Hey y’all! I trust you had a fabulous weekend! I had a headache all of last week, but I think it’s finally gone. Good things came of it though- like this skirt! When my headaches get bad, I can’t do anything around anyone who is making noise, so I retreat to my room. But, I’m also a pain-pacer (meaning I have to walk or move or bounce when I’m in a lot of pain), so I find sewing to be a good distraction. Anyway…
This skirt was a lot of fun to make, and you can read about it on my sewing blog, Working with Eager Hands.
Yesterday’s sermon was so encouraging for me. Something I thought y’all might be likewise edified by was one of the little points under the big point (which was that the gospel does not leave a man the same- either it hardens him or he is drawn to it, but he’s never neutral; the text being Romans 1:8-17). Our pastor was saying that the gospel takes us from being a consumer of God’s blessings, to being a producer of them through His work.
I’ve been one, talked to, and run across many girls who, though they are staying at home and doing chores as they believe God calls them to do, their faith is stagnant. They are lack-luster (although still passionate about crochet or vintage sewing patterns), and although their walk with God is not falling to the side, it’s not charging forward either. 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 speaks about the variety of spiritual gifts that Christ has blessed His church with, and in Romans 1:11-12, Paul tells us, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” He’s saying that in exercising his spiritual gift when he visits them, his faith is strengthened, and all parties are blessed.
He goes on to say in verse 14 that he is a debtor to them, because the gospel has changed his life. He is a different man, and these are his comrades, his encouragers, his fellow members in the body of Christ. He feels indebted to them because he finds his purpose ministering among the believers. Although Christ is all we need to be saved, exercising our spiritual gifts in the church is a way to grow in our faith. An arm is nothing without a head, and torso, and legs… basically, we need our church friends. In using our spiritual gifts with others, we ourselves are edified and, because the gospel has not left us the same, we are able to be producers of blessings.
I would encourage you that if you are not actively aware of the ways in which you could be serving in your church, that you seek out opportunities. I’m not talking about teaching children’s church or cleaning the building. I’m thinking of the mothers who need meals, the young girls who want to sew, the friend who needs some chocolate, the family who needs help painting their house. The elderly lady who would love some company grocery shopping. The girl scared of a doctor’s appointment who would be encouraged by fresh flowers. Minister at abortion mills. Someone moving? Mow their grass, deliver sweet tea, and scrub their baseboards. They are blessed, you are blessed, you get to know each other. Win win win, no?
This also means offering to cook a double-portioned meal weekly so your family can invite people over for dinner and be mutually encouraged. You are comrades with your church family– act like it! Spend time with them! What are your spiritual gifts? Sewing? Spearhead the quilt project for the new bride. Working with children? Babysit for free. Cooking? Tons of options there. Writing? Send cards to the shut-ins. Hospitality? Get on it! Being cheerful? Smile!
Some of these things can seem like they don’t really give “purpose” but rather just something to do and fill time, while still encouraging others. They might be. But, the main thing is to be available. Let others know they can count and call on you. Once you get started, opportunities will arise. Maybe they won’t specifically apply to your giftings, but giving of yourself is just that- giving what you want for what others need.
Sometimes, this means being the invisible force for your family’s ministry. You cook healthy meals and clean their clothes so that your daddy and brothers can go help fix someone’s roof (and maybe send along a bag of muffins). You take over the grocery shopping for a day so your mother can take time to encourage a new homeschooling mom. You watch your young siblings so the rest of your family can work on a project. You pray hard.
The gospel does not leave us the same. Will it harden us to God’s love, or will it drive us to our Savior? Are we merely consumers of God’s blessings, or also producers? Our spiritual life, maintenance, and growth is dependent on exercising our spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Are we bearing fruit?
So, I want to know what your spiritual gifts are. I think they can sometimes confuse us, and it can be hard to determine exactly what we are gifted with. These aren’t just talents. Leadership? Organization? Gentle encouragement? Languages? How are you using these gifts? I would love to hear your thoughts on applying these in church and stay-at-home daughter life.