Our daughter, Collins, has given us many special moments in our lives and has brought very special people into our lives as well. Her boyfriend of four years is very special to all of us, as is his family.
In our house, we just can’t let someone come into our lives without at least trying to get to know their family. WE have been richly blessed by being able to get to know Mike’s family–his dad, whom we call Big Mike; Loretta, his mom; and Lauren, his sister. We have spent several vacations together and had a blast!
Of course we enjoy the company, but the trips have been so much fun because…it became very evident that all the planning and organizing made our trip much more enjoyable and exciting. Loretta took the time to read and do research for the trips. She took care of the details not just for her family, but for ours. She even scheduled a conference call before our trip to make sure everyone was on the same page. That was so unique and unusual for me, but highly beneficial. When she first emailed me about scheduling a conference call…I will admit…I thought, “Conference call????” But in hindsight….What a great idea!!!
It makes me smile to myself. Bill and I are southerners through and through…. having been born and raised in the South. Mike, Collins’ boyfriend, was born and raised in the South, but his parents are transplants from New York. They decided to take job transfers and move south after too many winters in the North.
It has been fun having them be a part of our lives. I have learned many things from them. Collins has learned to “like” hockey and enjoyed her trip north last summer to attend their family reunion. I am not sure if it is a Northern thing or just an acquired skill, or a combination of both, but the one thing I have grown to admire about Mike’s parents is how organized they are.
I have now been able to be involved in planning several trips…of which…my part was giving a head nod and literally just showing up. Loretta did most of the planning and organizing. It has been so impressive to watch her plan, investigate, and navigate the best deals….I am convinced in her Back 9, she should be used to plan any trip I take.
Because we both have sons who travel and play golf, she has taught me much about planning their travel and looking ahead for tournament sign-ups and finding the best and most convenient places to stay. I love the emails she has sent and the spreadsheet of Mike’s schedule. Our family has been able to duplicate what she has done and become more organized for Thomas because of her willingness to share her knowledge and skill. I know my husband reads this and I want to give a shout out to him because if it weren’t for him, we probably would have never taken many trips. He has always been the trip planner. I think he and Loretta could be great business partners in planning trips for anyone.
Now that I am in the Back 9, I can more easily see when I am around others, like Loretta, that God uses different people to teach me different things. He even brings people into my life to freely offer their knowledge and help just like Loretta has done. She recently stepped in to help our oldest son plan a trip he wanted to give Thomas for college graduation. I was clueless when Brewer called for help and advice, but I readily knew who I could call and count on! I just thought I was an organized person until I met Loretta!
Recently….I have taken a step back to see what skill I might have that could be used to help someone else like Loretta has helped me……I had to think for a while and came to the conclusion that one skill would be encouragement to others, exactly what I have been called to do with Back 9 and writing….I think encouragement could be labeled as a skill, don’t you?
The point I am trying to make is–we all have gifts, talents or acquired skills that we can willingly share with others. It can make a tremendous difference in the lives of people. What we find easy can actually be difficult for someone else and our willingness to give and step in to help, and even pass along our knowledge, can really benefit someone else!
I have two dear friends in Columbia who are sisters, Elizabeth and Aimee. I know exactly who to call when I need to know how to cook something or receive help or advice when having a dinner party or shower…they are some of the best. My friends Teri and Julie are great too. They can decorate and have an eye for making things look beautiful. My friends Bebe and Dina….give great advice. They especially make themselves available to offer medical advice and point me in the right direction when someone has a medical issue in our family and, at times, they have dropped everything to come to our rescue.
I could keep on listing people who I lean on heavily because their skills and knowledge far outweigh mine. Some friends I depend on heavily just know where to go shopping and find the best deal or help, like my friend Kay. I have a multitude of people who God has place in my life to aid and teach me many things. The key is being available and willing to share your gifts and talents. I don’t know what I would do with the Back 9 journal if I didn’t have my editor, Leslie, who willingly edits all the things I write, using her education and background to help me use the gifts God has given me.
What skill or talent have you been blessed with that you could use to bless others?
Maybe…like me, you may have to stop, pray and think and ask God to show you what it is……..Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” And Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest but also to the interest of others.”
What I have discovered is that HE will readily show you…..and when He does…don’t hesitate to bless others…..it is called ministry. Ministering to others is simply taking what you are good at and being willing to use that skill to help someone else. It is just that simple!