What is it about the end of the year that makes you want to clean your house from top to bottom and throw away everything and anything?
I have been on a rampage around here. Getting rid of things, organizing, cleaning...it's crazy.
Sometimes I get my greatest revelations from the Lord while cleaning. Seriously, it's true.
Today I have been thinking about this past year. Whew. It's been a roller coaster ride.
A whole lot of ups and a whole lot of downs. Crazy turns, white-knuckled dips, and close-your-eyes and hang on for dear life drops.
Through it all, Jesus has been right beside me. Always.
He has taught me so much this past year. I have grown.
Growing pains are painful. However, it was worth every ache.
He has taught me to have grace. This was a hard lesson. In order to have grace, you must experience something that makes it impossible to show grace.
However, grace cannot be received unless it is freely given.
He has also taught me to appreciate and foster the gifts that He has given me. This has been an area that I have often struggled with.
What in the world are my gifts? I can easily point out your gifts...but I can never seem to find mine.
Last year, I vividly remember my Mom and I sitting at my kitchen table. I was asking her if she thought I should go to cosmetology school.
You see, my sister is extremely gifted in this area. She can take anyone off the street and turn them into a super model. I am not exaggerating here. It's ridiculous.
She has this gift. I wanted this gift.
So, when I asked my Mom about cosmetology school, I was fully expecting her to be thrilled and hug me and say, "YES! that's it! that's your gift, Jill!"
This wasn't exactly what happened. She looked at me from across the table and was silent for a minute.
Ummm, hello? Why aren't you encouraging me, Mom?
She then said.."Jill, I know you love make-up and hair and all that fun stuff. However, your greatest gift is in your writing."
I was stunned. She may as well had slapped me in the face.
Writing? That's so boring.
There's nothing special about being able to say a few words on paper. Nothing glamorous about this. At all.
I was disappointed in her response and she knew it.
She then said, "I think you would be good at whatever you choose. However, your God-given gift is in your writing, Jill."
This didn't make me feel better. My balloon was deflated.
Visions of hair spray, bobby pins, and curling irons were quickly gone from my head.
So, what do I do with my so-called gift, Momma? I can't go just write a book and get it published. I am a stay-at-home momma with little time and little money.
She then said to me, "No, but you can blog. It's free. Just sit down and take the time to blog more."
I still was not happy with her answer. I wanted to have another gift. I wanted to be like my sister and transform people with the brush of my wand. It sure was a lot more glamorous than.....writing.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because, I want to encourage you to foster your gifts. Your God-given gifts and talents.
We have a purpose here on this Earth. We have a call to fulfill.
If you are not sure what your gift is...ask someone. They can probably tell you without hesitation. Ask your momma...she knows you best.
Take your gifts and give them to the Lord. Honor Him with the gifts He has given you.
In saying this, I am telling myself the same thing.
I want to honor Him. I want to honor Him in the way he designed me to honor him.
What about you? What are your gifts?
My challenge for you is to discover those gifts. Trust me, you have them. You may not want to acknowledge them (like me) but you have them.
I truly believe that when we nurture those gifts and foster them, He will grow those gifts for His glory.
His glory is the very reason He gave us these gifts! Not for YOU, but for HIM!
I will be praying for you. Praying that you will heed the call and use the unique gifts that He has designed for you.
You are special. You are His.
I still have visions of cosmetology and make-up and fashion in my head...but I know for now, He just wants my obedience. Obedience in giving Him my best in the areas that He created me for.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24.
sharpening my pencils,