Something I’ve been thinking about lately is encouraging my children to use the gifts and talents that God has given them. These gifts and talents aren’t necessarily what people would think of as “big” things, but that doesn’t matter. God gives each of us the gifts and talents that He wants us to have, and one is just as important as another. What we do with them is also very important.
My children all love to read. God gifted each of them with the ability to read very well and to understand what they read. For that reason (and others), I’m encouraging my children to read a lot. Since summer is here, I have them participating in a summer reading program at our local library. I encourage them to read to their younger cousins when they come over to visit. I’m also helping them make daily Bible reading a habit. These aren’t “big” things, but they are important anyway.
My 10-year-old daughter is a budding pianist, a talented and creative artist, and is beginning to learn to sew. Encouraging her to practice her piano is easy. It’s not always so easy to allow her to create new arts and crafts projects because, honestly, they often make such a mess! God gave her a creative mind, though, so I try to remember that and not to discourage her. (I also require her to clean up after herself!) It can also be hard to make myself allow her to sew and to take the time to sit with her for a sewing lesson. But, once again, I’m reminding myself that it’s my duty to help her cultivate these skills and talents.
My 16-year-old son loves to make people laugh and is good at it! He has such a fun sense of humor and loves telling jokes, saying funny things that make people laugh, and entertaining people. To some, that might not sound like a gift or talent, but I honestly believe it is! God cares about our happiness! We need people to cheer us up, point out the good in things, and even help us laugh at ourselves. My son can certainly be that person. He’s also very good at strategy games as well as video games. I really don’t know how God will use those talents, but I trust that He will!
Even my oldest child who is autistic and non-verbal has gifts and talents. She taught herself to read at age 3 or 4. (I discovered that she could read when she was about 5 and I was getting ready to teach her to read.) She can do almost anything on the computer. And she is one of those kids that people just love! She makes people feel good just by being herself. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she inspires others to do the best they can with the abilities God has given them. I really don’t know, but I do know that she’s a wonderful and inspiring person in spite of her limitations.
What gifts and talents do you and your children have? Are there ways you can practice them or put them to good use this summer?