8 Things I Know About You {The Grove: Gifted}

I don’t know if you would rather grab a cup of tea or coffee as we chat. I don’t know if you would prefer a blueberry muffin or a piece of fruit. But there are things I do know about you that we should talk about.

  1. You are God’s workmanship.

How honoring it is to God when you acknowledge His creativity, His extravagance, His provision in how He knit you together. He stitched your strengths into your being. He blended your personality with your abilities, and then He shaped and sharpened them through your upbringing, your family, your experiences.   All so you could bless your corner of the world with the unique mix of passion and strengths that make up you.

  1. You are gifted.

Your giftedness perfectly suits your place in the kingdom. Those expressions of God’s grace are yours but were never meant to be hoarded or kept under wraps. Figuring out how and where to invest your giftedness is your responsibility. And that responsibility was designed to bring you joy. (Think of the Parable of the Talents).

  1. You have limitations.

And your limitations are designed by your Creator as well. Your limitations narrow your focus and provide a framework for the investment of your gifts. That is a very good thing. So don’t despair when you try and fail, or when your capacity doesn’t match others’ expectations. It’s part of the discovery process.   And don’t fret when you need a rest. We all do. Your boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. (Psalm 16)

  1. You sometimes say yes when you should say no.

Me, too. It’s our common experience of being too quickly pulled into demands and end up occupied by endeavors that take from your capacity to be involved in what fits you so well. Don’t spend your days stringing and unstringing your instrument and let the song you came to sing remain unsung. (Rabindranath Tagore)

  1. You sometimes say no when you should say yes.

You feel a little embarrassed to say “I could do that”. You hold back. And we miss out on what you bring to the world. Let’s redefine humility as “being willing to be known as you truly are,” meaning you not only let people see the real you when it comes to weaknesses, but you also let them see the real you when it comes to your giftedness. You didn’t have anything to do with deciding which strengths God was going to build into you, so downplaying your gifts is downplaying God’s splendor in you.

  1. What is easy for you isn’t easy for others.

Your gifts make some tasks so easy for you that you are surprised when others struggle or dislike the tasks that are second nature to you. That’s how the body works. It’s hard to get a toe to do what the pancreas does so well. So, let’s commit to one another to replace judging and comparing with gratitude and grace.

  1. At times you feel unseen, overlooked, passed by.

There are seasons when our Father is more interested in your character development than in producing fruit through you. It will seem like no one notices you would be just the right person for that position. Or you have no voice on your team. Your gifts go unnoticed. You might even feel you’ve been misunderstood and misjudged. Don’t despair, sister. Your experiences in the wilderness are preparing you for greater fruitfulness and building into you what you need in the next season.

  1. We need you!

The rest of us need what you offer. A place in the world was carved out for the exact mix of personality, strengths, limitations, stage of life, nationality, upbringing, body shape, quirkiness, and giftedness that is you. (Ephesians 2:10)

Let’s celebrate His creativity in how He put you together!

Be brave and tell us about one of your gifts.

*****

 

This is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.

Photo Source : Unsplash

24 Comments

  1. Beth Everett January 22, 2015

    Such beautiful and encouraging words, Patty!  Thank you!

    1. Patty Stallings January 22, 2015

      Thanks, Beth.  It makes my heart happy that you were encouraged!

  2. Laura January 23, 2015

    Patty,

    So don’t despair when you try and fail, or when your capacity doesn’t match others’ expectations.

    There are seasons when our Father is more interested in your character development than in producing fruit through you.

    These two sentences were exactly what I needed to hear, gentle reminders that even though the last couple of years on the field have been difficult, God is still at work in me and meeting others’ expectations isn’t the goal. Thank you!

    1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

      Dear Laura, may His good work in you bear fruit in the coming season.  No doubt He is pleased with your trust in Him even when things are hard.  Blessings to you!

  3. a gurl January 23, 2015

    Wow. Thank you for this. I come and go on this blog. Afraid to commit and really be…real. The preparation and messy love are all that I know at the moment.

    What I do is get behind the camera and capture images. It is second nature to do. I have never had any training I just click away. And capture…

    I am still in the what is it God. I know the calling. And I know this…

    Embrace the messy.

    Work out of your pain…

    and that God is…

    we go back to Nicaragua for 10 days January 30th…

     

    1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

      What a wonderful gift – to be able to capture beauty and all of life’s many emotions in your lens.  May the messy love carry you through this next transition!

  4. Ruth January 23, 2015

    Patty, I always love how you write with so much wisdom! I was reading through this thinking, oh, #3 is awesome, that’s my favorite. No wait, #6. Oh wow, has to be #7. I feel like your words aren’t just good words, they are specific truths that are ordained for specific people (like me!)  at these moments. Actually, that’s what amazes me most about VA overall. It speaks so aptly, so deeply, at just the right moment. Not a coincidence!

    1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

      Ruth, your words breathe life into my courage and hope!

  5. JulieB January 23, 2015

    Patty-

    Your gift obviously is exhortation and encouragement and you do both of these so beautifully!  Thank you for the reminders and encouragement.  Love Ephesians …..called, chosen, gifted, thankfulness, love, grace, rest, boundaries….such good reminders.  Let Love rule in all our relationships!  Rooted and established in love….to focus on how we are loved by God and then let His love flow out of us through the ways He has gifted us.

