Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Show your real: Cally

Cally is sharing today, and I love that she took the Show Your Real prompt and applied it to her specific area of focus- work, faith and blogging. Cally has such a interesting perspective, examining the intersection of faith and career...an area that is challenging for so many of us- including myself- to navigate. So often, those two things seem isolated- especially for those of us who work in the secular industry- like our work pursuits are somehow separate from what God has planned for us. But there is so much to learn, and so much value when we allow Jesus to lead in our careers, as well as any of our passions. I identify so much with Cally's struggles to feel relevant, focused and appreciated. And I'm excited to have her unique voice here today. 

Thanks for joining me here today as I “show my real!” My name is Cally, and, as Courtney mentioned, I blog over at Uncompromised Vocation. I’m a young professional and international business graduate student living in Boston, and I’m passionate about social impact. I’m also passionate about people finding their passions and using them for good. These two things together are the underlying foundations for my blog. 

  My “Why I’m Writing” tab says it best: I’m writing for those who have dreams and passions to have a greater impact in the world. I’m writing to encourage other young professionals who are looking to define their passions and turn them into meaningful careers. I’m writing for those in a season of waiting, who are fighting for contentment and direction in their current jobs while figuring out what it is they really want to do.

Your faith and your vocation don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, faith should inform and be the driving force in finding your vocation. I write to encourage people to pursue something with passion and conviction, or as I like to call it, an uncompromised vocation.

I’d describe myself as a passionate person. I’m also constantly searching for inspiration in things all around me - not just for my blog, but for life in general. I love to be inspired. I’ve found, however, that when it comes to blogging, it is both a blessing and a curse. Currently I’m in a season where I’m finding difficulty maintaining consistency with my posts. Some of it comes from self-doubt: not believing that I have a meaningful voice to speak into peoples’ lives about faith and vocation. Not believing that my words or experience carries any weight with the people I’m writing for. But some of it also comes from trying to go in a million different directions all at once. Perhaps you could call it a lack of focus, but it’s more like trying to focus on several things at once.

Blog content. Blog design. Should I redesign? What social issues to I highlight? Do they even have a place? Trying to find direction with my own career. How do I articulate that into my own blog? How deep do I dig into scripture when I share it? Several thoughts are constantly swirling around in my head every time I sit down to write a post. A few months ago, I finished a first draft of a post and realized that I had actually written three different posts all in one. Taking one idea and sticking to it has been a hard process for me to grasp as of late.

Practical steps that have helped me achieve more focused writing have been prayer and journaling. I will take one thought and pray over it, and journal on that thought alone during that allotted time. My prayers become coherent thoughts as He gives me a clear vision. It is a practice that gives me direction and peace. Because, ultimately, I want any and all inspiration to come from the Lord, right? I’ve realized how much I need to do this, personally, because it’s so easy for me to take an idea and run with it before giving it to Jesus first.

This may not be the most profound blog post on blogging you’ve ever read, but this is real. This is my current reality. I appreciate this series so much because it’s the reality of day-to-day, behind the scenes stuff that might not make, as Courtney describes it, the “highlight reel” of typical blogging. Blogging has given me a deeper appreciation for bloggers who consistently deliver quality content because I now know that this kind of stuff doesn’t appear out of thin air! Even writing this post for the Show Your Real series has helped me ponder and realize things about the writing process that didn’t occur to me before. 

I’m still learning, and I’m still growing. This whole blogging thing has been really cathartic for me, as I’m still navigating my own career and passions. And it’s always so reassuring to receive a message from someone who needed to hear exactly what I wrote about in my last post. Encouragement is my love language, and it helps keep me going. But what I need to learn to do more is give myself grace for the moments when I find myself saying I should be writing this or I should be doing that. Because blogging about things we’re passionate about should be a source of joy, not of guilt and duty.

Show Your Real is a bi-weekly series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often suface-cy interactions of social media. We invite all of you to participate! Please comment, link, and hashtag to spread the showyourreal love. If you would like to contribute a guest post in this series, please email me! 


    1. even as a stay at home kinda mom, I can relate to what you're talking about and thinking about here. As I live out my vocation here, at home, I find that it's a constant struggle to make faith connections for my kids and with the neighbors around us. Sometimes you have to be so intentional to bring up the subject within our own family... aside from praying at meals and at bedtime/morning time. As for my neighbors and those I interact with daily, I find that letting my actions speak for now is a bold statement for what we believe. There is not a doubt in my heart that those around us don't know where we stand or who we believe IN. I pray daily for opportunities to present themselves to share the Gospel with those who need it most- which is everyone, right?

      such good stuff, Cally. Thanks for sharing your perspective with all of us and for giving us a little peek into what you're thinking and praying.


    2. Thanks for being so transparent, Cally. I think we all can relate to sharing our faith in whatever it is we are doing in life, be it with co-workers, little people we are raising, or like Crafty P said, neighbors and such.

      And you are totally adorable! :) It must be said!