Giving Up On Your Gifts

It can be challenging and discouraging to watch your life change as you come to terms with chronic illness. But, do those changes mean you need to give up on all that God has put in your heart, or can He still make use of your gifts?

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For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

I was talking to a good friend last night.  In some ways, we were comparing how our "war stories" are similar.  She deals with a debilitating chronic illness.  She has suffered many losses.  She, too, is a writer who had dreams of a published book in her future.

Both of us are realizing that many of those dreams will probably never come true.

That conversation got me to wondering.

You see, I've stopped the writing and editing of the three manuscripts I've written, the screen play that I think is quite good, and a book of poetry.  My ebook of devotionals that I send out with subscriptions to this blog is as far as my dreams of my devotional book have gone.  At one point I was sure it would be a hard-copy year-long book.

With everything that has happened over the years, I have pretty much shelved (pun intended) the idea of writing anything publishable.

I started painting about a year ago - and even that has pretty much come to a halt.

I'm wondering why.

I know that, similarly to my friend, I stopped writing when the vision of being published grew dim.  What was the point?  All that time and work.

My painting?  Too much work to get my supplies out and then put them away when I'm done.

So - I pretty much sit here playing mind-numbing games on my iphone and computer.  

Granted I've had a lot of physical pain lately.  More than I usually experience, actually. My devotional time pretty much takes up my morning.  Afternoon with the family.  Evenings with my mom.  Then a few hours of television that might extend further than a few.

I was also lamenting the way time seems to be going faster and faster.

It's almost June.  

It seems it was just January.

I'm sure you must be wondering what the point of all of this rambling on is about.

It's about this thought.

If I am writing for me - for success - for wealth - I am writing for the wrong reason.  If the words are in me (or the paintings or whatever else God has placed in my heart - or in your heart for that matter), then it is up to us to try to see it through and not give up.  We are not doing it for ourselves.  We are doing it for God.

No one may ever know those manuscripts are finished.  But God will.

No one may ever care that I painted that stand of flowers outside our door - but God will.

So, when I say that no one will ever care - I'm completely wrong.

The most important person in our lives will know.

And we can lay it all down at His feet.

Our gift back to Him.

Father God, I know that you have placed many gifts upon the readers of this blog.  I also know many may feel discouraged and wonder "What's the use?" Some of us may be feeling completely useless.  Yet, if we are still here, then the works you prepared in advance to do are, perhaps, still undone.  Lord, inspire each one of us today.  Grant us hope in whatever dream is still possible in our lives.  And, where there is no dream, please grant us one.  In Your Holy Name,  Amen and amen.

(My daughter was playing a song while I was writing this morning and I thought I recognized it.  She said the name was "Simple Gifts."  I thought I knew it by a different name and looked it up.  Yep.  "Lord of the Dance."  I thought, "How fitting!  Isn't that just what I've been writing about?  God calls us to do the thing He has put in our hearts, whether it be write, sing (even for ourselves!) paint, whatever! Because He is not only Lord of the Dance, but Lord of all.  

I found the video for "Lord of the Dance."  If you've never heard it, please listen, and skip the ad in front as quickly as it will let you!

This verse in particular stands out:

"Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free

Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in a place just right
We'll be in the valley of love and delight"

I pray with all my heart, my much-loved readers, that you find that place "just right."

deni

"For my email friends:  The Lord of the Dance/Simple Gifts

I know this makes the email incredibly long - but here are the entire lyrics from the website of its composer.  

Lord Of The Dance / Simple Gifts by Blackmore

I danced in the morning when the world had begun
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth

Dance then where ever you may be
"I am the Lord of the Dance" said he
"And I'll lead you all whever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance said he

Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in a place just right
We'll be in the valley of love and delight

Dance then where ever you may be
"I am the Lord of the Dance" said he
"And I'll lead you all whever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance said he

When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend we shant be ashamed
To turn to turn will be our delight
Till be turning we come round right

Dance then where ever you may be
"I am the Lord of the Dance" said he
"And I'll lead you all whever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance said he

I danced in the morning when the world had begun
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth

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