Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Recognizing the Value of Your Gifts. by Caroline Bordignon

Our next post is by Caroline. A young woman with a beautiful sweet spirit. You very rarely catch her with out a gentle smile and hello. When going through who I would like to put a post together her lovely face was brought to mind and right away I thought of an awesome topic that I wanted her to touch on. Caroline has an amazing God given gift!!! Being artistic myself, I gravitate to those who enjoy the arts and she is one of those who you just stand back and stare in awe with the pieces she puts together. The quality I have seen through the years is incredible. The neat thing is though that not only does she simply excel and enjoy painting and drawing but I see her using this gift to teach and bless others.  As she has shared in this post..."You have something unique to offer the world, a purpose, and it is connected to your gifts." And that is what I see Caroline doing. Taking the unique gifting she has and offering it to the world.

I encourage you all to take a moment and think about what God has gifted you with. Then dream big dreams on how you can offer it to make this world a more beautiful place.

If you are still struggling to figure out what that gifting is. Don't worry! Pray about it and keep on serving others in different areas. You WILL find your place. God wants to see you flourish and enjoying life. He doesn't hide our purpose from us. We just need to either loosen our grip on "our way or the highway," or we need to get off the couch and reach out to others. The more we focus on the things we can do and less on the things we can't the more we see ourselves reaching our full potential!!!


Recognizing the Value of Your Gifts.
by Caroline Bordignon

Art has been something I have loved for as long as I can remember. In school, it was my favourite class, from the time I started, through to the end of high school. Growing up (and even now) my room was a never ending design project – I always had big creative visions for what I wanted to do with it, but usually lacked the time/money to actually complete them, and then grew out of it after a while. I really wish there was another day of the week to accomplish creative ideas! Art was also was one of the few areas that came easily to me; I seemed to excel with artistically creative things growing up, but had to work really hard at everything else! I’ve always found that kind of funny since my parents are into accounting and engineering, complete opposites of me - I could not imagine! But that’s OK, because I don’t intend on, or want to go into their fields.

 Throughout high school I focused on developing these skills more and took classes both in school and By Design. I also took interest in graphic design and photo editing which I love as well! This brought opportunities not just to make art for fun, but also for other people and a cause. I knew that art was an area God gifted me in, and we were created to be creative and develop the things He put inside of us to increase them, not bury them in the ground. He made us the way we are with a purpose in mind, and only we can fulfill it. I’m quite glad He made me this way, it’s very fun! I have learned that God gave us gifts, interests and passions so that we would be empowered to do things in these areas with excellence and make a difference in the world. Not so we would always exhaust ourselves, striving to be good at what someone else is and never being happy with our efforts. And in our areas of weakness, we could learn to rest in Him and work together. This doesn’t excuse a lack of hard work outside of our strength zone when it’s necessary, but why put all your efforts into something you don’t love or are not gifted at? Instead, channel your energy into the things you are, because there you will be most effective.

 So I took the artistic projects I was given at the time seriously and this brought opportunities to do more. I learned that these were not just for my own benefit though, but so that other people would be blessed by what God had given me. In the past year, I was offered a position teaching art at By Design, a creative arts academy for kids and adults. I had one class per week with five students and had a lot of fun trying to teach them the necessary, technical aspects of art while engaging their creativity and imagination. Some of them were better than they thought, or needed an extra push to have the discipline and take the time to draw out the talent they actually had. But it was amazing to see how hard work and what had been deposited in me paid off in the end and could be shared with others and help them. Recently, I was asked to help create some artwork to decorate for our church’s women’s conference, Divine, Live Generously. I happily took four canvasses and a welcome sign to paint and was told just to do something abstract that went along with the colour scheme introduced in the invitations. I was quite busy this year and had not actually done much art for months, so I was excited to have something to do! The invitations had a watercolour blue/teal/purple colour scheme. I used watered down acrylics and created four different abstract scenes of lakes/water falls. This didn’t take too long to do, since they had a quick, brushed kind of look, but I had lots of fun doing them. I didn’t realize that God was actually creating an object lesson for me on generosity for the weekend.

I was surprised when several people asked me if they could keep one or
do art for them. I realized that doing this was an act of generosity, but through a sharing of my gifts. When I thought of generosity the first thing that usually came to mind was money. But generosity is so much more; we can also share of our time, giftings, life experience and many other things. Since art is a gift God gave me, I realized that I could generously share it with others, to bless them. That’s why He gave it to me in the first place. Another huge lesson I learned was the importance of recognizing the value of your gifts. For me, when it comes to art, I discovered that it is more than a nice piece too look at on a wall, but a valuable opportunity to bless someone and enrich their lives.

We don’t always recognize the power of our gifts or the importance of them. Yes, there are more important things in life than art, but thinking it is un-important would be a mistake, because reaching people is what’s most important. Same with other giftings. I find it sad to hear stories of people with talent God gave them, who end up abusing it or never taking the time to fully develop it. Some people think they are not good enough to have something to offer. Other people don’t even recognize they have a gift because theirs may not be something that’s out in the open. I think these things can happen when the connection between our gifts, generosity, and blessing others is not made. It can also happen if you don’t understand your value in God, and the amazing fact that He wanted you to be a part of time.

You have something unique to offer the world, a purpose, and it is connected to your gifts. Art is my thing, but it’s not for everyone! God gave each person something different. What we do with it, is our gift back to Him and the world around us.

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