Sunday, May 7, 2017

What & Who You Are is God's Gift to You

My parents had it easy -- at least as far as having a daughter who was low maintenance. I was not an overachiever. I was not athletic. I didn’t need them taking me to all kinds of practices and tournaments. I was not outgoing. In fact, I was downright shy so they didn’t have to take me to parties or social events. I was okay with singing in my church choir, playing the piano, and being an average student. And, it was a good thing because my dad was very ill and any extra time my mom had, outside of work, was devoted to his care. Honestly, it was a good thing that I was status quo kid.

But along the way, I fell for an overachiever boy, who was athletic, competitive, the life of the party, an above average student, and refused to accept status quo about anything….including me. That boy, even as a 13-year old, was my cheerleader who brought out the best in me. Eventually, he became my husband and to this day, I see him all around me, and even in me. He was the one who pushed me in excellence, to be a speaker and teacher. He urged me to use all those piano lessons that I had taken, to play for my church, and to even transition to playing the organ. He’s the one who pushed me to get my pilot's license, securities brokers license, and my real estate brokers license and to be the best I could be in business. To this day, I see him in my kids and grandkids. Every one of them seemed to get his good genes when it came to being strong, motivated, optimistic, aggressive and outgoing. He taught them “Who you are is God’s gift to you. What you do with yourself, is your gift back to God.”

This post came as a result of watching the commitment my children have made to help their kids excel in whatever they set their hands and heart to. The hours upon hours of working with the kids on their speeches and debates, baseball and golf practices and tournaments, vocal and instrumental rehearsals and events, and so many other extracurricular activities. I see the time and effort and I remember the hours we put into our kids --- the sports games and rarely missing any game they played. The music and business competitions they were involved in -- which we were highly involved in, too. No problem. We knew they were our greatest assets and we knew whatever we did to help them be the best they could be, only caused our investments to increase in value.

This post is in no way to boast about the graces of God and the gifts we received, because every one of us could have been like that one in the Bible who had received talents, but because he was afraid he'd lose them, he buried them....to protect them. But the lineage and legacy of our family wouldn’t stand for that. We know that every one of us are here on purpose, with purpose and destiny to fulfill. The more we hold back. The less we give back. The quieter we are and the less-than-impactful life we live, is belittling and making light of the gift God made us to be.

My grandson’s recent speech on adversity resonated with me. Payton recently had the opportunity to meet and have a one-on-one with Nick Vujicic, the young man who was born with no arms or legs, who at 10-years old tried to commit suicide because he felt so worthless as a human being. Eventually, he took the adversity he encountered and turned it for a platform for God. Because of the ministry of "Life Without Limbs", God has used him in countless schools, churches, prisons, orphanages, hospitals, stadiums and in face-to-face encounters with individuals, telling them how very precious they are to God. He assures people that God does have a plan for each and every life that is meaningful and purposeful, for God took Nick's life, one that others might disregard as not having any significance and He filled Nick with His purpose and showed him His plans to use him to move hearts and lives toward Him.

What about you and I today? What are we doing with God's gift to us? Are we standing up with our hands raised, saying "God, pick me! Use me! Sincerely, "What and who we are is God's gift to us, and what we are making of ourselves, is our gift back to Him!"