Gifts and Giftedness

I’ve spent the greater part of the past 12 years pondering my spiritual gift. I’ve taken test after test after test to reveal what my gift really was. I’ve gotten the same answer time after time. You would think that would be enough to convince me.

It wasn’t.

My result revealed a talent I have. But not my spiritual gift.

So I’ve been praying that my gift, my special gift from God to be used to build up His body for His glory, a passion for something that goes beyond anything I could possess and did possess from birth would be shown to me. And slowly over time (because I’m slow to learn) God has been showing me. Not by words or sky-writing. But by revealing a passion in me. By showing me things I currently do, attitudes I have that are not natural for me at all.

A dozen and a half years ago a man took a chance on an immature, selfish woman by giving her a job. A job she had never done before and had no real qualifications for.  That job, and the training I received have proved invaluable to me. Those years I spent in his employ revealed to me a talent I was given.  During this time, I discovered my talent for office administration and my desire/passion to see ministry leaders look good.  Those desires and talents were shown and honed a few years ago. But my spiritual gift has been more recently shown to me.

I am, like all human beings, intrinsically selfish. It’s my nature. I don’t know if I’m any more or less selfish than the next person, I only know when the chips are down I’m more likely to look out for myself than anyone else.  Helping someone else has not ever been high on my list of priorities. Helping myself, you betcha. Others? Nope.

However, in the past couple of years God has been changing my desires. I now see that my spiritual gift is not administration (as the tests revealed). It’s not “pastor-shepherd” as the tests also revealed.

It’s service.

I get a huge charge out of serving others. I’ve noticed when you take my natural talent of office administration, add a heaping dose of my desire to see leaders look good and add my spiritual gift of service, you have a dynamic combination. A combination that both excites and thrills me. A combination that I’m passionate about, passionate enough to do any job utilizing those abilities for His glory and for free.

To put my money where my mouth is, I am currently working as a volunteer. I volunteer my time and abilities as an administrative assistant to an author from California.

And I couldn’t be happier. The joy and for lack of a better word, warm fuzzies I get from this is payment enough. I am truly the richest person I know.  To take the natural talent God gave me, added with a passion that can only come from Him, and the spiritual gift He bestowed is overwhelming to me. That He should desire to use me at all to bless others is mind-boggling.

It also feeds the passion to do more for Him. His pay scale is out of this world.

Birthdays And Sunny Days

They both make me incredibly happy. Especially when, with the former, I ignore that fact that I’m starting a stare down with the half-century mark.

Okay, yes, it is a few years away still, but in the words of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, “But it’s out there!”

Have you read The Five Love Languages by Gary Smalley? He explains how each person has (generally) one dominant way in which they both feel and express love. Some people are as he explains, bi-lingual, in that they speak two different love languages.

Gifts and time are my languages. One of them I’d love to exchange.

The Gifts one.

I know with all of them you’re asking people to give you something (love) but gifts…when you’re a child it’s to be expected. When you’re in a stare down with a half-century of life on planet earth, most people think you’re crazy. I hear from a lot of people, “Just stop talking about it.” and “Oh! You just want everything don’t you?” or “You’re the one who always wants gifts.”

So I decide to take a vow of silence on all things gift.

Then my love tank takes a dive and I’m left feeling alone, unloved, unworthy. I know I’m not. I’m not blaming anyone for those feelings. They’re a lie.

But God, in His infinite wisdom, has hardwired each of us to have at least one love language. By His design, we are like this.

I can’t change the way I’m wired. I can’t exchange one language for another. The more thought I give it, I realize I don’t even know which one I would change it to.

Touch. Yeah, this is so not me. I’m not quite as out there as a friend from my college days who made me stand on one side of her and a cousin (of hers) stand on the other side when we’d get in a circle and join hands to pray. We only held pinkies. But there are so many, many times that I want to shout, “If you love me you won’t touch me!”  The hard part about this is, my 12-year old has touch as her love language.

Acts of Service.  I find that when people start doing things for me, I start to feel entitled. And incredibly lazy. Both of which I hate. I wish I would feel loved instead.

Words of Affirmation. This one is super. I know I can always use a few more “attagirl” and the warm, fuzzy feelings I get when I hear them. But they aren’t necessary to my emotional health. I need them, you need them, everyone needs them.

