A gift from God

Our daughter Leah with her violin
Our daughter Leah with her violin

Yesterday our youngest daughter Leah and I spontaneously went to eat at the Mexican restaurant in town, one of my fave places, and when we were almost finished, I spotted my old friend Denise and her husband Clayton at the door. They were looking for a meeting room in town for their MLM business. She ran up to me and hugged me, loudly laughing in exclamation to see me. As we talked, they shared about their business and then we left.

As soon as I was home, Denise texted me an apology, saying she hoped that they hadn’t been “too much” sharing about the company, but they were just excited about the testimonies from people using the product. I texted her back no, but I was wondering if I had run across her for another reason: our daughter Leah.

Leah Jones' graduation -in her blue cap, gown, and tassel
Leah Jones’ graduation -in her blue cap, gown, and tassel

Leah graduated two years ago from our homeschool, but isn’t sure what she wants to do yet with our life, so she doesn’t have a job and isn’t enrolled in college. She’s been taking violin lessons for two years and is an incredible violinist, and is teaching herself how to play the mandolin, the guitar, and the keyboard. She’s also an amazing, completely self-taught artist.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Several years ago, Ray bought her a graphic art tablet for her computer. I believe the art she creates is inspired by God. It is simply beautiful. I knew Denise was an artist and had been to the art studio in her home when we used to be neighbors and Leah was a toddler. I told her about Leah’s art and asked if she’d be open to us coming over for Leah to see her paintings. This year Leah began experimenting, too, with watercolor paints.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Denise said yes, and then she suggested coming by in a few minutes since they were already here in town to look at Leah’s art (they don’t live here, but close by). She not only paints, but she was an art teacher several years at a Christian school, won a local painting contest, and was commissioned to do portrait paintings for pay by people.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

When Denise and her husband Clayton looked at Leah’s art, they really encouraged her. Denise looked at Leah after going through her computer graphic art and her watercolors and said, “Leah, you have a GIFT FROM GOD.” She explained that not everyone was able to do this, and it was God-given.

Copyright 2011 Leah Jones
Copyright 2011 Leah Jones

When I told them that I thought Leah could easily sell her art on Etsy but didn’t want to and didn’t think it’d sell, she and Clayton both told Leah that she COULD do that and SHOULD try. They told her they believed it would sell and if she could make money at doing what she loves and is good at, why not? What a lesson for you and me today! God wants us to prosper!

a gift
a gift

Denise then began sharing with Leah about the parable of the talents –how interesting since that’s our study in the Creative Christian Women’s Network on Facebook this week! It’s also a passage I’ve shared many times with Leah before about her art and music. Denise told her that the master called the servant who hid his talent “wicked” and “lazy,” and that Leah doesn’t want to hide her talent. Clayton explained that while the “talent” in that passage was a means of money in those days, it still applied to our talents and skills.

In the parable in Matthew 25, the word “delivered” in the original Greek language is the word paradid?mi (Blue Letter Bible Strong’s G3860), which means:

  • To give into the hands of another;
  • To give into one’s power of use;
  • To deliver to one to keep, use, take care of, manage;
  • To commit to, to commend.

Just as the master gave his servants the talents, giving them into their hands to manage wisely, God has put gifts, talents, and skills inside of you to steward faithfully. God doesn’t want you hiding your gifts, just as He doesn’t want Leah hiding her amazing art or music gifts. He created Leah in my womb, wonderfully and fearfully, with those gifts innately and He created yours, too.

Leah with our family, Heather, Ray & me
Leah with our family, Heather, Ray & me

The question is: what will you do with them? Hide them or let your light for Christ shine, so He may be glorified in you and through you? Remember, it’s all about Him and for His glory. Don’t hide your gifts!

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