Returning To Passionate Pursuits: Heart Behind Love, The McLeans

December 31, 2022

Ahhhh, hello there. My goodness, you have no clue how excited I am we are connecting and having a conversation right now. If you are reading this, it must mean we finally launched our new website, Love, The McLeans. It’s been a while in the making, and when I say “while”, I mean there’s a major long backstory to catch you up on. Do you care to hear it? One of my goals in our time together is to share lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. It looks like now is the perfect opportunity to begin sharing those lessons with you. 

Have you ever pursued something that set your soul on fire? This sounds over-the-top dramatic, but you know what I mean. It’s something you enjoy, it embodies your gifts, talents, and passions. It seems somewhat effortless. It doesn’t feel like work, more like play. You feel alive and not weighed down. It consumes your thoughts; you can talk about it, read about it, and study it 24/7. I have to say, I’ve had many things over the years that I could label as “set my soul on fire” pursuits. Some are deeper and more meaningful than others, but when I’m passionate about something, I’m all in. The world MUST know about it too. So, what is that for you? Can you think of a thing or two? Seriously. I do want you to think about what that may be in your life.

(Insert dramatic pause with elevator music while you think about your response.)

Okay, I wish I could jump through the screen, and you tell me face to face what things you have pursued that set your soul on fire. Have some stayed constant in your life? Did some fall by the wayside? Were some only meant for a season, but maybe others should have remained? Do you struggle to find things you are passionate about? Maybe you label yourself as “flighty” or “all over the place” because there are so many things you love. I realize I’m asking a lot of questions, but I like to dive in and do some deep thinking. 

I had a friend one time say I was like this little butterfly that went from one flower to another, to another and yet another. One passionate pursuit, to another passionate pursuit, to another. At first, I wanted to see this as a negative trait in my life, until I visualized the most breathtaking field of wildflowers. The little butterfly was exploring all the unique and marvelous creations. I was sharing this mental picture with someone one day, and they reminded me how that little butterfly is pollinating all those flowers as it travels from one to another. Wow. I never thought of it that way. How amazing. 

Over the years I have done a lot of pollinating. Oh my. Let me see if I can list a few flowers I have landed on. Let’s see, there is scrapbooking, blogging, jewelry making, ceramic painting, crafting, couponing, book collecting, homesteading, chicken raising, decluttering, and home remodeling. I have pursued a few careers; some I was more passionate about than others. Retail, nursing, store owner, network marketing, author, and probably a few more. I have passionately pursued Jesus, my family, bettering my health and wellness, and travel. When I step back, it is the most breathtaking view of passionate pursuits. 

My husband Jeremiah and I love to spend time evaluating our experiences. Call us weird, but it’s fun for us. We recently entered our “mid-life” years, and oh my, the evaluating got kicked into overdrive. We began to sift through each passionate pursuit we have ventured through and see the beauty in them all. We acknowledged some were for a season, some were constants, and some we needed to get back into our lives. One we kept coming back to time and time again was “writing/blogging”. We both said over and over, “man, we should have kept that one in our lives”. After we made that statement countless times, we realized something needed to be done about it. 

You see, I began “blogging” back in the archaic days before social media. We owned a scrapbook store, and it was the best way to stay connected to our customers. When life got crazy after losing that business and beginning a career in nursing, my writing became inconsistent and fell by the wayside. Facebook arrived on the scene, so I was able to get my writing fix there. I picked it up a time or two for short periods, but both times a new business was created around it, and I would throw all my focus there. I refuse to live in a sea of regrets, but there IS wisdom to be found when we evaluate our experiences. I wish my website stayed a constant in my life. 

So, what is it for you? If you were to step back and look at your passionate pursuits, is there anything you allowed to drift away that needs to be reeled back in? Listen, it’s okay for some to be only for a season. They teach you a lesson or move you to the next adventure. Is there one that you think, my goodness, that was a good one and I need it back in my life? There is no better time than now to revisit it and bring it back to the scene. 

Love, The McLeans. This website you are on right now. This post that you are reading. OH MY WORD, if you only knew how much it means to me. It represents a lot. I will attempt to express it as we spend time together, but for now, I need you to know I pray this becomes a home for you. It is a home for me. A place to house all the beautiful wildflowers I flutter around. A home for my core passions to be discussed. My love for Jesus and family. A place to camp out and have lighthearted AND deep and meaningful conversations. I pray you find encouragement and value. I take it very seriously you are spending time here. I mean that. You are on my mind more than you will ever know. I mean that too. I’m excited to see what the Lord does during our time together. I have so much on my heart, so much more to tell you, but I think it’s time we part ways for today. 

Will you do me a favor and think about your passionate pursuits? If you already know a few, will you share them in the comments? What was for a season? What is constant? What do you need to revisit? I would love the comments to be a place where I can say, okay, now it’s your turn to chat. There is something freeing about writing out our thoughts. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving them in the comments, grab a notebook and journal them out there. 

Alright. There you have it. This is a little glimpse into why this place is super special to me. Oh, how I hope to see you back here often. 