I’ve really come to the conclusion that we all need all of them. We all need gifts, time, touch, acts of service, and words of affirmation. But we need one more than the others.

This is totally not what I had intended to blog about today. But apparently this is what was inside.

Believe, Living The Story of the Bible to become like Jesus {A Review}

To be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting into with this book. It was billed as a Bible, but it wasn’t a Bible-Bible.  My curiosity got the better of me and I agreed to review it.

I LOVE It!! 

From the back cover:

It’s one thing to know the story of the Bible. It’s another thing to live it. Grounded in carefully selected Scripture, Believe NIV is a unique spiritual growth experience that takes you on a journey to think, act and be more like Jesus.

The book is divided into three sections. The first ten chapters detail the core Beliefs of the Christian life. It is a study of some of the main doctrines but is more a place to go for answers to your “what does the Bible say about” type of questions.  The chapters deal with God, Salvation, The Bible, Humanity, Eternity, Stewardship, and others.

The second ten chapters deal with the core Practices of the Christian life.  These chapters answer the question, “What should I do?” These chapters deal with Worship, prayer, Bible Study, single-mindedness, spiritual gifts, sharing my faith and others.

The final ten chapters contain the core Virtues of the Christian life. These answer the question, “Who am I becoming?” These chapters deal with topics like: Love, joy, peace, patience and others.

Randy Frazee is the general editor of the and he did a masterful job of allowing the Scripture to speak for itself with very little commentary. I really enjoyed reading his thoughts as he led us through the topic.

I am excited to delve further into the book, to study it. I’m planning on going through it with my children. It would also be great to have a whole church, small group, Bible study go through it.   This summer they are coming out with a book geared towards children 4-8, 8-12 and over 12. They will also have a full church kit available.

This book gets 10 turning pages!

I received a free copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

The Daniel Cure by Susan Gregory {A Review}

The Daniel Cure by Susan Gregory is not to be confused with The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren is a healthy-eating/living/diet book based on the book of Daniel in the Bible.

A number of years ago Susan Gregory experienced great success with following a diet like the one mentioned in Daniel chapter 1. If you’re not familiar with that, Daniel along with other young Jewish men were taken captive to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. Knowing that the food from the king’s table had been sacrificed to idols, and wanting to keep themselves pure, Daniel and two of his friends choose to eat only vegetables and drink only water.  The chief of the eunuchs was afraid that he would be in trouble with the king if he allowed Daniel and his friends to eat this way because they would not be as healthy as the rest. Daniel convinced him to let them try it for ten days.  At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his friends were healthier than the others who did not follow this diet.

I found this book to be both a mix of good and bad information.  Good in that I learned things I had not previously learned in my study of nutrition.  For example, one thing I learned (or probably re-learned) was how the blood is pumped from the heart. And just how many times the heart pumps the blood throughout the body every day.  The heart pumps the blood from and to the heart every minute that you are resting, faster if you’re active.

And bad because the book claims that you will feel amazing as soon as you start eating a healthy diet of vegetables. That just isn’t true at least not for most people. Most people will experience a time of feeling horrible with flu-like symptoms as the body rids itself of toxins.

I liked the good information. I will keep this book around and refer to it as it will be a great reference.

If you, like myself, follow a paleo type of diet, and are thinking this book will be a great addition to your paleo cookbooks, let me save you the $22.99 and tell you it’s not.  I was not able to prepare any of the recipes in the book as they contain ingredients I can not eat.  According to the Biblical account of Daniels’ “diet” (which by the way was not to “get healthy” but was in fact no defile himself with food sacrificed to idols), he ate only vegetables and drank only water, he did not eat grains. Or he might have, I wasn’t there. But this book uses both vegetables AND grains. So sorry, Paleo people, it’s not for you.

I received a free copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

The Allergy-Fighting Garden by Thomas Leo Ogren {A review}

As an allergy sufferer, in a family of allergy sufferers this book was eye-opening! In The Allergy-Fighting Garden, author Thomas Leo Ogren paints a vivid picture of why allergies are on the rise. And guess what?

It’s our fault!

