’t retire since he was obviously financially secure, Ellington said, “Retire to what?”

Hyatt said about Ellington’s answer, “It wasn’t that home was so empty. It was that his work was so full. He lived his art. Retiring would have been like turning off his own soul.”

“If you’re doing meaningful work you enjoy, why would you ever want to quit?” said Hyatt.



The Significance of Our Calling

 No surprise that Sunday’s sermon was on the topic of our calling since I’ve been inundated with it. The message was delivered by Dr. Allen C. Hughes who said, “We were wired from the beginning to do meaningful work whether it’s preaching, construction, or landscaping, and we will never be content until we get clarity on what that is and do it.”

He said when people tell him what they plan to do later on or during retirement, things that include working their passion, he asks, “Why not do it now?”

His talk reminded me of Marsha Sinetar’s book, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood. It was published in 1989, which is around the time I read it, only to return to my unfulfilling job. However, I couldn’t unread her words, hence the search for my calling began a long, long, long time ago.

“Our Call to Work,” an article that appeared on the site of U.S. News & World Report, opened with this quote, “Producing and innovating is doing God’s work.”

The writer, Nicholas Leone, stated statistics from a recent Gallup poll that showed 55 percent of Americans derive identity from their work, yet 70 percent of them are disconnected from that same work. Amy Wrzesniewski, professor at Yale University School of Management, believes work orientation has something to do with it. “According to her research, job orientated individuals view their work as a means to an end. Career oriented individuals focus on success. Individuals with a calling view their work as part of their identity and are happier,” said Leone.

Another interesting point from the article, “The word for work in the scriptures is translated as both work and worship. Our work and worship are one and the same.”

Distraction From Our Calling

Also from Sunday’s sermon, Dr. Hughes listed three things that distract us from working our calling.

  1. Believing work is a bad thing, therefore we try to get out of it in lieu of doing what we were put here to do. We end up lazy and miserable instead of productive and gratified.
  2. Doing the wrong work. We decide we’ll seek out our right livelihood later, after we’ve made enough money, worked a job with benefits, or sacrificed enough to possibly retire early.
  3. Busying ourselves with too much work in an attempt to be important, successful, or fulfilled. The truth is, “right work” is the only thing that satisfies.

How to Search For or Stumble Onto Our Calling published an article titled “20 Ways to Find Your Calling.” The writer’s advice is spot on when it comes to finding the work we love or having it find us, like my writing found me. My personal favorites from her list include spend time before money and find a problem to solve. My problem’s been #GettingYourOwnLife #WhileLovingthePeopleInIt.



I would add …

  • Dedicate attention and time to what you love. If you want to turn your passion into a career, figure out how to make money doing it. I believe there’s always a way.
  • Listen to people, to music, to quotes, to movies, to life. You never know what may point you towards your calling.
  • Listen to God and to yourself. His guidance and your heart are key places to go for direction.
  • Ask questions like …

What are people saying I’m good at?
What job would I work for free?
What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?

Stay tuned next week for more about our calling unless I’m on overload and running away from mine. Please add your two cents. It’s worth a million dollars to me and our readers.

In This Together,


7 responses »

  1. Great post, Kim!

    In my situation, I’ve been asked about my ‘bucket list’, and I have a ready answer:

    “If your bucket list doesn’t match the life you’re living, y’all need to change either your attitude or your life. But my guess it’s your attitude TO your life that needs fixin’.”

    If I could be doing anything else…travel, some extreme activities, whatever…I’d say no. This is how I want to spend my remaining days. Doing what I did today, and doing what I’ll do tomorrow.

    • Thank you for putting this blog post into perspective, Andrew. It is about attitude and I’ve always been inspired by yours. I especially like “This is how I want to spend my remaining days. Doing what I did today, and doing what I’ll do tomorrow.” I want your kind of contentment and I believe I’m getting closer. I appreciate you and your comments! ❤

  2. Dear Kim,
    You have hit it again. I had not previously spent time thinking about whether my “former” life was truly my life’s calling, but thinking in retrospect, it was. I truly loved teaching my students lifelong skills, especially reading. I took great pride when my students reached their grade level goals. However, in retrospect, what I disliked was the paperwork and the administrative decisions that made no educationall sense and allowed myself to get wrapped up in that.
    One month after “retirement” from that phase of my life , I suddenly realized I felt I had no “purpose” to my life anymore so I turned to my “hobby” of creating with fabric. This has grown into something I had never imagined and would not trade it for anything!

