And the greatest of these is Love ...

And the greatest of these is Love ...
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love Song - Third Day

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Poverty ~ Discernment ~ Faith ... Me

If I had scripted my life, it would be absolutely nothing like it is today ... I don't think ...
It would be "different" but that doesn't necessarily mean that it would be "better" ~ for example these two things I would have liked to have experienced sooner in life, but, life knew I wasn't ready ...:
  • I was almost 30 when I became a "MOM" but now I don't really know what I'd do without my Nellie! She is, and always will be, my greatest accomplishment! 
  • I was 40 years old the first time I truly experienced unconditional, complete, sacrificial love for a man. REAL love ~ the kind that you can't control, you don't "pick" it, it picks you! The most humble love, because it equals all that you are and it forgives as easily as it accepts.
July was a month of changes for me. In essence, my "normal"" disappeared! Pretty much everything that was a constant in my day to day world, changed ~ and it changed quickly and completely and irreversibly! Like I've stated before, when the "constant" in your life is removed, you don't have anything to "fall back on" ...

I didn't really "do" anything to prompt these changes in my life, either~but, I didn't have control to stop them. 

I've done some soul searching and I don't have many answers ... lots and lots of questions, very few answers!

However, I do know that nothing is coincidental, nor happens by accident, all things have a reason ~ every action has a reaction and a consequence ~ good or bad.
I can only accept what I can not change, and change what I have the power to change ~ me! 

I've often been told that God has 'gifted' each of us with one, or more, Spiritual Gifts.
We cannot chose the gift; it's who we are.
What we do with the gift ~ how we use it for the call and purpose of our life, is up to us as the recipient.

These 'gifts' could be considered a God given talent, a blessing, an inherited trait, a natural human ability, or something that you have a passion for, a desire to be, to learn ... the key is that unless your gift is used by you, and offered to others with love, it has no worth or value.

I have heard of many different gifts ~ Faith, Help, Encouragement, Hospitality, Wisdom, Intercession,Giving, Evangelism, Celibacy, Healing, Music, Pastoring, Teaching, Writing, Leadership, Mercy ~ just to name a few.  
At the encouragement of a sweet friend, I decided to take a Spiritual Gifts Test Analysis~yes, it is a real test and you take it online! It was surprisingly enlightening and pretty accurate for my life ...

Of all the gifts listed (28 total) my top three (by a landslide) are as follows: 
  1. Poverty (voluntary) ~ The special ability God gives to some to purposely live an impoverished lifestyle and renounce material comfort and luxury and adopt a personal lifestyle equivalent to those living at the poverty level (even if they have the means to live at a higher level) as an identifiable example to society that happiness and peace are not found in material possessions. 
  2. Discernment / Distinguishing behavior ~ The special ability God gives to some to detect and know with assurance whether certain behavior or teaching is from God, Satan, human error, or human power. The divine enablement to distinguish between truth and error, to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong ~ pure motives from impure and are able to sense the presence of evil. 
  3. Faith ~ The special conviction God gives to some to be firmly presuaded of God's power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him and His word that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction; the attitude of trust to go forward when others would not. 
I am not surprised at these answers ~ All my life I've lived without the need, nor desire, for "the finer things" ~ clothes, fancy car, big house ~ material things just aren't important to me. 
Having those types of things does not make a person "better" than someone without; nor does it make them worse. 
It's all in what is most important in your heart ... to me, that is simple ~ HONESTY is what I value. And, I don't mind being honest with you even if you chose not to be honest with me. 

I can tell when a person isn't sincere and genuine ~ that is why I have no tolerance for "fake" people or those with selfish motives. 

Now, Faith ... that one is my equivalent to HOPE ... and, anyone that knows me, knows that HOPE is how I live ~ it's who I am ~ it's what I do and how I cope with life. 

So, I learned a little about why I am the way I am ... and, possibly, even why I enjoy Jane Austen so much! This IS one of my favorite quotes by her ~ could be why I've been single for almost 12 years! 
"Single Women have a dreadful propensity for being poor—which
is one very strong argument in favor of Matrimony."