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Fun Fact Friday: Givers and Receivers

A while ago I did a series on love languages, and I talked about gift people. The most generous people I know are gift people. They love to bless others and give gifts. It actually makes them happy to find a perfect gift for you.

How much more is it for our Heavenly Father when we receive His gifts?

He gave us resurrection life & drew us to Himself by His holy calling on our lives. And it wasn’t because of any good we have done, but by His divine pleasure and marvelous grace that confirmed our union with the anointed Jesus, even before time began!” Timothy 1:9 TPT

A giver of gifts simply wants the receiver to accept said gift with joy. You don’t earn gifts. You simply receive them, and use them for their intended purpose.

Point to ponder while you wander…Truth is that we should be both a grateful receiver and a joyful giver. Both are blessed.

Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.” Luke 6:38 TPT

You are a Gift

Comparison is the lying thief of joy.

Seriously!

The Word says…

Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10

Each person in the body of Christ was created in purpose with purpose. We are all necessary and important.

But if we spend our time focused on what others can do that we cannot, we lose the opportunity to enjoy the gift that they are.

If we discount ourselves because we aren’t “as good” as so and so. We rob others of the gift we could be to them.

Celebrate and appreciate the gifts (aka people) around you, and allow yourself to be celebrated.

Point to ponder while you wander…You ARE a gift. You ARE talented. You do have something to give. Don’t let the lie of comparison steal that truth from you! Be your best you, the world needs YOU.

Love is a Verb: Gifts and Givers

This is last in the series about the Love Languages, you can read about the others, Acts of Service, Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Quality Time, by clicking the links.

My point in writing these is to inspire you to think differently about love. To think of it less as an emotion and more about how to observe those in your circle and love them in a way that they can receive it.

I firmly believe Love is a person and to be like Him, we must stop thinking of love as an emotion and start thinking about it as a verb!

What comes to mind when you think about people with Gifts as a love language?

Greedy?

Materialistic?

Trying to buy people?

I think that people who are greedy or are materialistc as fear based people. They’re afraid of poverty, not having enough. They are afraid of being judged for what they don’t have.

Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love.

The gift language people I know are generous and thoughtful givers. They seek out for ways to bless people with gifts and even financially. They are the ones supporting other people’s dreams. That is how they love, by giving.

Givers are great listeners. How else will they find out what to give you? How else can they show you they love you?

In my experience givers are also grateful and gracious receivers.

I have a friend, Julie, who is the most fabulous gift giver I know. She has the knack for finding presents that make me feel known and loved by her. There’s usually a story (or an inside joke) on why this particular gift was purchased for me. She and her husband are two of the most generous people I have ever met.

Givers like Julie inspire me to be generous. Isn’t that what govers should be, inspitational? Helping us to be more giving than we are? #belikeJulie

Usually gifts people are more excited about the thought you put into the gift than the value or type of gift you actually give them.

Gifts are even more special to them on non-gift giving holidays. The “I saw this and thought of you” kind of gifts. That’s the best way to fill the love tank for a gift person.

God is also a pretty sweet giver…

He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 NKJV

He also gave natural talents and Spiritual gifts. Exodus 36 talks about gifted artisans, Luke 11:9-13 talks about God giving good gifts, I Corinthians 12-14 is about spiritual gifts.

One of my fave scriptures about gifts is Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Remember these things when you need/want to get a gift for someone. Consider who they are, and seek to find a gift that shows them you know them, and that you listen to what they say.

Point to ponder while you wander…Jesus learned from the Father how to give sweet gifts-

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV

Vows Aren’t Always a Good Thing

I need to share something I read on FB last week.  It impacted me deeply and I am going to tell you why, if you don’t want to know why, feel free to scroll down.

I had made a vow as a nine year old that walled me in from allowing myself to be loved.  It was in reaction to nearly losing my mom.  While I didn’t actually lose my mom, she’s still alive and kicking and completely fabulous, the thought of losing her crippled me in a way that I have no words for.  I was terrified of loss.  So at the age of nine after a complete bawling session, I washed my face and looked my little blonde self in the mirror and said, “I will never need anyone again.”

Here are some effects of this vow:

1.  I sabotaged relationships and only committed myself to relationships that I knew couldn’t possibly work.

2.  I struggled with commitment to anything, even though I craved stability.

3.  Even though I had my mom and still have my mom, I didn’t really let her be my mom.  I could be found most often trying to be her mom or trying to distance myself from her as far as possible.  It would be easier for me that way, like it wouldn’t hurt so much if I lost her.  Wow.  That doesn’t sound crazy at all, does it?

I need to take a minute to tell you about my little tiny mom.  (She’s 4’10” and weighs about 100 lbs…so I call her my little momma).  My mom is not perfect, but I have to give her a shout out here.  I was not the easiest child to raise (rebellious, mouthy, attitudinal, angry, ran away from home and hitch-hiked to Florida with my boyfriend and one of my best friends at age 17…you get the picture).  But she was always there.  She never left.  My mom is stubborn, honest, and fiercely loyal.  She always went to bat for me, and she still does.  One could do worse than to have a mom who will fight for you and against you when needed.  She made a choice to love me and she never stopped, even when it was hard.  Thank you, Little Momma!

4.  I went to college and got a degree, but didn’t go after photography and writing which were my actual dreams.  I was afraid they would tell me I wasn’t any good at writing and photography, and I couldn’t bear to hear it.  So I majored in International Relations (AKA wanting to live in foreign countries where accents abound).

