“A gift, of course, is meant to be given, which is why it’s so brutal when we can’t figure out what ours is, or when we know what it is, but we’re too lame to act on it: here we have the perfect gift to share with the world, just bursting to be opened, and we keep it sitting there, wrapped tightly in a box, growing old and gathering dust. Oh the waste! The agony!
Every single person is born with unique and valuable gifts to share with the world. Once we figure out what ours are, and decide to live our lives putting them to use, that’s when, and only when, the real party begins. Living a life on purpose is available to everyone.” ~Jen Sincero
One of my favorite questions to ask people when I’m first getting to know them is what gifts they have. The sad truth, however, is that the response is typically a bumbling, him-haw, blushing, “Gosh, I don’t know” kind of answer.
WHY DON’T WE EVEN KNOW OURSELVES?
Sometimes, I interpret that to mean they honestly haven’t ever taken the time to properly self-reflect. Other times I think it is an attempt to appear appropriately modest and humble.
If it’s the former, I want to shake them a little bit and say, “Hey, you need to know this stuff! It’s time to figure it out—it’s important! The rest of us are suffering the fate of not getting what you have to give, so get on it already!” Maybe this means some prayerful soul-searching or test taking or just getting over ourselves and asking our friends, “Hey, what do you see in me that I maybe don’t see in myself?” Continue reading “are you hiding your gifts?”
I previously alluded to being “in hiding” this past year. Hiding is my fancy way of describing fear. It’s important that I start with this because I believe that for faith to grow, fear must be faced.
A year ago I stepped out of a role that I had filled for 10 years when I sold my online website Mom 4 Life. At the time, I looked forward to the change of pace. God had things on the horizon and as I began to see glimpses of His new plan unfolding, I longed to share my new discoveries and struggles through writing. However, the “platform” from which I used to share was no longer mine. I wanted to flush out my thoughts with words, but without readers to share them with, the purpose felt flat. Or was it more than that? I began to question: had my purpose been too tightly tied to “my platform” and “my readers”? Why the desire to share with others rather than just journal for myself? Perhaps it was all a fancy way of saying that I missed being on stage. Was it all pride? Self glorification? I felt conflicted. I wanted to bring God glory but perhaps that was getting muddled? I couldn’t be sure and because of that, I couldn’t move forward with writing for an audience. Doing something good for the wrong reasons felt worse than doing nothing at all. The deceiver manipulated eloquently. Fear crept in. I set down my pen and closed the book.
At the end of May, I began leading a small weekly bible study in my home. The study (Restless by Jennie Allen) focuses on the story of Joseph in the Old Testament and weaves in truths from his story into our own. We have been identifying our natural and spiritual gifts and discovering how our pain and suffering is all closely connected to the unique way that we are made to fit into God’s story. While examining the area of our gifts, we read about Eric Liddell who was born into the home of missionaries to the Chinese people in 1902. As explained by author Jennie Allen, “His story is retold in the epic film Chariots of Fire. Eric felt called to give his life to God and in that pursuit he trained and planned to become a missionary, like his parents. But Eric had a gift. He could run, and every door was opening for him to do it. Doors opened all the way to the Olympics. As the film portrays Eric processing his calling and his gifts with his sister, he said these famous words: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.” Continue reading “listening to lies”