Christmas time is here, my favorite time of year! I can’t help but think of my Grandma Smith this time of year. She was always so cheerful at Christmas (she was cheerful year round!!) but you could tell how much she enjoyed the Christmas season. She always sent out tons of Christmas cards and would receive more than you could imagine. She loved displaying all her received cards where everyone could see. When she’d get more than she could display, she’d start stacking them in a basket. I bet she got over 100 a year, it was amazing.
She not only stayed busy with sending and receiving cards and letters, she made so many baked goods during the holidays. As well as visiting the nursing home and talking with the residents there and usually taking a small gift of cookies or an Upper Room devotional. She was a very thoughtful lady, always giving of her time and love. She would also receive many fruit baskets, and flowers, and baked goods. She was very loved, but she also loved so much back I don’t know how she ever kept up.
In our church this Advent season the theme is Gifts. This past Sunday our preacher, Rusty, spoke about using our gifts for the better good of the world. Recognizing what our gifts are, and what our gifts aren’t. Knowing how to use our gifts, and willingly using those gifts to bless others and glorify Him.
“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4:10
When our preacher was speaking about this, I continuously thought of Grandma. She had so many gifts that she used diligently for the sake of good, and to glorify our King. She never questioned her gifts, she just did as she saw fit and worked with the hands God had given her. She was known for her baked goods, for her sincerity, for her many letter and cards, and she had a way of making you feel significant and special. Her gifts were abundant, and she never shied away from them. God had gifted her with the gift of comfort. You always left her house with your cup filled, whether that be a belly full of yummy cooking, a head full of scripture, or a heart full of love—she knew how to comfort you in whatever way needed.
I certainly don’t have the gifts she did, but that’s okay, not all of us are going to be gifted in the same way. What’s important is knowing what gifts you’ve been given, and using them the best way you can. Not shying away from them or hiding them away, but to use them to bless others and glorify our King.
I always knew there was a lot to be learned from my Grandma, and now I’m seeing even after she’s gone, I’m still learning. Use your gifts, whatever they may be, and maybe by doing so, we can use all our different gifts together to make this world a little better place.
“5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working , but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” —1 Corinthians 12:5-6
There’s no doubt in my mind, when Grandma walked through those pearly gates, and stood in all of God’s glory, He smiled at her and simply said, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Grandma and I at Christmas circa ’14
May you use your gifts this Christmas season!