"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage (pleasantly, smilingly, *non-apologetically*) to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside."
- Dr. Stephen Covey
Both Chel and Mer shared this quotation during my giveaway week, and it gets the ball rolling nicely for #3, be a steward.
I want to be a steward with my gifts.
As Amelia shared in the comments recently, gifts are given through us not to us. I believe that. I believe I've been endowed with a specific set of gifts and it's up to me to find a way to honor this glorious life with them. Not hide them under a bushel. Not horde them for myself. Before writing this post, I skimmed some of my journal entries of the past few years (which really only means about 10 pages). A common theme is: am I doing enough? am I doing right by all I've been given in this life? am I ignoring a big yes or just feeling guilty?
I mentioned last month that I've been doing a little bit of this & a little bit of that for years. (In the past week, I face painted at our school carnival, worked on a logo for a program at our church, washed dishes at the cub scout camp-out, finished up a quilt for my nephew's graduation, and made cards for our choir directors.) But for awhile now, I have felt a bigger 'yes' burning inside.
I generally find myself using my creative skills to do things for others like in the list above. Lately I've been wondering about the other gifts I have. As Terry commented last week, we only have so much time in a day after all.
What if I used my creative gifts to refill my pitcher so that I could use my other gifts in the community? I love libraries, I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone, I'm pretty good with primary age children, I like teaching adults...I am thinking about a big yes that acknowledges my creative drive, but incorporates these other gifts too. Or maybe I should use all my gifts at once by doing more teaching.
I don't mean to make this a treatise on all the ways I give or the guilt I have about not giving enough...I do remember that a simple smile can go a long way (who knows how far?)...but rather that stewardship is an important consideration in my creative manifesto.
Incidentally, I have been gathering enough new quotes over the past couple of months that I think it is time for another series of handwritten-quoation-posts in July.