Liberate your Passion, it’s SortaAwesome.

compliments of flickr user zouny, with permission

compliments of flickr user zouny, with permission

My friend Megan has a Podcast called “Sorta Awesome.” It’s completely true to it’s name. Perhaps even more than sorta. Check it out ASAP on tumblr, which will bring you to iTunes, I think.

One the opening four shows she had a brief list of questions that she and her co-hosts answered so that we the listeners could get to know them better.

One of them was (a paraphrase of) this: “What thing do you love to talk about? What thing are you really into, that your friends and family hesitate to bring up because they know you will talk their ear off about it?”

Each time I heard her ask that question, I thought through how I would answer it myself. I couldn’t figure it out.

I thought that in this season I would complain about the move, talk about fears for Noelle and her new school or just goosh about how adorable Clara is.

But no… it needed to go deeper than that. I wanted to answer the question about myself, removed from life circumstances and my children’s developmental stages and struggles.

Then, one day as I was podcasting my way through the grocery store, it hit me. And I felt embarrassed about it.

I love all things crafting and DIY.

This isn’t cool or quirky, it’s a little old lady and boring but completely true.

Any time a new friend comes to visit our house they ask me where I got sundry items of home decor. The answer is quite often: “I made it”

Curtains? Sewed them.
Afghan? Crocheted that.
Canvas? Painted that.
Granola? I baked it.
Chair? I refinished it.
Baby blanket? I quilted that.

This often overwhelms them and I never offer up this information without being asked, that would be braggy and show-offish which is patently poor hospitality.

Sometimes I am even tempted to lie and tell them I got the curtains at Target but something in me won’t allow it.

I’m embarrassed by how many things I have taught myself to do in the crafting sphere and I have no idea why. I think it makes me feel like a total nerd with no friends crafting away in my basement and hoarding bags from Hobby Lobby like a geriatric pack rat.

The thing is I sort of love the chase, I love figuring out how to make something new with unfamiliar materials and processes. I enjoy figuring out how to make bread from scratch or felt mittens for my children’s chilly hands.

Every time I make something new I want to yell: “I have made MITTENS! Look what I have created!!!” like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Wilsooooooooooon!

All this was swimming around somewhere in the forefront of my mind as I stood awkwardly in the front pew at church this Sunday, worrying about whether or not the congregation could see my panty line and seriously considering investing in some Spanx.

Kel has been all about the following quote this week. So it’s no surprise that it found it’s way into his sermon slides.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Wilson

Think about that and apply it to your passion. How would you answer Megan’s question? Do you own it or shrink from it?

The light is in all of you, even though I’m fairly sure your passion doesn’t consist of yarn and thread.

Do you hide it and make yourself smaller in the false belief that others will fell more comfortable around you?

Think about what the children in your life are in to. Are they shy about it?

My daughter likes kitties, any one who has met her for more than a few minutes knows this.

Caedmon likes Red. He is currently wearing head to toe red, including a pair of red fleece pants. In July.

Now, children can tend to be a bit obnoxious about their passions and I am not suggesting we assault people at the deli counter with our most intimate interests.

But when someone comes over, is at the level of coffee around the table? We need to stop shrinking and own the light that has been placed inside of us. For God did not create us to be shrinking violets but to liberate the light in each other.

How would you answer Megan’s question? What is that one thing you can’t stop talking about?

Are you comfortable with it or do you tend to down play it and pretend it’s nothing special?


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  • Rebecca

    All-time, top 5 favorite quote!

    • Leanne Penny

      There are so many layers to it that one could really spend years digging in to it all.

  • Lisa S

    DIY Crafting is so much more interesting than talking about Canada and Hungarian Heritage. Those are mine… oh and the power of Steamers.:)

    • Leanne Penny

      But goulash!!!

  • megan w

    I LOVE this post!! I didn’t know that I needed to hear this until I read it. Thank you for waking me up, now I just need to figure out my answer.

    • Leanne Penny

      It’ll hit you! Try walking around the grocery store with headphones on… wait that’s probably only MY muse spot….

  • Abby Norman

    You are a genius. A genius crafter and blogger. I love how you love people through your craft.

    • Leanne Penny

      Thank you, I could hardly think on the day I wrote this so the word “genius” is very encouraging.

  • Karen

    But now I want to come over so you can show me the stuff you’ve made and teach me, because those are the things I long to do, I just don’t know how to find the time… or confidence. We were designed in the Image of God, the Creator, and I think that is why we thrive when we too are creating. Don’t be ashamed of image of God within you.

    Maybe that answers my question about that quote. I am stuck on it since another RBCer posted it the other day. I still feel like inadequacy is my greatest fear, no matter what the quote says. I am vain enough to be pretty comfortable with my fabulousness on most days, but underneath it all I worry that maybe I am actually a sucky person and I am so sucky that I don’t even know I am sucky. Or perhaps that inadequacy is just the opposite side of the same coin?

  • Mark Allman

    One of the things that makes people most attractive to me are those that are passionate about something in their life. It matters not what. What matters is that they love something and immerse themselves in it. When someone does that I think it is wonderful and I love to hear all about it. I do believe that those we love we tend to love the things they are passionate about even if we don’t do them or have a desire to… we want to know about them because it being something they love.
    I also think we should all be encouragers to a person’s passion. If we realize what it is we should do all we can to encourage them towards their passion…especially our children or our spouses or our slblings.