My Newest Spiritual Gift

Gratitude Day 353

Thurs., Nov. 7, 2019

1 Corinthians 14:40:  But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Can I tell you a little secret?

I’ve discovered a new spiritual gift about myself.

Actually, it’s not new. It’s been hanging around FOREVER. I’m just finally willing to admit something to myself.

In the New Testament, we hear about different spiritual gifts. You know, the things God gifts us with. Special things that God has graced us with an extra dose that we are just a little better at than the average, normal person.

We’re told that we ALL have spiritual gifts. Some people are leaders while others are gifted with teaching. I know some people who are bathed with wisdom and others who are mighty pray warriors and have the gift of intercession; praying on the behalf of someone else. We can quickly identify the people in our lives who are helpers and who has hospitality down to a tee.

Just how many spiritual gifts there varies a bit. Some biblical scholars say 22. Others say less. The truth is there are A LOT of potential spiritual gifts … and we have ALL been blessed with at least a few.

Over the years, I have taken a variety of spiritual gift tests. These are designed to assist people in identifying what spiritual gifts are high on their radar screen. Many of these tests also clarify what spiritual gifts we have not been graced with. These types of tests are especially helpful when building a team or leadership group. It’s best to have people with a variety of gifts. If everyone is a visionary on a team, implementation of all those great ideas will be a problem.  

In all of those spiritual gift tests that I have taken, there is one spiritual gift that I know I have that never shows up: Procrastination.

Yep. There it is. My secret spiritual gift that I have been trying to keep under the radar for YEARS. Well, maybe decades. And sometimes, not so well.

Often, I have labeled my procrastination as “not having enough time.” I justify delaying something because I have not yet been inspired to tackle something. I often convince myself that I truly get more done when I have more things to do. Often, this is true.

Unfortunately, I also have a great track record of pulling things together in the 11th hour. Even if I have utilized my spiritual gift of procrastination, things often come together in the end. Another spiritual gift of mine, making sure everything is just right, conflicts with procrastination. Because I have delayed doing something, making everything error free or just right becomes a bit overwhelming in the end.

I also find a ton of opportunities to assist in procrastination these days. I hop on the internet to look one thing up. And 30 minutes and six websites later, I remember what I intended to look up. A quick look at a social media account that swallows up 20 minutes or reading online news or playing a game on my phone are all wonderful procrastination enablers.

Truthfully, I love order. My heart is at peace when things are in their place. I use a variety of ways that help keep my life somewhat focused. But all the best systems in the world won’t overcome procrastination … unless I choose otherwise.

There are moments when I feel I keep ahead just a little bit. It’s a lovely feeling. So why do I allow myself to let procrastination sweep back into my life?

Because I’m a Christian who needs grace. Daily. No matter how skilled my spiritual gifts may be or how well I try to implement them, I will always be just a little shy of where I’d like to be.

And this, my friends, is where grace steps in. Grace reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect. Or off the charts. I just need to partner with God and appreciate the unique and special ways God has blessed me.

Do I stop working hard? Or trying to kick procrastination to the curb? No.

I know procrastination isn’t really a spiritual gift. It’s more like a thorn in my side that I struggle with. But isn’t it more fun to think of it as a spiritual gift?

Today, I value myself and the ways God has called me to serve. Do. Be. And celebrate all the spiritual gifts God has instilled within me because God loves me. Today, I love myself, procrastination and all.

For embracing ALL of my spiritual gifts, I am grateful. 

Almighty God – thanks for blessing me with special spiritual gifts; ones that I use daily within Your kingdom. May I embrace that I still struggle with parts of my personality. I pray that I see Your grace as enough to help me love myself as much as You love me. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 167 – What I Learned in November

Fri., Nov. 30, 2018

Ecclesiastes 11:8 – No matter how many years anyone might live, let them enjoy all of them.

The days maybe long but long but the years are short.

I’m not sure who came up with this quote. But I feel like this is my life.

Actually, I feel like the days AND the years are short.

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This is why at the end of the last few months, I’ve sat down with my calendar and looked it over. What have I learned the last 30 or so days? What is something that I want to remember and keep close to my heart? Then, I’ve taken those little thoughts and turned them into something to share. Why? I hope it encourages us all to stop with a cup of coffee, tea or favorite beverage and reflect.

So, what have I learned during November? Here we go!

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  • The motto for my life maybe truly be: jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. Every day seems so different. One day, I’m officiating a wedding. The next day, I’m playing taxi for a friend. A couple days later, I’m helping plan a community harvest dinner because I’ve double-booked myself and will be in Louisville, KY helping show and transport sheep instead of cooking in Wisconsin during the dinner. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a little bit of information about a whole lot of different things. Maybe you’ve noticed this on my blog! Does it seem like I have ADHD when it comes to blogging??!! My point is this: I’m confident God takes us on this wonderful journey of life. Sometimes, we may go through or experience something that doesn’t make complete sense at the time. Somehow, everything will get pulled back together and make sense … in God’s time. For now, I strap on a seat belt and enjoy the ride!

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  • I tried something new this month: A Paint Nite! Lacking the crafty gene, I still signed-up for an opportunity to paint a sign. I’ve hung the sign in our beautifully remodeled bathroom. Here it is. Doesn’t the sign’s black background looks stunning in our grey, white and black bathroom? On the day I participated in this Paint Nite, I signed up for another one! Yikes! Another group of friends invited me. I just couldn’t say no.

