Iris is getting us thinking… and writing.
In her Shout His Fame contest, she asks us about our witnessing style – are we bold or gentle, do we invite them to our home or our blog, do we witness at all?
Good questions Iris! Here are my thoughts and I am really looking forward to being challenged and inspired with all the other bloggers’ entries.
On paper, I might not look so useful. In fact some days I feel pretty useless. I am not a good cook, a good homemaker, or a good housekeeper. I can’t dance or sing – good grief I don’t even like to have anyone hear me sing Happy Birthday. I don’t like to entertain nor have house guests. I definitely don’t have the gift of hospitality. And if I went to the mission field they would send me back – too sickly. (I am too sickly to do much in this world.) Oh yes – on paper this is not looking too good.
What on earth can we do with her Lord? The only thing that girl can do is wag her tongue – and boy does she do that! And when she is not talking, she is typing away as fast as her fingers can go! Oh yes – that girl has something to say. But what on earth can we do with her?
Praise the Lord – he can turn even me – sickly and untalented – into something for His glory!
Have you ever filled out those forms – you know the multiple question quizzes that tell you what spiritual gifts God has granted you? I have done a few in my day. Somehow they always strike me as a very unspiritual way to discover God’s gifts. But nonetheless, they are insightful.
My answers are pretty much always the same: Evangelism, Teaching (may I add that the teaching gift only extends to the Bible or English – I will not be trying my hand at homeschooling unless the Lord tells me otherwise) and Mercy.
No problems there. That is right on as far as I can tell.
But the quiz left out something – my God-given personal style – I am a friendly extrovert. And when I say friendly, I mean friendly! I smile and talk to almost everyone. I have rarely stood in any line without striking up a conversation with someone. My son has picked this up, probably genetically as well as from watching his mommy in action, and he talks to everyone. I try to curb this and give him the “don’t talk to anyone you don’t know” speech, but I pretty much have to abridge it to “if Mommy isn’t with you” because his Mommy is always talking to people she doesn’t know!
And while I do enjoy my moments of quiet – I need that too – I am in my element meeting new people and getting to know them. I am open and honest – good grief I will tell you almost anything about myself.
Friendly extrovert + Evangelist + Teaching + Mercy = Me
So what do I do with all that?
Well, 12 years ago that answer was easy! I had a mission – to reach lost and hurting youth. I went into high schools, hung out with teenagers and preached the gospel. My style was gentle. Remember the mercy gift – I honestly just loved them and became their friend. The rest just happened. I am not a judgmental person by nature – a very important quality when working with teenagers.
The greatest highs of my life (next to mothering of course!) came from watching spiritual breakthroughs or being in the right place at the right time and listening to God’s voice about what to say or do. Yes, it was a wonderful time of ministry. I felt beautifully equipped to carry out my mission.
But two and a half years ago I left. I quit my job with Youth for Christ and became a work at home mom. I left ministry – something I thought I would never do – and began to try to earn a living while staying home with my son. And it was so strange for me. I felt lost and my spirit suffered.
I kind of wasted away, a spiritual waif with a faint memory of a different life.
Not that I don’t love being a mom. I do! It is my deepest longing and prayer answered. But I wasn’t actively teaching and preaching to my toddler. I prayed for him constantly, but I wasn’t exercising my spiritual gifts. (Now as he gets older, there is a greater opportunity to teach him – and I love that I am home and available!)
But last January I did something. I didn’t even realize what it was at the time. I just knew I needed to be creative. I needed to be forced to write daily. So I started researching blogging. And last March, Susan and I started 5 Minutes for Mom.
I had no intention of it being a Christian blog – at all. In fact when I started I didn’t even know there were Christian blogs! I don’t like to hang out in exclusively Christian crowds – remember the evangelism gift? I get antsy and restless. I need to be out there, meeting all kinds of people. I just wanted my blog to reflect me.
And so here I am. Almost a year since the idea of writing a blog sparked, and I realize that once again, God knew His plan for me and He led me here. My spiritual gifts equipped me for this ministry. It may look very different from my old form of witnessing – but it is still my style.