Girlfriends in God - July 15, 2010

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July 15, 2010 

I Want Her Gift! 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
1 Corinthians 12:4 "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit."

Friend To Friend 
We get into trouble when we try to serve God with the gifts we want instead of the gifts we actually have.  By the time I was in high school, I just knew I was going to marry a minister.  I had to get ready if I was going to be a pastor's wife because it is a widely known fact that the wife of a pastor has to be able to do certain things - one of which is sewing.

As a high school junior, I decided it was time to take Homemaking 101.  I can still see Mrs. Johnson's face as she naively gazed at her new students.  Bless her unsuspecting heart!  She had no idea the challenge I brought to that class and to her career as a teacher.  For weeks, I muddled through each lesson with a respectable but less than stellar performance, until we hit the section on sewing.  It would prove to be her undoing where I was concerned. 

Being the veteran teacher that she was, Mrs. Johnson took a deep breath and doggedly plunged ahead in determination, vowing she could teach anyone to sew - even me.  I decided to make a blouse and chose what I thought was a simple and easy McCall's pattern.  Mrs. Johnson was thrilled with my selection, competent that even I could make a blouse requiring approximately seven straight seams.  The pattern looked so simple and even pretty in the package.  Then I opened it, gingerly unfolding and carefully arranging each delicate pattern piece, staring at the foreign documents before me.  They were simply beyond human comprehension.   I concluded that the pattern was actually a sinister trap of some accomplished but sadistic seamstress and quickly stuffed the flimsy entrapments back into their package.  After all, I was creative!  I didn't need a pattern!  I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  How hard could it possibly be?  Ignorance really can be bliss.

When I presented the completed blouse to Mrs. Johnson for a grade, her eyes widened as she silently stared at my first and last attempt at sewing.  "Interesting," she muttered, obviously in shock.  I made a "C" in her class, a sympathy grade if there ever was one.  And the blouse?  I buried it in my back yard - literally.  Since that day, I always make sure I have at least one friend who can sew and the name of two seamstresses on hand at all times.  However, in all my years as Dan's wife, I can truthfully say that my inability to sew has never hindered God's work in my life or my calling as the wife of a pastor.  

Another line of thinking proposes that because I am a pastor's wife, I should drag out my silver (if I had any) and host dinners and teas for the women of the church.  (Please know that those of you who actually enjoy these tortuous events have my undying admiration and respect.)  In our first full-time church, I actually gave it a shot by inviting the entire church to our home for a Christmas open house.  Since there were several hundred church members at the time, I concluded it would take three nights to accommodate them all.  Looking back, my only defense is a complete loss of sanity. 

My family hated the month before the first open house.  They had good reason.  I put them all to work, cleaning and scrubbing every square inch of the house.  I bought and hoarded food, threatening anyone who even thought about infiltrating my "stash."  I even managed to destroy Thanksgiving week-end by insisting that we decorate, inside and out, for Christmas, not in anticipation of celebrating Christ's birth, but in preparation for the "open houses" to be held the following weekend. 

For three years, I tried to be the "hostess with the most-ess" until my husband put a stop to the madness by asking one simple question, "Honey, why are you doing these open houses?  You obviously don't enjoy them very much."  The answer that popped into my mind and out of my mouth was absurd.  "Because that's what pastor's wives do!" I feebly responded. "Where does it say that, honey?" he asked.  I had no answer to that question.  

Dan went on to set me free.  "We have done our last open house.  Please don't ever do anything else because you think it fits the man-made profile of a pastor's wife.  Do what God has gifted and called you to do - period - and never apologize to anyone for doing so."  I do not have the gift of hospitality, but in every church we have ever served, there have been amazing women who do and delight in using that gift for Him. 

What about you?  Are you embracing the "you" God intended you to be or are you trying to be the woman you and others think you should be?  Friend, you are uniquely gifted by God to serve God.  Celebrate His perfect plan for your life!

Let's Pray 
Father, I am so tired of trying to please others.  I want to please You.  Today, I ask You to help me discover the gifts You have given me and then show me how to use them to serve You and minister to others. 

In Jesus' name, 
Amen.

Now It's Your Turn 
I encourage you to set aside time this week to pray and seek God's plan for your life.  Read and claim Jeremiah 29:11.

Ask family and friends to identify the abilities and talents they see in you.  Are you serving God through those strengths?  If not, how and where can you begin to do so?

Identify your weaknesses.  Read 2 Corinthians 12:9.  What part do your weaknesses play in God's plan for your life?

More From The Girlfriends 
Don't waste another minute of your life wanting the gifts you think you should have.  Lay every plan at Gods' feet and ask Him to pick up and empower what is of Him, and let fall away what is not in His plan for you.  Celebrate who you are in Christ!

Free MP3!  Visit Mary's website to download her free MP3, I Love a Good Plan!

Need help?  Join other women across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. It's Never Too Late to be Great is the current series and is based on the fascinating lives of Samson and Delilah.  Do you think you have made too many mistakes and had too many failures in your life for God to love, forgive and work through you?  No matter where you have been or where you are now - it is not too late!  Don't miss this study!  When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies we have done so far. Check it out!

Going through a tough time?  Get Mary's new DVD, Strength for the Storm and find new hope that will strengthen you for the hard times you are facing.

Need a friend?  Connect with Mary on Face book or through email.  She loves hearing what God is doing in your life! 

Seeking God?
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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

 
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