43 Tips on Finding and Using Your God Given Gifts
Last week was the last interview in my Women And Their Gift Series. It was one of the first things I felt lead to do when I started this blog. I felt a nudge to get women to open up, look into themselves and share the amazing gifts God placed inside each one of them. I prayed over the list of ladies I was supposed to talk to and I have no doubt this list is exactly His choosing. Each day that I met with one of these ladies God spoke a message straight to my heart. Through each one of them I heard a nugget of wisdom I needed to hear. I’m confident if you listen the talks below you will be touched. BUT…even if NONE of you were to watch a single talk, I would rest, blessed beyond measure by the time spent with these Godly women that have been so graciously placed in my life by the Lord. We all have a gift inside us. Each person’s a little different than the next. Some drastically different. We were made to be in communion with each other, sharing, growing, complimenting and learning from each. All to often women hide or don’t even recognize who God made them to be. Or we get jealous of who others are. Ladies, my prayer is for you to spend some time praying, pondering and pursuing who God made you to be. First things first…you have to pursue God before you can pursue your purpose. Well, you can pursue your purpose anytime, but I believe you will end up feeling empty and right back where you started if it isn’t found through God’s filter. The number one common thread these ladies shared was that each one of them didn’t really see what they do as a gift or talent. They just think of it as what they do. It is so much more! Here is a link to each interview and below that is a list of highlighted points from the talks. I hope you enjoy and gain at least one little thing that makes you think, thank and share!
1. Introduction – Kim J. (me) – Thoughts on tapping into your gift and letting the Lord weave it into your purpose.
2. Jori K. – Baking Maven with a sharing heart that freely gives her tips and recipes.
3. Crystal P. – Photography buff shares how she displays photos in her home and how important they are.
4. Robin N. – Servant hearted cookin lady. She shares a mean cookie recipe alongside tips for serving.
5. Stacie C. – This style guru talks about dressing – in armor and clothes.
6. Nancy S. – Quilting queen lays out a no sew project while showing us how your gift can get you involved.
7. Allison S. – Hostess with the Mostess gives tips on hosting and being humble.
8. Katie W. – Organizationl master and teacher at heart. This lady talks about the glue that holds her schedule and teaching together.
9. Julie D. – Artistically inclined, wander through her home laced with scripture and see how important it is to infuse God’s word in your world.
10. Melissa S. – A musically gifted gal who gives amazing points to ponder on how to use music to lighten your life with the Lord.
- Gifts are meant to be enjoyed. If you give your child a gift you want them to play with it, share it and enjoy it. The gifts God gives us are no different. He wants them to be used!
- In the same vein as using those gifts, they are meant to be shared. If you wait until you are perfect to start sharing what you’ve got, you will never get there and never share. We have to take peace in learning to share before perfection arrives because perfection is an illusion that never really comes to fruition.
- We all hear about the seasons of life. They are real. But how does that relate to your gift? So often we think we need to serve the multitudes. And there may be a season in your life for that. BUT…if not, it is ok and good to bless just ONE person with your gift. One is better than none any day when it comes to sharing your gift.
- The Lord listens to our hearts. Amen and Amen. God is looking to see if your painting is the best on the planet, listening to if you are singing in tune or watching to see if you cooked that meal to perfection. He is listening to your heart and knows when you are working out of love, worship and glory to Him and Him alone!
- Let your love of the Lord drive your talents and cause you to be purposeful in what you do and how you use your gifts. We all desire purpose in life. Once we let our love of the Lord drive us our purpose seeps to the top and creeps into everything we put our hands on.
- Growing in the Lord grows how you use your talents. Once you know God and love him you want to share him with others. You want to be surrounded by him. It is a natural evolution for all you do to move from self and worldliness to kingdom minded. Attempt to beautifully and purposefully surround yourself and your family with visual reminders of God’s word.
- Good things take time. Slow equals on purpose and in the end means more. Isn’t that true for so many things. We want instant this or that beautiful, but the REALLY beautiful things come slow and deliberate. It is important to remember that in decorating, knitting, painting or any other task in life.
