Written by: Ms. O
It truly is all about the gift…that perfect “aha!” moment…when you’ve searched high and low…even ventured into online catalogs…to find, “it”. It is all in the giving…that is what a gift truly is – the “what” that comes behind the giving.
During stewardship, I am ever aware of what I lack. Sure, I would love to be able to sing…and in my own mind I am pretty good…but in reality I am apologizing right now to those who sit in front of me at church for what comes your way.
Yes, I can make “comfort foods”…in mass quantities…but anything beyond casseroles or simplified cuisine becomes a lack luster attempt at me believing myself to be the next Julia Child…and falling…way…short.
I am not the home decorator extraordinaire….basically my house is well lived in…you can’t break anything that hasn’t been broken before.
I have no sense of fashion…just comfort. I am not a girlie girl…my make up (and I use that term way loosely) tray is full of ideas that never come to fruition on my face…unless my daughter, who is well versed in fashion and make up, is there to help. My hair…oh my…let’s not even go there. I sometimes wonder if who I turned out to be is what God had in mind…or if I have tried to be so many things…without success…that I totally messed up His master plan….ugh.
My middle sister Carolyn is the master of all things….show her something…she can recreate it. She is the calm in the storm…the one that holds things together. I used to kid to myself that the house could be on fire and she would be calmly gathering the kids… and her photo albums…. as chaos reigned around her. Her beauty is so natural….her heart is huge along with her deep seeded faith . She keeps me grounded…making me wish I had one iota of what it takes to walk surely and with purpose each and every day. Her love of the Lord is what I am ever humbled by…always.
My eldest sister Kay is that ball of fire…the type A person that is not afraid…or least she makes it seem that way…to pursue what she feels deeply and strongly about. Even though some of our views do not match up, I can’t help but admire her “gumption”…(is that a word…for real??). She has accomplished much….things I cannot imagine ever having the courage to do…with elegance. I have thought several times that if I had an ounce of the courage she clearly has, that I could conquer my fears.
My children…my gems…. they are not reflections of me…but they are more like what I have always wanted to be. They love without thinking it out too hard. They have defied the odds at times to move boldly forward into futures that they dreamt of…gone through ups…and downs…and never allowed the bad to outshine the good. There are so many times that I have been witness to their faith….and find myself humbled. I started going to church because of them and they have truly outshined me. I have never seen faith like that which I witness in my children…and am reminded that I over-think things way too much.
My friends seem to reflect what I clearly wish I had. Strong, confident, gifted people. I surround myself with qualities I feel lacking so that I can glean from them. It’s like “hey, out of the way…check out what he/she has!”…as I walk in their wake. I see their gifts so clearly…and wonder…in all honesty…what do I bring?….
It is in those moments of self doubt and quandary that I am reminded of what gift God gave to me…what He created me for…which is not unique…but I lay claim to it…kind of like calling the front seat. He surrendered Himself so that I could love. Not the self-serving love we typically lean towards…nope. The heart rendering love that continues to tug at my heart…that calls me to be different…that makes me compassionate and able to hear the cries of others…that feel…like me.
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
Paul is my ever-present teacher…one day I plan to meet up with him in Heaven. He reminds me of God’s riches…what He has shared…with me…and expects me to gift to others. God SAVED me…through grace and whole lot of love…..the kind of love that truly humbles me. What I brought to the table at the time was pain, regret and a feeling of unworthiness….and He served up a heap of agape love….so that I could feast myself out of the famine.
This is what I hold true…God had the purest of intent in that gift…to make sure I would never question that I am worthy of love. I believe His desire for me is to remember that feeling I had as I approached the table…and invite others with that love that was given to me…so that others will never feel left out. So label me with the gift of hospitality…because this is the kind of party I like to be a part of…a Holy Ghost party…and it don’t stop…..Amen. Ms. O