I feel like most of us have some indication of what our abilities are. If you think back to when you were a kid, you’re favorite thing to “play” or favorite subject in school or favorite place to go..all point to how God’s gifted you. There is no other time in your life like when you’re a child and the world hasn’t told you you can’t yet or you’re not good enough, or that you’ve blown it and should give up,  that those things that truly put a smile on your face and fill you with joy are a direct manifestation of how God has created you. 

For me, when I was a child, I loved to play house…I loved organizing a neat and tidy home and making sure my diaper bag was packed and organized with all the necessities.. and that my baby doll was the best dressed cabbage patch kid in the cabbage patch. I also loved to play “school”…I would set up a perfectly staged school room and make my brother and sister sit down and listen to my lesson. In fact, I was the one to teach them how to write their names before they ever entered kindergarten. It was my favorite game! And I would dream about what my real classroom would look like someday! 

As I got older, I discovered I was exceptionally good at two things in highschool…singing…and writing. I almost always got awarded the solos and I would win awards when performing them at state competitions. When it came time for a paper to be due, I would wait til the night before to even think about starting it, get it done in under an hour and still get the highest grade in the class. I know I sound like I’m bragging but I’m not exaggerating. Haha. Singing and writing were effortless for me. And through every area of my life…the earliest I can remember being about 2nd grade til right now in this very moment… I ADORE making people laugh. I was always the class clown. And it’s my goal in every day to make someone smile.

Now, I will say that there are some who think they have certain abilities but they don’t. There will always be confirmation of what you love to do and what you believe comes easy to you. That confirmation comes in the fact that you do get the best grades, win awards, are complimented all the time….or asked to do things.

Then, there’s those of you that may not even realize what you’re good at IS indeed a God given ability...it’s so easy for you and you’re so good at it that you think nothing of it and assume everyone must be able to do it.

But that being said, for the most part, I think we know what our abilities are…we know what brings us joy…and what we couldn’t live without doing.

Today, if you ask me what my secret dream is…what my dream job would be…it would be to 

Always work in the local church serving in some way AND simultaneously get the opportunity to travel often, making people laugh and teaching the word of God.

You can see that in my dream,  I’m getting a chance to perform, make people laugh, organize and teach….all the things I was good at as a kid and loved to do.

But only just now. Right now…at 39 (40 in November) am I beginning to see my dreams realized. Why? Some may say I wasn’t ready that I needed to be cultivated, trained, grow in wisdom first….and there’s some truth to that. But you guys, we are talking about things/abilities that are innate. This is stuff I was BORN to do and have been doing in some fashion whether I realize it or not for nearly four decades! So, what gives?

 I believe a few things are happening…. We listen to the lies of the enemy (we are not good enough, others are better, it’s not the right time) which then causes us to act in false humility (I need to let them shine, wait my turn, step aside) and so we ultimately become bad stewards of what the Lord has given us out of fear. 

Remember the parable of the talents? When the man hid his talents, he was told “YOU WICKED SERVANT” – now translate that to ABILITIES.

Imagine the master saying to the wicked servant, “Why didn’t you go to school, watch you tube tutorial videos, find a mentor, practice every day,  simply tell someone?“. We were given our abilities at birth….and many saw them manifested right away. Most of our moms or our close friends can tell us what we loved to do and what we were good at….. If it was right for me when I was 5 teaching my siblings how to write, if it was right for me when I was a preschool teacher at 18, a Daisy leader,…and teaching others when I have an opportunity, why is it not right now if I feel I have something to offer? Why is it not the right time? Why am I incapable? Why am I not good enough?

 If God even whispers something to my heart that I should do, I better straighten up and pay attention…because God doesn’t stutter. 

You know, I wanted to write a book my whole life and 5 years ago this week my brother died. When he died I KNEW I KNEW I needed to write one on grief as everything I was looking for to help me…wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I knew I would write this eventually but I didn’t know when or how…then fast forward to last April. I’m sitting at home by myself having one of those woe is me moments, complaining and lamenting that I’m not living my full dream or reaching my full potential….and realizing that next month will be another anniversary of my brother’s death and I still haven’t written that book.  God, I wanna write a book but I can’t…I wouldn’t know where to begin. Books have a lot of pages! How do I fill those?! And he says, “stop your whining you already did” “Wait what?” “You already did …I want you to take the blogs and articles you’ve already written and turn them into a devotional.” “But that’s not a book on grief…and has nothing to do with my brother.” “I can’t help which book you wrote first!”

So, I’m telling you guys…it’s like nothing I ever experienced but The Holy Spirit came on me and everything I learned in my coaching classes (I’m a certified life coach) came to me to form devotional questions and I pounded this baby out in TWO WEEKS! 

When I realized how quickly it happened I got scared and thought…this has got to be total crap. But people, this is the girl who would write highschool papers the night before they were do and ACE them…why is it any surprise that a devotional book only takes two weeks…especially when the bulk of the content was already written…so I begin submitting it to publishers and I’m getting turned down right and left because publishers won’t even look at what you’ve written unless you have a huge social media following. 