- Pray in the off times. We get caught up praying at meals and bed, telling people we will pray for them and thinking we will do it later. There is no time like the present. You don’t have to wait for the perfect time to talk to God. It will never come. Driving, jogging, cleaning house, making dinner or taking a shower are all times you can be talking with God. Remember though that starting your day in quiet time with the Lord is the BEST way to start your day.
- Over and over again I hear people talk about their gift and say, “I have to do it.”, “It comes naturally to me”, “I feel alive when I____”. Our gifts help others, but in return it feeds you in a way nothing else can. That is a blessing from the Lord. He gives to us so we can give to Him and others…in return we are blessed. Amazing. I hope this one point gives you a place to start seeking what you have to offer.
- Once you are aware of the calling in your life it is about obedience. To feel that tug on your heart or know you are supposed to go in a certain direction…and not act upon it is being disobedient. Now, being disobedient doesn’t necessarily mean you will be punished like a child might, but it certainly means you will miss out on opportunity to grow in your walk with Christ and potential blessings.
- God doesn’t call the equipped he equips the called. Sometimes you just have to jump and put yourself out there with faith he will equip you…because if he called you to it he will walk you through it.
- When our heart is in the right place about serving with our gifts it is not about us it’s about Christ. We are merely his messenger. Soak that up and let it take some of the pressure off to be perfect. We never will be perfect, aren’t expected to be and if we are working out of obedience it won’t matter. An oh so important point to remember is that if what we do changes ONE person’s life for Christ it is all worth it. ONE PERSON.
- The most important point is that it’s all about relationship. God gives us each other to do life with, to lean on, to learn from, to consult with when we are in need, troubled or confused. Get yourself out there if you are not in a place to nurture and develop good Christian relationships. We are not meant to be an island. Above all else it is about relationship with Christ. An intimate growing walk with the Lord. You can read all the books you want, sit in church on Sunday, volunteer till the cows come home, but a real personal relationship with Jesus is what will change your life forever. It is what matters above all else.
- The people around us shape us and have such influence on the gifts and talents we have inside. Our bodies are like little blenders, we take little parts and pieces of family and friends and then swirl them up to express the gifts God placed in us in our own unique way. It’s a beautiful picture of how no one person is gifted any more than the next, we all are gifted in different ways and can all learn from each other. Our gifts may overlap, but each one of us has something 100% unique to share.
- So many of us can’t imagine that anyone would be intimidated by us or envious of the gifts we carry. But I can promise you people are. We can’t imagine it because we doesn’t see ourselves as set apart. That is how most God given gifts are. We are quick to point out our shortcomings and beat ourselves up over what we can’t do all the while never looking at all the amazing things God created us to do. God deserves more credit and praise than that!!! Look upward and inward to recognize who you were created to be. Then focus on expanding and growing what you’ve already got. It is also important to remember that uber talented people often don’t see themselves as anything special.
- Let your family get your best. Some gifted people I admire the most work tirelessly to serve their family, entertain them and keep everyone together. Don’t do for others what you won’t do for your own people. So often we give our best away to friends, church groups, organizations, even strangers. Not that we shouldn’t serve past the border of our family, but the people God entrusts us with are our primary mission.
- I’m continually reminded that things don’t have to be as hard as they seem. Keeping things simple and planning ahead make for a successful outcome to any task your gift may involve. There is no need to overextend yourself or overcomplicate matters, do what you know and all will be blessed…including you. My friend Allison says it best, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
- Start a legacy. We each hold a special trait or gift inside of us. We can use it to begin or continue a legacy in our home, among our family or anything else we are involved in. When we give freely of ourselves and serve others it starts traditions. We create things to be passed down through the generations and we help mold those around us the same way others molded us. But… you have to get out there and share yourself! So step out in faith with your gifts and bless others. Then stand back and watch the ripple effect that occurs from being a faithful servant.
- It is important to have friends and peers from all ages and stages in life. It is the model of the Titus women. You can be influenced and influence others at any time in your life. Never feel too old or young to share your gifts with others.
- Hone in on your gifts and spend time with them when you are young. Lots of the things we are good at and enjoy show up at a young age. Practice them, study them, and grow your gifts. They will serve you all your life, in all seasons to varying degrees. The more time you let pass without developing your talents the more likely you are to let them go, get to busy and ignore the seeds God placed inside you. BUT…it is never too late to start growing what God gave you. He will water his seeds in due time.
