Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recognizing our Gifts

I really like to shop. Ok, maybe "love" is the more appropriate word here.  Funny thing is I am not a huge "buyer", I just love the shopping part.  I am actually a pretty frugal gal with Aldi, Forever 21 and TJ Maxx being some of the hot spots that top my most frequented list (clearance racks preferred..except Aldi, of course).

I love getting ideas browsing through Pottery Barn and specialty catalogs...maybe it's that I like making things more beautiful.  How about you?  Are you a shopper?  Of course, we are all "consumers" but some of us gain real joy in the hunt and card swipe.

Since I can think of no appropriate segway here's the point:  It occurred to me that my love for shopping is really a gift.  No really.  I know, most of us think of such a love as a curse.  (If we don't think it, our husbands sure may!)  Now, I'm not talking about overspending or living beyond our means...I am talking about the deeper layer, the things that bring us joy, the way we are wired.

What brings you joy?  Music, theatre, sports, teaching, exercise, the beach...shopping?  Did you know that is a gift?  Every good and perfect gift comes from above, dear friend!  (James 1:17) You and I are made on purpose, with purpose...with unique likes and dislikes, things that bring us joy and things that drain us. 

Of course, the context of shopping gets a bad reputation because of our sinful, lust-for-more side, has sent many of us over the edge into debt and using new purchases as a replacement for a deep connection with the living God. 

Satan, the enemy of our souls, loves to twist our joys...doesn't he?  Oh he SO knows their importance and power!

Let's take inventory.  A sure way to know our gifts is to take a look at what brings us JOY, what energizes you?  I know for me, some of my personal joy boosters are exercise, dance, teaching, being with people, laughing, writing and (as formentioned)...of course shopping. 

So how in the world are those gifts?!  I would not even know where to begin to share the meaningful talks about Jesus I have had with friends, precious time spent with Wes, songs sang with Alice, prayers prayed for friends and family...all while taking walks in the park for exercise. 

I have had opportunities to help friends and family shop who needed major shopping help and were either pressed for time or didn't know where to go or how to start... and have been thanking God for my help when we are done!   All because I love to shop.

We get so religious don't we? 

While the outpouring of our gifts is certainly no substitute for intimacy with Christ, there is revival for our spirits that comes from doing things that we love, things we were created for, and using those joys to bless others.  Using our gifts is a real and practical way the "joy of the Lord can be our strength" friends!  (Nehemiah 8:10)

Oh take a look at your joys, recognize your giftings, ask the Holy Spirit where to use them and change the world around you!  It gets me excited at just the thought...and I pray it does you too.  Let's continue to spur one another onto more good deeds...(Heb. 10:24)

I would love to hear what God shows you!


  1. Ok this is Jess again as anonymous b/c it's the only way I can get a comment to post! lol Oh Catherine, I just LOVED this one. Finally got a chance here today to read it. Thank you for explaining how shopping is redeemed! Helps me understand my husband that much better and I'm always looking for more understanding in that area!
    I recognize that gift in you my friend and I am definitely spurred on by it! It is a beautiful gift and not at all do I see it as overindulgent in you which has redeemed it for me. From your influence and Luis', I have found a love for shopping that I formerly didn't have! Thank you!

    I love your gifting(s), there are so many. Thank you for posting this. I need to read it over a few more times! I love you, thanks for being such an amazing friend and inspiration!

  2. This was good. I hadn't thought about looking at these pleasures as gifts.LOVE your writing style.
    I really, really,loved the lack of rest leads to rebellion idea. Oh my. That is so good. And yes, you do see that in your kids when they don't sleep. You know they will get into trouble and often get hurt without that nap. It takes them back to zero in stimulation so by bed time they can unwind. Kids without that nap, keep revving up the stimulation level and you are right, become so much more rebellious.

    I bet you are ready for someone to put you down and say, Catherine, Now sleep. Only sleep. these days of your pregnancy? You watch your child resist it and just wish you had that opportunity to rest. Thanks for pointing out that we do.
    And yes, God is great at the 3:30, or even 4:40 or 5:30 What do I do for dinner? I make a menu to follow, but still, there are times....

    Thanks for this good stuff. Love you,Chrissy T.

  3. Catherine, I am so impressed with you and your writing skills. You need to put all your blogs together and form a book. It would be great. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me and others.
    Danielle Biel