happiness

Finding our gifts

Today was week 3 of the finding your spiritual gift group I’ve been attending at our church. I consider it such a blessing that I was guided into this group, this church, at the exact time I was. For a few weeks before I had sat with this powerful feeling that things were changing in my life, that it was time to begin to embrace my power, that I was going to begin a new level of understanding myself.

Then I went to church and was pulled immediately into this group by one of the ladies. I had no intention of joining, was looking to drop the kids off and go have some quiet time before coming back for service. But the lady told me it was an opportunity to find out what gifts God has given us and how we are to use them in the world. All my spidey senses went off. This was exactly what I had been needing. So I went.

The past three weeks have been really interesting. I have learned a lot about myself, and about how the gifts we are given work. I’m finally understanding that just because my gifts aren’t like your gifts, or aren’t maybe the gifts that I think would have value that I would like them to have (usually because I’ve been told they don’t), that does not mean that they aren’t sacred gifts from God – that it is my duty to use them.

Our leader comes in every week with a wrapped gift and places it at her feet. She talks about how important it is not only to receive the gift, but too use it. Then she motions to the gift box and says – because it’s not much good to any of us just sitting there all wrapped up in the box not being used is it?

So true.

I’m starting to understand some of my gifts and how they have value. They’re things that I actually used to think had value, but had allowed people over the years to devalue. Somehow instead of having the confidence in myself and in what I had to offer, I allowed the opinions of others to make me feel like my gifts weren’t important. And unfortunately for every time I was told by someone else that my gifts didn’t have value, I repeated that message to myself 1000 times more.  All of our gifts are important – no matter how big or how small.

Jenna was asked to help out with the children’s church during service. She was nervous, but excited to be one of the “big kids” and to have some responsibility. She’s so shy in public and often doubts the great gifts that God has given her. She stepped into one of her gifts today and did a wonderful job of helping the kids during service. The kids were happy, but the glow that came from Jenna from sharing that special part of herself – that was my happiness moment. It is so important to share what God gave you.

 

 

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happiness

The heated steering wheel

It started with a heated steering wheel. To backtrack a bit, this summer my sister was showing me her new Volvo and one of the features was a heated steering wheel. 

I had just come back after spending the last 4 years in Southern Virginia, and it was a warm spring day in Alberta so I’m afraid I didn’t fully appreciate how awesome the option to have a  heated steering wheel is. 

Today I had to take my car into the Volvo dealership for some maintenance and the courtesy car they gave me had (among many other exciting features) a heated steering wheel. Extra exciting since we woke up this morning to a pretty decent dump of snow.  It was a happiness moment keeping my hands warm while I drove on the cold road.   
While I was driving back home enjoying my new ride I got to thinking about my happiness journey and how this year has taken me in directions I never would have imagined. 

Years ago when I read Eat, Pray, Love I was mesmerized by her happiness journey, but with little kids and a crazy schedule I was also pretty bent that she could run away for three months and find her balance. 

Slowly I’ve come go realize that Elizabeth Gilbert could do that because of the things that made her uniquely her. 

The things that have come into my life this year to hold, support, and encourage my happiness journey have happened for reasons that make me uniquely me. 

Not many people have family who opens up a house for them when they are in crisis and needing help. Not many families have an old house that just happens to be empty and sitting there waiting for the right moment to be occupied. 

I called on a Monday and said we were coming home, and by the weekend they had the house ready for us. And I’d seen the place at Christmas. They went to a lot of work to transform it into the place we now call home. 

Likewise, not many people have a sister who steps in and gives them a car to drive (and a pretty nice one at that). She had her old Volvo at home  to gift to Dad, but after he died she turned around and gave it to me to use. Supreme kindness. 
 
I’m learning a lot from following other people’s happiness journeys, but I’m cognizant of the fact that what makes someone else happy may not be what works for me. Likewise, the tools that other people have available to them as they walk their path are different from what I have. 

I am incredibly blessed in my life and one of the greatest things about my journey for happiness has been a reminder of the wonderful life I have been given. 

Which is sometimes  made even sweeter by a heated steering wheel. 

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