A giant gift bag containing a big red wicker tray accompanied her and my sister as she walked in with the biggest grin on her face! Proud of what she had chosen as a perfect gift for me, her eyes sparkled with delight. My niece knew that I was in need of a large tray. One large enough to put teacups, a teapot, and all of the trimmings for the many times I play the hostess with the mostess! She knew she had found the perfect gift! As I pulled the bright red tray out of the bag, she proceeded to tell me that she found the perfect one because it was my favorite color! Smiling and thanking her for her thoughtfulness, my puzzled thoughts, with cocked head, caused me to ask her why she thought red was my favorite color? I thought everyone knew my favorite color was green! "Aunt Sherry," she said, " It's your favorite color because it's everywhere in your house!" What?! I was taken by surprise. I'm thinking that red falls right in there with the pastels and yellows that are truly my least favorite colors - surely she was mistaken. I would never decorate with a color that I would rarely even wear! Laughing as to not hurt her feelings, "No Kaleigh," I exclaimed, "red isn't my favorite color and no, I don't decorate in red!" "Yeah you do," she said and then she began to list all of her observations!
With that grin that shows all of her teeth and wide-eyed astonishment at my ignorance, she exclaimed, "You have a big red wall in your stairwell and red carpet. Your bedspread is red and you have a red love seat in your bedroom! In your piano room, you have red drapes and a big red sculpture on the wall. You have two red ottomans in the piano room and one in the bedroom. You actually have red everywhere!" Amazed at her observation, and my lack thereof, my jaw dropped and the breath within sighed out. My minds eye danced rapidly into every room as I took a virtual tour. "You're right!" I declared. I didn't even realize it! Now these are no small items.. Big...Red... and they stood there slapping me in the face and I was oblivious!
How is it that we live with ourselves day after day and so often, we cannot see the obvious! Our gifts, strengths, and weaknesses are things we live with everyday and yet we waltz around wondering who are we...really? It seems that others know us better than we know ourselves. I had no clue that I was attracted to red as much as I thought! It just shows up everywhere in my decorating. With little to no effort of my own, it comes from the depth of who I am and Kaleigh saw it!
There are many things throughout my life that others have pointed out that I am unaware. Sometimes there are good things, and I'm sad to say, sometimes it is things or behaviors that are undesirable. Those least admirable observations are usually reserved and revealed by family members and very close friends. All in all, people are observing you all of the time, unless they are self-consumed and oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of those surrounding them.
In every case, I find it surprising!
So, I began to think about this revelation...and saturated it with intensity and a deeper level of musing.
I think these are some pretty hard questions, especially when they prelude interactions with others or precede final thoughts of reflection for the day. The last question was really an eye-opener for me the first time I heard it! It was a day I didn't even want to be around myself! It has made me be sure to conduct myself in a way so I can answer that question with a warm fuzzy instead of a cold prickly!
You know, this little color episode can be perceived in two ways:
God has given us each our own personal gift, uniquely designed for just us. We act in it or work through it often without even realizing it. Like my decorative color red, it comes naturally from the depths of our makeup. Others, take delight and seek to nurture it. They try to help grow it, display it, and group it within a place that enhances it's beauty and share it with other like objects. Just like Kaleigh giving me the red tray to match my house, meet a need, and surprise me with her thoughtfulness. She saw something of me that I didn't see in myself. She was sensitive and observant!
The other perception could be viewed as this:
We can deny what others see and reveal to us. I assuredly exclaimed that there was little red in my house! When the facts were laid out, I was ashamed that 1) I didn't believe her or what she saw 2) I was oblivious to my own design 3) I was a little insensitive to her wanting to add to my decor and probably not as thankful as she anticipated me to be!
How my heart aches when I see that others are unaware or don't believe that the gifts God has given them are actually from Him and designed uniquely for them, and them alone! What is worse, is knowing that of your own life! How often I reject or do not acknowledge His beautiful personal gifts to me?
How in the world could I do___________(fill in the blank)...there are others more qualified or "gifted."
Unfortunately, I am also often oblivious to my own design that God has created within me. Of course, living and responding from a natural obliviousness keeps us humble, but how much richer and full would our lives be if we intentionally worked in our gift instead of always trying to discover what it actually is? Let me challenge you. Know who you are! Know whose you are! Know that what He gives you is personal and from a heart of love. It is intended so that you are better equipped to bring Him glory and lead others toward Him. That's the bottom line!
As I look back and think about her anticipating my response and thankfulness, likewise, I wonder if the Father awaits our reaction in the same way…with joy and excitement at what He has uniquely picked for us?!
As I am writing this blog, I began to remember that in April 2013 I blogged about gifts. Here is the link incase you’d like to go back and read it http://www.restore-ministries.net/blog/gift
What God has gifted you with is not for you to hide away or never discover. It is given for you to build up the body of Christ. Let it pop like the color red! Vibrant. Rich. Courageous! Exercise it, nurture it, protect it and use it only as He has intended. I love to see someone using or wearing a gift that I have given them. It confirms to me that it they are thankful and delighted to have it. Shouldn’t we think of gifts from the Father in the same way?
James 1:17New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.
Go...explore your gift...develop it...embrace it! When God looks at us, let a look of delight fill His face because you are enjoying His personal, unique gifts designed for only you!
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