Friday, August 24, 2012

Deciding it's a Gift and not a Burden

Our pastor at church is in the midst of a unique series called "Servolution". It's about learning to, and giving us opportunities to serve others. Part of what started this whole thing is a lemonade stand that our church family will be running during the South Plains Fair.

This past weekend, Pastor B discussed how to find your spiritual gifts. My husband elbowed me several times during some of the options.

Yet, as I sat there, my mind wondered, about what my gifts were.

See, I always wanted to do something that made a difference. Apparently I should have been more specific, and I've definitely picked the wrong major if I wanted a career that made a difference. Although, I did pick my career based on something that I love to do, that I enjoy, which makes me excited to sit through millions of hours of classes each semester. Can crazy be a gift?

So as Pastor B talked, I wondered what I'm good at.

I'm a nurturer by nature. I like to do things for other people. My friend Andrea that was diagnosed with cancer this year can agree to that. I've shared the wealth more often than not, that she probably gets tired of the text messages involving care packages for dinner, breakfast, and dessert. Although, I totally love sharing. It's nice to make a cake, and have someone enjoy the other half of it, instead of the creatures that roam the dumpster in the dead of night. I'd rather not think about those creatures, because they have beady little eyes, full of evil, and long twitchy tails, and they are just roaming the streets looking for tasty morsels.

Fabulous, now I'm not going to want to let my dogs out when it's dark tonight. Fan-freaking-tastic.

I like to listen to people talk. Not necessarily joining in, but just listening and observing. You learn a lot about people that way. Another of my friends, wiggles her hands when she is discussing something she would rather not be talking about. She rubs on her fingernails, and constantly moves her fingers. My husband, avoids eye contact. He looks down when he would rather not have the conversation with you or even glancing away while talking to you. My mother-in-law likes to dictate the flow of conversation. She likes the subject to change when she has nothing else to say about it, not necessarily when the rest of the group is ready to move on. So it makes me observant, and when something interests me in the conversation, I add to it. Or manage to say something that pisses someone off, depends on who's around and how much sarcasm I used. Super powers shouldn't get you in so much trouble, should they?

Back to Servolution. They were asking for volunteers, and frankly I miss church when we don't go. I never regret it. In fact, I have this amazing analogy that will probably have me skinned for making on my blog.

Church is like sex. Once I get there, I wonder why we don't go more often. Or why we don't have sex more often. Not while we are at church, but just in general. My husband goes to bed at 6pm. I have homework. You do the math. It's not easy to do either, but it's always worth it in the end.
Sorry John. Aunt D. My old youth minister's wife. Mom. Dad. Andrea.
 So volunteers. Well, they have this bible study at TTU on Thursday nights. So I thought, you know, maybe if I got to know some of the losers, underage hooligans, babies, youngins, fellow students, I might not feel like I'm all that much older than them. So because I had procrastinated, because let's face it, I'm not a people person. I don't like talking in front of crowds, or in front of small groups either. I don't like being put on the spot, even with people I know. So I hadn't emailed the guy in charge and told him that I would offer up my services. Just couldn't do it. So my husband drug me, by my hair, kicking and screaming to meet with the guy after church.
Here's how much I'm not a "people - person".
"Hi, I'm Abby Normal, and you don't know me, but I'm fantastic and you should."
Yep, totally said that. Still not sure why, but I was nervous, and I say goofy stuff. And that was just talking to him with no one but my husband as a witness. So I spewed out that I went back to school, blah blah blah, did he need help on Thursdays. All the while, praying he would say no. So apparently, the 30th, I'm serving pizza and bottles of water to college students, and trying not to vomit or say something goofy. It's going to be interesting to say the least. Will I regret doing it, probably not. But for the next 3 years, because that's probably how long it will take for me not to want to hurl before I walk in the door, I'll do it. Because, believe it or not, part of me would like to step out of my comfort zone.
The other part of me, well, she would like to find something that makes a difference. Not necessarily so that I can feel good about what I'm doing for someone else, but so that I can feel good about who I am again. Because somewhere along the way, I've lost that girl who wasn't afraid to take on the world. I've lost the girl who wanted her life to matter, not to someone else, but to myself. I'd like to find her, before I get older and have any regrets about what I could have done, if I'd only been less selfish, and less afraid of talking to strangers.

My mom should be so proud, apparently she nailed the "don't talk to strangers" lesson, since it still works on a 25, 29, 30, 32 year old.

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