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  • When we moved into our current 110-year-old house, the relator told us we were moving onto one of the best neighborhoods of our little town. She’s right. Several times in the last months, Hubby Rick and I have hosted neighborhood get-togethers. Mid-November, we hosted another one. Our great neighborhood is changing! Several couples and people have lived here for years. Literally, years. These couples have known each A LONG time. Then, there is Rick and I. We’ve lived here 3+ years. We’re younger than the old-timers but much older than the three mid-to-late 20ish couples who have purchased homes on our street. While we cover different generations and have unique perspectives, when we get together, we truly have a great evening. We eat, chat, discover new things about each other and all leave with smiles on our faces. Sometimes, we need to get up from behind our computer, tablets, phones and TV’s and have real conversations with neighbors. Try it. Maybe you’ll discover some new things and people! Our neighborhood is planning another gathering for January!

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  • Right after Thanksgiving, Rick and I enjoyed a couple quiet days at home. We didn’t do a lot. One morning, we actually sat in bed with our laptops. A couple years ago, I would have never imagined my non-tech-savy hubby would be doing this. While I was catching up on e-mail, Hubby Rick was watching YouTube videos about installing bathroom tile. We are in the middle of building a new master bathroom. And trying to make it quite nice. While Rick has installed tile before, he is feeling out of his comfort zone with the tile I’ve picked out. Anyways … those couple quiet days WERE WONDERFUL. Simply blissful. After leaving the house sparingly, I convinced Rick to go somewhere Saturday night. We went to Pizza Hut for the salad bar. We are officially boring. There were a lot of things I could have tackled. And I did some things. I also decided if I’m going to put some Mary into my life, Ms. Martha needs to chill once in a while. Amazingly, she did. And she liked it. There will be enough opportunity for things to fill our days, nights and weekends in the next few weeks. For those couple of days, I tried not to feel guilty about a slower pace.

Before you become occupied with your Christmas to-do list, take a minute. The years are short. Sometimes, the days feel even shorter. What was something meaningful you discovered in November? Reflect. Enjoy. Savor.

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For opportunities to reflect, explore something new, gather with neighbors and just be, I am grateful.

Almighty God – we’re on this journey of life with you. I pray that we do not overlook or miss the great life-lessons you place before us. May our days not become so packed we miss spending moments with you. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 165 – Spiritual Gifts

Wed., Nov. 28, 2018

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 – To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages.

I did not receive the spiritual gift of being crafty.

I believe this. I know it. I am aware of my limits when it comes to all-things-crafty.

So, what made me think that I should sign-up for a sign painting party?

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My friend Tracy.

While in college, I belonged to a woman’s organization called Association of Women in Agriculture or AWA. I have SO MANY fond memories of AWA. I lived in the AWA houses for two years. My bestest college friends were involved in AWA. These are the ladies continue to be important people in my life.

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When the current college students invited alumni to participate in a sign painting night, my AWA friend Tracy contacted several friends and encouraged us to join her. Without thinking this through, I signed-up. Had I paused long enough to realize my non-existant crafty gene would need to surface, I might have skipped out.

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When an e-mail came asking me to pick a board and a design, I still didn’t feel too far outside of my comfort zone. I could do these things. Thankfully, someone else prepared the patterns to put on the boards. All I had to do was paint some letters, right?

Wrong.

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I found a Christmas-themed sign that I liked. It fits the décor of my house and didn’t seem too complicated. I envisioned creating the sign in like an hour followed up with time to chat.

 

This is not exactly how it turned out. Remember, I don’t have the spiritual gift of craftiness.

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When we arrived, our chosen board laid next to our chosen pattern. My board was natural colored. I wanted a black background. My first step was to paint the entire board. Just before I began to paint, Tracy arrived. She also knows that craftiness is not her spiritual gift and opted to make this purely a social outing. Not wanting her to sit out of all the fun, I recruited her to help me. Two non-crafty people would be better than one non-crafty person, right?

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Thank goodness we were next to some college students who are blessed with the crafty gene. They became our trusted guides.

Ultimately, Tracy and I knew painting a sign was not the highest priority of the night. Creating a sign was purely a vehicle by which college students and alumni could hang out together. Highlights of the night: seeing my friend, meeting college students and alumni I did not know while sharing a couple hours with other women interested in agriculture.

Tracy and I puttered away on my sign, chatting about lots of things as we worked. When we hit a topic that peaked the interest of the college girls, they chimed in. Tracy and I enjoyed hearing their perspectives on a topic, often different from our, uhm, mid-life points of view.

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Because of the black background, my sign required a bit more work. Eventually, finishing the sign took the effort of a village. Tracy and I recruited Cierra to help us. As everyone else was tearing down tables, cleaning brushes and putting paint away, we were still working on my board. Cierra has more of the crafty gift in her little finger than I have in my entire body. She was the perfect assistant.

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Several times, the New Testament lists various spiritual gifts. One example is found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Read the list again. See what gift is not listed? The gift of being crafty.

Amazingly, God gifted each one of us with very special and unique spiritual gifts. Your spiritual gifts are not the same as mine. Thank goodness we don’t all have the same gifts. This would lead to a very boring world!

When we feel we do not have a particular spiritual gift, does this give us permission to shy away from participating in something which utilitzies this spiritual gift? Absolutely not! Humbling ourselves to discover something new can be meaningful. We become clearer about what our spiritual gifts are. It allows others to use their spiritual gifts for our benefit. It helps us keep perspective and know none of us have all the necessary spiritual gifts.

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Each sign turned out unique and special, just as the spiritual gifts we have are unique and special. Rather than become frustrated when we lack a spiritual gift, may we celebrate and affirm the gifts God has blessed us with. Over time, our spiritual gifts may change. May we be open to how God works in and through our lives and appreciate every single spiritual gift we have. Just as importantly, may we choose to share our spiritual gifts within God’s kingdom.

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For unique spiritual gifts, I am grateful.

Almighty God – thank you for creating us individually unique. May we celebrate the spiritual gifts we find within our lives and use them for the glory and honor of your kingdom. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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