But we can change it. He states how the problem was started and how we can now work to change it, at least as far as it depends on us.  One whole section of the book is devoted to allergy-fighting plants, their hardiness zone and their OPALS rating.

I loved and learned from this book. This is definitely a must-read for anyone who suffers with allergies or lives with someone who suffers with them. I am definitely going to be taking this book with me when I shop for plants from now on!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

New Experience

I had a brand new experience this week. One that I’ve wanted to try for a number of years but had not had the opportunity. This week it was an option available to me and I jumped at the chance.

I had my hair cut by a man!

And I’m never going back to a woman hair stylist again. Or not if I can help it. He was a man of few words, I don’t think he spoke much more than 25 words to me the entire time I was in the shop. But that isn’t what made him good. He was fast!  He asked two questions and snip, snip and I was done.

And it’s perfect.

Okay, I’m somewhat shocked that I chose this to blog about today, and it’s so short and to the point (why, oh a million times why did I just type “and to the phone”?). But this morning I woke with a raging migraine and my Beanie woke up feeling like…well….you don’t really want to know but it caused me to open one of her bedroom windows a smidge to allow the cold (frigid!) air in to hopefully kill all things germ.  That has caused me to be even more cold than normal…as if that were even possible.

Virginiaology…Updated!

***********FOODOLOGY***************

What is your salad dressing of choice?
I detest salad dressing.

Favorite Restaurant?
Currently….Qdoba and 5 Guys Burgers and Fries

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Any I don’t have to cook as long as it isn’t liver and onions.

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Everything except anchovies.

What do you like to put on your toast?
Butter. Lots and lots of butter.

***********TECHNOLOGY***************

How many televisions are in your house?
1

What color is your cellphone?
Blue initially, now it’s red and black

Do you have an iPod?
Yup. Sorta. An MP3

***************BIOLOGY******************

Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Right-handed with ambidextrous (sp???) tendencies

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
My bag of bones out of bed.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
I have passed out numerous times.

********BULLOLOGY******

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Definitely not.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I used to want to be named Jolene.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
Sign me up!

**************FAVORITOLOGY****************

Season?
Spring/Summer/Fall

Holiday?
Valentine’s Day

Day of the week?
Payday????

Month?
October/May

***********CURRENTOLOGY*****************

Missing someone?
Of course

Mood?
Sleepy

What are you listening to?
People in the coffee shop

Current worry?
None Life is too short.

***************RANDOMOLOGY*****************

First place you went this morning?
the bathroom!

What’s the last movie you saw?
Shall We Dance

Do you smile often?
I dunno…maybe?

***************OTHER-OLOGY*****************

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
3 or 4

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A week ago..while watching Adam-12.

Last person you talked to?
Ariana

Last person you hugged?
Ariana

Do you always answer your phone?
Not always but I’m answering it more than I used to.

It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
It had better be a wrong number.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I LOVE my green eyes

Do you own a digital camera?
Yes.

Have you ever had a pet fish?
Yes, and an albino frog named Al

Favorite Christmas song?
Silver Bells

What’s on your wish list for your birthday?
Gifts. Lots and lots of gifts.

Can you do push ups?
Not to save my life.

Can you do splits?
Uhhhh let me think…NO

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Excited!!!

Do you have any saved texts?
Maybe

Have you ever been in a car accident?
Yes, one. August 2, 2008.

Do you have an accent?
I have been told I have a British accent

What is the last movie to make you cry?
Shall We Dance.

Plans tonight?
Supper banquet

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
No.

Name three things you bought yesterday?
I spent no money yesterday at all.

Have you ever been given roses?
Yes! Not since being married, though. AHEMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Met someone who changed your life?
Just every person I have ever met.

Name two people who might complete this?
MYSELF AND MYSELF.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Ehhhhhhhhhh no.

Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
Just 1 hole in each rear. I mean ear.

Does anyone love you?
YOU better!!!

Would you be a pirate?
Of course.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don’t. Nasty sounds.

Ever had someone sing to you?
No I don’t think so.

Have you held hands with anyone today?
Elizabeth. She loves touch.

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Ariana and Elizabeth

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
Old.At my age all my friends are old…except for those that are young.

Do you like pulpy orange juice?
I don’t like orange juice.