Have you ever received a gift that directly contributed to your life’s mission? A gift that in someway added to or developed your talents? A gift that allowed you to improve lives for others or to pay forward what you have been given?
Last week was my birthday and this year I was blessed with the coolest gifts!
Before I tell you more, here’s just a tiny bit of background for you. My mission in life is to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm. I am an encourager. It’s what I do. It’s the inherent drive in my very soul to uplift others, to inspire courage, confidence and spirit within them. One of the biggest ways that I find myself showing others how appreciated they are is by writing cards. I go through blank note cards, stationary and stamps extremely fast.
I love to write. My primary focus for writing is note cards and letters. I feel that is my biggest gift, my words individually written to another person. In fact, this belief that I have has even caused me to question whether or not I should blog. I ponder the number of individual cards that I could write additionally if I didn’t spend time blogging.
The cost of cards, envelopes and stamps can add up fairly quickly and become a prohibiting factor to furthering my cause. I have definitely found new creativity in getting good deals on cards. Stamps on the other hand, well they seem to be an ever increasing cost. So I have been praying for God to provide stamps and note cards. I have been sharing with those closest to me, when asked, that I would love stamps and note cards.
God has definitely provided out of his abundance! It is so awesome!
My Mom & Step Dad gave me four boxes of different cards for my birthday. They are so beautiful! My brother Craig bought me stamps. My brother Mike filled a shoebox with cards, gave me a roll of stamps and two purple gel pens to write notes with. So my card writing and encouraging tank is full of fuel to help me press on in my journey.
What a blessing it is that I received a gift so wonderful that I can turn around to be a gift to another! Who knows when a card I write arrives in someone’s mailbox by divine timing. Just when they thought about giving up, a message of hope arrives. Just when the fear seems so great, a reminder of their strengths boosts courage. Just when the loneliness seem so dark, a loving letter of friendship appears.
I know what notes, cards and letters mean. I keep the ones that I cherish the most in a box. I call it my treasure box. I go through it from time to time so that I may remember. It’s especially helpful when I am feeling low or want to give up on my mission. It is my dream that I may do for others, what has been done for me.
Cards and stamps was not the only gift I received that I can pour out with. My Dad and Step Mom gave me a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble. I have already used the gift card to purchase a book about being a better encourager and an intense 90 day Bible study book. Both of which will help strengthen my encouraging muscles so that I can be better in the future than I am today in this moment.
The whole experience has definitely made me look at gift giving in a new way. I should really give more thought to presents, so that I can help fuel the continuation of the recipient’s mission. I want the gifts that I give to truly be connected to their greatest passions and that will help them develop their talents. I know what an awesome and amazing blessing it is to receive gifts that can be poured forward to others.
One of the most delightful gifts I have in my life is my friend, Jana. She is one of the most joy filled and joyful people that I know. You can’t help but smile when you are in her presence. A little over a year ago, she gave me a daily calendar, 365 Great Things About Motherhood. Jana is so precious that every so often she wrote little notes to me. What a pleasure it is for me to flip the page in my calendar and find a Jana note! Jana is a blessing to me beyond words!
Here’s what the calendar just happens to say today, “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him” Luke 11:13
If we delight in the gifts we receive here on earth that are so tangible, subject to wear, tear and destruction. How much more amazing are Spiritual Gifts? Look at what I have found today regarding spiritual gifts.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corinthians 12:4
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8
When I work by my strength with my talents, I’m not going to get eternal success. I may see tangible results here and now, but it will quickly flit away. It is only when the Holy Spirit empowers the gift that treasures will be stored up in heaven. God will give us each gifts for us to use to serve, help and love others.
No gift is better than another because they all come from the same good, loving, compassionate and generous God. So what are your gifts? What has the Holy Spirit given you that you can use to build up the Body of Christ?
As part of the Body, I want you to know that I need you. I need your help. I need your strength. Without you, what I have been given will not function as well. Think about it this way, if I am a small muscle in a finger and you are the heart, I would not be able to move if it weren’t for the life giving oxygen which the blood you pump supplies me. In essence the words I type at this moment are possible because your gift met mine.
Whatever your gift is, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, you are so important. We as one would be less without you. You are a vibrant and critical portion of the whole. You are so much more important than cards and stamps because the blessings that pour from you can be lasting beyond the here and now. You are a blessing that God has painted into His masterpiece of eternity!
Oh how I praise You for Your greatness, for Your majesty and for Your awesomeness! Lord, I can not comprehend all of the spiritual gifts that You have designed, let alone all of the potential applications of each individual gift. The possibilities are so wondrous.
Thank You so much for the gift of each individual in the body of Christ. Thank You for making us unique and doing so in a way that we could all be unified together. How You do that is just part of Your goodness to marvel at! Thank You Lord, with loving gratitude. In Jesus’ name, amen.