Have you ever had a conversation with someone that seemed to become a recurring conversation you have with multiple people? This recently happened to me as I was talking to a friend. What we discussed then came up in conversations I had with multiple friends. Because of this, I really began thinking more and more about the topic and would like to share my thoughts with you.
As I sat with my friend, we began discussing different seasons of life, particularly times when your gifts or passions are laid aside. We are currently both stay-at-home moms that have passions and gifts on us, but it seems that motherhood gets the most, if not all of us. As I sat listening and discussing this reality with my friend, my mind began racing with questions…
“Is putting your gifts and passions on hold a reality? Does it have to be this way?”
“Is there anyway to continue in your passions and gifts no matter your season?”
“People claim that we can do it all, but is this just a claim and a not a real possibility?”
With each additional conversation regarding this topic, my thoughts and questions increased. Then one day as I was driving, I had this revelation moment. My mind was held by an image of a woman sitting on the bench during a soccer game. (I will use this sport, since it is the sport I currently play. Go Double Shots!) The woman on the bench was not called to play in the game, but if called in, she was ready. She had been exercising and practicing as if she was to be the MVP of the game. She was prepared for the moment she would be called in. It was here when I had my “ah-ha” moment. I felt like I had gained answers to some of my lingering questions.
Putting our passions and gifts aside because of our current season may seem like the only option sometimes, especially when we feel like we are just sitting the bench. We can have many reasons why we put our gift “on the shelf” per say; whether it is taking care of kids, no current opportunities, financial issues, or simply time. But as I thought about the soccer analogy, I have come to believe we can exercise our gifts and passions no matter the season or circumstance. It may not be the picture perfect way we thought our gifts and passions would be lived out, but if we do not exercise them in all seasons, how will we be prepared when our ideal opportunity comes.
If you are gifted to teach, find ways to teach. It might be teaching your children, having a small group of friends over, or tutoring at your local library.
If you are gifted to sing, find ways to sing. The platform may not be there yet, but your family can hear you, the local choir would love to have you, or the mirror in your house is waiting for you.
If you are passionate about missions, find ways to serve. It may not be Africa, but your neighbor is waiting on you, your kids school needs you, or a local nonprofit is waiting for your help.
I am learning that God does not give us gifts to be placed on the shelf to collect dust. He desires us to use our gifts no matter the season. He wants us to exercise them so we are prepared when He calls us out. He wants them to be stretched so they can grow and be strengthened. Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, “…be prepared in season and out of season..” Paul wanted to make sure Timothy was ready.
Are you ready? Do you have gifts and passions that need to be taken off the shelf and utilized? For me, I used to exercise my gifts daily as I worked full-time, attended mission trips, served at church, and served my family. When I became a stay-at-home mom, many of my gifts and passions seemed to be pushed to the side. I began to make excuses for the reasons this was happening. Thankfully God showed me ways to exercise my gifts in my current reality. He has stretched me to teach by home schooling. He has helped me connect with others through blogging and joining different groups and teams. He has opened my eyes to so many creative ways to stay utilizing my gifts and passions. I am hoping that you are now stirred. You are dusting off your gifts and passions and determining ways to exercise them because there will be a season where you are called off the bench. Are you ready?