illustration by Steve Mack
I've been thinking a lot about gifts that people are blessed with. Like, how my sister can always make me laugh, even if I'm really in a funk, how my mom can always make me see the reality of a situation, how my best friend is a good listener, or how another friend of mine is really good about thinking of those less fortunate. And, then of course, there are the other kind of gifts people possess. I guess you would call them talents. My mother can decorate a house like a professional Better Homes & Gardens stylist, but on a fierce budget. My sister can sew and cook. Good. My dad and husband are good at figuring out how to build stuff, or bring my mom's and my ideas into fruition.
What I'm getting at is why should people be envious or jealous of people's gifts and talents? God meant for all of us to be different. To be good at different things. To bring our talents and positive attributes together, and share them. To use them to make others and ourselves happy, and in the process giving the resulting glory back to the Big Man.
Recently, I've been made to feel crappy about the fact that I've made our home nice and aesthetically pleasing (at least to us), that I find the time to blog (which, all of you fellow bloggers know doesn't take much time), that I can make things with my own two hands instead of buying it (sometimes making it even better), or that my family can survive on a strict budget with no help from outside sources (I can show you my bank statements to prove it). Why do people care? Or better yet, why do they waste their time worrying about it? I don't do any of the above to make people angry or feel bad. In fact, my intention is the exact opposite. I want to share my talents, show others that they can do it, too. That it's nothing special or extraordinary. Just resourcefulness, creativity, a will to decide that you CAN. We all have it inside of us. Some choose to use it, some don't. Whatever works for you and your family is cool.
The bottom line is this...
We can all be a bit jealous of others at times. I'm just as guilty as the next guy. But, keep it innocent. Don't let it bother you (sometimes easier said than done). Don't let jealousy become envy. Don't let it turn you into a cruel, green eyed monster. Become proactive instead. Turn that energy into something you and God can both be proud of. He wants us to use our gifts.
In the end, we make time for what we want to make time for. For me, family is and always will be first. Everyone happy, fed, warm, clean, snuggled, loved...then I can write, craft, read, beautify. We can't be all things to all people all the time. It's impossible. There are many hours in the day, and an idle mind is such an unfortunate waste...unless, of course, you need a Calgon moment. :)
And, hey, you don't have to take my word for it (holla for the Reading Rainbow nod):
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. ~Eleanor Powell
Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. ~Leo Buscaglia
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck