A lunch break blogger, just writing to hear herself talk.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

God-Given Gifts

I had a little mini-epiphany the other day so I figured I'd share it! Disclaimer: this blog isn't really that entertaining. Don't worry, I'll be back to my old self tomorrow.

I read an article about "The measure of faith"... discussing how, in the Bible, they talk about God giving each person a different measure of faith. And God gave some people the gift of great faith, others the gift of giving wise advice, others the gift of special knowledge. I'm paraphrasing here, it's 1 Corinthians 12:6, but the point is, he didn't give ALL of us the gift of great faith.

My epiphany was two fold. First off: None of us got all the gifts. For a long time, I resented that almost every time (had to go back and add that 'almost' haha) D and I get in to an argument, I have to be the one that ends the fight. I have to apologize first. I have to crack the first joke. I have to describe why I thought we got in to this fight and how I thought we could avoid it next time. I'm the peace-maker. That is one of my gifts. And it DROVE ME NUTS (and made me angry) that he didn't share that same gift. I wanted to be the stubborn one and I wanted him to figure out a way to calm me down and make things better. And I judged him for not naturally being good at that. But do you know what? Daryl has a really great gift of being a helluva lot more easy going than me. He picks one fight to my 10 20 25. He lets the little things go so masterfully, with no resentment (that I can tell, anyway). If it weren't for that gift, we'd be in bad shape. So who am I to cast judgement? I should absolutely be thankful ONE of us is good at peace-making and one of us is good at letting the little things go. It's what makes us work. And, for that matter, I should be super willing to peace-make as quickly as I can. It's a gift I was given to strengthen my future marriage. I need to use that gift joyfully (and humbly, because I probably picked the fight to begin with!)

Similarly, I am super efficient. Daryl is super detail oriented and patient. Who am I to cast judgement that he does not have the same gift I have of efficiency? A couple nights ago, I watched him painstakingly shim our kitchen table so it wouldn't wobble (and making sure it was perfectly level). I sat straddling a backwards kitchen chair, watching him, having to tell myself this is a gift. The fact that he will work hard for a long time to make something perfect... that's GOOD! I, on the other hand, would have done the job in 1/2 the time and it wouldn't have been QUITE as level and wouldn't have lasted half as long before it started wobbling again. So, with the task of getting the house cleaned for the house guests we were expecting the next day, I have to realize, this is my strength. I can get 90% of the house clean (not perfect, but efficient), all while he is distracted shimming that table. This is my God-given strength and I need to work on joyfully using it. Because there will be times when perfection and patience will be required (hanging my new 5' longhorn skull comes to mind) and I will get utterly frustrated and complacent about 10 minutes in and I will need to lean on his strengths.

Overall, I just started thinking about strengths... and how sometimes we have a hard time identifying them. And how sometimes I try to force people to do things that aren't a strength of their's but is a strength of mine and get so frustrated when they don't do it the same way I would. Changing people is hard (impossible?). Learning to focus on strengths and humbly be patient with weaknesses is possible! And something I'm going to try harder at.

My second ephipony is: some of us are not designed to have GREAT faith. The article/verse was really discussing THIS issue, not the one I was talking about before, but it's funny how the same verse can teach so many lessons depending on what you're going through at the time. Anyway, I read these blogs and admire other very devoted, faith-filled couples. And I look at Daryl and I and I start to feel... a little less than? I worry what is wrong with us. Why do we seem to not have as much faith as other couples, when we believe all the same things they do? And I felt a little more contentment after reading this article and realizing, maybe NEITHER of us got this gift. We have faith... but neither of us have GREAT faith. The blog says "Perhaps you have more time [than your husband] to dig deeper into the Scriptures or listen to Bible radio programs throughout the day and as a result, your faith is stronger [than your husband's]." Neither of us have that time (I say as I write a blog... #guilty). We both strive to grow our faith, but neither of us have the personality type that is predisposed toward great faith... and for the first time, after reading this article and verse, I realized that's okay. Just keep reading the Word. And keep praying. And be content with trying to be good people who love God.

So anyway, if you love God but feel like you're surrounded by people who seem to love God MORE somehow, know that I feel ya. And I'll probably pray for you to have peace in the measure of faith God gave you, but I might not mention it on Facebook. And people might not think of me when they think of Christian mentors, which honestly hurts my ego a little because I do want to be an example people think of when they think of Christ-centered people, but maybe that's not my gift. I just have to keep focused on what I need to be focused on and compare myself a little less.

Okay, done with my annual serious-ish blog post! XO!



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