No matter who we are, no matter where we live we are each blessed with gifts from a loving Heavenly Father. Some people's gifts are easy to recognize and bless the lives of many. Others have gifts that are not apparent upon first glance.
"God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve." (President Henry B. Eyring, "Help Them Aim High", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012)
We talk about our different gifts within our home on a regular basis as the children are growing and changing so quickly. Each of the children is unique in the gifts and strengths they bring to our family. Teaching them that no matter the gift it is of value. As I thought about this over the new year I decided to really stretch some of the gifts I know I have. As a result one goal I set was to draw something every day. This has proved to be very fun, difficult, and given me new ideas about digital kits and things that I could share.
This post is a random collage of thoughts and drawings. When I had my proof reader go through the post I was told it was boring and no one would care. I laughed as I told her is a good thing this blog wasn't for just anyone and no one would be forced to read it. Gus just rolled her eyes and in her mind I could hear the snide remark, "except me" but she held it in because the next installment of series she has been reading came in the mail. She wanted to conversation to end so she could get to her book. I love this little quirk about her.
A blank page is very intimidating!
I found inspiration in other artists work while searching for my own artistic voice, in fact one my teachers said it's essential in the beginning stages. I also found inspiration in the things lying in front of me, my glasses, my phone. Loaf got into my phone this week deleting all my notes, various calendaring items, and who knows what else. So much of my life in the palm of my hand.
I have experimented with "zangles" and faces, as you can see by the mustache lips I'm proportions are a struggle. However, I did manage a couple of nice faces down at the bottom. I was working on eye expression in this exercise, but still the "silly faces" as Loaf calls them are a bit of a joke with the children.
I could fill a few digital kits with all the flowers. We were talking about flowers and biology one night at dinner as Arnold was talking about cell structure and a few other things I tried unsuccessfully to remember from my various biology classes . She made the comment about the amazing way in which the world was created.
As I thought about the creation a silly thought came that I was on the decorating committee of the creation. Fred quickly corrected me and said, "You probably drew the flower and told those in charge to make it." We all had a giggle over who I am and my role in our family. Despite the little comical moment, it was a lovely teaching moment, unplanned all because of a doodle and some homework.
Like every other time I have set a big goal the Lord has provided some unique and challenging opportunities that have helped me develop my gifts. For example, I was asked to help with the advertising for our upcoming stake Relief Society event. It has been a fun project to work on and I have really enjoyed working with the sisters and meeting new people. They are wonderful women with great strength and wisdom.
If you are part of my stake please join us next month. It's going to be a wonderful event and I can't tell you how many countless hours have already been spent in preparation. The prayers and dedication of the Stake Relief Society Presidency have been humbling, not to mention all those working on the committees. The love for each of the sisters in the stake makes my heart swell. What a beautiful organization!
I am putting together a digital kit after I am all done with everything they need. I have been scouring the internet trying to teach myself how to quickly learn to draw people, because you saw earlier I'm in desperate need of some work: the stretching part of my goal. I don't know that I will ever be a master artist, but if I can master a decent doodle person I will be happy. The papers were fun to make. This is going to be a crisp clean line, something new for me. However I love the way they printed up. I ended up making 4 versions of the same poster so as the sisters moved throughout the church in the different rooms there would be something a little new to look at.
One day, my drawing was the initial thoughts for the stake project. Another day was one of the children's birthdays and another was the night after my Relief Society lesson.
When I made the Plan of Salvation kit last year I had no idea there would be such a demand for it in all it's different forms. I have spent much of the month helping people get the right files and such for their different lessons. It has been a pleasure to share the talents the Lord has given me and has helped me see a greater vision of how our gifts can help one another. I will probably never be a great orator or writer. I appreciate and grow from other gift, but in my own small way I can help build the kingdom though the talents.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “Spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 371). (as quoted by Elder Robert D. Hales, "Gifts of the Spirit", February 2002)
Having a tangible goal like drawing something everyday has helped me appreciate the structure and order my life is often devoid of. I found the nightly exercise relaxing, of course the time I spent drawing meant that no other handwork (applique or embroidery) happened. Life everything else in life priorities have to be set and unfortunately I don't have the time to accomplish everything my heart desires.
I am still trying to figure out how to use the ipad for the daily drawing exercise. The stylus is hard to control and get the effect I am looking for, but the exercise is fun none the less and I'm hopefully learning how to make fonts. I still prefer a pen, paints, and paper.
So tonight as I pick up my pen and start to draw, I will contemplate these words asking myself if talents and gifts are the same thing. Is is possible and should we differential between the two?
One of the great tragedies of life, it seems to me, is when a person classifies himself as someone who has no talents or gifts. When, in disgust or discouragement, we allow ourselves to reach depressive levels of despair because of our demeaning self-appraisal, it is a sad day for us and a sad day in the eyes of God. For us to conclude that we have no gifts when we judge ourselves by stature, intelligence, grade-point average, wealth, power, position, or external appearance is not only unfair but unreasonable.
From D&C 46:11–12, we have this truth: “For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
“To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.”
God has given each of us one or more special talents. Socrates made the famous statement, “The unexamined life is not worth living” (“Apology,”The Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett, Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952, p. 210). It is up to each of us to search for and build upon the gifts which God has given. We must remember that each of us is made in the image of God, that there are no unimportant persons. Everyone matters to God and to his fellowmen. (Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "There are Many Gifts", Ensign November 1987)