I want you to imagine something for me.
Let’s pretend for a second that your child has a birthday coming up. You are so excited because you have thought of the perfect present for her. You put time and effort and joy and love into making this present, and you know that when she opens it, she is going to absolutely love it. She’s going to enjoy that present so much, and she won’t be able to wait to share it with her friends. They will all have a blast together enjoying the gift you gave her.
On the morning of her birthday, you put the beautifully wrapped gift on the kitchen table and stare at the clock, counting down the minutes until she wakes up and comes downstairs so that she can open it.
You anticipate her reaction and can hardly contain yourself from excitement. You love your daughter so much, and you can’t wait to give her something that not only makes her happy, but also shows her in one more way just how much you love her.
You hear her stirring upstairs and find your seat near the kitchen table, ready for the big moment. She comes downstairs, and you’re shifting in your seat as she turns the corner and walks right past the gift.
“Happy Birthday!” you say, with a slight quiver in your voice because you are trying so hard to contain yourself. “Open your present!”
She turns around and sees it. “Okay, but I’ve got to rush and change clothes because I have to be somewhere soon.” She sits down at the table and opens the package. This, this is the moment you’ve been dreaming about for months!
She pulls out the gift, looks it over, and says with a bit of confliction in her voice, “Thanks, mom, but I really don’t know when I will ever use this. It’s really awesome, but I am too busy and I don’t have any time for it. Thanks though.”
Your heart sinks as your daughter lays the gift down and rushes off to the next thing.
Imagine the disappointment you would feel—not just because your child didn’t get to enjoy the gift you gave her, but because she believed she couldn’t. She missed out on something wonderful because she was too busy.
I wonder, friends, if that isn’t how God feels when we miss out on the gifts He’s given us—the desires, passions and talents that we were created for.
I wonder if He isn’t saddened when we are too busy for our love of painting, our gift of writing, our talent of sewing, our passion for running, or our desire to make music. I wonder if He isn’t baffled that we believe that we are too busy with so many important things that we completely miss out on the gifts he’s given us, the gifts He created us for, the gifts he wants us to share with others.
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Friends, God created you for more than laundry and errands—for more than checklists checked off and meals prepared and a house that’s cleaned. He created you, dare I say it, for more than being a wife and mom.
He created you with a set of gifts, strengths, passions and talents. He created you with gifts uniquely and specifically for you. He created you with skills that, though they take work, give you energy. He created you with desires that make you come alive. He created you with passions that bring you joy.
Those gifts are not just an optional ornament in your life. They aren’t just a thing; they are a part of you. And when you get too busy for them, you aren’t just giving up the thing. You are giving up a part of yourself.
But when you spend time enjoying your natural gifts and heart’s desires, you are also a better wife, mom, friend and leader. Everyone benefits when you allow yourself to fully be the woman God created you to be.
So sing. Paint. Dance. Write. Run. Create. Read. Decorate. Plan. Sew. Play. Design. Craft. Whatever that is for you, do it. Remember what it feels like to come alive when you are in your element, in your sweet spot, in your gifts.
I want to encourage you this week to not rush by the table. Instead, stop, slow down, and make time to enjoy the gifts God has given you.