The joy of spiritual gifts

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Romans 12:6-8 (NCV)

We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith. Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.

Sisters (copyright Joe McDowell Photography) 2008

What a joy it is to watch as my big girls are so obviously developing spiritual gifts.  I love seeing the fruit of loving Jesus in their lives.

 Miriam is most definitely gifted in service.  This girl loves to do anything possible to help others.  She is always ready and willing to happily sweep floors, watch a sibling, or fold laundry.  I know she asks at least 3 times a day, “Mommy, is there anything I can do to help you?”  It doesn’t matter what task I ask for help with she jumps right to it with a cheerful disposition.  If I am working around the house she asks to help me with my task or even just jumps right in without saying a word.  She is always excited to help her little siblings.  She reads to them, ties shoes, unbuckles seatbelts, and helps them anyway they ask.

 Rebekah is a giver.  For her giving isn’t just giving away money or presents (though she loves to do that too).   Rebekah’s gift of giving is so much more than that.  She wholeheartedly gives of herself.

For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why it took so long for Rebekah to set the table when it was her turn.  I knew she enjoyed the chore and wasn’t dallying because she didn’t want to do the work.  Then, I realized that when her siblings set the table they put their favorite color plate, napkin, and cup at their own spot and then quickly put out the rest of the family’s tableware.  When Rebekah sets the table she looks at the choices of clean tableware and then carefully tries to figure out which item each sibling would most want to eat with.  Peyton gets the pink things when they are all clean.  Rebekah searches the utensil drawer trying to find the spiderman fork for Michael.  She lays out the napkin choices and tries to make sure everyone has the color that they like best.

When Rebekah plays games with her siblings she almost always allows her opponent to choose which color piece to play with first.  She usually chooses to be the last to get the first play of the game.  She is also known to lose on purpose, or give extra chances for another to win because she’d rather see her sibling win and be happy than to win herself.

When Rebekah is given money she is as likely to put it in a siblings wallet as her own.  Emily loves the doll that Rebekah sleeps with every night so Rebekah is saving up her money to buy Emily a pillow doll of her own.

I believe that one of my greatest joys as a Mama is watching my children develop their relationships with Jesus.  I am overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be able to watch them learn to be sensitive to His leading in their lives.  More than anything I can teach them while they are under my roof, this is what will be the most important in their adult lives.  It’s not about what I want them to do, or who I want them to be; it’s about who God is shaping them to be.

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