Friday, November 03, 2006

We All Have Gifts
(Otherwise known as a "You're Special" post!)

Do you know that you are especially gifted with certain skills, personality traits, talents, and attitudes? Did you know that you are special? kind of a superhero all your own? (sorry, along with "Lost" I've also gotten hooked on that new tv show "Heroes")

On Wednesday night, McKenna led a devotion at church (in front of all the adults, which I thought was just a huge thing for a 14-year-old to do!) and it was awesome! It was all about the spiritual gifts we've been given!

She read some Bible verses, then gave the definition of a spiritual gift. It is basically a gift given to all Christians to be used within the church. ALL Christians have at least one of these gifts, and all of them are equally important. She had us take a little quiz to help us determine what our spiritual gift/s are.

The gifts given are--


My quiz answers pretty much reinforced what I already knew about my gifts. I had taken similar quizzes and I have also learned over the years what I'm good at--and what I'm definitely NOT good at (from a lot of Trial and Error). My two main spiritual gifts are Teaching and Encouragement, with Serving, Leadership, and Evangelism behind them.

I definitely think those are on-target. I have always been an encouraging person and I like to lift people up; it bothers me when people are discouraged, so I enjoy empowering them. I also am very much at-ease speaking in front of people; I do a lot of public speaking and teach an adult Sunday School class. I also do talking at events like writing conferences and have taught some adult education over the years.

The rest of us had fun talking about our gifts. Gary definitely has the gift of administration, as does McKenna. They both can crack the whip and get people motivated and working toward a goal; McKenna can put together a plan and organize a calendar like nobody I've ever seen (and she's only 14, let me remind you); and Gary can get a team together and make some organizational spreadsheets like nobody's business. (I, on the other hand, have almost zero organizational skills and am a Big Time procrastinator!). Delaney found that she has Encouragement as one of her gifts, as well as serving and mercy. Those sound just right for her, since she is my very empathetic and caring child.

If you are a Christian, what spiritual gifts do you think God has given you?

Outside of the Christian context, we know that a lot of these gifts work in businesses and families and relationships.

And we know that there are so many other natural talents that people have. I see talented people all over the place . . .

A friend who can sing like an angel.

A friend who is so creative with her scrapbooking.

A friend who can make people laugh so easily.

A friend who always know the right things to say when a person is upset.

A relative who can bake the best desserts.

A relative who knows how to listen, instead of always talk.

And the list could go on and on and on . . . because we ALL are gifted and talented and we all have our place in the world.

I used to be upset when I'd compare myself to others, wishing that I had their talents and abilities. But I realized (as I got older, of course!) that MY gifts may be what someone else wants and that all of our gifts are perfect for who we are.

So, today . . . realize that you are special . . .

Try and figure out what you're good at . . .

Don't brush off those compliments that other people give you (you know the ones? the "You're so good at ______" or "You are such a good _____") . . .

And believe that you DO have some special special-ness (I don't think that's a word, but I'm making it one right now!).

Then . . Do something with what you're good at. Use it in a way that makes YOU happy. And use it in a way that can reach out to someone else!

Now . . .

Speaking of gifts (and we were!) . . . can you believe that Christmas is like 8 weeks away?? I actually saw a house today with a Christmas tree in its window. Are they insane? It's two days after Halloween (okay . . . if you're one of those who puts up their decorations that early, fess up!) and Thanksgiving isn't here yet. I just have a thing about wanting to wait until the day after Thanksgiving--I guess because I hate to rush through Thanksgiving, which is the best "uncommercialized" of our holidays.

I also bought three Christmas gifts today, which was very exciting! I found something for Mom that I think she will LOVE and it was so reasonably priced. Yay! (And--WARNING Gary!!--I found several things I really like, so I may be sending you some gift ideas soon! LOL)

I also got a chance to do a Christmas-themed scrapbook page for a little fun competition Adrienne and Toya are hosting on their blogs. They're giving away a RAK to the person who wins their contest. The challenge was to create a page based on your Christmas memories. It was really fun to think about Christmas a little bit early and to dig back into my childhood memories for this. Here is what I created:

(The color is really kinda bizarro on this scan here, although it partly could be because of the funky 1970s colors happening in those photos!)

The journaling, which is hidden under little blocks of paper under the photos, says: "Some of my most special Christmas memories as a child are: taveling to Texas to see my grandparents . . . singing carols as we traveled on Christmas Eve . . . making homemade ornaments with Mom (the sequined Santa and Mrs. Claus) . . . the possibility of snow . . . Christmas lunch . . . getting 12 little presents every morning before Christmas Day . . . getting books from Aunt Gina . . . eating Grandma's divinity . . . trying to stay awake for Santa . . . waiting anxiously for the grown-ups to finish dinner . . . my excitement over any gift (just look at that photo!) . . . reading the Christma story before gifts . . ."

Thanks, gals, for that challenge. It was really fun doing it!

And now I'm kinda in a Christmas mood . . .

(Off now to get ready for a big weekend. Why do they all sound the same these days? high school football game, softball tournament, Bama football game . . . I may have a chance to fit in a margarita night somewhere in there too. That would be nice!)

Have an absolutely fantabulous (hey--another new word I think I just created!) weekend!! And remember my mantra for the day--"You are special!" (Okay, please no one come over here with a stick and beat me up. I really am sorry for my Sugar Sweetness today. Just all about the encouragement right now!)

Enough rambling . . See ya!!!!


Gingers Mom said...

That is a very thought provoking post. It really made me contemplate my abilities. I took many of those spiritual gifts tests when I was in Bible college. I almost always got encouragement (edification) and leadership. Now I think...leadership? Me? I can barely wrangle my toddlers let alone inspire adults.
This is actually something I have given a lot of thought to over the years. It seems that everyone around me has these great talents. And I have a hard time figuring out what I am good at. Am I good at anything? Right now it feels like I am just keeping my head above water. But I like this post and found it encourging. I guess you do have that gift. Hee hee.

melissa said...

adorable layout,and love your Halloween pictures-looks like you all had an awesome time :)

Phats said...

Very good post today! I too believe everyone is given at least 1 thing they are special at, whether it be sports, singing, comedy, etc and everyone in this world has something.

Christmas UGH! I love christmas, especially when all my shopping is done, but I am a last minute shopper oops! wanna do my shopping this year haha :) Gary I have some gift ideas for me too okeh?

Jane said...

Loved your post today.....very encouraging (see, I knew that would be one of your gifts!!!). Well done to McKenna too for doing that infront of everyone.....very brave of her. I also did a post about Christmas getting earlier every year! Though I have done my Christmas shopping already. Love your layout. Thanks for your post today Cheryl - it encouraged me!

angela said...

I can't believe Christmas is so close now. It just seems like the holidays fly once November gets here. And it's so stressful. Thanks for your post today!


maria said...

I totally love your post today! Yes, so on target! You are absolutely right. We gotta figure out what our talents are and use them for the benefit of God, our church, ourselves, our families and our friends. A great reminder indeed.
And I LOVE YOUR CHRISTMAS LAYOUT! The pictures are adorable! That was little you. How cute is that! I didn't get a chance to scan any of my Mexico pictures so I used pictures I've taken here at recent Christmases. I was hoping I had a picture of the pinatas that my dad and I used to make. Sadly, I don't think we ever took pictures of those!

Dawn said...

Good luck in the competition - I do believe you deserve to win. Your post is very meaningful.I think it is so important to encourage people to acknowledge their greatness and even greater to be able to acknowledge your own. If we were all living our lives to be the greatest version of ourselves, it would be so fantabulous - don't ya think!

Cheryl Wray said...

Hey everyone--glad I could encourage some of you!
GingersM--I know exactly what you mean! Basically working as a chaufeur for my three kids can get old and can make me feel like I'm not really reaching my potential, but I know that's part of my role right now at this stage in my life. Take heart, and just keep being a great mom!
Melissa--Thanks! Halloween was awesome this year!
Phats--Yes, we all have talents! Go ahead and send your list to G. Ha!
Jane--Wow, you've already done your shopping! Amazing!
Maria--Yep, that's little ole me! I love finding old pics from childhood! And your layout was beautiful!

Cheryl Wray said...

Dawn--you snuck in on me while I was posting my response. Yes, Amen Sister! If we were all living to our potential (and had parents who encouraged their children to do so instead of beating them down . . . don't even get me started on that soapbox!) the world would definitely be Fantabulous!!

Amanda said...

Oh boy, I hope that I can see my kids doing things for the Lord as they grow up. What a BLESSING it must have been to see McKenna up there...what a treasured moment! We should enjoy our kids...that is how God intended it to be.

Ms.L said...

Well that is really neat!
I was just saying to my husband,I have no skills or talents(in a bit of a funk) but you've inspired me to look harder:)
Thanks friend!
Ha,and thanks for the Christmas reminder! Eeek! 8 weeks??
I'd better get crackin'!

NMOTB said...

That was a wonderful post! (one of the best). Something to think about definately! Hope you all have a not to crazy weekend and take care! (please excuse me for being not so talkative - I am really tired and hve had a rather crappy day!)

Cheryl Wray said...

Amanda--I tell you what, that child is just an amazing one! She is SO committed and has a heart for everyone around her. She's outgoing and smart and so friendly to everyone (does not play favorites at all!). You always wonder if what you're teaching your child is getting through to her and boy is it nice to see when it looks like it has! She still has her moments (of course she does--she's a teeanger!), but I am SO proud of her!
Ms. L--Chin up!!! You ARE talented absolutely! Sometimes it's just hard to locate your gifts, but they are definitely there!!
NM--I'm SO sorry to hear that you've had a crappy day. Go take it easy, have some "me" time, and have a good weekend!!

toya said...

love this post, great inspiration for a cold friday, and you layout is great, I love the pink, is it the new christmas red? lol
have a great weekend

Phats said...

I will send my list to Santa Gary!!

beadinggalinMS said...

After being rather down this morning I do believe I feel much better after reading your post. I needed some encouragement that I am special and I do have talents. Thanks for this post Cheryl!!

Lee Ann said...

Hope you are enjoying our beautiful weather here in Birmingham.
Have a great weekend!

NMOTB said...

here hoping that my favorite blogging family are having a great weekend!!!!!!

Gareth said...

If you can life people up you must be really strong!! I mean if you can lift up a 400lb man then you MUST be strong! Teehee ;)

I also dont think that you need to be a Christian to know and realise that you have talents. I think I'm talented in playing my trumpet, encoraging, teaching, helping people smile, motivating, listening, helping and putting people at their ease :)

Really neato post :D

She-Ra said...

Did I miss it? Is there a link to the quiz? I'd love to take it and share it at my next cursillo meeting!