On Gifts

It always happens when I tuck him in…when darkness settles, he always catches a spark of light.
Mom,” he asks. “When you were young, what kind of special gifts and talents did you think God gave you?”
I pause, feel that familiar ache—the one for the little girl—and consider my answer. What to tell a boy whose every unique talent is celebrated by his mother and father and grandparents…and, yes, even his brother. Would the truth sound too harsh? Even to my own ears?
I take a deep breath and plunge.
“Well…nothing really,” I say, soft, like the way I touch his face. “I never felt there was anything special about me. It was…the way I was raised…the way my family made sure we all know we are equal in God’s eyes…”
He is quiet and it does sound harsh, so that little girl in me tries harder.
“And this is true, you know? He loves us all the same. But…he made us each unique…and the Bible tells us he gave us all special gifts. So…it was just a…a misunderstanding.”
He is quiet, so I ask the question that I know is on his mind.
“What special gifts and talents do you think god gave you?”
He doesn’t hesitate, he’s thought this through.
I think he gave me creativity,” he says. “I just don’t know what to do with it.”
Well,” I say. “You can do a lot of things with that.”
“I know,” he says. “That’s the trouble. There are so many things I can do. I just don’t know what he wants me to.”
I smile in the dark, thinking how quickly he has gotten here–how his mamma still struggles with this very thing. Suddenly, his arms are around me.
Oh, mom,” he says. “I do think you have lots of gifts.”
I try not to, I’m supposed to be further along than that…but that little girl wants to know.  I’m asking my 13 year old son: “Like what?”
“Well,” he says, as he hugs me tighter. And he tells me. Some of my gifts.
I giggle self consciously–like I am 13.
“It’s true,” he says.
And I realize that it doesn’t even matter. That the little girl is quiet…maybe sleeping. And that this 13 year-old boy? He sees. He sees because he has been seen.
And that is worth celebrating.

Blogging in community with Michelle and Jen today. Love you girls! 


This week’s memory verse:

 Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.

For memory cards of the whole book of James visit this post. 


  1. says

    … and just like that scene from The Help, I reach through this little box, take that little girl’s face in my hands and say… “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” Then I give her a little kiss and a hug and quietly thank God for her.

  2. says

    Oh, Laura, thank you for coming by tonight. I thank God for allowing you to see inside my words, giving you an insight that I was not sure about…that there is a bit of play in me and that I am really doing better. Just as your precious son could see your gifts, you could see some child protruding through these rough and harsh months. Finally! You have encouraged me this night! Ever so grateful, Laura. I am rocking with joy with my God. Having a playdate with my Abba Father. Giving much of my burden to the Lord. May your day tomorrow be sweet as the fragrance of Sweet Peas. loving you a bunch, ~ linda

  3. says

    What a beautiful post. Nothing can make you feel like a success as a parent more than evidence that you’ve raised a child that wonderful, one who looks for the gifts God gave in himself and others. You are so blessed!

  4. says

    I’m so encouraged these special moments with boys can continue even when they are teens! He sees because he’s been seen…. uhh, I love that!!!!

    Love to you this Thursday!

  5. says

    Laura – this is breathtaking on so many levels. First and foremost because YOU are such a miracle of the ongoing work of God’s grace in this world. That the little-girl-you survived and flourished into such a gifted and giving adult is nothing short of miraculous. And that your boy, having been raised so differently, having been SEEN so differently – that he can turn and speak to that little girl with love and truth? Wow. Pure gift. Thanks so much for sharing that gift here, with us.

  6. says

    Oh, this is dear! My oldest daughter (37) recently imparted some unsolicited words to me about my gifts. It took me quite by surprise, being seen and by someone I wasn’t looking to but someone who has had a front-row seat. I was so moved. Still am. I thanked God for such an unexpected blessing. When I got to the part of your post where your son did that, I felt we’d both gotten the same gift. Lovely, Laura. Just lovely.

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