Time to Dust off the Gift Shelf

beautiful old objects

Have you ever anticipated a gift, yet once you held it in your hands you weren’t quite sure what to do with it? Have you ever felt like someone went to so much trouble to buy you exactly what you needed and wanted, yet you let it sit on a shelf collecting dust because life made it seem impossible to enjoy the gift as it was intended?

To be truthful, my life has been so busy I’ve hardly noticed my gift let alone considered giving time to it. I know there is a time and place and season for things. After my last post I realized my lofty goals of finishing my novel in progress before summer was totally unrealistic. I had two of my kids graduating after all!

So I let it go, grateful I had worked far enough ahead to have submissions for my critique group through July.

Six weeks later I’m utterly exhausted. Among all my planned items I also had surgery for skin cancer which took a much larger toll on my body and mind than I imagined, took on additional hours at work, and spent three weekends in a row visiting with relatives or friends.

Summer break is now official for all my kids. We have “gotten in the groove” so to speak–the boys making their permanent dent in the couch cushions, their sun-kissed cheeks and shoulders evidence they are also getting outside. Family game nights and trips to the river are proof family time is finally a priority.

And finally, I have time to focus on writing! From the outside, I can see how people may be thinking, “Roanne, you have five kids and a full-time job. Why on earth would you try to write too?”

Well, I have asked myself the same question. I have even prayed for God to take away my desire to write and give me contentment to just raise my kids. work my day job, keep my home in order, and make time for my husband. But the thing is, writing is a part of who I am. If I don’t write, I feel a void. I get irritable and restless. I try to fill that void with other things, but it never satisfies.

1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

Writing is a gift God gave to me many years ago–long before I fully understood who He was, he placed the ability to write, to use my words to work through life’s challenges. I believe through my writing He showed me the healing power of the written word so that when I finally sought Him through his Word, I would appreciate it and see it as more than just text on a page. Words can bring life. Words can move nations. Words can heal or destroy a human spirit. I am honored God has chosen me to use words as a channel to bring hope to the hurting, encouragement to those in despair, and even a smile to those too busy to notice their frowns.

I can no longer let this gift gather dust on the shelf of my heart. The calling is clear, and the opportunities abound.

How about you? Has God placed a passion in your heart that you have allowed to gather dust? Has life taken over and become a series of going through the motions with no real purpose or direction? Take some time today to sit quietly and listen. Each of us has a gift to give the world. Unlike gifts given by the world, we are not meant to keep it to ourselves. The benefit comes when we use it as it was intended and choose to bless others with it in return.

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