- Pray while you serve – you can be praying over anything you do. Cooking a meal, sewing, painting, decorating. If you want to truly give your gifts and talents back to the Lord, pray while you work. You can pray for strangers who might receive the fruits of your labor. You can pray for healing, salvation, protection, peace…anything for the person on the receiving end of your offering. Isn’t that an amazing feeling to know someone you don’t even know could be praying for you right now? What a blessing you can give through prayer.
- Serving with your gift can bring you peace. When you are making quilts for war veterans or sick children it can be easy to get caught up in the sadness that runs rampant in our world. By doing your part, contributing in the way God designed you to contribute, it can bring you to a place of surrendering that worry and sadness to the Lord. He is the only one who can really bring peace to the tragedy that swirls around us. It feels good to know you are a part of something bigger than yourself.
- Your gift can connect you to the world around you. If you struggle with making friends, find yourself at home alone longing for relationship, your talents is a good place to start. There are so many groups, clubs and organization for a wide array of crafts and talents. What an amazing way to connect with people who you immediately have something in common with. These organizations are about so much more than a craft or hobby. They form lifelong bonds and friendships. You may meet believers that help you strengthen your walk or non-believers you can witness to. So get out there and find a spot to snuggle into!
- From the beginning – Our gifts usually show up in some form or fashion early on in life. That is because God wired us each a certain way and filled us each with gifts that he chose and placed in us at his discretion. This is a good point to remember when you want to fight who you really are or have guilt over spending time doing the things you love. You certainly must have your priorities in order, but nurturing the gifts God gave you is not a bad thing! It is also critical to remember when you look at others and feel jealous or insecure because of the gifts they have. God is the giver of all gifts. He gifted you as he saw fit.
- Sometimes the things we are good at and enjoy seem very worldly. It is hard to connect the dots between a gift for styling yourself or your home and doing good for God’s kingdom. The difference between worldly and kingdom building comes when you recognize where your gift comes from, acknowledge your gift, give thanks for it and ask God to guide you in serving with it. Then you will see God unfold a beautiful marriage of your talents and his kingdom, for his glory and joy. It really is an amazing feeling when it happens to you and is sheer pleasure to watch take shape in someone else’s life.
- No idols please – Our gifts can certainly get the best of us if we don’t stand watch. We can easily put our time and talent before the Lord and get our priorities out of order quickly. This is where pride creeps in, says look at me, look how great I am…instead of look at how awesome God is and all he has done in me and for me. Anything can become an idol. Prayer and God’s word are your best and only defense against your gifts becoming idols in your life.
- These gifts and talents God filled us with are not to be stingily kept to ourselves. They are to share with others, to serve and to act as a bridge to relationship with each other. We are not supposed to be intimidated by other people’s gifts, but embrace them. Recognize our own strengths and weaknesses and look to others to fill in where we are lacking. That is why we are each created differently, so we need each other, are drawn to one another and have something to offer others. It is a beautiful picture of God’s creation.
- The enemy will attack. It is a real thing and a real concern. The enemy doesn’t want us to ever think we are good, capable, talented or enough. He wants us to believe the lies he laces through our day, hissing in our ear. We have to put our armor on every day to thwart the attack of the enemy and walk toward a relationship with Christ and each other. Ephesians 6:13
- You might not even recognize your gift is a gift until you start walking with the Lord. You can’t know who your maker made you to be if you don’t know your maker. It all starts with that relationship, reading the word and being lead to see yourself through his eyes. Simply stunning.
- Once you recognize your gift and get comfortable using it, watch out because God will usually stretch you even more. The thing that comes naturally to you…isn’t where it ends. There is another layer, and I am sure another and another down the road of obedience. God will call you onward and outward through the same vein he gifted you with.
- The gift of your gift doesn’t have to be big. Make sense? Even small gestures of your craft will go a long way for someone who needs them. It doesn’t always have to be big and complicated to serve others. The little stuff matters and counts.
