I have heard about this a lot this month, spiritual gifts. I wrote the Christmas program for sacrament meeting next week and the theme is gifts. Brother Richards talked about spiritual gifts at our Relief Society meeting last Tuesday night and my lesson on Sunday for Relief Society was on spiritual gifts. I have been bombarded with this idea for the last month or so.
And it is a good thing!
It came in handy yesterday. I finally got my hair done. It has not been done since the spring. My hairdresser moved to Oklahoma. I found a new lady in my ward who does hair and I was able to bring my kids to the appointment at her house. Shelly has the cutest house ever. It was so clean and perfectly decorated. Just enough stuff, not too much stuff. There were calming colors everywhere and so many fun projects she has completed like reupholstering sofas and chairs, hand-painting lampshades, etc. etc. Then she has trained her kids to play with toys one at a time. She got out a fun train set and they all played and it was a lot of fun.
Here is where every woman falls guilty of the whole comparing and coveting trap. I came home to a chaotic house, crumbs, toys, paper EVERYWHERE!! Things were falling in on me and I felt like I wanted to wipe the slate clean and start over. Oh why can't my house be like hers? Yep, those thoughts started to creep into my mind. Then it was like...STOP! SHUT UP!
There are people who have probably walked into my house, on a good day, and thought the same things. Then I remembered what I had taught on Sunday about seeking out the best gifts. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to "covet the best gifts" (1 Cor. 12:31) and here I was coveting things that were not important. Yes, they are nice things but they are not the things I should be coveting.
I learned that I need to find out what my spiritual gifts are and I can do that by fasting and praying. Once I know what they are, I can harness them in my daily life. With all of the chaos I have to deal with, I need those things the most. Perfectly decorated houses do not last, and at my house they only last about 10 minutes. But the spiritual gifts that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with are eternal.
I love this quote by Gene R. Cook. "It is part of the gift of charity to be able to recognize the Lord's hand and feel His love in all that surrounds us. At times it will not be easy to discover the Lord's love for us in all that we experience, because He is a perfect, anonymous giver. You will search all your life to uncover His hand and the gifts He has bestowed upon you because of His intimate, modest, humble way of granting such wonderful gifts."
Isn't that a wonderful thought to ponder? He has blessed me ten-fold and I must remember it. He has blessed me with wonderful gifts and talents. I feel His love daily and my heart is constantly touched by His influence and guidance. Am I really going to squander that by worrying that my house isn't clean or pretty enough? That really would be a waste of my time.
So, this Christmas season really is a season of gifts. Think of all of the gifts that you have been given and most importantly, the gift of a little baby in a manger who grew to be a perfect man, a perfect teacher, full of love and grace, who has paid for our sins that we might live again.
When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit. -anonymous
Therefore, think of the poem by Christina Rossetti...
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would give Him a lamb,
If I were a Wise man,
I would do my part, -
But what can I give Him,
I will give my heart.
I hope that I can rededicate my life to giving my heart to Christ and searching out those gifts from that anonymous giver, even Jesus Christ.
I hope you will all strive to do the same thing...and have a Merry Christmas!!!