Using Your Gifts

Each of you has a different circle of influence shining with your light of love. There is no one else who has your same influence! The whole world is where you use your gifts: at home, in the work world, balancing many duties, going to school, raising children, running committees or your own business. God with you always. If you have got your hands full, know that God gives you another one – his!

Close to the time widowed Eleanor joyfully walked down the aisle again, she said, “Here’s the teacher’s guide. You can take over the class.”  It was for the “Faithful Friends” class with members from 19 to 92 years old. Just as the shepherds who heard the great news of the birth of Jesus, I was sore afraid!  All day long, I had little people who often clung to my leg. During a science activity in which we had pasted up parts of the human body, one wailed, “Mrs. Russell! Someone took my bladder!”  The women’s class was entirely different, with many hurting from the loss of spouses and family.  Yet, we have grown together.

Others also share their gifts. Jane leads and teaches people to make quilts, bouquets and silk corsages for the local nursing homes. She creates small decorated canvas bags filled with materials to welcome the newcomers to a small church. At last count, she had given out over 500 of these welcome bags in two years.

Dee adds to her job responsibilities at a large retail store by identifying, tagging and distributing building materials donated to non-profit organizations.

Sharon, an office manager, became a Chamber of Commerce member and sets a Christian example by modeling God’s values in each of the community decisions brought to the Chamber.

JoAnn, widowed in mid-life, runs her late husband’s hardware store, modeling   Christ’s values in all the training and time she invests in training her employees.

Imogene and Don dedicated every Monday afternoon and evening after work to spend with eighty-something-year-old Stella. The elderly lady, who had no family left, had cared for Imogene and Don’s children decades before when they were young.

Walk into Linda’s house anytime and you see the Bible open on the table and smell wonderful food. She is a retired owner of a roadhouse café and trucking business who started “The Basket and Bag Ladies” community outreach program, visiting those who needed encouragement.

Every one of us is born with diamond dust inside. It’s God’s gift. Some are already diamonds, honed into a gem because of challenges, heartbreak, and loss. Some are diamonds in the rough. God is still shaping you.

Let who you are sparkle as you get brighter and more valuable. How will you serve him with your gifts?

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

That can't last. Listen in on four talks of Jo's to banish those blues:

How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?