Friday, June 7, 2013

Rambling Thoughts | Looking for Sparkles

Most of the last few days I have been working on VBS. It's a little more than a month away still, but I have been helping the two women running the show by making phone calls and having conversations in the church hallway, recruiting a dream team of volunteers. I've been experientially reminded that people don't always return your calls. That's okay. I'd rather talk to them in person too. Certainly you've noticed that you can read body language so much better in person. I like to know if what I'm asking them to do is congruent with who they are, or if I'm making them slightly itchy. I have had my fair share of itchy conversations. How about you?

I like to be able to see their eyes so I know if they are quickly trying to come up with a polite way to say "No, I would love to, but I can't." Truth is, they wouldn't really love to. You know why? They really don't want to do what you just asked them to do. In person I also get to notice when their eyes sparkle, even just a bit, by what you just asked them to do. I get to learn their gifts.

Sometimes they need encouragement. More often they need to be asked to do something else, something that makes them say "Yes, I'd love to," before you even finish explaining what you are hoping they'll do.

I'm almost forty and I'm getting a better understanding of myself, what I love, what I always say yes too. The last few days I've been working on decorations for a big VBS volunteer recruitment effort we're doing at our church this Sunday. In one of the phone conversations with one of the VBS leaders she said, "You make doing this stuff look effortless." That's because she was asking me to do things in my mix of gifts. It didn't just look effortless, it was as close to effortless as it could be and still be accomplishing something useful. She'd learned one of my gifts.

I mentioned in a post last week that I got a new job. I did. I will be starting next week. It's just a handful of hours a week and it should fall nicely into the time that Gracie is in school this fall. I will be working as an administrative assistant to one of our pastors. As part of my work I will be responsible for recruiting volunteers to make some of the stuff of church happen. I am looking forward to learning the gifts of people in the church body that I don't know very well. I will be looking in their eyes and watching closely for the sparkling proof that I've discovered one of their gifts.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 
I Peter 4:8-11
Do you know what your gifts are?
Do you actively look for sparkles in the eyes of others?



  1. Love your post. It is so much easier to see spiritual giftedness in others than in myself. I have, over the years grown into my gifts. And yes, I believe I was given several. For the past few years we've hosted a small group in our home and thus hospitality has grown up, been refined within me. But, I think there is much about the gift of hospitality that I'm resisting or maybe I'm not meant for that bit. Now, my husband - number one gift - a servant! He's so amazing in his gift (but, I've also seen over the years a refining process too). Just way cool how God continually refines our gifts (if we let him), if we use our gifts.

    1. Thanks, Susan. It can be tricky to see gifts in ourselves. One thing I've been thinking about lately is the need to call out the gifts in others that we see, in case they don't see it in themselves, or in case they need affirmation that what they think they see might be actually BE.

      I do love how God often uses our obedience to GROW gifts in our lives. It sounds as if He has been doing that with you and the gift of hospitality. Trust His timing as he continues to develop it in you.

      I love how easy it seems for you to identify your husband's gift! Love that! We are called to encourage them to use it! My husband loves to serve as well. Early years of marriage I was quite selfish with his gift and really had to submit to the Lord's intended purpose for his gifts as well as my own.

      Thanks for sharing, Susan. You've encouraged me today.


  2. "Do you know what your gifts are?
    Do you actively look for sparkles in the eyes of others?"

    Love these questions! Enjoyed visiting your blog.