First, let’s get this straight: Our gifts, abilities, and talents come straight from God so it’s okay to recognize them, talk about them, and even glory in them. They are from God. Humility is recognizing this and saying, “Yay God!” Discounting our gifts is false-humility and it’s also like saying, “God doesn’t really do anything through me.” C’mon! Grab hold of your gift already, be excited about it, and rock that God-given ability!
One of my gifts is food. I’m good at feeding people. (See how easy that was to say? And also, “Yay God!”)
But one of my gifts isn’t talking and feeding people at the same time. I either forget words or I forget ingredients. Or both. It can be disastrous. So let me tell you about last weekend.
All the Gifts
We were at our annual 4th of July “Hamm Bash.” (What? It’s my maiden name. Hamm. It’s okay. I give you permission to laugh.)
Anyway, we were at our annual “Hamm Bash.” (Yes, we typically do eat some form of pork at this event. Yes, we have heard that joke before. Can we move on now?)
So we were at our annual “Hamm Bash.” Guess who was in charge of the food this year? This girl. That means I got to use my gift. (Yay, God!) But it also means I had to talk and cook at the same time while (brace yourself) preparing 3 meals for 60 people in a strange kitchen.
To clarify, the 3 meals for 60 people was not my challenge. (Yay, God!) But the strange kitchen (with the questions and the talking) – that’s where it became difficult.
My Dad: Laura, I need a measuring cup.
Me, with a look of bewilderment: I don’t think they don’t have any here.
(Except that later we found 14. Sets.)
So there I was, using my gift in the middle of pushing through some of my weaknesses. That’s when all the other people – with all the other gifts – joined me in the kitchen. When we opened the fridge to try and fit all the groceries inside – and it looked like we were going to need to drink 3 gallons of milk and eat 9 pounds of strawberries right this minute because that was our only hope – my cousin Jayme said, “I’ve got this.” And she did.
When we needed cream, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla to be whipped together for Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits – and I had no idea how to run the Kitchen Aid – my step-mom Tacy said, “Oh, sure. I know how to do that.”
When I was in the middle of trying to put together 8 lasagnas while answering 20 questions and trying to find a ladle in a strange kitchen, and then I realized we didn’t have drinks made yet and the thought of brewing all that tea and putting it in the – wait, what would we put it in?? – my cousin Crystal said, “Is that really all you need me to do? Um, yes. I think I can handle making tea.”
When I asked my sister-in-law Michele to bring all the Italian bread for our lasagna meal and all the buns for our pulled pork meal (I told you we ate pork at the Hamm Bash), she not only brought the bread and the buns – she had made them all from scratch. All of them. They were amazing. This gave me all kinds of reasons to make jokes about Michele’s awesome buns – all weekend long. I think I discovered a new gift in the area of “nice buns” jokes. (Yay, God?)
When none of us had the gift of figuring out the huge coffee pot, and then I tried it only to waste way too many delicious coffee beans, and then come to find out the pot was broken in the first place and I hadn’t had my cup of coffee yet and I needed to feed 60 people breakfast in a strange kitchen – my cousin Kristin showed up with a steaming cup of coffee she’d made just for me at her house. Then she handed me the half-and-half. I may have teared up a little.
This, friends. This is what makes the world go ’round. We use our gifts. Other people use theirs. We step up where we can. Others step up where we can’t. Those who weren’t in the kitchen that weekend were muscling around the tables and chairs, setting up games, watching to be sure the babies didn’t get bruised by a basketball, carrying items for the older ones among us, and so much more. Truly it was a joy to watch and to be a part of.
So let’s hear it for all the gifts. God gave me mine. God gave you yours. Together, when we seek Him, we are one great body of goodness. (Yay, God!)