About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Jennifer, thank you for the reminder that our gifts shouldn’t be hidden and that we don’t know quite how God uses them to fulfill his plan. My simple answer to your question is: talent=organization, use=preparing the agenda and minutes of our church council meetings, but I know that it is probably much more complicated than that and even simple smiles I give to those in church (and outside) can help to build community and let people know that they are seen by someone else. I hope that everyone who reads your lovely piece recognizes the truth in it.

  2. Hi what lovely Sunday post. I’m not sure what my gift or gifts are? How do I tell? I’ve never heard God speak as some do only felt him on certain occasions like being scared in child birth and being part of him miracle of bringing life into the world. I will pray for the answer but how will I know? I amazingly gained enterance into a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies at the beginning of this year just completed my first semester part time and the kids at it all fell together the part time job to accompany my part time studies ( we have 3 kids) has always been an interest of mine to help people but I never believed in myself enough and plus had my children to raise but I feel this was from God but she then I think really what can I do? Is this my gift somewhere in here? How do I tell it’s not my selfish pleasure or dream? How did you all know your gift?

      • Jas,

        What do you like doing? Your gift may be working with children, praying, encouraging people. Try to sense what you enjoy doing. See what comes naturally. Pray about it and see what you find.

        For years I didn’t know what my gift was. Then it hit me. Encouragement. I love sending cards, texts, emails, or making meals for people. Giving hugs to let them know they are loved.

        Blessings 🙂

    • Jas, I think through reflection, prayer and practice we can work to use the special gift He has given us to serve others. Through reflection and prayer, we can discern the gift He has given us that is meant to be given to others, not primarily for our own use. And then we can put that into practice to see how we can serve others with it. There are many great resources to assessing gifts. I was going to share the same link that Bev shared with you. That seems to be one of the most in depth ones I have seen. It is a learning and growth process! I am still learning myself!

  3. Jennifer,
    I agree…a lovely post for a Sunday morning. I don’t know if my dad would have been as trusting as yours, but what a great analogy for being trusted with something rare and special. I believe my spiritual gifts are encouragement, discernment, and compassion. Tangible gifts would be writing and perhaps leadership skills?? I try my best to use the gifts God has given me and continues to build and refine in me. I think the first step is knowing and appreciating what gifts God has given you (and He gives to all believers – no one is left “giftless”). You can’t use gifts unless you know what they are and there are many good spiritual gift assessment tools available. Then, be open to God as to how HE would have you use them. For so long I had MY ideas and God had to take me down a few rungs from my prideful perch. I was sure He wanted me to combine my writing and encouragement to write books….maybe that’s still in His plan….but HE chose to use my encouragement and writing to begin writing a blog which birthed a ministry that serves orphans and impoverished children in the Middle East. That was far from what was on MY radar. But, as I always learn, God is God and I am not.
    Thanks for such an uplifting post…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, can you provide a link or do you have more info on the ‘spiritual gift assessments’? I know what I am good at, what God has blessed me with but are these what we define as Gods spiritual gift? I always thought it was something more…maybe I have been looking at the definition from the wrong angle? Xx

    • From knowing you through your words you share here, I can see how you use your gifts beautifully. It is a joy to see! And a ministry that serves children in the Middle East is amazing! He is doing awesome things through you, Bev!

  4. This story comes to me just in time to share with my Sunday morning women as we spend time today talking about gifting and giftedness! Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing it!

  5. Jennifer,

    It took me years to learn, but finally God showed me. My spiritual gifts are encouragement & compassion. I tend to send cards, e-cards, emails, & cook meals for people. Also love giving hugs & smiles to brighten someone’s day. Over the past few years I used those gifts to encourage my aging dad & others at assisted living facilities. Loved to see those people smile or laugh a bit. I also pray for people.

    This country needs more of us to use our spiritual gifts to reunite ourselves. We are so divided with hatred. I want to show more of God’s love to everyone.

    Blessings:)

  6. Jennifer, this is such a great story, especially so close to Father’s Day, that he trusted you with that car is a father/daughter relationship that most girls probably don’t have. And that God trusts us, this is inspiring to me today. God trust me more than most people would.

  7. I believe my gift is cooking and baking. I enjoy doing both and I love sharing what I make. During the holidays in will bake tons of cookies and give them a away, people look forward to my cookies and when I have been sick during the holidays and can’t make anything I usually try to make them when I am better. I also have my own business where I sell kitchen utensils ando when I do partys I am able to share my gift.

  8. I love this story about your dad Jennifer, and how he trusted you with one of his most precious treasures! And I love how you are being faithful with the many gifts your Heavenly Father has entrusted to you as well.

    I love creating beautiful spaces for people to gather and connect. And I’m finally in a season of life where I can do that more. Hosted a women’s ministry leaders dinner (for my church) in my backyard this weekend and I was so filled up from watching the women beautifully connect their hearts and their stories!

  9. Hi, I am wondering what you can practically do to move forward when you KNOW that God has asked you to do something that will effect many people that you don’t feel like is your gift but believe you are suppose to do?

    • Maryann, if I may be so bold to answer. If you KNOW God has asked you to do something then you need to take a step in that direction. The Lord will bless your obedience no matter how awkward you feel. The Lord often leads us in new pathways where we feel weak. He tells us that when we are weak He is strong. Whether this thing is your gift or not may not be the issue with Him. I don’t presume to know what this thing is, nor the will of God for you. I simply encourage you to be obedient and take one step – just one step and listen for His response to you. God bless you. You are deeply loved.

    • I would say you need to follow His lead, MaryAnn. Even if it is out of your comfort zone, if God is calling you to do it… follow. He will help you though it and He has a purpose for putting that on your heart. I encourage you just as Danielle did in her comment! Praying for you as you step out in faith!

  10. Jennifer, it took me a long time to see my value and I’m so thankful for the Lord’s grace. I’ve come to see one gifting I have is encouragement. I recognized it when I started a group called Encouragers in a private faith-based social community. Life can knock us down so quickly and I see the need for encouragement as huge. I give it lavishly as the Lord has lavished it on me. He empowered me to write and publish my story and now have a blog that is one year old today. God is so faithful.