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Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there there except for those who sang the best. ~Henry Van Dyke
When I was a new bride, RB sang in an Oratorio Guild. I'd go faithfully to hear him sing even if Oratorios sung in German weren't really my thing. Before we were married, people questioned our choices since most thought RB needed someone with musical talent. I'd say -- after 36 years -- that fact hasn't detracted from our love or marriage.
|International Student Convention 2010|
Can you believe I still remember that? It's because she gave me the right to be proud of my own talents. Aren't you glad God didn't make us all the same? Otherwise we'd have beautiful music and nothing to read. Or we'd have
trillions of books to read and nobody to offer
hospitality to us. God made us with unique talents.
|Emily (Auntie) and Ethan|
Just this month Emily had a birthday. She shares her birth date with her nephew, Ethan, so her birthday is so much more fun for her than it was seven years ago. Melanie and her family were coming over for the Sunday dinner to celebrate. Emily loves white cake/white icing and the grands love cake, too. We have a talented cake decorator in our church so I asked her to make a cake. Oh, my goodness, was the cake beautiful. White cake with white roses and a teal E (so it could stand for both Emily and Ethan). Carisa refused to let me pay for the cake, even when I said I wouldn't want to ask her to make me another one if she wouldn't let me pay. She said, "I'll let you pay for the next one, but this one I want to do for Emily."
This isn't all Carisa does. She organizes our fellowship dinners and makes the most creative dishes to bring. She's PTO president at her children's school, keeps our nursery running smoothy, and isn't too good to do a lot of the clean up work, too.
At the church in Bedford where we worked for nineteen years, the senior pastor's wife had a talent for medical expertise in caring for others. She was a nurse practitioner so this talent was her career, but so many times she would help those in the church with their medical needs. I know our family was spared many trips to the doctor because she was willing to give us advice.
I wish I could tell you all the talented people who have sheltered me, but this post is getting long. There are others, like my sister, who shelters by sharing her beautifully decorated home, tea parties and what many call her Bed and Breakfast. Our Christian schools are full of people who could make a great deal more, but they believe in Christian education and are sacrificing to teach, be a secretary, or coach a team.
Were any of these people world renowned? No, these are ordinary people determined to use the talents God gave them to shelter others. We should guard against being proud of what God has given us. John Wooden said, Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. We didn't choose our talents. God blessed us with them.
Write down one talent you have. Now find three ways you could use it to shelter someone. Think of something you've never done before. I'd love to hear about the ways you've found to shelter others with your talents. And don't be ashamed of the talent you have. I'm sure your pastor's wife or an elderly woman has a kitchen floor they'd liked cleaned.
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Can't decorate like Carisa? Here's a fun cake you can make without the mess.
|Cake by Melanie|
So easy. Cut a circle of cardboard. Form the diapers in a circle and tie in place with ribbon. Fold the next layer of diapers in half, form to circle and tie with ribbon. The next layer is one diaper wrapped around a bottle of lotion or powder. Use pins to keep the layers together. Decorate with baby items.