Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gift Envy....

Do you know what your "spiritual gift" is? Teaching, preaching, healing, encouragement, knowledge, discernment, administrative...Churches have a long list of these, and there is a whole slew of studies, questionnaires and the like to help you discover your gift, and how to put it to use. I've taken the questionnaire twice now. The top gift was the same both times. Some days I really like my gift, and some days I want to ask God is He sure that I'm supposed to have that one...

I have gift envy. I wish I was more organized. I want to be administratively gifted. I want to be able to hold an event that people respond to, attend, and enjoy. I wish I could plan a successful party. I want to be able to just start AND finish a project. I used to think I was good at this type of stuff. I used to think I was gifted at service. Truth be told, I scored high on service the first time I took the test. It was the second highest gift. I loved that. I liked being behind the scenes, setting up the food for potlucks, and cleaning up after. I was Ms. Dependable. "They" always knew they could count on me. Here's the truth and it isn't pretty: I thought it was the only way to get people to like me. Doing things for others was the only way to get them to like me. There, now you know. I was full of massive insecurity. And then I got divorced.

When my ex and I separated, I began shedding a lot of weight. The excess weight was a result of years of emotional stress eating. As the weight came off, the emotions buried under layers and layers of fat rose to the surface. I was in a season of aloneness (thank you, God!). I spent a lot of that time dealing prayfully with the issues that put the weight on in the first place. Now, as my new body emerges, so is the spirit I had buried there. Now I realize that I actually like attention. I feel no hesitation in getting up in front of people and talking. I am a social, extroverted person, and I won't be hiding in the kitchen anymore. (So that's more gift envy, actually: when others get asked to deliver talks, I hear little whispers in my ear...why not come you weren't asked to speak? All I can say is: go away Satan, I need to HEAR what God is saying through that person to me!)

The second time I took the test, service did not even make the top three gifts. My gifts are encouragement, faith, and evangelism. I don't always like the encouragement part because it often attracts people to me who are horribly hurt and in a great deal of pain. I am empathetic, and often have the best of intentions for following up with them. But that's the downside of my gift. I spread myself thin, and forget to follow up with people. Since I'm not administratively gifted, follow-up doesn't come naturally to me. Hence the gift envy. There are times when my gift makes me feel downright lazy. I see others accomplishing things, and all I'm doing is standing there talking. (Never mind that the person in front of me is pouring out their hurt and pain...) God is good, because He sends the encourager encouragement too. Today I was paid a very high complement by the leader of my South African missions team. Let's just say, I've felt like I've been in the background for a lot of things involving this trip, and that I wasn't pulling my weight. After what she said to me, I no longer feel that way. I've decided to look at it differently: I'm allowing others to exercise THEIR gift. This one can arrange for us all to have t-shirts, that one is booking the flights and organizing teams to do various tasks when we get there, the third is pulling together fund-raising plans...the list goes on. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing: pitching in where ever I can, and encouraging them when the going gets tough. The envy is gone.

Take THAT satan!

Galations 6:9
Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap a great harvest if we do not faint.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Positive Post Tuesday

Time to revive...Positive Post Tuesday has been silent toooo long....

I fixed someone's garbage disposer on Sunday. A click of the reset button, a turn of the allen wrench and we were on our way. I looked good and handy. (Mostly handy though, since I had a on a really baggy t-shirt.) It inspired me to (at some point on Monday) hang pictures and a shelf over my desk. Pictures went up no problem. Shelf not so much.

In spite of my handy-dandy, lovely lime green drill, the shelving screws did NOT want to go into the wall. I was hanging the shelf way too high, something that occurred to me after I was finished, tyvm, and when I finally got it up, I knew it would have to be lowered. I threw some stuff -- reference books, etc., just to see what it would be like.