    We are coming back from the States next week…hope to get to meet you over a cup of tea soon!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

      Hi Julie.  Thanks for your encouragement!
      We are in Thailand right now, but I will definitely look forward to that cup of tea in March!  May your goodbyes be meaningful and your transition back be smooth.  Enjoy your last days with those you love in the US.

  6. Jennifer January 23, 2015

    Patti,

    Thank you for such a great post which really does capture the heart of what is most important in this. Really taking hold of this and living the truth of this in our lives day by day, week by week, year by year, is the challenge. In many ways it does manage to sum up some of the most significant lessons the challenges of the last few years have taught me. Real standout line for me in what you have written “Your experiences in the wilderness are preparing you for greater fruitfulness and building into you what you need in the next season.”

    1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

      Hi Julie.  Thanks for your encouragement! We are in Thailand right now, but I will definitely look forward to that cup of tea in March!  May your goodbyes be meaningful and your transition back be smooth.  Enjoy your last days with those you love in the US.

      1. Patty Stallings January 23, 2015

        Oops – I somehow submitted that comment twice.  What I meant to do was reply to YOU, Jennifer!  🙂
        I believe with all my heart that wilderness experiences are purposeful and necessary for our growth.  Our desires are transformed, our affections are purified, our character is refined.  And I believe He does this to give us the desires of our heart.  May you experience His grace and kindness as you continue to walk in faith, Jennifer!

  7. Elizabeth January 23, 2015

    Oh Patty, I agree with Ruth, above, when she said all of these were her favorites. But probably 3, 4, 5, and 7 were my absolute most favorites. I have limitations — yes — more than I care to admit — and it’s usually when I say yes to too many social engagements that I discover them! And I am only learning to say yes to the things I need to, that use my gifts. It was easier to learn how to say no to certain things than to say yes to certain things. Funny how that works.

    And I have often felt overlooked. But I am learning, slowly, that that feeling doesn’t matter as much when I’m following God the best I can, and finding more fulfillment in Him than in being known for XYZ. It’s interesting because this is QUITE  the process, and improvement and growth can only be seen in retrospect, when I realize, hey, I don’t feel the same way about some insecurity as I used to. Then I think, all those times when I prayed and prayed and didn’t feel ANY change happening, well, maybe, just maybe, change was happening, but it was so subtle I didn’t feel it. Anyway, that’s a little tangent, so I will wrap this comment up now 🙂

    1. Patty Stallings January 24, 2015

      Hey Elizabeth.  I relate to “It was easier to learn how to say no to certain things than to say yes to certain things.”  Me, too.  I think everyone must want that “prize task” because it seems so wonderful to me (because it would be so wonderful to me because it fits who I am) and that it would be selfish for me to claim that task.  Surely, everyone must want that one!  Funny how our thinking gets so twisted up when it comes to using what God has put in us!

      I love that you are “finding more fulfillment in Him than in being known for XYZ.”  Yes, yes, yes!  Blessings to you!

  8. Wesley January 24, 2015

    Thank you, Patty! This week’s topic has been such an encouragement to me as I find myself preparing to leave my current position and unsure of which passions/giftings/skills to pursue. Wondering if everything can be channeled together …

    “And don’t fret when you need a rest. We all do. Your boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. (Psalm 16)” That Psalm has been my go-to for the past year through several transitions within my job, personal and ministry stress, and the continual journey of learning how to thrive overseas. Indeed, these boundaries are pleasant in the life where He leads.

    Number 7 spoke to me so much – I often think about finding God in the wilderness, and forget these times are preparation. And voiceless – yes. So many chords struck today!

    1. Patty Stallings January 24, 2015

      Wesley, so glad you came by today and added your voice!  Transitions are such a good time to think through what fits and doesn’t fit.

      I’m thinking you might benefit from exploring your passions, gifts, and strengths with a coach who understands our life.  Coaching Mission International offers coaching for cross cultural workers at a very reasonable cost.  Check out the Bridges program at cmiprograms.org

      Blessings upon blessings as you transition into the next season!

      1. Wesley January 25, 2015

        Thank you for the resource! Looking forward to checking it out 🙂

  9. Sveta Dunlap January 24, 2015

    Thank you! Thank you! This blog is such an encouragement to me and a place I feel like there really are other women out there like me. It’s a beautiful connecting place. This post was especially encouraging and said some things I really needed to hear.

    1. Patty Stallings January 24, 2015

      Hi Sveta.  I’m so glad you found us and have been encouraged!

      Velvet Ashes has Connection Groups starting soon.  You might enjoy joining a group of other women who understand what your life is about. Blessings!

  10. MaDonna January 25, 2015

    Thanks for  your timely wisdom, as always. Seriously #7 spoke to me. Loved that you reminded me that some seasons God is more concerned with our character – that was encouraging to me! Thanks!

    1. Patty Stallings January 25, 2015

      Thank you, MaDonna.  I’m encouraged because you were encouraged.  🙂

      I’ll be trusting with you that what God is building in you now will allow your gifts to shine in this coming season!

  11. Monica January 26, 2015

    This spoke to my heart today in such a meaningful way.  Thank you for blessing me with words of encouragement and love.  You are a beautiful writer too!

     

    1. Patty Stallings January 26, 2015

      Thank you, Monica.  I hope we get to meet someday.  I have the sense we are like-hearted!

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