Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Got You, Babe

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so, between them both, you see
They licked the platter clean.

Every time we eat bacon and eggs at the Barcus house, that nursery rhyme bears out true in all it's splendor. Although Jack and his wife don't sit at my kitchen table, Justice, Jewel, and Jot do. You see, Justice only likes the meaty part of bacon; Jewel only the fat. So, they tear apart the crispy strips and trade for the part they like best.

And when I make hard-boiled eggs, Jewel only likes the whites and Jot goes for the yellow yolks. So, once again, the low-stakes bartering begins. "I'll give you my whites for your yellows," says Jot. And happily they go about downing their favorite part of the egg.

And when Jewel made the jump to ordering adult meals at McD's but still wanted the apple slices, it worked nicely to order Jot's Happy Meal with apples and then switch them out for the fries that came with Jewel's number 10 combo.

Lest you think they only do this with food (or that all we do is eat!), they also divvy up chores. Jot loves to feed the dogs; Jewel the cats. So they trade if assigned otherwise. They do it with notes for school, calling grandparents, driving the Gator. They've taught me a big lesson about strengths and weaknesses and being there to fill the gap for someone else.

You've heard that opposites attract--and it is often true. But, through my kids, God has shown me that He places people in families so that the strengths of one will bolster another and vice versa. Justice's penchant for caution have served Jewel and Jot well on several occasions. Likewise, their tendency to never see a stranger helps him break the ice when meeting new people.

I believe this lesson is not just applicable to personality, but also to spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities. When you find a talent, ability, or gift you possess, the very first place you need to use it is with your own family. Can you sing like an angel? Then bless your family at holidays or send your kids off to dreamland hearing your sweet voice. Do you have the gift of encouragement? The top of your list of targets needs to be your parents, spouse, and children. Can you teach a three-point lesson at the drop of a hat? Then bless others in your job, the community, or at church--but after you've worked your magic on those in your very own home.The possibilities are as endless as the gifts and abilities we possess.

So, take a look at yourself. What are you good at? How can you use your abilities with and for the people the closest to you? If you don't see how, just ask God. I promise He'll show you. It may be as simple as sharing a plate of bacon and eggs.

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