What do You do?

She smiles, extends her hand out to me and says, “Hi, my name is Tracey. I clean teeth for a living. What do you do?”

And I find myself at a loss for words. Because I do lots of things, and I do lots of nothings. I do personal training, life coaching and sharing the beauty of essential oils. I also do walking, crying, praying and giving. And I do pouting, and smiling, and fighting and loving. And singing, and baking, and scrubbing, and a lot of others “-ings”.

But that’s not what Tracy is asking;she just wants to know what my profession is–how I make money. Because that is what she is going to use to decide what she thinks about me. And I find myself unable to answer, terrified of her judgment of me because of what I “do.” What box will she put me in? Will I remain in there forever? Will that affect my future relationship with her?

Am I defined by what I “do”? Absolutely not.What I “do” to make a living does not define me.

Am I defined by what I “do”? Absolutely yes. Because what I do with what I do to make a living–what I do with my hours and my minutes and my facial expressions while I do what I do; what I choose to do with my God-given abilities while I do what I do in all of the hours of my life–that has a lot to do with who I am.

I work as a personal trainer and a life coach, and I educate people on the value of essential oils. That is indeed what I do. But that is not who I am. I am not what I do for a living. What I really do for a living is much bigger. What I really do is bringing hope to people.

I bring hope to people by showing them that there is always a way to strengthen their bodies and therefore own more of their lives.

I bring hope to people by helping them discover what they were meant to be, what they long for, and then I partner with them and together, we develop a plan for a future that is full.

I bring hope to people by sharing with them the possibilities of natural medicine in their lives. 

I am a vessel of hope.That’s what I do. And that’s who I am.

I am a vessel of hope. And yes, that defines me. I’m good with that.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#856 A new friendship found online

#857 Brown eggs

#858 A clean house

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,



  1. Oi Barbara,
    Você faz muito pelas pessoas sim, um carinho e um amor infinito.Moro no Brasil e você me alegra todas as manhas com as suas palavras que invadem o meu coração. Sou e continuo sendo outra pessoa depois que te conheci.Obrigada sempre. Meu abraço para você!


  2. You’ve given me reason to think now, after reading this post. My initial reaction to that question has been “I’m retired” (for the last 6 years). I do many other things, especially the pout, cry, pray, laugh ones that you mentioned ;0)
    I also read, paint, play tennis and most importantly care for others that I love…
    As always, thank you for your posts; I love each and every one of them.


  3. I grow where I am planted but sometimes I am planted in a place that doesn’t use my training – so what I do is not who I am but where I am in the journey. Someone told me recently that if they weren’t using their skills and training, they would find a job that would enable them to do so – and I cannot do that right now. I have responsibilities that are greater than myself. My family comes first and sometimes taking care of business does not always line up with what we ideally want to do:)

    That is a tough question, Barbara – one that needs more care in the asking:)


  4. I finally have gotten over stumbling because why would another woman actually put me on the spot. How about instead, tell me about yourself? So my answer is vague…hum..a little of this and a lot of that for example. Then I try to deflect by ask a question that is more than a yes no or a one word answer like tell me more about what you do. Not always easy and I am stll trying to master actually show real interest in others during those akward conversation starters.


  5. Merci Barbara pour ce post.Dans un domaine tout à fait différent, je suis aussi un “vessel of hope”, une aide aux femmes à une reconnexion, parfois une réparation avec leur intime, avec leurs vrais choix et leur propre bien-être et donc celui de leur couple et de leur famille…. Et c’est vrai qu’il est très important de régulièrement se re-poser la question de qui nous sommes et de quelle est notre mission sur cette terre, en ce moment…


  6. I love this one – asking what someone “does” right away is a weird
    north american custom. In Europe/UK nobody cares – they know often your job has nothing to do with who you are and that doesn’t make you less interesting. Sounds like you have found some fulfillment in your chosen path – wonderful!


  7. Thank you for sharing here at “Tell Me a Story,” about who you are – – a Child of the King who brings hope to others. Will the real YOU stand up and yes, it is who we are and not what we do.


  8. I appreciate your perspective on this! It makes me think about my role(s), purpose, and how I fill my days. I also like the idea of “tell me about yourself” rather than settling for a job title. Much better for getting to know the real person.


  9. It’s lovely to meet you! Visiting from Simply Beth. I too get nervous when asked this question. And especially nervous if I’m placed in the “homeschooler” box…when in fact I’m so much more! I’ve been paying close attention to fitness and nutrition since last summer – and enjoying the benefits of renewed strength and confidence – so I’ll be sure to pop in from time to time and gather advice from a pro!


I would love to hear your reaction to this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s