Gifts out of love

Spiritual gifts are wonderful things. They are the tools we are given in order to more effectively reflect our Creator’s love to those around us. The gifts range from seemingly small, common, everyday, easy-as-breathing all the way to seemingly impossible, outrageous, hard-to-believe. The bible describes a handful of them here:

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.  The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NLT

We are not to think of any gift more highly than another. Each gift is significant in its own way, serves it’s own purpose. The rest of the chapter continues on comparing these gifts to one’s body. Each part has it’s role, one is not greater than the other, and each works in tandem with the others. So it is supposed to be with our giftings.

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Chapter 13 boils it right down to the heart. At least once in each of the first three verses we are told that any gift, when not done out of love, is pointless. Love drives everything in a life devoted to Christ and His work. Love is the only choice that matters.

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Finding Balance

Since the holidays, I’ve been feeling off kilter. Not the normal post holiday blues. This one has been hitting a little more each day.

To say this month has had it’s twists and turns would be an understatement. Through all the things that seem to be coming this way, I realize that now is the best time to start implementing my best yes.

I knew there was a reason for that book.

The word I was given this year was self. Walking into it I thought I knew what it meant. In my mind, it meant getting in shape, eating better, getting into a better groove with my quiet time, rediscovering passions and hobbies. All good things.

I’m learning that this season is going to be one of evaluating. What have I said yes to that, while essentially good, isn’t a yes I need to follow. What things do I, at least for a season, need to give up. Where have I over committed myself? How does saying yes to _________ impact my well being? My family.

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This season won’t be an easy one. I like to say yes to things that interest me, but I need to say no, or not now, to some things. That is okay. It’s more than okay, it’s great.

2015_self

This year, my word is self. The more I think about it, the more I discuss it with others, I need to focus as much on my family as I do myself. I need to learn to say no to things that will take too much time away from them.

While still focusing on becoming a healthier me, I also need to make an effort to be a healthier family. Spend time with the amazing husband I’ve been blessed with. Play with and teach our too-smart-for-his-age two year old. Family nights. Date nights. Me night. All these things play into rediscovering self.

How has your new year shaped up so far?

Come as you are

Driving to work this morning and this song comes on. It both brings me to tears, but also offers peace. In the midst of all this lost, hurt and down right brokenness that seems to surround lately, it offers assurance. God sees it all and although we don’t know the whys, we can find confidence that He will heal. If you will, take a minute to really listen to this song. Let the words soak in. Allow the promises to begin the healing process.

Crowder – Come As You Are

Good bye buddy

Never did I realize just how much of an impact it would have. I walked into a house with some very special people living there. Not quite knowing what to expect. Each one of the guys touched my heart in a way only they can.

You, however, not only touched, but nestled your way in. Took up residence. Showed me a simpler side of life.

While always tossing challenges at me. Slipping out of sight quicker than one could blink. Chasing you to opposite ends of the house, park, wherever else we might be. We even joked about you being my workout plan while carrying my son.

I’ll never forget the sniffs followed by your signature “oo smell…” followed by one of a dozen different things. McDonald’s was a favorite. The zoo, mall and van ride close after. However, beyond anyone’s doubt, Your favorite was cherry coke. All rushed together to where only those who had been around you for a while understood.

Three and a half years of consistent work. There were many achievements made by both of us. Perhaps the biggest one came about year two and a half. When you would come, smell my head, sit next to me, hold my hand and tell me of what I smelled. Or occasionally what activity you’d enjoy next.

When I heard of your passing. Shock, disbelief and sorrow all hit simultaneously. As the last couple days have gone on, reality has set in. Hard as it is, I know you’re better now. You now know no limitations. You’re free. For that we have no greater joy.

Rest in peace big guy.

Enjoy a cherry coke for me. Perhaps a cheeseburger and french fries too.

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Welcoming in 2015

I shared a couple days ago about my one word for 2015. While mulling over exactly how rediscovering myself should look a couple things came to mind. The first was a song. A song I know I’ve shared here before. The lyrics of this song were once again brought to my attention on the 28th:

"The Real Me" by Natalie Grant. Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bRGfId9quY

“The Real Me” by Natalie Grant. Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bRGfId9quY

Even though this song was written to help the artist with a very real struggle with bulimia, I believe that so many of us can relate to the struggle of just wanting to find ourselves outside of our circumstance. That’s the beauty of music, the words can impact so many people in different ways.

Along with this song, there was something else that came into my mind. Scripture. One I’d become very much¬† familiar with several years back. In fact, it’s been the focus of several books I’ve read over the last several years. However, this time, it’s come to life so much more.

Prov31.25

These two tools, combined with the focus of rediscovering what self means to me, are sure to help. A few other steps I’m planning to take on this journey:

  • Set a consistent time to wake up each morning
    • enough time for breakfast and quiet time
  • Discover a way to become more active and stick to it
  • Write consistently. Either here or in a journal I received for Christmas
  • Read books. All the way to the end.
  • Take time monthly (more frequently if needed) and do something to refresh myself
  • Crochet again
  • Make girl time a must

Do you have any goals for this year? Any hopes and dreams that are beginning to take shape?