As Fr. Stan Fortuna so eloquently says, “God gives us all a gift. Problem is, we don’t like the gift He gives us.”
We look around at other people and say, “THAT gift. I want that one.” We forget to look inside ourselves and see the beauty in the gift God gives US. Maybe your gift is whipping up fantastic meals, crafting with your kids, remembering the special days in other people’s lives, listening when everyone else is talking, blogging, singing, gardening, praying.
There are so many gifts out there. But, with the age of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and the rest of the interwebs, it seems like everyone’s gifts are better than yours. Am I right? I spent a long time apologizing for my gifts, not recognizing them and feeling bad when other people would say, “Oh, I wish I could do that.” In reality, I was looking at their gifts and thinking the very same thing.
That’s what we call good ‘ol fashioned jealousy.
There are so many gifts that don’t translate well to social media, but in the heart of God they are pretty spectacular.
I have a friend, Angela, who has the biggest, most gracious heart I know. She’s adopted three special-needs boys and she is so joyful. There isn’t a stitch of martyrdom in her. She is living her vocation and loving it. Yeah, she has bad days and she calls me and we vent. But, the amount of inspiration I have drawn from her is immeasurable.
Then there’s Candy. She never forgets a birthday, anniversary, milestone – ever. We get cards from her every year with such sweet, heartfelt notes. It is her “thing” and I love opening the mailbox and seeing one of her notes. She remembers the days that everybody else forgets. That is a gift, y’all.
A family friend, Don, has the best hugs. You know, the kind that knock the breath out of you. Don has this way of making you feel like you are the most important person in the room. He is genuine and real. I love being in his presence.
There is a fine line between celebrating your gift, using it for the glory of God, and practicing humility. When I participated in the Dominican Sisters of Mary Advent retreat last December the virtue I pulled out of the hat? Humility. I’ve been praying and thinking about that one for many weeks.
As we continue during these 40 days of Lent, I pray that I can more fully understand the beauty of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude/courage, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Here’s to finding, and loving, the gift God gave you!
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