Colouring Outside the Lines

Skies are blue and grass is green.

Pattern pieces should be traced and then cut, pinned to fabric and cut again.

Recipes are the key to good cooking.

I have been taught all of this information since I was a wee lass.  Guess what – it did not really take.

Those who know me well, know that I thoroughly enjoy crafting.  I have made a habit of learning a new craft every year.  Usually, I try to do this around Christmas time so that I have fresh ideas for my gift giving.

Armed with this information, would you believe that I nearly failed Junior High Home Economics?  The reason why…I did not like the way the pattern fell so I altered it.

When I colour pictures, the skies are often yellow, red and orange.  I happen to like sunsets.  I almost never use a recipe.  The excitement of experimentation is one of the most rewarding parts of cooking (at least for me).

This year, my daughters developed an interest in scrapbooking and cardmaking.  We got some magazines and I went to some classes.  The technique information was great but rarely do I reproduce what someone else has already done.

As an adult, I can see how I was the bain of many a teacher’s existence.  In my mind, the work was not mine if I did not create it.  In the eyes of the teachers, I suppose I was precocious.  Some may have thought that I did not like to listen.  Others may even have thought me difficult.

Many years later, homeschooling my own children, I try to be very careful to appreciate the unique nuances that make each of my children who they are.  Some are mathematically inclined, some are more artsy.  One, in particular, is extremely gifted with words.  Although none of the children do things exactly like I do, each one gets the job done highlighting their own special strengths.  I always delight to see how they help each other when one is stronger in a certain area than another.

In the New Testament, many spiritual gifts are identified:

Romans 12: exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service and teaching;
1 Corinthians 12: administration, apostleship, discernment, faith, healing, knowledge, miracles, prophecy, teaching,  tongues, tongues interpretation and wisdom;

Ephesians 4: apostleship, evangelism, pastor, prophecy and teaching; and

celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Timothy 4
hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2
martyrdom – Luke 11:51, Matthew 16:18
missionary service – Mark 16:15, Acts 13:47
voluntary poverty – 2 Corinthians 8:9

Even though each gift is uniquely designed, all are intrinsically connected in the body of Christ.  If every sky was blue, how could we appreciate the grey of a rainy day or the brilliance of a sunrise or the softness of dusk?  If every meal were made exactly the same way, who would ever have known how to make an amazing chocolate chip cookie?  If everyone designed and sewed the same way, we would still be wearing fig leaves!

When you consider how you are different from those around you, can you see the blessings that you bring others with your insights and approaches?  Are there things about others that are different from how you operate that make you appreciate them?

In a world of insecurities and fears of being different, celebrate God’s handiwork and commit to fostering, growing and enriching the phenomenal work of art that He has made you.

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