Bloom Where You've Been Planted

In our last live call for our Six Weeks to Sanity course, we talked about the joy and fulfillment of connecting with our purpose through sharing our God-given gifts. We all have them, but due to overwhelm, distractions, negative self-talk, comparisons, etc. our gifts can lie dormant, thus robbing ourselves and others of the light we were uniquely created to shine in this world. So how do we go about discovering and developing those gifts? Here are three proactive ways to get started!


1. Crowdsourcing


Recently, I took part in a crowdsourcing activity that helped participants embrace their strengths. It was a super cool experience!  Oftentimes we can’t see our own gifts as well as others can, so asking friends to help you identify your gifts can be really eye-opening and inspiring! Pay attention to the positive feedback you’ve received over the years, you might start noticing a pattern: “Your home is so welcoming”, “You’re so creative”, “I love your style”, “You’re such a good communicator,” “Can you help manage this project? You’re really detail oriented”, “You always make me laugh, you have a great sense of humor," "I appreciate how you can articulate what I feel but struggle to put into words", "You're super tech savvy," "You're a really hard worker", "You're a natural performer"...


We often think of gifts as something “professional” that can be monetized, like a trained musician, chef, public speaker, author, etc, when in reality our God-given gifts are the innate traits and qualities we offer generously to our families, neighbors and communities on a daily basis. The more authentic we are, the more fruitful we can become. Our diversity provides color, texture, variety, and BEAUTY to God’s garden. 


2. Deluttering and Self-care


One of the biggest and unexpected benefits of living more intentionally and decluttering my home, mind, and schedule, has been the resulting whitespace in which to be more present and attentive to the quiet needs around me.  Once my disorganization was tempered by weekly planning, and my energy revived through movement and clean eating, and my intrusive thoughts quieted by prayerful silence and healthy boundaries around the content I consume, I had the reserves to make linear progress towards my personal goals and growth.  


Taking those first steps in faith, fanning the sparks of desire in my soul for contributing light to the world as only I can, revealed how, when and where to apply the gifts God has given me. I am a listener with loving curiosity. Through acknowledging my distinct gifts and offering them back to God, I’ve discovered all kinds of ways to share my open ears and heart with others. When we each show up for our lives, ready to serve, we ALL benefit! I am soooo grateful for the people in my life who are strong where I am weak. They have taught me so much, and stretched me, and carried me. You becoming the best version of YOU is a precious act of love to all of us! 


3. Seeking First the Kingdom of God


Our God is a God of health and wellness. Only when we love Him first and most can we love others better and protect our gifts from our passions and egos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sabotaged my own fruitfulness by focusing only on my weaknesses and allowing envy and pride to put a bushel over my light, or by letting perfectionism keep me from trying lest I make a mistake. Emptying myself of the sins that distort what is good and loving and holy, through repentance and ascetical efforts such as prayer and fasting, makes room for Christ’s humility, patience, peace and discernment. From this healthy and fertile inner climate, a mustard seed size offering of faith and obedience can reap a bountiful harvest! "God, please show me how and where to be useful," is a simple yet powerful prayer that can alter the trajectory of your life. 

Nothing discourages, exhausts, and depletes us like stagnancy and barrenness. We were created to continuously evolve, and serve, and BLOOM where we’ve been planted. When spreading light is the motivation behind our daily efforts to be good stewards of our time, talents and blessings, then our days become full of eternal significance, and our mental/physical/spiritual health improves, our relationships improve, we become kinder and gentler to ourselves, and feel energized to bear fruit and keep growing whether we’re 20, 40, 60, 80 … at any age or stage of our lives.

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