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  1. Janice Catherine Oleary says:

    I wanted to be a nurse from a young age to help people. I worked for 25 years and left to pursue Nutrition which I do now. This is such a tough question for me, almost can bring me to tears, and I don’t know why. I feel like I have lost myself some how. I’m passionate about helping people. Over the years I’ve tried to improve, educate myself to be a better person than I was the day before. I feel like I’m rambling so I will end this right now. This is very thought provoking for me. Thank you. BTW, I LOVE Notebooks, have so many.

    • Monique McLean says:

      Hey! Thanks for sharing your thoughts AND feelings. I love that you have a heart for helping others. I understand the “losing” oneself. I pray this is something we discuss often here during our time together and you find peace and clarity.

      I also LOVE that you love notebooks.

  2. Christie Jarvis says:

    Oh all of this hit me right in the heart! I love how you described the butterfly pollinating the garden. Yes! That describes what we have been doing. Had you not been involved in one of the things you were passionate about, we may not have met. You “pollinated” me with that passion and inspired me in so many other ways. I am thankful for that time and now have moved on to other flowers myself too. May God bless you and your family as you bless others with this new site.

    • Monique McLean says:

      Hey friend!!! I am so glad we have connected over the years, Thank you for the sweet blessing over our family. I hope you are doing well, and excited to see you here at our new little home!!!

  3. Lauren says:

    My current pursuit is I’m in school to become a life coach. For years I raised kids & helped with my husband’s business. Now I’m pursuing something God has laid before me & falls within the gifts he’s given me. Other pursuits: gardening, health, exercise, hiking, church, journaling, reading, travel. Would love to pick back up drawing & painting

    • Monique McLean says:

      This is amazing. I’m so excited for you. I am sure drawing and painting will help you not only rest, but give you creative ideas in all the other things you are pursuing!!!!This is just so so awesome!!!

  4. I love what you are sharing. I often think I wish we could be friends and hang out. I have always had a desire to share what the Lord has done with my life. I’ve had cancer and a liver transplant and having those two close calls to death have made my heart so heavy to share how God has shown His presence so vividly in my life. I’ve started a book on my transplant journey and have been working on it off and on for around 5 years. I also made a website blog about 7 years ago but not knowing what i was doing has never came to fruition. Life just keeps chugging on and I have so many things I want to do but making them happen seems to sometime get lost. Thank you for always sharing your heart and making me smile and sometimes laugh! I want you in my circle! I often wish I could meet you and talk about all that the Lord has done for us and how to share His goodness! You do it so well. I just wish everyone could see and feel His presence as I have. I am passionate about sharing what God has and is still doing! Thank you for always being open, keeping it real and sharing your family and your walk with me! I appreciate and love your presence in my life! 🤎

    • Monique McLean says:

      WOW. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. I’m excited we have a place to hang out here and be friends until the day we meet in person. 😉 I love how you have stayed close to the Lord and felt His presence in the hardest time. I also love how you are wanting to take those situations and show HIS goodness and love through it all. This is amazing. Also, thank you for your kind sweet words. They mean so much, really, I mean that. I’m excited we are on this journey together.

  5. Dorinda says:

    Hello there!
    How is that you just dropped by when I have been reviewing some of my own pathways and considering how I could possibly wrap all the threads together and REALLY re-launch my business in a fresh way?
    Because of the faithfulness of a dear friend, who invited me along on this journey, we now both can enjoy your revitalization of your study.
    As I glance over my own passionate pursuits; horses, art, sewing, gardening, weightlifting, cooking, music… some have stayed with me. Sadly, the art, sewing and horsemanship have been upstaged by life in general. Recently the sewing machine returned from a tune-up. It is calling me from the closet. I look at artwork I have done and think, who did that? Who was that person? Seeing large hoof prints in our spring mud season and meeting a great girl who lived horses as much as I did made me think, “should I try some theraputic riding?” Is that stage of my life over? My latest and most wonderful passion has been beekeeping, with my husband. February 14 is our “bee anniversary”, we are launching our 21st year in this pursuit. And so, our business is asking us to grow. God is asking us to build His kingdoms, not ours and the beekeeping is a gift we can’t not share.
    Glad to be on this journey and look forward to exploring your site!

    • Monique McLean says:

      I LOVE THIS. Thanks for taking the time to share it all here. Congrats on your BEE ANNIVERSARY. I would love to know more of all you are doing with this business. I think it’s so amazing how the Lord gives us these desires to pursue. I can’t wait to see all HE has in store with it. Please keep me posted with what all you are up to!!!

  6. Betsy Andrews says:

    I have enjoyed your trip vicariously on FB! My husband and I love to travel and hope to do more in our years together. We both turn 60 in October! Keep doing you and sprinkling your pollen all around for others to enjoy and learn from. I think we all have deep dreams in our soul, but most never believe they can be a reality. I know that has always been my downfall. I also spend too much time trying to please others and not myself. Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. Hello

    One thing as Mike and I enter our twilight years…(me really) ha…its extremely important to us to tell over and over our family’s history and places.
    Also, how important it is to be ready for heaven. Make time for your family….
    Its really true “cats in the cradle”

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