“In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability of prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:6-8
As my walk with the Lord grew deeper, I began to wonder what were my spiritual gifts. You hear what those gifts are preached in a sermon. You pray about it. You take tests that give you an idea of what they are based on the questions you answer. I wish God would just speak from heaven and tell me exactly what I have to do, so I don’t wonder or waste time. So, I took one of those tests. I eagerly waited for the email to drop into my inbox and reveal my destiny. I wanted it to say that I would be a teacher or a person of encouragement, something meaningful. The test answer came and it listed my #1 gift as Volunteer Poverty. My reaction was like a scene from a movie, when someone walks into a place and the record playing music scratches in the background and silence evades.
What in the heck is volunteer poverty? I basically prefer to live a simple life. I can live without Starbucks coffee and buying new clothes every few months. I prefer fixing items instead of tossing them. I don’t need the newest gadget. I try to live a minimalist life. I don’t always succeed, but if I needed to, I can definitely go without. I would rather go without, so someone else who needs it more than me, can be happy. I guess that can be a virtue but it doesn’t feel like it could advance the Kingdom. I wanted my gift to be world changing, I want to make people see His glory. Well, this is where I went wrong. “I want” should be “Lord what do you want me to do and use me”. Then there are seasons where God wants our focus on our family for a length of time. I have been a stay at home mother for a few years now. When our child went to school full time, I figured I would get a part time job (and I did). I think society and just overall financial pressures made me feel I had to work to contribute. People have this idea stay at home mothers just sit there and do nothing. But I was doing something…I was staying home to raise my child to be a good citizen in this world. We sacrificed fixing the home up, going on vacations, buying more “crap” so I could be there for my child. I guess scoring high on volunteer poverty helped me not be disappointed about no vacations. Every time I thought about what could I be doing more to bring income or feel productive, I would get little hints that where I was in this stage of my life was just fine. I saw a book recommendation on Facebook called “Home Matters” by Sue Wilson. It reminds me of a Christian home economics study on steroids. It is awesome. First hint was, I had someone say, your missionary field right now is your husband and child. The second hint happened, when, I was at a home group at my church and was getting that thought again, “am I really being productive?” The enemy loves to torture us with repetitive thoughts. Just then I was feeling cold and the host brought me a blanket. I kid you not, that blanket was embroidered with the saying, “there is no place like home”.
I am learning to be content in the season I am in and looking forward to what God has in store for me. I will continue to pray that God strengthen me in the gifts He wants me to have and pray everyday for the opportunity to show people how much God loves them.
(I do want to give a shout out to all the mothers out there, who have careers and work full time. I praise you for having the strength and endurance to do both. It is exhausting to do either one, but to do both, I am tired thinking about it. This post was for me expressing being content in where I am, not saying staying home is meant for all.)
“Dear Heavenly Father, I know you have a plan and a purpose for my life. Whether you reveal it to me now or in the distant future, I thank you for it. Give me experiences and opportunities to grow and mature and to be equipped for whatever it may be. Remind me when I feel discontent at the current time and wonder why am I where I am, that there is something being planned. Help me to do the best I can whatever season I am in. Time is fleeting and it will be over before I know it. Thank you for making me unique and that there is no one else like me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”