"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
I'm not sure why, but moments strike us, don't they? A certain song will come on the radio, a breeze in the wind, a scene on tv, and all of the sudden we are transported to a different place or a memory will come flashing back. Sometimes they are great memories, sometimes they may be sad, but all of those memories shape who we are, what we have become, and what our future holds. Such is today! Sarah, my oldest child, recently sent me a beautiful piece on the "Ten Things You Learn by Being Raised by a Strong Mom." I felt honored that she sent it to me and it made me think of our beautiful children and all they have given me. I hope that you will give me a few moments to share that with all of you. Starting left to right in the picture above!
Krystina has brought to me the gift of persistence. When you are around her, you know how driven she is - her passion shines through so that when she wants something, she goes after it and nothing stands in her way. Whether it is how Krystina goes after a job she wants or her goal of double majoring with the first of its kind at her school (Accounting & Sports Management), her persistence has led to much success. It has also helped me to persevere towards accomplishing goals I want to achieve.
Gabby has brought to me the gift of compassion. When you meet Gabby, you can see a huge heart. She blesses everyone that she is around - especially young children. Her patience and kindness can be seen as she bends down to get on a child's level - having them gravitate to her smile and happy words. Her compassion has led to a great heart. It has also helped me to be compassionate to others.
Christian has brought to me the gift of humor. Whatever the situation, Christian finds a way to bring humor and smiles to everyone's faces. The moment may be difficult and frustrating, but he shares a joke or happy thought and immediately changes the dynamics of the moment. He certainly had us laughing much during our family dinners. It has also taught me to let humor be present during serious times.
Sarah has brought to me the gift of creativity. Whether it is how Sarah looks at a certain situation or whether it is her decorating eye, she brings a sense of creativity to our world. You can see her creativity from the moment you meet her - how she puts together fun outfits as well as how her words are put into a beautiful note. Her creativity has taught this mama who has a lack of creativity to think a little differently.
Each of my children has brought their individual gifts that our Dear Lord has given to them to our family - to round out our family in a way that makes us all better through their own personalities. It's hard sometimes to see individuality as gifts. When I watch the news or read posts on the Internet, many people look at our individual differences as a way for us to scorn them or to be mean to them. God didn't create us that way. God, as shared by Paul in our verse for today, made each and every one of us in such a beautiful and special way. HE gave us gifts, HE showed us the path on how to use them, HE wants our gifts to shine through to others to be celebrated.
As we continue the journey of this Lenten season, may we appreciate the individual gifts that our God gave us. More importantly, may we celebrate those gifts in others. May we rejoice with our Lord when those individuals gifts are shared. And most of all, may we give thanks to our Lord for those special gifts. May we simply rejoice, just rejoice, in the gifts of our Lord. To my children, thank you for blessing my life so richly!
"Heavenly Father, we thank you for the individual gifts you have given to each of us. You have made each of us so wonderfully. Many times, we don't look at the differences between us as gifts, but as ways to put each other down. Help us to look at these differences as a moment to celebrate how YOU are seen in each of US. May we rejoice in these wonderful blessings. In your name we pray. Amen!"