I sat in the recliner to unwind. Not so much. The screws that took an hour to get into place pulled out of the wall dumping the entire contents of the shelf all over my glass desk and the floor. Yeah, you can laugh. It was pretty funny. I picked it all up, pulled the desk out from the wall, finished taking the leaning shelf down, and lowered it.

Another hour of wielding my drill and now its crooked. Unless you look at it from the recliner angle. But hey, its attached and stable. For now.

Have an awesomely positive Tuesday.

The girl with the very sore arms.
aka G

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I wish I was perfect. I'm not. That's not a news flash to anyone who reads this blog, I'm sure. I do not listen to Christian music exclusively. I do read Jenny the Bloggess with all her irreverence and thoroughly enjoy the sarcastic humor she and her audience display. I use the phrase LMAO, and I do say the word ASS (Sorry if that offends you). In traffic I have been known to call people donkeys because they do something I think is stupid. O, and yeah, while my potty mouth has cleaned up drastically in the last two years, every once in a while the f-bomb drops when I least expect it. Sometimes I do or say or write things that cause other people unnecessary pain. I just wish that God would put a gag over my mouth and only let me say or do the things that He wants me to say or do. Nothing more, nothing less. But then, there would be no need for His grace, would there?

If we were all perfect, we wouldn't need grace. We wouldn't need Jesus. We wouldn't need the incredible sacrifice He made on the cross. If we were all perfect, we wouldn't have free will. Since He would be making all the choices for us, we wouldn't get a say. I wouldn't get to choose where I live. I wouldn't get to choose whether to sit at home and be alone, or to go out with my friends and enjoy a movie. I have heard over and over that we are supposed to consult Him on every decision we make, down to the smallest detail. Am I alone in struggling with this?? Surely God doesn't care if I purchase pure white sugar or stevia. How 'bout Diet Coke with Cherry vs Diet Coke with Lime?

Free will is awesome, but it can lead to us making choices that hurt other people. It can lead to public failures, and equally public apologies. It can lead to self-indulgent, selfish choices that benefit no one (including the choice maker). But it can also lead to incredibly beautiful things. The choice to step up and be a hero in the face of great disasters. The choice to serve a greater good by joining the armed forces and fighting for an ideal that is hard to express, but defines a way of life. The choice to love even when your rights are being violated. The choice to pray for people who have used or manipulated you. The choice to believe God is real and loves you even when you feel overwhelming evidence that He is not, and does not.

When it's all said and done, I'll take imperfection and free will over perfection and no choice. I will continue to make mistakes, and the people affected by those mistakes will either choose to forgive or not, based on their own free will. I learn from my mistakes -- sometimes in very hard and bitter ways -- but I would rather make a right or wrong choice, and endure either the good or the bad that emerges from that choice, then to have no choice to make. I am flawed. I am imperfect. I own that imperfection and strive to be better. I strive to overcome and be more like Christ. None of my imperfections are enough to separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. Nothing I can do or say will make Him turn away and say "I disown you". Instead, He is gentle and kind. He disciplines me when I need it, and He loves on me always. I am His beloved daughter. Someday I will be perfect, just not today.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

One Question...

A few years ago I was in a Sunday School group studying the book of Revelation. There was a question in one of the studies asking "What is the one question you will ask God when you meet Him?" Mostly people said they will ask the questions relating to why bad things happen to good people. They would ask the question why so and so had to go through such and such. Eventually the study leader turned to me (I was uncharacteristically quiet) and said "What about you?" Truthfully, I have no questions for God. I believe that when we stand in front of Him, we will understand without asking. We will see the "bigger picture" so to speak, and our individual problems won't really matter to us anymore. The mountain I had to climb last month will be nothing in comparison to His Holiness in front of me. I would climb a thousand if it means that I can be that much closer to Him. I truly believe that when I do meet my Maker, I am going to fall flat on my face in awe. Meantime, I have faith that God holds my past, present and future in His hands. No matter how much pain I experience here, He holds me fast, and He has a reason for it all. That's enough for me.