In another lovely reminder of the passing of time, I went to my doctor’s office last week for my annual checkup. As I sat in the waiting room, I scanned a newspaper article about young, successful business men and women. Each was asked to give a piece of advice that he or she had found helpful. The following saying caused me to put down the paper and meditate on it’s words.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck
How ironic that on that very day I had used another quote from Bombeck in my blog post. As I considered her words, I questioned how I was doing with the talent that God has given me. Am I daily seeking to use it (or them) in the way God would intend?
Each season of life offers a different challenge and, I believe, a unique opportunity to make use of our gifts. Am I to be encouraging someone else through a thoughtful note, serving in a particular ministry at church, doing outreach in the community? Especially as a wife and mother, am I using the abilities I have been given to build a home that would be pleasing to God?
Whatever my talents, I pray that I will use each of them in a way that would be pleasing to God and accomplish the work that He has set for me to do. Today may I unwrap the talent with which I’ve been blessed and use it for His glory.
Visit Tuesdays Unwrapped hosted by Chatting at the Sky.
My dad is one of the wisest men I know. Occasionally I have shared here quotes or advice that he has given me. His two most oft-repeated statements when my siblings and I were growing up were “Life is not fair” and “Attitude is everything.” Let’s just say that those words covered about every situation we encountered.
I am consciously passing those same sayings along to our children. There are never-ending opportunities to put them into practice. Case in point: On Saturday night, at a church carnival and cookout, one of my daughter’s got to go on a hay ride twice while the other daughter only got one turn. Sure enough, out of the mouth of the one who thought she had been shortchanged came the words “But that’s not fair.” All I had to say was, “And what would Granddaddy say about that?” While she may not have liked it at that moment, she got the point. Someday I hope it sinks in and that both of our girls will understand that, as much as we might wish it was, not everything that happens in life is fair.
In reading my recently reviewed book, Muthering Heights, I recalled another piece of advice that my dad shared with us. I found this suggestion in the book as well and believe that it is so helpful. In life, make sure that you always have something that you can look forward to taking place.
In a big picture way, this could be a future activity for which you’re planning ahead. For example, in December we are taking our girls to see the play “A Christmas Carol.” In preparation for this, we are reading the book aloud at night and talking to them about what we’ll be seeing. The girls also know that we hope to take a trip to Disney World some time next year and we all enjoy discussing that possibility.
However, on a smaller scale, I think it is great to have something to look forward to each week. Whether it’s a family activity or something just for you, it brings a little spark to life if you know something enjoyable is just ahead. It could be an hour of shopping time alone while your husband or a friend watches the children. How about taking half of nap time and sitting down to read two chapters of a book and refusing to feel guilty about all of the housework that’s not being accomplished? Maybe it’s a scheduled date night with your husband, a mom’s morning out program or a surprise picnic outing with your children. However small it is, make time to put something on your calendar each week that you can look forward to.
So what am I looking forward to this week? Helping out at the girls’ school on Friday morning, then doing a bit of shopping by myself before picking them up that afternoon. That’s why I’ve been ironing like a mad woman this morning and will try to get ahead on my other chores during the first part of the week!
Do you enjoy the anticipation of upcoming vacations and holidays? Are you able to fit in a small activity during the week that you enjoy? I’d love to hear about it!
In yesterday morning’s message at church, our pastor gave an illustration about prayer and telling God, “If you’ll do it, I’ll tell it.” Well, I’m here to tell it!
Tomorrow morning my six-year-old is scheduled to have some dental work done. In the dentist office on Thursday I was given an estimate of what it will cost – basically a lot!
After trying to decide if this was something we really needed to do right now and reaching the conclusion that it is necessary, I was wondering if there might be any way to reduce the charges. I do not like asking for things; bartering has never been my thing! However, I decided that I would at least call and ask if there was any discount, especially since we will be paying for this ourselves.
Before picking up the phone this morning (and remembering pastor’s example), I prayed and asked God, if it would be His will, to allow them to give me a discount. After a couple of attempts, I finally reached the person I needed to speak with. We talked about my situation and she said that while the normal office policy was to give a 3% or 5% discount to patients paying cash upfront, she would give me a 10% discount for tomorrow’s services. She was very nice to deal with and I was thrilled!
Was this what many would consider a coincidence or something so small that God wouldn’t be interested in it? Maybe, but I believe that God answered my prayer! What an encouragement to me as I think about the fact that as surely as He answers such small and simple prayers, I can rest in the knowledge that He is also working in the bigger, more life-changing requests that I bring before Him.
Any answered prayer in your life lately? I’d love to hear about it!
- Time to those things that are most important in light of eternal values
- Kind words to my family and others with whom I come in contact
- Smiles, showing the joy that Christ gives
- Thoughtful gestures
- Help to someone in need
- Thanks in each situation
- Encouragement to someone who needs it
- Attention to what is going on at the moment, not being distracted
Since I’ve been dealing with a bout of selfishness lately, I hope that this gets me headed in a better direction!