What were some of your favourite things to do as a child?
Ride your bike around the neighbourhood, for hours on end? Make and sell home-made mauby, cupcakes, lemonade or hand-picked dunks and Bajan cherries from a table in front of your home – skip, skateboard, surf, or gift-wrap like a boss at Christmas time? Play catch, shoot hoops, draw, make bowls with Play Doh, take in stray animals and care for them as precious pets, or help a parent or gran in the garden or on the farm?
Why? Did you feel free, purpose-filled – joyful?
Were you a good and caring listener? Maybe you mostly stayed inside to comb the hair and dress up your collection of dolls – play school with your pint-sized pals, or explore the nature trails and adventures spots nearby? Did ya like the beach, boats, setting the table and greeting guests, tennis, Lego, cars – climbing trees?
Our favourite childhood hobbies can give handy clues to identifying our calling and God-given gifts.
If you feel or seem stuck in your present position, or you’re trying to will yourself to live enthusiastically, the clues may already be embedded in your muscle memory…etched in a portion of the life story you’ve lived so far. Don’t give up or give in to the fib that there’s no gift in you. Remember…and tune in.
You may have grown way beyond that stage, as we eventually do and are meant to, but please don’t exclude yourself from the gift pool. Wake up to the spark that’s alight in you!
Some gifts, skills and interests may not be in alignment with our life assignment, but I believe that part of our journey is personal – and sometimes we only understand the connection sewn through time as we grow and remember that we didn’t make ourselves – we were created on purpose, for a purpose that goes way beyond our earthly pleasures, moods, dreams, and fancies.
For some reason, I started a neighbourhood detective agency (with two floating members in two separate parishes) at 4 years old. We had ‘cases’, a list of ‘suspects’, handwritten files in a designated notebook, held brief stake-outs under windows, and collected evidence which ranged from miscellaneous blades of grass or ‘icky’ items like a chewing gum wrapper. Nothin’ was gettin’ past us, ah tell ya.We meant business and thought we were doing our neighbourhood a service. Of course, I had no clue at the time that this would spark a knack for documentation and love for content management later in life.
Our “biz” lasted about two years (possibly more), but after discovering the adults we admired were less than perfect, and uncovering some horrific happenings (from domestic abuse, to an unexpected death, to an attack on a quiet elderly woman who lived on the same street), “The Secret Two” closed its ‘offices.’ Phew!
My best friend at the time was a little girl from St. Lucia and also co-founder of our detective agency. We met when her family moved in next door, and I decided I’d like to make a friend and one day walked straight through the gate in the fence, into her house to the living room where her mum was sewing quietly – she was an excellent seamstress, and a school teacher. I asked if she had a daughter who wanted make friends; she smiled bright like the sun, and called for the one who was my age – we were best friends from that day til she traveled about 7 years after. The take-away – clues to initiative-taking.
Ok, slight rewind to the closure of The Secret Two. Nat and I decided right then and there, that we preferred not to know so much as we were only 5 or 6, and happily returned to our standard activities like playing ‘jacks,’ holding sack races in the street replacing crocus bags with red plastic bags, and going to her church on Sundays.
What about you? Any hilarious markers and adventures in your childhood?
Recently, while searching through some boxes in storage, I stumbled upon one of our notebooks, and had a good laugh…probably as good as the one many of us have observing little children express intuitive gifts that may serve them well later in life.
I also grew up reading a book a day, and loved journaling, doodling, singing into a deodorant bottle in the mirror, riding my bike, making-up dances, creating scripts from characters cut out from magazines, and playing with my one Barbie and her side-kick, a soft-plastic doll whose limbs could detach and re-assemble almost effortlessly. Exploring houses (still in the process of being built) tucked away amidst ’nuff trees, was was another highlight (mostly on runaway days.)
My room was the only place where I had some degree of control over the volume (i.e: no quarreling) and vibe in the house. In many ways, I can recognize how that tempo helps me focus all now, when it comes to creating a cosy, calm, and productive work space, even during challenging circumstances and seasons.
Not all – but the majority of moments where I have experienced fulfillment, joie de vivre, and natural gifting throughout my career, directly relate to some of my favourite activities that stem from God-given gifts. I am certain that this is no ‘breaking news,’ and I’m not alone in this. It means…
there are clues in your Before that connect with your Now, to design and align with your To Be.
Yuh cyah run from yuh callin’ – even if you try…that cry…
that knowledge that there are gifts stirring inside you to be expressed as only you can share them, will show signs of life at some point.
We’re invited to choose and answer that calling, and instead of conjuring up ideas of our own design, we can be thankful that we’re blessed…sit in the stillness for a moment, lean in and listen…trace the steps…find and follow the clues that were planted with seeds of love even before we were created…by the Creator…who always knew…Who designed and assigned you with a blessing and a calling…we only have to believe…and tune in…receive…be…and share…
The proof’s in the pudding (check this): accumulating books throughout the years, has compelled me to lend some out without blinking twice, donate some to disaster-relief drives, and sell some – and would you know that jussst as I’d shaved off hundreds of books to a lean 30 or so, a visiting nature tour guide guest donates an entire book collection of reads – from the library of a well known late scientist and environmentalist who used to be in the same choir as my mum! Come onnow! I had to laugh, give thanks, and embrace the gift, assignment, and possibilities remembering that it’s all by grace.
No matter what you look like, where you’re from, how you walk, what you think you do or don’t have, you – are – gifted —-you matter — and
your gifts have a purpose on this planet…
Feel free to leave a comment to encourage someone else reading this post…someone who may need a note of niceness shared through you.