I still remember a song I learned when I was…who knows how old I was? I’ve known it for as long as I can remember. The song, “Simple Gifts,” is a Shaker song written and composed in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett. Would you like to hear Jewel’s rendition? (It’s the only one I could find on YouTube, so it will have to suffice.) Here you go: Simple Gifts
We have each been given gifts…gifts of life, gifts to give and receive love, gifts of faith in God or fellowmen (or both), gifts of writing, gifts of goodness, gifts to share and gifts to develop. Gifts can be moments of peace and tranquility. Gifts can also be found in packages of adversity, where we learn more about ourselves and our abilities to carry on and to triumph. Whatever your gifts are, I hope that you will recognize that you are amazing!
In this post, I invited you to join my family as we have sought to recognize and develop the gifts we have been given. Did you take me up on that? We’ve had almost two weeks since that post, and I’m wondering what you have discovered. I have been working on developing my gifts to cook and bake, to sing, and to continue writing and editing the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo…and I am working to connect with you through blogging while reading and commenting on your blogs. I applaud your efforts. 🙂
While searching for our own gifts, let’s also look for the gifts of those within our sphere of influence. Maybe someone did something kind for you. (Yesterday, after a lengthy visit (with a somewhat fussy preschooler) at a store, I purchased said fussy preschooler a drink. As we were shuffling items around a shopping cart, the two of us managed to dump said drink all over the floor. And the drink was sticky. And the floor was soaked with a big mess.
A fellow customer went to grab an employee, who quickly flagged the slippery, sticky area and mopped the spill. I was so grateful for both of those people. They took initiative and helped a tired mom with a fussy little person. Sure, someone could argue that the employee was just “doing his job,” but to me his work meant so much more. He was helping me rectify a mistake I made. And I was grateful for him.)
Two Mondays ago, on our weekly family evening, we passed around papers where each person in our family wrote one item which we recognized as a gift in another person. My page looked something like this:
You are good at playing the piano. Mom is good at cooking. Mom is very patient and forgiving of us. You are so nice and you help me with everything! I wouldn’t have lived without you…literally! 🙂 You are very caring!
Now, while I wouldn’t own all of those kind thoughts from my sweet family (especially the piano one), some of the people who know me best have helped me see some of my gifts. And, I think that since they were looking for positive attributes in other members of our home, they have each been more positive since the night we did that activity together.
So, in the busyness of this holiday season, I challenge you to take a moment to think of the gifts you possess that you cannot purchase from a store…as those may be the simplest (and most profound) gifts of all!