Posts Tagged ‘cards’

I’ve been blessed with an abundance of gifts. Creativity and a general intelligence have led me to excel in writing and music and speaking and business and oh so much more. I’ve always felt a little guilty for those gifts because I can’t possibly put them all to use at the same time. I feel the pressure every day to pour myself out and, even when I do, I still have a talent or two that didn’t get used. By not using my gifts I assumed I was putting them on the shelf to accumulate dust or being the man who received one talent and buried it (see Matthew 25:14-30) instead of doing something useful that would earn his master interest. But I’m wondering now if I’ve been looking at things upside-down.

For the last fifteen months music, in the form of worship leading, has taken precedence over writing (as evidenced by the postponed release of Rise of the Dark Sprite). Five weeks ago, I set down the guitar. I’ve set down a lot of things lately–but more on that another time.

It was a hard decision, perhaps one of the hardest of my life. Worship leading fulfilled so many parts of me, satisfying deep needs to minister to others and to celebrate the goodness of God. I miss it profoundly. In the five weeks since I said goodbye to my church I haven’t touched my guitar, either out of a deep sadness or a perpetual busyness. Probably a combination of the two. And, yes, I have been feeling a little guilty for not sharing my gifts as a musician and worship leader with a church who needs it.

But then I got to thinking…

What if my talents are like a deck-building game? Bear with me here. We’re nerds in this family. We save the world from super-villains over the holidays; hit every premiere weekend for Marvel movies; own the extended version of anything involving Middle Earth; and planned our vacation around seeing the new Star Wars move in IMAX. So it should come as no surprise to you that we delved right into a deck-building game based on The Fellowship of the Ring. The purpose of the game is to buy cards, worth abilities and victory points, that then go into your deck. Each round you deal yourself five cards, use them, and put them away to be re-dealt later. One round I’ll be wielding Legolas Greenleaf’s bow like a young Katniss Everdeen and the next I’ll have moved into defensive position with Boromir’s shield. I get five, usually awesome, cards per turn and it is up to me to put them to good use.

Now, back to my point. Perhaps my life is like a deck of cards. Each year I add a few new weapons to my arsenal (maybe a new passion for the banjo–that would be cool), and deal myself out a hand of talents. In 2015, the focus was worship leading and a new job. In 2016, I hope my focus will be writing and healing (surprise, surprise, when you have Lyme’s disease apparently you can’t work 80 hours a week). It’s not that I’m letting my God-given talent for song-writing and worship leading go to waste this year. It’s that He has handed me different cards. If I put them to waste, shame on me. But if I spend 2016 playing a great game with Legolas’ bow and choose not to pine for Boromir’s shield, then I think I will have done well.

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Quite honestly I’d rather write somebody a song on my guitar than a poem in a card, but either way, I’m normally a word-girl… after all, I am a writer. Words that people give me, stick. I have a collection of the cards that mean something hanging on my wall, scrapbooked or safely stored. But when it comes to giving words to others, I am not as skillful. Perhaps it is my understanding that there is always a better way to put something or my excessive need to edit, but cards are just not my thing. I try to give a gift so sentimental it takes just a few short, cute sentences to finish the warm and fuzzy thought train.

Graduations abound around me, causing deja vu and a lot of hopefulness for the day I finally graduate college and put it behind me. Last night I attended a graduation party for two of my close friends and I was at a loss for the sentimental gift to offer. Graduations require special thought. It is the closing of a book of your life and the beginning of a new one. A simple blender will not do for a close friend’s graduation gift.

So a few hours before the party I discovered my gift. It involved few words, much creativity, and almost every moment I had left. My love of scrapbooking has continued to expand as I grow older. When I left for college I created a book recalling memories since birth between my sister and I. For my graduating friends I decided I would create one page of memories, give some extra pages and stickers so that they could chronicle their own adventures they were about to have, and then have a single page where I could write notes and thoughts. So I still ended up writing, but less. I just couldn’t resist…

I’ve got to say that creating the page made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Looking back at the memories and compiling them all together made the relationships stronger. It focused on the good; not the gaps. In a written book, there is good and bad, painful and happy, filler and adventure. And that’s all part of life, but some teenage girl books get so wrapped up in the ugly that there’s no room for the joy. That is the way we tend to think and it is those books we need to rally against! I think I love scrapbooking so much because it highlights all the best parts of life. We need more reminders of the good stuff.

Like the new snazzy guitar I just bought… or swinging with my friend in the park last night until after it had closed… coming up with secret code words with her in case of emergency (at nineteen)… laughing about the stupid moments with old friends… or hanging with my nephews tonight.

Life really does have its awful times. Lately they’ve been tough hurdles. But it also has its amazing, profound, simple wonderous moments. Maybe if we focused a little more on that our lives could be more like scrapbooks than stupid-girly-negative-novels.

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