“It’s a gift I have” ;-)

imageHello!! Back again after a busy July – a first class day at Zoe’s graduation, a beautifully sunny week in Spain and a very busy fortnight as ‘project manager’ for Andy’s live music and video recording in a cave!!! Still recovering from that 🙂

It’s made me think how what are regular days for some can be significant days for others – the birth of deeply desired babies, the marriages of meant-to-be couples and the loss of precious loved ones.

It’s three years since we lost Andy’s mum and this July we got to commemorate the date by spending time with her oldest and dearest friend from Zimbabwe, Elsie. She told many tales of their youth. My mum-in-law winning the Circuit of Ireland rally (Ladies Cup 1957); their trip to Holland on a cargo ship in the days before package holidays and Easijet; starting a new life in South Africa; but my favourite was actually of my grandmother-in-law and how she could turn out a table full of deliciousness at the drop of a hat despite having ‘nothing in the cupboards’. She was renowned for her hospitality but also for her recognition that, in her own words, “it’s a gift I have”!!!

We still laugh at her blatant pride and lack of humility but it WAS a gift and as a hostess she made many a normal day, special and significant for many.

I enjoy hospitality though I’m far from being on par with Andy’s granny but it’s got me thinking about the unique gifts we each have.

Yet we can keep those gifts hidden away through comparison with others and feeling we don’t measure up or matter. What feels so insignificant to you could be very significant for someone else.

It may indeed be hospitality, opening your home and life to others in a way that feeds their souls as well as bellies! Or it may be …

… a listening ear or speaking words of encouragement and empathy

… supporting people prayerfully or practically

… being there at the right time with a text, a phone call or a hug!

… having a heart for different ages and stages from 9 days old to 90 years young!

… from holding someone’s hand to giving someone a helping hand

The list is endless. But your gift is on there somewhere! It’s the thing that comes naturally to you. The thing that’s obvious for you to do, so obvious you wonder why nobody else thinks of doing it!

It’s one of the things I love most about our church family at Causeway Coast Vineyard. There is room for everyone to use their strengths to strengthen the lives of others.

The BIG is in the small. Think of the difference someone has made in your day with their unique gifts and realise that your unique gift can make such a difference.

Unlike granny Andrews, we don’t have to boast or shout about it, but we can honour our Father by admitting with great gratitude ‘it’s a gift I have … given by YOU” and by sharing it with others.