Friday, July 18, 2014

What we do with the gifts given us

I bought this gem of a book a couple weeks ago. Several people in my critique group recommended it, and I can see why it came highly praised. I actually do not own a lot of books. (*Gasp* Surprising, right?! And homeschool curriculum doesn't count!) First of all, it takes a really powerful book for me to purchase it. The story has to be one that "sticks." Second, I rarely, if ever, read a book twice (unless it's a children's picture book). And third, space is extremely limited in my house. Eight bodies and the clothing that accompanies them is demanding enough. Add in the aforementioned homeschool curriculum, and we've pretty much hit our limit on available square footage.

I'm not finished with the book yet and constantly have to remind myself of my mantra "How do you eat an elephant?" (One bite at a time.) I want to enjoy what I'm reading, but I'm overwhelmed by the amount of information overload. Learning the craft of writing and becoming familiar with the world of publishing is a dizzying experience, a bit like a case of vertigo. It is tremendously helpful to remind myself that I am not on a deadline for learning. I want to do this writing and publishing thing well, not fast. Fast would be nice, but not beneficial. Thankfully, I'm old enough to recognize this bit of wisdom. Not to mention, I'm trusting the LORD for His timing and wisdom in the process. God has given me a gift with the written word, and I want to glorify Him with it. The gift He gives may be perfect, but the receiver isn't!

More and more, I am aware of how little I am and of how big God is. My son's death was the catalyst for my writing moving from passive to active, private to public. Before July 29, 2011, my stories would have remained in a file on my laptop. But losing Matt catapulted me into a new reality. The reality that this life is short and fear is a mirage. I decided then that I would no longer be controlled by fear, and if life is short, then I was done dawdling. If God gave me a gift for writing, then it's my responsibility to use it well.

As a bereaved parent, I also know that my son was a gift, a precious, precious gift. A gift that I took for granted and too often neglected to appreciate. After loss, it's too late to change the past, but it's never too late to address the future. In 11 days, we will mark the three year anniversary of when our son was made perfect in heaven. We wanted to commemorate it with doing something that reflected Matt and his personality and the gifts God gave him. Matt was brilliant at computers, especially PC trouble-shooting and repairs. So to mark the occasion, we have set up a GoFundMe campaign in which we will pay a random customer(s) computer bill at a local business on the 29th. Thus far, we are over half-way to our goal. I am humbled and blessed that so many would honor our son's memory in this way. It is truly appreciated. If you are interested, dear reader, in participating, please click on the link below Matt's picture.

We are all given gifts by God, and we all have a choice in what we do with them. What are you doing with your gift? I'd love to hear!

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