This puts me in mind of one of my all-time favorite talks given by Marvin J Ashton on Gifts of the Spirit https://www.lds.org/ensign/1987/11/there-are-many-gifts?lang=eng
This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to give a fireside about introversion, shyness, and Mormonism after a local bishop read one of my blog posts. At first, I was pretty nervous (Introvert here, remember?), but in the middle of this fireside, I found myself feeling so at home and so happy to talk about something that, for me, is pretty personal. It was a lot of fun, and I'm so grateful I had the chance to do it.*
As I was preparing for it, I couldn't help but think about how I got to where I am today. I've blogged about this several times, but as a kid, I was terribly shy. That shyness and also introversion pushed me to reading and writing. I found it therapeutic to write about my experiences and my life, even though I sometimes over-killed it with the "woe is me" and "why am I like this" statements in my journals. My writing was my confidant, and the truth is that if I hadn't been so shy, I wouldn't have found writing. And if I hadn't found writing, it would be incredibly heartbreaking, because writing is as much a part of me as breathing is. I love it more than I can even express to you.
So last night, as I was kneeling to say my prayer before bed and reflecting on these things, I suddenly felt so happy about where I am and randomly ("randomly") told my Heavenly Father, "Thank you so much for the talents that you have given me. I love them and appreciate them."
The response was immediate. My heart felt like it was being wrapped in someone's arms, it was so warm and at peace. It was as if Heavenly Father was telling me, "Thank you for being grateful for them. I made them just for you, you know."
Then it hit me: how often do I say prayers where I thank the Lord for the gifts He has given me? Hardly ever.
Sometimes, I'm so caught up with the 'me' part of 'my gifts' that I forget who they really came from: the Lord. Just like he crafted this earth and our bodies, He must have diligently searched for and crafted gifts that each one of us would need in this life. He must have planned our lives in such a way that we could discover those gifts, and so that we could find joy in them. Isn't that incredible?
I wonder how many of us take the time to thank Him for those gifts, whether they be athleticism, a beautiful voice, the ability to play the piano, the know-how to fix a car, baking, cleaning, engineering, being a good friend. How often do we take the time to say, "Lord, thank you. I need this gift in my life and it has blessed me"?
I think He needs and wants you to thank Him for those gifts. To know that you appreciate them.
If you're not saying this prayer in your life, I'd encourage you to do it. I don't know if the results of your experience will be the same as mine, but I know that the Lord will know how much you appreciate Him. Your talents are as much a part of the Lord's creations as the sea and the stars are, and I know He hopes and desires for you to love them. Don't we all, yes, even the most omniscient being in the universe deserve to feel appreciated for what we do? We do. I know we do.
So say thanks! Don't hide your light under a bushel, but also don't hide your appreciation for your light under a bushel. Let it shine. I know Heavenly Father will be so grateful you did.