12/25/2005: "A very merry Christmas"
Today has been a wonderful day.
I will post pictures later of the fun & excitement our family had of opening gifts this afternoon.
Right now I want to try to express my feelings, to capture them before they fade away, inspired by a DVD that Elena got for Christmas from the Rydalches (thank you!!), Veggie Tales: Lord of the Beans. Yes, sometimes inspiration comes in funny little packages =)
The overarching message was that our gifts are given to us to do what we will with them, and that serving others brings the kind of lasting joys our gifts are meant to create. I felt a similar rush at the end as I did with "Millions", wanting to be able to give and serve and help those in need as best as I can. I thought about my gifts, my talents, and how I am using them, how could I use them better and what gifts am I overlooking?
Taking a Christmas tack for a moment, there are some gifts under the tree that are out in the open for most anyone to see. There are those that are somewhat hidden behind the tree or even in the branches--small ones that can contain marvelous treasures. James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told a story that as a child his parents had given him a ring when he really wanted a 'sandy andy' toy. The toy faded into memory, broken and useless, and how he wished he had understood that the ring would be something he could treasure today. It's all too easy to get caught up in wanting to have more and more gifts, or perhaps even a particular gift, that we miss out on the ones we have been given, and the loving hands that gave them to us.
The Lord has blessed me to be very capable in a lot of different areas, and He has also blessed me to have weak areas which take much work to even come out average, if they even come out that high. I often find myself looking at my talents with blinders--unable to see anything but that which I lack. The compliments I receive from others during those times are generally dismissed as rose-colored illusions, because "obviously they don't know the real me". When I can let go of my blinding perfectionism to open my eyes to the way that God sees me, to the self that those who love me readily recognize, when I can know myself as I really am and as I will be, then I know the truth.
Right now I have a burning desire to use my talents to bless my family and those whom I come across in my section of the sphere. Looking ahead to the new year I see more ways that I can teach my children, methods, tools, lessons... I know I've been blessed to be an able and enthusiastic teacher and there is always room for improvement. I need to remember that my goals and dreams are stars to steer by, not rods to beat myself with...
These are some of my thoughts, gently impressed upon me by the spirit of the Giver of all good gifts on this day to celebrate the Christ child. I hope the year finds me growing and learning and serving, all with much joy.