5.  I didn’t really try or challenge myself in High School or College because I didn’t want to fail.  I always took the easy road, whichever path did not require effort.  Why go after what you want?  If you do, and do manage to get it, you could lose it.  So I didn’t take any risk.  Fear of failure, check.  Fear of success, check.  Crazy, check check.

The kicker is that I had no idea why I did these things.  I only understood recently that the reason I was so afraid was wrapped up in a fear of loss and a vow I made at nine years old.

I never told anyone of this decision not to need anyone.  I didn’t even remember it until God showed me why I was struggling so hard to give and receive love and why it was so incredibly difficult for me to allow anyone to bless me or help me.  This vow was made to protect myself, but really what it did was isolate me and prevent me from really receiving the love I so desperately wanted.  I believed that the lie that I wasn’t really loved.  I believed the lie that I was a mistake that needed to be erased.  I believed the lie that I did not need anyone, not even Jesus.  Although I accepted Him as my Savior “just in case” because I was afraid of eternal fire and damnation.

Yes, I am aware of what a mess I was.  Yes, I am aware of how crazy all of this sounds and is.  It’s why I love Jesus so much.  He loved me even when I was completely unable to love Him.  He loves me still.  And I am crying now.  (Deep breath taken here.)

Anyway…

I disavowed that vow and asked Jesus to help me to undo it.  I don’t know what kind of help I expected.  But I certainly was not expecting a season where I had absolutely no choice but to allow people to help me and ask for help.  I have always been willing to give, but receiving has been near impossible for me.  And now I have to let people help me, even though I have no way to repay them.  I have to trust that Jesus will repay what I cannot.  I pray blessing over those that have come along side of me and been helping me.  I hope that someday I will be able to pass on what I have been given to other people.

And now I am crying again…sheeesh.  I seem to cry a lot these days.  Not because I’m sad.  But because I am overwhelmed by love and generosity and kindness of the people in my world.  Something I never would have experienced if God hadn’t shown me this deeply embedded root.  Gratitude abounds in a time when I don’t have a whole lot that seems to be going right.

That being said…here’s a post by Jo Ellen Stevens.  (Note:  I copied the following word for word. I did not write it, nor do I own the content.)  I hope that this helps you.

WHEN MY VOW BECAME A GOD
Jo Ellen Stevens
https://www.facebook.com/joellen.stevens.9

” If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break and profane his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2 (AMP)

The Lord spoke to me the other day out of the blue and began to show me something about many of you. He began by reminding me of my story. When I was very, very young I was married to a man that was abusive both verbally and physically. I don’t tell you this story to gain your sympathy or to make excuses for my life but to see you set free of something that you may not even realize has controlled your life for many years…

While I was married to this man back in 1969 I became pregnant with the only child that I ever had and is now with the Lord.. Because of some of the abuse I believe I lost this child.

When I began to miscarry he took me to the Airforce hospital in Michigan that we were stationed at and there he left me in this cold room with no one to be with me.. I remember there being another person in the room in another bed . I was in full labor because I was about five months along.

I remember at one point a nurse coming in and saying to me that I needed to be quiet so as to not disturb anyone else.. So as silently as I could in that much pain I finished having this miscarriage. The next morning I woke up to go to the restroom and passed out..The next thing I knew I was back in bed and they told me that I had, had a DNC. I didn’t even know what that was I was just 16 years old and didn’t know much about life…

When I came out and went home my husband began to tell me how fat I was, so I ate nothing but beef broth until I was down to my size three clothes again. I found out from someone that my husband had been at a party all the while that I was in the hospital with another woman.

The next week we went to a place with some friends and I was in the back seat and started crying as I was telling the other lady in our car about my miscarriage and my then husband stopped the car abruptly and turned around and began slapping me over and over..

I told you all of this to show you where I was going with this.. Many years later after I had been divorced and had gotten married to my husband now of 25 years. I was in my basement ironing and I was asking the Lord what caused my perfectionism that had driven me and everyone else nearly crazy for many years..

He showed me that at that moment that the incident happened that I had Vowed a Vow in my heart that I would never let another man do that to me again..That I would always be the prettiest and the skinniest, the best house keeper etc….

…He said that I needed to disavow that which I had vowed.. I cried all day but God set me free..

Now just the other day the Lord spoke to me again and said this…. He said that when you vow a vow that was not of him that the vow begins to inwardly govern your life and it becomes a God to you instead of Him..

He said many of my people in tough situations in their lives have become perfectionists and many other things because they vowed a vow that was not of Him..They have blocked out my will for their life because it had become a constitution to them…

He said that He wanted me to bring this out so that any of you can ask the Holy Spirit to shine His light on these areas and you can be set free to be obedient to Him again…

So ask the Lord right now to shine His light in any area that you have made your own constitution. He is ready to set you free…. It is not an easy thing to do .It will tear you up inside but it is a good tearing.. You will feel so free when this happens!!

Many of you will be healed in your body right now as you allow this to happen…. Glory to our Deliverer!!!

Father, we ask you to shine your light on those places in us that we have not yielded over to you because of ungodly vows in our time of pain.. We ask you to cleanse us of that and let your Holy Spirit teach us how to walk in freedom and obedience to your will In Jesus Mighty Name!! Amen!!

Arise,shine! Jo Ellen Stevens