    Thank you for bringing this to us for thought and realization that we need to love our own life before we can love others.


    • Thank you, Annette! ❤ I love what you said about teaching because I felt the same way. I didn't retire from it, but by the time I left, I was convinced it wasn't my calling … ever … at all … none of it. I got caught up in what I thought I should be doing instead of doing what I wanted to do and focusing on what I loved about teaching. The system sucked and I got sucked into it.

      But something sparked from your comment ,,,

      I loved reading to my kindergarten students. Loved it! I also loved the craft projects, puppets, letter of the week, etc. I'm happy to take a deep breath and accept how much positive there was, and maybe for the first time, appreciate what I did love about my job all those years. ❤ We really are in this together, and we help each other.

      I love that you turned a hobby into a career, and that you're onto another calling. ❤ I appreciate everything you shared here! 🙂

  3. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    Jo Ann Sarti, Gayle Sloan and 15 others

    2 shares (Karen @ Treasured Woman and Linda Hopkinson)

    Summer Turner I love this, Kim! I never could relate to the idea of pursuing “success,” and I never felt “ambitious” in a worldly way, so being a “purposepreneur” is the only paradigm that fits me.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 12:02am

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, I’m the same way and I LOVE “purposepreneur.” I’m borrowing it, so don’t be surprised if it shows up in a blog post with credit to you, of course. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Sybil Lee Thank you Kim. The Bible does not use the word retire. Moses was 80 going strong. Sarah was 100, giving birth. Watch out world there is a generation of great people wanting to fill their passions
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 7:38am

    Kim Henson Oh my gosh, Sybil Lee. I never thought about "retirement" not showing up in the Bible. We like to make up our own stuff, don't we? Which is how we also make a mess of things. 😉 I'm glad you listed Moses and Sarah. I think I'lll include them and others in next week's post. Thank you! ❤
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Linda Hopkinson Kim, you are beautiful! Your words are always uplifting. It is such a blessing to LOVE what I do… and although retirement could be in my near future, I have no intention of going anywhere, why would I when what I do gives me such JOY! Your post feels like you just gave me permission to not retire 🙂 and I love you for that ❤
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 7:43am · Edited

    Kim Henson Linda Hopkinson, when I've watched you teach, I've wondered if you could ever retire. It's so obvious you love what you do and your students. ❤ Although it might be nice to do it on your own time instead of someone else's. 🙂 I love my work, but I also love my freedom to make my own schedule. Anyhow, don't go away completely because I (and a bunch of others) would miss you terribly! Love you.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Carol Rheaume This speaks volumes.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 8:02am

    Kim Henson Thanks so much for stopping by, Carol Rheaume! I appreciate your comment. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Karen Dishman Jantzi Beautiful Kim! Keep growing and pushing forward!!! Love you! Sharing!! Ox
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 1:10pm

    Kim Henson I'm trying, Karen Dishman Jantzi! 😀 I love you! ❤ Thanks for all you do to encourage me and others. We feel treasured because of your love and leadership.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

  4. From Facebook (S. Kim Henson) ~

    Gail Altman, Jo Ann Sarti and 5 others

    Jon Turino For me, I think it is being a wedding officiant. It’s fun, I’m good at it and I make a little money marrying people. No more marketing consulting rat race 🙂
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · Yesterday at 12:47am

    S. Kim Henson Jon Turino, I had no idea you’d changed professions. That’s so cool! I have a friend who does the same thing and she loves it. I’m happy for you! 😀 And I bet you are really good at it. Thanks for sharing.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Christy Young Kim, I fully believe that God is working through you in these words. I pray that they bring wonderful changes where needed in people’s lives, including my own.
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · Yesterday at 9:35am

    S. Kim Henson Awww, thank you, Christy Young. You’re always so encouraging. ❤ That's just one of the things I love about you and our friendship. I hope these words bring changes in my own life too. I write most of what I do because I need to write it, read it, and live it. Of course, I also hope it helps others as well. 😀 We truly are in this together.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

  5. Pingback: One Foot On a Banana Peel, the Other at Kentucky Fried Chicken (a post about answering our calling at the age we are) | S. Kim Henson ~ Getting Your Own Life while Loving the People in It.

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