Saturday, March 06, 2010


My eight-year-old grandson, Nate, drew this picture the other day to go with a report that he is doing on Dr. Seuss.  It is obvious to me that this is talent.  He has been drawing this well for years--with either hand.  We are all pretty impressed.  Amazing.  Talented.  Gifted.  And guess what?  He came that way--straight from God.

Nate's Dr. Seuss
Now talent is an interesting topic.  Most people--and I am one of them--are impressed with four main areas of talent:  art, music, sports, and academics.  Achievement in any of those categories means something to almost everybody.  If you don't believe me, just go re-read all of the Christmas letters you got which chronicled the accomplishments of your friends' children--you know, the ones that left you feeling like you were a failure as a parent because your children are so ordinary.  Have you ever received one that showcased obedience or compassion or brotherly love or my favorite:  common sense?

As a parent, I have tried to identify some talent or strength in each of my children in which to invest--so they could feel special.   I have studied them from infancy to find that spark to fan, hoping that in doing so, it would build confidence and give them a passion for something unique to them.  I secretly--or not so secretly--have wanted to find a hint of one of the top four talents. Unfortunately for them, my children don't come from overachieving, talented stock.  My husband and I are just average folks born to average parents.  We have average intelligence and average looks and average abilities.  We don't sing or dance or play an instrument or have a shelf of trophies for our athletic accomplishments.  We don't even hold college degrees.  Perhaps if a spark had been identified when we were younger, it may have been fanned into a campfire; but even with fanning, it would not have produced a forest fire. Average.  Straight from God average.

Regardless of our stock, I've enrolled my children in piano, drum, violin, and harp lessons.  I have signed them up for basketball, baseball, soccer, and dance.  I have even paid for art lessons.  And guess what?  Not a musician, athlete, or artist among them.  I have read the classics to them and paid for higher education and guess what?  They are not geniuses.  I  have  fanned--believe you me--and even threw in  some accelerant --and they still appear to be just like their parents:  straight from God average.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps God thinks things are special that the world does not.  I'd like to think that God has, in fact, gifted me and my family with talents--no matter how seemingly insignificant--to be used for His purpose.  And more importantly, I'd like to think that we are being faithful to Him with those talents.

As I ponder just what those are for my next post, I wonder if others have questioned God's sovereignty when it comes to His choice in gift giving.  I know that through my 33 years of parenting, there have been times when I--yes, I know it's horribly selfish--wanted more for my children than their heavenly Father has seen fit to give them.  I've wanted more for myself as well. 


sleepyhead designs studio said...

I could go on and on about this...I teach art to children and I always tell them the truth....that according to Genesis we are created in the image of God, and look how creative our God is...the same God that created the stars, the flowers, the bugs, butterflies, seashells, mountain, etc...Just because they can't draw doesn't mean they can't create a beautiful poem or scary story, or plant a flower garden, or design Barbie clothes, cook a great meal, etc. We are ALL creative in some way. My talents in art really didn't show up until I was about 30, so if they love something--let em do it! And encourage them to have the mind set of glorifying God in whatever they love doing. And BTW, you aren't so ordinary, you are a wonderful, creative writer!!!

slommler said...

There are some parents who the gift of ordinary would be a huge blessing! So I praise God for the ordinary adults and kids. They are so special. And creativity is in the eye of the beholder. One of your "talents" lies in the sharing of yourself with others and your writing. PTL!!! I celebrate you!

ain't for city gals said...

I am pretty average but always thought I was special....I'm sure your kids feel the same way...

B Lines said...

I totally understand where you are coming from here. I've often wondered what I'm supposed to be doing with my God given talents. And more than that, really wondered what they are if not one of the four main ones you listed.

You are very creatively talented and you share that gift. I'm sure God is pleased.

wldgrneyes59 said...

Maybe that's God way of saying your not so ordinary but extraordinary! Thanks for sharing!

The Tidy Brown Wren said...

I figure that if God could send His son to be born to an ordinary girl and be raised by an ordinary man, to live with ordinary people and die for ordinary people then it must be a great thing to be ordinary. Sometimes it's a curse to be extra-ordinary. It can cause you to focus on yourself and not on God.

Courtney Price said...

That IS some pretty great raw talent you showed us!

I think every human being has the urge to create... but that word can mean so many zillions of things that don't fall into any category!

Terri Smith said...

Very interesting post. Gave me pause to really think. In my humble opinion..LOVE (and perhaps the good health in which to enjoy it) Trumps everything else in this life. If you're blessed to have been given this one glorious, indescribable gift from God..all else pales in comparison.

I'm with "Sleepyhead Designs Studio," I too, could go on and on relative to the unique gifts any of us have or have not been given. You have a very good mind, Miss Denise. Your energies for explanation go rather deep. I like that about you because you encourage us to think beyond the epidermis.

Jessica said...

i really enjoyed this! it makes me think also that when i get to heaven, is god going to tell me a talent i had but i never used for his glory.
oh how sad that would be. i've often thought of that. . .is there something that i can do that i don't know that i can or would be good at if i tried, you know? something that would glorify his name?

Anonymous said...

Hello! Can you tell me how i can register mail at google [url=]google[/url]

Mimi said...

I think he is very talented!!! So God or his Parents or Grandparents gave him some sort of spark!!!!I love that drawing!!!

patty said...

great post. love the way you phrased it all. just yesterday, a wise man asked me if i knew what my gifts from god were? and then he asked if i knew that i must find them and use them "or swim in a firey lake forever" {a little freaky, but i got his message}... :o

Laurie at The Turner Farm said...

Denise, this is a wonderful post. Love it.

Kolein said...

OK, I haven't commented, cuz I've been thinking. Really thinking.

Here's what you stirred in me.

Imagine being completely content being known by God. Being loved by Him. Knowing it. In your soul. Having that personal relationship with him and it being the sole purpose for everything that you do. Everything you say. Everything you are.


My husband has this saying "When you are the happiest or the most content that a person can be there is nothing that can make you happier or more content" That, to me, is a peace that passes understanding. To know God is one thing. To have Him know you, and you know that, is truly another! So our specialness lay within the knowledge of that. I'd say, that's all I'd need.

I love your post. And I loved what "the tidy brown wren" said. Profound.

patty said...

hey denise.. just wanted to let you know that i finally blogged about our get together and included a link to you! :)

momentsofwhimsy said...

HI there Denise - I'm a visitor following the link that Patty put on her blog about your get together ;-)

Have been having a lovely read - you have a gorgeous blog & your grandson's drawing is fabulous!