- Set yourself up to serve. Whatever your gift is, be prepared to use it. Like my friend, Robin, she keeps extra meals in the freezer or doubles dinner on occasion. Then when needs pop up she is prepared to serve. She doesn’t have to let giving set her day or week off course. If you make something, stockpile extra. If your gift is prayer schedule extra time in your day to allow for that unexpected call for prayer. Being prepared to bless others helps you form a habit of putting action to your gift. You will be more likely to act on that nudge and do something when you are one step ahead.
- There is always a progression – Most of us will find that our love surfaced at a young age in some form or fashion. Then over time it develops. The real test of will is to practice patience when we actually realize our gift is a gift and we learn what to do with it. Moving forward with knowledge can be so exciting. It can also be dangerous to move ahead on your own. We want to run with our gift and new assignment that comes from God. Sometimes he does move quickly and that running thing works. But sometimes he wants us to take baby steps of prayer and obedience so we can grow at the same rate our gift does, and at the rate he desires for us. It is a tough balance, but much needed. The good news is, there is progression. Whatever you do, the more you invest, practice and work on it, the better you will get at it!
- Life changing moments often draw focus to our gift – We get married, have children, maybe we need some extra money, someone passes away, we lose our job, we get sick. These situations can sometimes seem like a major bump in the road, good or bad. The bump usually shines your headlights in a different direction, right onto your true God given gifts and talents. When you trace the events in your life, what things do you cling to? That might be right where your talent lies.
- Our gifts connect us to others – God made us to be in communion with him and with each other. His love is so perfect that he blessed us all with different parts and pieces to fill in each other’s gaps, to draw us to each other. We need each other to live a full complete life on this earth. So, how awesome is it that he gifted us each uniquely in a way that will serve someone else? Built in tools for connection. Whatever you have in you, someone else lacks and vice versa. Amazing.
- The enemy attacks – Let me tell you a bet you can place and win every time. I bet if you are doing something God asks of you, Satan will attack. It isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of how and when. It is going to happen. That is the enemy’s goal. So if you are walking in obedience you have to armor up. Pray, be in the word, have prayer warriors, do all you know to thwart the attack that is coming. If not, he might win altogether or at the very least steal joy. God doesn’t want that. If you ask Christ to walk with you he will be for you. And who then can be against you?
- One on One time – The beautiful thing about walking in your gift is that God carves out special moments to spend with you. When you are knee deep in living out the gift he gave you it brings him joy. In those moments you may be all alone in the quiet of a craft room or the world may be spinning around you, but God will speak to you. He wants to connect with you and watch the seeds he planted flourish.
- Confidence – you know those ladies you see who walk with grace and confidence in their calling? It’s because they have no doubt their calling is from the Lord and that they are serving him as they are called. This confidence only comes from knowing God, talking with him, laying all decisions at his feet and following where he tells you to go.
- My friend Jori shares her gift – She shares her recipes and techniques with others. She wants people to enjoy what she does. There is no fear that someone might copy her, do a better job than her or that she might lose business. In return, her business thrives. Don’t hold so tightly to what you have that you are afraid to let it flow to others.
- The blessings you pour out will flow back to you. When you do amazing things out of the goodness of your hearts it brings Christ joy. I’ve seen many a faithful servant get paid back in ways they never could have imagined – and absolutely never expected. God blesses those who bless others.
- Make it a family affair. I have a friend who does this so beautifully. Her children are incredible at giving her time when she needs it because she gives them time when they need it. They have no fear of where they stand in her priority order. They wait patiently because they know they will have a turn shortly. She includes them whenever she can. It is a beautiful balance.
- Be honest with yourself and others. To recognize the human faults that will creep up on you… confess them, pray against them and make changes to avoid them are such hard things for all of us to do. It is the only way to keep a healthy balance, stay in God’s will and not work out of self. Let others know you struggle and they will come beside you and pray with you, but they will also learn they are not alone in their struggles.
- Organization is key. It is how most of those ladies who do amazing things get things done and done well. You have to work at making deliberate time for your family, yourself, your talent, your job and whatever else it is that you do. Failure to organize usually puts time for sharing our talents on the back burner to a place they rarely get utilized. When your priorities are in order and your schedule reflects that, then things fall into place as they should. Guilt has nowhere to fit.
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