Just a few deep thoughts that stirred my soul this morning. I spent most of my life listening to my wounds, weaknesses, flaws, and the areas within myself that needed awareness, improvement, and change. This desire for growth, self-development, and strengthening my weaknesses to experience healing, peace, and joy stole nearly all of my attention. This mindset is powerful and I commend you ladies who have the boldness and strength to dig deep into your pain to unearth the tree roots that are channeling so much negative force into your life and even within your own soul. I think these areas need our focus and love tremendously, but so do our gifts.

I knew I had gifts, strengths, qualities, and glimmers about me that no one else had. It was not like I denied them, was insecure about them, or felt they weren’t that great, but I just never quite understood their extent of significance or leaned into them fully. I never explored them, studied them, or poured my whole heart and soul into learning how I could ignite them for the greatest good. I never knew how powerful and transforming they actually could be. Even within my own self.

I knew I was good at things, would smile and feel good about myself when someone was kind enough to point some out, and always was confident in myself. I didn’t second guess my gifts or doubt them, but I don’t think I ever went to a deeper level with them and discerned their meaning in my life or what impact I could actually have on the world through them. I never put a deeper thought toward why I was given the gifts that I had.

Why was I given these gifts in particular? What about me in particular is so powerful that I could light the world on fire if I truly saw the value THESE gifts could bring to others? I think sometimes I would just use my gifts halfway. My heart was there, but it was lacking the gusto that could have penetrated deeper vibrations into the lives of others or even my own life. If I didn't just use my gifts halfway, but all the way, and then tenfold, where they even set a fire deep within my own soul to the point that I found myself impacting every soul around me, the world would experience a change it had never known.

What part of my story had I been missing all these years? What chapters could I write if I poured my heart into all my gifts so that none were wasted or neglected? If I fueled every little thing I’m naturally good at, every little strength, every little skill, every little area that doesn’t take any effort to shine, how much beauty and good could come out of it all? My gifts could start something amazing, inspiring, impactful, and radiate all through eternity. The fruits of my gifts could spread like wildfire. I can only imagine how life-changing that could be, not just for me, but for millions of people. This awakening chilled me, but in a mind-blowing good way.

Once I began to delight in my gifts through recognizing their beauty, value, and life-changing capability, I experienced a new dawn deep within my own soul that I had never known before. It was like I was finally waking up to my destiny. I was realizing that God had intricately designed these compelling gifts within ME for me to live out my purpose, my calling, my mission, and glorify Him in abundance through each and every one of them to the best of my ability. Maybe not perfectly, but with all my might as well as I could! Not just in big moments either, like standing on a stage in front of thousands of people and sharing my story for example (no I have not done that yet..*gulps*), but in the little moments too, like compassionately hugging a crying baby real close to my heart and soothing its pain, or empathetically listening to an angry family member. I began to swing wide the doors of my heart and let my gifts catch fire.

What are your gifts? I’m still discovering new ones. Imagine how many unknown gifts we were given that we have neglected all this time? I think it’s about time we start digging and having some ah-ha moments! I also think it's important to help each other recognize our gifts because sometimes it's hard to see our own greatness without a fresh set of eyes. If you see someone gifted at something, speak on it into their heart so that they too can see their gift and embrace it more fully! I think we've all had days made where someone showed us something we were naturally really good at and it changed our whole perspective on it. Maybe we never even thought about it in the first place! Let's spend more of our time celebrating each other's gifts with one another and delighting in each other's value! We need more of this soul sister magic going on.

Maybe you are cheerful, even during the toughest moments in your life and this cheerfulness uplifts the heavy hearts of those around you. That's a GIFT! Maybe you are rich in kindness, even when others have persecuted you, and it heals those around you. That's a GIFT! Maybe you are very hopeful and have been another’s rock through their storm. That's a GIFT! Maybe you have the gift of laughter and can bubble joy within another’s life. Maybe you can connect with people’s hearts easily and can make them feel seen, known, and loved. These are all beautiful gifts from the Holy Spirit that changes lives. What are yours?

A little fun adventure would be to get your journal and begin writing down any little thing you can come up with that the Holy Spirit has gifted you with, that comes easy to you, that you can do well without effort, and what others struggle in but you don't. List all those good things, all those dazzling things about you, all those empowering things, and all those precious things that God lovingly placed within you. Unlock those floodgates baby and let your power begin changing the world, in one little moment at a time.

If you have the gift of certain virtues, like patience, then pour your heart into your patience and take it even deeper, further, and more gently with who you are being patient with. If you have the gift of gratitude then strive to become even MORE grateful for everything that’s so easy for you to be grateful for, and then for things that wouldn’t normally pop in your mind, like a robin singing its morning song outside your window. If you have the gift of faith, then pour faith into everyone around you so that they too can experience what it is like to have so much of it. Whatever your gifts are, rejoice in them and abound in them! You have strengths, talents, skills, qualities, and dozens of GIFTS for a REASON. They're not to be put away, but to burst into bloom and be lived out in vibrancy! Don't just be happy you're good at something, but do MORE of that something, do MORE in them, with them, through them, and do it all in God’s name for the good of mankind, for the love of your purpose, and for His eternal glory. You may be a little surprised by how joyful, peaceful, healing, and rewarding it is when you take something that God entrusted you with and you give it back to Him with a heart bursting with love.

Your life will change in a heartbeat.

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