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gift-istock_000018117668large“The gift is from God. My job is maintenance and delivery.”

I honestly can’t remember where I heard this statement but I do remember thinking how truly profound it was. I added the sentiment to the memos in my phone and every time I scroll through looking for that nugget to use in the current work-in-progress, I’m reminded again that I am still developing the gift of writing in my own life.

First, I truly believe God has given me a gift when it comes to storytelling and being able to communicate clearly through the written word. My English teachers would agree that my school essays were sharp. In my day job, I write narratives for legal reports. For years, people read (and re-read) my family Christmas letters or commented on how an email to an online support group for parents with special needs children said so clearly what we all thought. My first novel attempt got great comments from the first readers in my writing group. And I’ve always been fascinated by stories in general.

Second, I believe every gift comes with the responsibility to use it. (At least once. So you can be honest when you thank your grandmother for the sweater…or a distant relative for the hand-quilted rainbow-colored fish-shaped oven mitt they gave as a wedding gift. But I digress, because God gives the perfect gifts to His children.) Bottom line, a gift was made to be used and not to collect dust.

Third, some gifts are merely seeds to be grown and cared for. Developed and maintained. And that takes time. Effort. Investment financially and emotionally. For me, it has been a lifetime of developing the gift of writing until I can tell when a story is working or not…and better yet, have an idea of how to fix it.

Last, some gifts are meant to be shared. Not that there’s anything wrong with filling my laptop with stories simply for the joy of romping through my imagination. I have several ideas that don’t fit my current brand as an author, but it might be fun to just write them anyway. But most of my stories should be shared with others. The characters have grown and changed through their journey and discovered more about God’s love along the way…and readers can experience the same encouragement through the pages of the book.

So when I read a positive review on Amazon, I know that today’s opening sentiment is still true. God gave the gift…and I’m faithfully maintaining it and then delivering it to an audience.

My gift is writing, but yours might be art or music or engineering or even being a good listener who can offer sound advice. Where did your gift come from? How are you maintaining or developing that gift? And in what ways are you delivering value to others through that gift?

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