So I started thinking about what I could do to make up for that…aha….get endorsers who have a HUGE social media following…and I knew just who to start with…

7 months before I wrote my book, I was scrolling FB and came across a comedy video. It was a gal named Kerri Pomerolli and I thought she was hilarious…I was so taken with her and thought that she’s exactly what I imagined myself to be if I ever became a comedian so I thought I’d just message her and tell her how much I enjoyed her material…from there we became FB friends. I’d watch her travel, pop on her FB lives and insert my own funny comments and whatever. So, I thought to myself…I wonder if she’d like to endorse my book. She has a fairly good following and maybe me promoting her because she’s promoting me will help her even more. So I ask her…without hesitancy she emphatically says YES! I thought…oh..how sweet. I can’t believe she said yes. That’s nice. It was not until this point, that I decided to do a little further research on her in addition to the little I knew about her from watching her on FB. So, I google her…

First thing that pops up is Wikipedia…

Kerri Pomarolli is an American stand up comedian, actress and author based in Los Angeles.[1] She has appeared in over 75 stage productions and had recurring roles on Port Charles, and The Young and The Restless and “General Hospital ”. She has been in motion pictures such as “DeadLock”, and her latest is on Netflix, “The Brennan Manning Story”..[2] She has published 4 books. She can be seen on Nick at Nite and Moms Night Out. Kerri has 29 appearances on The Tonight Show between 2000-2012, toured with everyone from Sherri Shephard from The View to Candace Cameron Bure, Jim Carey to Carol Channing. You guys, the list went on and on….

I went white as a ghost, people….and thought WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! I’m morbidly embarrassed…I just sent my manuscript to an actual somebody! And then I kept learning about her…she was on the team that helped create MOMs NIGHT OUT and she wrote a book that came from that movie. Let me tell you why this means something to me…when my brother died, my Grove friends took me to a movie to cheer me up….it was Mom’s Night Out…it was a night that I laughed hard and felt incredibly loved….and now, I’ve written a book being read and (fingers crossed) endorsed by the gal who helped do the movie…with the intention of writing about my brother in the future….Do you see the hand of God here? And it didn’t stop with her…me…a NOBODY FIVE pretty big deal endorsers to endorse my little devotional. 

God is setting up the stage for me to be successful with the abilities He’s put in me and all I had to do was be obedient. OBEDIENCE ALWAYS EQUALS SUCCESS. But we fear obeying. We get scared and we don’t steward well…

Every time we are discouraged it is in direct correlation to who we were made to be and what we were made to do. They’re a better vocalist, I shouldn’t try out for the solo. They’re better with kids, the nursery has enough workers. They’re more creative, I won’t offer my idea. I’m not gonna promote my book on social media, I’ll look stuck up.….And when discouragement silences our abilities, Satan wins. We shrink back telling ourselves we’re just being humble and giving better individuals their chance to shine, and Satan sighs a sigh of relief. 

Let me tell you what humility is…humility is getting up and doing it afraid. HUMILITY is KNOWING without a shadow of a doubt that there’s always someone better than you, but you’re gonna do you anyway ‘cause it’s what you gotta do. THAT is a humble, grace filled obedience that TRUSTS God knows what He’s doing in spite of what you SEE with your eyes.

Your abilities are needed in the capacity that you can offer in the place where you are in this time in history. God does not waste abilities and His timing is perfect. When our abilities are exercised He is praised! Our abilities show off how great He is. 

Steward well. Let Him be glorified through your unique way…if you hold back ANYTHING OR use your abilities for anything that doesn’t include HIM, you are cheating yourself, God, and others out of the full capacity of your gifts. Just like the wicked servant with the talents.

I will also say this…even though what you’re good at comes easy to you, if you’re gonna use it for God, you gotta push it – invite some faith in – take a risk. Yes, writing comes easy to me…but putting my book out there for the world to see? SCARY! 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The Greek word for workmanship is poiema which is actually where we get our word POEM. It means work of art – masterpiece…and a masterpiece? Well that’s defined as work done with extraordinary skill…it indicates supreme artistic achievement. 

Do you think for a minute that God does not want His creme de la creme trying out for the worship team? Or going out for that dream job? Do you think he wants the artwork of His artwork stashed in a closet instead of hanging adoringly on fan’s walls? Do you think for a minute he wants His master baker buying store bought cakes for their kid’s parties? And you better get on your knees and tell him how sorry you are, if you ever thought for a minute that your dear church didn’t need your superb organizing skills in ANY capacity. 

Remember or rediscover what you’re good at. Think about the things you get complimented on. Remember what brings you joy and peace and then immediately start integrating them into your life….as a mom, as a retail worker, as a daughter, as a friend, as a church member…use your abilities and worship God the way you were always meant to. 

Jen Ervig #PNW Pastor
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Endorsers: @kerripom @rachelcswanson @alibradleytv @the_hutch_oven @careynieuwhof