It’s a new year. And while I typically shy away from resolutions, I tend to narrow my aspirations down to a single word or focus. This year, I’m focusing on being the me God designed me to be—carving out time for exercising my unique gifts; for making the tiny dent He destined Leslie Marie Bauer to make on this spinning sphere.
We all have a dent to make. The question is, will we be audacious enough to walk into the space Divinely appointed for us? Deflecting people’s opinions and desires for our time, and simply buckling down and doing our thing? The thing that makes our hearts sing, and us shine in the sheer glorification of God.
For me, it’s the space to still and create, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To spend time at my Father’s feet, poring over His Word, learning, listening, downloading, so I can write. Sing. Speak to women of the Lord’s deliverance in my life, encouraging them with my story.
And sister, here’s what it’s NOT:
- Space for culinary creativity (Lord, have mercy—my dear husband can attest to this).
- Polishing my home ‘til it shines, boasting of my organizational prowess.
- Expertly wielding a glue gun whilst whipping up boutique-worthy crafts, creative genius oozing like hot glue out my every pore.
God didn’t gift me in these ways. And that’s not just OKAY, it’s liberating!
If you’re in the process of identifying your God-given gifts, know this: equally important to discerning the places you shine is identifying the endeavors in which you do NOT.
The other day the following tumbled out of my mouth, directed at one of my disobedient children (but the ensuing wash of conviction let me know where God was really directing it–and I think it’s for you, too):
“Just do the job I gave you and don’t make me remind you ten times!”
Yes, true. I’m so guilty of wasting time I should use doing my thing, instead trying to do someone else’s, making excuses why I can’t do mine, and generally procrastinating making my dent.
For shame. (Working on this…)
Every time I do sit down to write, I pray a series of verses…and this is one of them:
“Help me present myself as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
God has called me to speak truth; to a posture of authenticity–and to do that I must be authentically ME. And that means ALL of me. Friends, it comes down to this: if we are ashamed of ourselves, we are really ashamed of God. (Now there’s a word of truth for us all…)
Some of my nearest and dearest make the most exquisite bouquet…and it’s because each is their own vibrant hue, boasting their own fragrance, beautifully contrasting / complementing the next…
Norma is a genius at quality time, staging and gifting her family with amazingly creative forever memories they’ll treasure for life…
Casey’s heart’s capacity for loving people is gigantic and endlessly inspiring to me and others, having loved unfalteringly through trials I’m not sure I could have…
Paula is the epitome of the “hostess with the mostess”: her welcoming demeanor warms her guests through as she ushers them into her masterfully decorated, prepared, and Spirit-filled home–a wellspring of blessing.
Janna puts the fairy godmother to shame…she makes magic with paper, ribbons, and fabric, her vision transforming even the most unlikely of items into the stuff of fairy tales.
My husband is the most magnetic person I know, drawing people to him and winning their favor so effortlessly, it’s clear God made him to lead and influence—his dent destined to be epic.
Each of them, in their element, simply SHINES.
It’s our life’s purpose: to bring glory to our Creator. I believe we do that best by daily living out our signature design. And the happy by-product, fullness of joy, will be ours along the way…
Embrace, sisters–the exquisite way He made uniquely you.
Go make your dent!
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)