Wednesday, August 27, 2008

THOUGHTS ABOUT GOD-GIVEN GIFTS...and Nelson Mandela




When I look around at the exceptional people in my life...I am in awe of their gifts. I believe those gifts are God-given and those folks are developing and using their talents to the max!

I love Nelson Mandela's quote that says:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world.

That last line leaves a lump in my throat and chills down my spine ..."You are a child of God; your playing small does not serve the world."

I hear in those words the echo of my father's voice..."You can be anything you want to be...you just have to WORK at it!"

I am so aware that everyone has God-given gifts and that no one has ALL the gifts. No one is "all that!" I am also aware that cherishing the gifts God gave me, and using them to make the world a better place and make my own little light shine, is NOT the same as a "look at me...aren't I such hot stuff"attitude.

Some of the most talented people I know do not personally boast about the gifts God gave them, but they use them and celebrate them! Big difference!

They also know where those gifts came from and point to Him as the author and giver of the gifts!

My dear hubby, Bert, is one of those people! Not only is he a gifted therapist, but he is a gifted artist. He helped to develop the sport of windsurfing and named the sport as well. But you would never know about these things unless you asked. Ask him and he will light up and tell you about his JOY in serving others by helping them as a counselor. He'll show you his latest garden project and his enthusiasm will suck you into loving every plant he has planted. He reads constantly, collects quotes to share with clients, adores his church, family, being a "Boppa, me:), and he loves God!

But his focus in life is more about others and his celebration of them than it is about pointing out his own gifts! I love that about him. He uses his gifts, celebrates them, and has self-confidence, but at the same time Bert is humble.

Yet being humble is NOT the same as being invisible or underplaying who God made Bert to be...it is NOT "playing small."

Bert sees these God-given gifts as treasures God entrusted to him and it is his privilege and responsibility to use them!

I have been reading the book "Play on Your Strengths" and reflecting on the strengths God gave me. How can I use those strengths to make the world a better place and how can I develop them for God's glory, not my own? I adore my life and the people in it! I am grateful for God's love, grace, and forgiveness. It is time to step up and be ALL that God means me to be!

I want to build on my God-given gifts and let my light shine (and reflect on Him)! I want to thank God for making me "me" and celebrate the God-given gifts He has given me. I want to treasure those gifts every day and not "play small"...to quote Nelson Mandela. That truly does not serve the world.

So this morning I'm making a list of the gifts God has given me, and I am excited to see how He helps me to use them for His glory!

God Bless! Love Linda

3 comments:

Our Family said...

I think that you have some amazing God-given gifts. One of the most visible is your ability to teach. The students in your classrooms are so blessed to have an opportunity to learn from and with you. You really care about them and it shows! They come away changed and that is God working through you.

I love you!

XOXO, me

LORIE said...

You are certainly a God Given Gift to me. I love you Linda.

jessithompson said...

I agree with Amy. Another gift you have is your thoughtfulness. You continually bless the lives of your friends and family with the ways you think of them and go out of your way to make them feel special. I love you, Mom.

"Dirt Therapy"...

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