Wednesday, July 17

What are my gifts?

Last night Ryan and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (forgot to take a photo- doh!) by going out to a nice dinner, doing a bit of window shopping (I bought two cute latte mugs on clearance, so I guess it was real shopping!), and attended a talk given by a family friend.  He's a very knowledgeable, very dynamic man, with a passion for speaking and a love of the Lord.  After speaking about St. Ignatius of Antioch, a bishop who was martyred for the faith, he issued a challenge that's been on my mind today.  What gift has the Lord given you- and how do you use it in an effort to evangelize the world?  Are we ashamed of our belief in the Lord?  Because he loves us all- every single one of us.  Why are we not out there shouting it from the rooftops?

Well, we're not all meant to shout from the rooftops.  He pointed out that we all have unique gifts, then he went on (and I'm very thankful for this part) to talk a little about different, unique gifts people have.  Obviously some people are gifted speakers- maybe those are the ones meant to shout from the rooftops!  But some of us are writers.  Some of us are organized.  Some of us are dedicated friends.  Some of us live our lives, unabashedly in love with the Lord, and it shows. 

And then there's me.  There's this stay-at-home mom, who feels so unworthy.  Yes, I can be scrupulous- that's always been a part of me.  I am hard on myself, but I also know what the Lord has made me capable of, so I see it as a challange.  I think- had he put me in a different place at a different time, my life could be soooooooo very different.  I could have made a life-changing mistake, or I could have stayed single and lived my life for the Lord in a very different way.  I could have become a nun, or a consecrated lay woman.  I can see myself being a public speaker, boldly proclaiming the gospel!  I am not super-extroverted anymore, but I used to be!  I can also write- well, I don't think I'm incredibly witty or clever, but I can hammer out a few good thoughts every now and then.  But blogging isn't going to become my profession, and while I've kicked around the idea of writing a book on theology of the body and self-care for young kids, I don't think it's in my future anytime soon.

The one gift I am certain I have is faith.  I have never doubted God's love for me, and I have never doubted his presence.  I know, more than I've ever known anything in my life, that he's truly present in the Eucharist and that he gave his life so that I could go to heaven.  I've had some difficult times in life- not awful, but not easy either- and it's never been a problem for me to turn to the Lord and give it to him. 

But, here I am.  A wife and mom.  Daughter and daughter-in-law.  Sister, keeper of my home, teacher, doula, and friend.  I can't go tour the country and talk at seminars and give life-changing talks.  I can hardly even find time to write a blog post.

And I find myself unworthy all.the.time.  I mess up so bad sometimes.  How can I preach God's love  to others when I can't even love and serve my family with a smile in my heart?

I've read about us stay-at-home mom types.  We're supposed to evangelize the world by raising our family, children who love the Lord, and by setting a good example to others.  Sounds sort of easy, but it is SO difficult sometimes. 

Day after day, the same stuff.  Messes, laundry, meals, dirty dishes.  The desire to be creative and create something beautiful and fluff my home, but the exhaustion that comes with being mentally and emotionally present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Some days are easier than others, and some are awful.  I know that's true for all moms, but I don't play the comparison game anymore either.  What goes on in other women's homes- whether it's a perfect day of school and chores while they sew and blog and exercise daily- is not of concern to me.  What concerns me is what I heard about last night- What are my gifts, and how am I using them for the Lord?

Today, I'm not really certain, but the speaker last night suggested we go sit in adoration and ask the Lord to tell us.  I'm going to try to do that very soon, but for today I'm left pondering in my heart what God really really wants from me.  Please pray for my discernment?

2 comments:

Neen said...

I think you know your gifts and taking care of HIS children is the most important use of those gifts. I don't have much to offer the world but I do love my children. That might be all I do but I do it for the glory of God. You give God joy in just being you!

Anonymous said...

Stephie,

No doubt you have many gifts, but writing is definitely one of them. Have you ever thought of writing your life story? Homeschooling is a very brave thing to do, but oh so necessary in our troubled times. The story of how and why you do it (even with its daily travails) can be very inspiring to other mothers or families contemplating it, but too scared to actually "pull the trigger".

The beauty about this is you can't fail! Such a book would be incredibly valuable... and even if "masses" don't get to read it, it is absolutely guaranteed that your family itself would cherish the memoir for many generations to come...

Just a thought :)

 
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