Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Discovering Gifts

There is a book called The Guilt-Free Prayer Journal for Moms that I have been using in my quiet time.  The chapters are brief and poignant and help you focus on one specific area of prayer.  Today's chapter gave me a little "aha" as I read about helping your child(ren) discover their gifts.  She talked about a day of chores around the house and needing help from the kids.  She started with the eldest child knowing he would not be doing cartwheels over the task being asked to do: dusting.   When that was not met with an agreeable face she asked about weeding the garden.  A forlorn look followed by, "okay-sure, if you want me to."  Obviously he didn't want to do that either.  One more try.  "How about hauling manure from the barn?"  He jumped up and headed out the doors with, "Sure!"  This sweaty teen loved using his muscles and being outside.  "I love this.  It feels great to work with my body instead of my brain for a change!", he said.  When used for their intended purpose, kids feel useful and productive.  Instead of exhausting him, it energized him.

In the same way, using the spiritual gifts God bestows us should energize us.

John Eldredge said, "Somehow, we human beings are never happier than when we are expressing the deepest gifts that are truly us."

Our God-given gifts have a great purpose; they are to bless those around us, which then in turn, blesses us!  

So this week I tackled the cleaning of the house in a like manner.  My eldest enjoys cutting the grass so no problem there.  Then I asked my daughter, "WET or DRY?"   The look of 'huh?' was upon her face.  I explained, would you rather vacuum and dust OR clean the bathrooms and floors.  "Oh, I will do the wet!"  Great!   So we split the tasks and she really did a great job but the bonus was that her attitude was very pleasant.  Who knew vacuuming could make her shoulders slump so?

I am getting together a summer activity list including books to read, projects to explore, finding a life-verse and things like that. I also want them to think about how they like to help, and what jazzes them about serving and being with the Lord.  They have been given wonderful, abundant gifts and abilities..  I pray all the time that the Lord would show us their gifts and hone them.

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