It's hard to believe that we've been here for almost 2 months already! There is still so much to learn, so many guests I have yet to meet, and so much more spiritual growth I am looking forward to and need.
Last night we had community prayer night; we take turns planning what prayer will be for the week (in addition to praying intentions together as a community) and it has taken many forms already. We've had some more reflective prayers, the four of us painted a picture together, we took Bible passages and prayed about them... but last night was my turn to plan and something I have been struggling with, especially since I've been here, is discerning my spiritual gifts. So, I decided to take Emily and Maureen along with me in this journey so that we can all assist each other in this discernment process and cater to each other in a way to best utilize our gifts.
Since my time here, I have been really trying to figure out the charisms God has given me because I find it so easy to see my shortcomings, gifts that I haven't received (anything artistic). But a couple of weeks ago, it was Emily's turn to plan prayer and she put lots of quotes, including Biblical quotes, on slips of paper and we drew them at random. One of the quotes I got was in 2 Corinthians, which said, "Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). If I hadn't already known that God speaks to us through many different ways, I certainly learned it that night. I found myself dwelling on my limitations rather than celebrating the gifts I have (which I hadn't realized yet) so after reading and praying about that passage, I am trying my best to embrace the gifts I have and not lament for those I was not given.
We took a 140 question quiz with so many different types of questions pertaining to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and had instant results from the website. I scored the highest in hospitality, then helps, administration, and encouragement. My housemates and I all had different top gifts; it was certainly a moment of grace for us to realize this as we all were given different gifts to form our community. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how each of us has a part to play, and that we rely on everybody to make us a unified body in Christ. It cannot ring more true than when you look at my house, or the Team here, or even on the broader scale of the world, that we are all so intimately connected that we must acknowledge and accept everyone so that we can all build God's kingdom together.
As I continue to embrace my gifts and really try to hone in on them and how I can best use them, I am working at being a "cheerful giver".