Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Use Your Gifts

Today, I hosted a spring brunch for my Bible study.  (The spring part is ironic as snow is currently blanketing our yard.)  Pink napkins and little flower pots dressed the table.  Pastel Easter eggs filled a glass bowl in the center.  Coffee mugs lined the counter.

A few days ago, I began the preparations.  I wanted to make gifts for the ladies, little tokens of appreciation for sweet friends.  For hours, I scanned Pinterest.  The adorable images appeared effortless.  I gained a confidence in my nonexistent ability as a crafter. Surely anyone with access to a glue gun and stickers could whip up something adorable!  But, my head spun with the endless amount of choices.

I called my friend Melinda for some guidance.  Melinda makes Joanna Gaines look like an amateur.  My dear pal knows her way around a Michael's store.  I would put money on the fact she could walk blindfold through the aisles and still find her way to every item on her list.

On the phone, Melinda listened to my ramblings.  I'm sure it came across as an incoherent stream of consciousness.  Me trying to decipher the array of crafting options; Melinda taking deep breaths (I imagine).

Finally, Melinda cut into the conversation.

"Please don't take this the wrong way," she began.

That start always makes me nervous.

She continued, "Becky, do what you do best.  You are not a crafter; your gift is words."

I love a friend who can speak both truth and wisdom in the same breath.

Melinda was right.  I was trying to force a square piece in a round hole, and it wasn't working.  God didn't create my hands to hold a glue gun; my hands were made for a keyboard or a ballpoint pen.

I scraped the nonexistent craft project, and I prayed about how God really wanted me to encourage these ladies.

Within minutes, I was pulling out my Bible and multicolored index cards.  As I thought about each friends, the words flowed onto each card.  Scribbles and scratches.  I wrote letters to each woman.  They included words about their gifts, moments of blessing, and Bible verses that sprung to mind when I thought about each woman.

I wondered if the ladies would appreciate index cards filled with my ramblings.  Would they rather have a leader who devoted her time to created gifts of potholders or puffy paint t-shirts?

The woman shuffled into my house around 9:30.  Within minutes, our plates were filled with egg casseroles, fresh fruit, and baked goods.  Around my dining room table, eight women feasted on food and friendship.  The laughter was contagious. 

When the last morsel was consumed, I pulled out the letters.  One by one, I spoke to my friends.  I retold the words God had put on my heart about every single woman.

I told my friend Kara she is bold for how she courageously shares her testimony.

I told my friend AJ that she is beautiful, because she is a beautiful creation in Christ.

I told my friend Melinda that she is a light, because she shines her light onto everyone in her path.

There was not a dry eye.

Today, my friend Melinda taught me a valuable lesson: use my gifts.

I've sworn off Pinterest.

God has better plans for me.

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