ep. 33 | stewarding our gifts for God's glory with Ashlee Gadd
On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Ashlee Gadd about stewarding our gifts. We talked about everything from how to determine what our giftings actually are to how we can use them for God’s glory and not our own. Ashlee is a wife, mother, self-taught writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, she loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith. Running Coffee + Crumbs is her dream job, x 100. Listen to what Ashlee said when I asked her about using our gifts in spite of insecurity we might feel: “We were talking about the fall in Genesis when Adam and Eve are hiding from God and then Adam finally shows his face and explains to God that they were hiding because they were naked. Then God says, ‘Who told you that?’ Four words. It’s such a simple question, but it’s one that I can actually return to over and over again when I’m feeling insecurity and those lies are creeping in and strangling me… If I start putting an actual voice to the lies that I am hearing it becomes easier to know what, and more important who, to believe.” I really appreciated her vulnerability, particularly on the topic of stewarding our gifts. If you’d like to connect with Ashlee for more wisdom nuggets like these, or listen to the Coffee and Crumbs podcast, you can find all of that information below.
I know one of the things you’re passionate about is stewarding the gifts we’ve been given. Before we get into that--what are we talking about when we use the term gifts? What does it mean to steward them?
What are some examples of how we’re gifted as the Body of Christ?
Do we all have different gifts? If so, why do you think God gifts us differently?
What are we stewarding them for?
How do we determine what our gifts are if we aren’t really certain?
What if we know our gifts, but we don’t really like them? What if we want the gifts someone else has been given? What encouragement do you have to own our gifts for the sake of the Body of Christ?
What encouragement do you have for those of us who feel insecure in our giftings? What do you do when you’re scared to step out and actually exercise the gifts you’ve been given?
How do you keep the focus on God’s glory and not your own glory when you’re working hard to bring the Kingdom down to earth?
How do we prevent burnout and fatigue when we’re using our gifts?
What’s the beauty in using our gifts for God’s glory? How have you seen doing so transform your own life?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone wanting to steward their gifts for God’s glory?
2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?
NOTE WORTHY QUOTES
“Stewarding your gifts means that you’re taking care of them... Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protecting of something worth caring for.”
“If somebody gave you a really nice gift for Christmas and you came home and threw it in your attic it would be so offensive to the gift giver, you know? God is the Ultimate Gift Giver. He has given us these gifts to open, to put on display, and ultimately to use them for His glory.”
“God doesn’t want us to hide our gifts or bury them in the ground. That’s not what we’ve been told. We’ve been told to shine our light before men.”
“Ask God what your gifts are and ask Him to make them apparent to you.”
“Prayer is my first plan of attack when it comes to knowing what your gifts are. The second one would be to pay attention. Pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to what makes your heart skip a beat. What makes you feel alive. What makes you feel excited. And then also pay attention to the hints that God is offering you. You might be getting affirmation from other people, you might be getting random emails, or messages from strangers, affirming something in you, a talent or a gift that they see in you. You have to listen to that stuff. It’s really, really important. Especially if you’re hearing the same thing over and over and over again. You really need to pay attention to that. The third thing would be to ask people in your life who know you well what you’re good at. What do they think your gifts are? Ask your husband, as your mom, ask your best friend, ask your mentor, ask people that you do life with to share with you the talents that they see in you.”
“Someone out there somewhere said, ‘The perfect intersection (in regard to exercising your gifts) is the thing that you’re good at combined with the thing that you’re passionate about.’”
“Just because you have a gift—and it is a gift—it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to struggle with that at different times or in different seasons. It kind of ebbs and flows. Solidarity, you aren’t alone. As far as wanting gifts that someone else has, we’re always going to be tempted to think that someone else has it better than us. That’s like our default, human mentality. It’s one of discontentment or scarcity. Everyone wakes up every day thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. But I love the phrase, ‘The grass is greener where we water it,’ and I think when we just switch to that mentality of accepting the gifts that the Lord has given us and walking in faith in that calling, fostering those gifts because God has asked us to, that’s where the greatest potential for us to bloom.”
“Something I’ve really been trying to practice lately is paying attention to the words that are swirling around in my head and knowing what is from the Lord, and what is not from the Lord. We had someone share a message at MOPs recently that I loved… So we were talking about the fall in Genesis when Adam and Eve are hiding from God and then Adam finally shows his face and explains to God that they were hiding because they were naked. Then God says, ‘Who told you that?’ Four words. It’s such a simple question, but it’s one that I can actually return to over and over again when i’m feeling insecurity and those lies are creeping in and strangling me… If I start putting an actual voice to the lies that I am hearing it becomes easier to know what, and more important who, to believe.”
“I can walk confidently in my role as a mom and in my giftings because they are from Him!”
“What I need to do is let everything else fall by the wayside and say, ‘Forget what everyone else thinks. Is God pleased with me? Is this work glorifying to God?’ That is literally the only question that matters.”
Asking your church what you can do for them
ASHLEE’S SIMPLE JOY’S
Trader Joe’s Flowers
Connect with ashlee
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