Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tapping Into Your Talent

"I have no idea what to do with my life.  I'm not really good at anything." 
Has anyone ever made this statement in your presence? I admit I have said it myself and not just once, but it's something I've grappled with most of my life, and after doing this "mom gig" for the past thirty-one years, I have explored this subject many times with various personalities and stages of development amongst my own kids as well as others.
It's so easy to compare ourselves to others, and to embrace the deceptive lie that you were skipped when talents were handed out. It's not only kids who question their mission in life, but many adults as well.  In fact it's taken me a long time to finally figure out my own skill set. 
Raise your hand if you've ever compared yourself to someone else. Seriously, if we were in a room full of people, I'm pretty sure that if each person answered honestly, every hand in the room would be raised. How many people can relate to me when I tell you that I have spent my life sabotaging myself by believing that I'm not as well equipped as someone else I know.  Over the past few years I have prayed about this issue regularly. 
Proverbs 3:5-6 says
" Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths."
The more I prayed about this subject, the more God brought specific scriptures to mind, and began to change my thinking. He reminded me that He is the giver of gifts, and that any talent I have, comes from Him and is to be used and honed for His glory. I was also reminded of the parable of the talents spoken of in Matthew 25:14-30, and became convicted about my attitude towards my own skills.  He gave me gifts. He has equipped me, but I was burying the talents He entrusted to me. I was busy comparing myself to others, believing that I could only use my gifts to a point, and mainly behind the scenes. The truth is that I need to learn from those who are more skilled than I am, and be willing to share my gifts wherever He calls me to.  
He gives courage.  He gives strength. He fills us with joy, and He gives us a passion for the gifts He has given us.  I began to realize that the things I find the most joy doing, were things I was passing off to others that I viewed as more skilled. I didn't fully trust God or press into Him for wisdom, and further equipping. I was looking at myself and believing that these were my gifts and I had to be perfect at them before they could truly be opened to expose their full potential. God reminded me that He gave me the gifts and He would give me ability as I trusted Him by walking in obedience and humbly asking for His help.
We're all glory seekers, so it's natural for us to think WE have to be perfectly capable and self sufficient before we can excel at something, but God calls us to be humble before Him, and to depend on Him in all ways. Stewardship of the gifts He has given is key, and trusting Him to equip us, provide opportunities for their use, and humbly seeking opportunity for growth are all part of that.
Think about the things you enjoy doing. It could be writing, music, gardening, sports, speaking, mentoring, gardening, decorating, coordinating events, photography, teaching, infant care, care-giving, and the list goes on. What makes you light up? What do you have such a passion for that you are willing to give so much time to it, that you don't even realize how quickly the time has flown by?
For me the answers surprised me. It is exciting when you can finally put your finger on the pulse of what makes you come alive with passion! I was genuinely surprised as I made out my list and began to trust God as I presented my gifts to Him for His use. Suddenly, I became aware of the many opportunities to share and hone the talents He gave me. I was so excited to learn that I actually HAVE talents! I tentatively began to take action, and have found so much joy in the journey.
One of the risks I took a year ago, was starting a small choir at the school, and I'm so amazed each time we get together to practice, or as I am planning, or meeting with the leadership team, how excited I am about all that we are doing.  I love working with the kids, and they are each so precious to me.  I'm so thankful for the women God has brought alongside me to share their amazing talents, wisdom, and joy. We each bring to the table different skill sets and it's so amazing how God can use a group of imperfect people to bring about something truly beautiful. They have become very dear friends, and we have bonded quickly. I'm learning so much from them, and enjoy sharing all I can with them. When people come together, offering their skills, it's an incredible thing! We all add something special and unique to the team.
If you think you don't have talent, may I encourage you to stop that line of thinking right now?  It took until I was 50 to begin to correct wrong thinking.  God did give me talents and now that I can see that, embrace it, and offer it to others, I am amazed at the joy that has increased in my life, and the new friendships that are developing. I am not a classically trained musician, but I do have a passion for music, a background in choir, a love for worship, singing and teaching voice. God brought two women this year who have different abilities that fill in all the gaps I can't provide. They are both musicians, and our pianist is highly trained, and very skilled at teaching the musicianship aspect. Each of them are amazing at running sectionals and helping to perfect timing, and not only that, but we build each other up to become better equipped. Last year I timidly responded to a prompting God put on my heart to start the choir. It was a wonderful year, but not without challenges and struggles that were painful, yet produced growth and change. The results have been so rewarding. He is faithful in all things. I encourage anyone who hasn't yet truly tapped into their God given gifts, to begin to seek Him and allow Him to reveal to you what your own, unique, talents truly are. 

I couldn't resist taking a few pictures yesterday. We practice hard, and we believe the kids need to have time to hang out and have some fun together each week, as well.

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