God lovingly grants each of us personal strengths.
For many of us it takes years to discover those skills while many pass without ever realizing all or sadly even one. I was never told that God had graced me with special talent of any kind. My parents taught that my report card dictated the areas I excelled or fell short. They stressed the need for good grades but even more important, good citizenship. In their eyes if you tried your hardest it did not matter what the grade as long as the citizenship mark was the highest given. While this is a measure of the use of our skills and effort it is not the only yardstick. They never shared the existence of the ultimate present or asked me to search for it. They never told me I could be anything I wanted to be. They never taught me to pray about it.
I didn’t hear of the concept until much later in life. Perhaps that is why I had to work so hard throughout my life striving to be the best at something God never had in mind for me in the first place. But, the good news is, around the age of 45 , I realized one gift was that of hospitality. Actually, the realization came in the form of a compliment from a dear friend. Later that day, when I happily reflected on the comment, I agreed that was truly my gift from God.
Tom and I love to open our home to our friends. We have done this since the day we met by often throwing neighborhood parties. When we moved north to Ponte Vedra Beach, we designed our home to be “party central”. Tom redesigned the original plans in the back of the house to include a summer kitchen and large pool deck that was used frequently for a DJ or band and still left plenty of room for dancing. As friendships grew along with our families and the small town became our home….so did the house grow and the backyard party area…and our parties evolved too.
Over the last 15 years or so I have held Prayer Coffees and Bible Studies for my “sisters”. When we tore down the wall between the family room and expanded our kitchen to double the square footage to accommodate a buffet on our long kitchen island, it called for a huge sectional around the fireplace and flat screen TV. We now call this the “Bible Study couch” because we can gather at least 25 ladies on and around the back to view a DVD. Since then, we have held a regular Wednesday Morning Bible Study for a growing number of friends of all ages. We gather to study His word and pray for any and all. This has to be the biggest blessing our family has ever received because as we read in Matthew 18:20, “For wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
So, I still search for my gifts. I am zeroing in on a few more areas I think have potential. Once I have confirmed them, I will share them here as well.
One thing for sure, I constantly remind my children and my grandchildren about a wonderful present God has for them. I know how happy He must feel when it is revealed and we acknowledge that gift with a “thank you Lord”. Always give the glory to God.
Thank you Lord for Tommy and my gift of hospitality. We love you .