From Carrie's Perspective

by Carrie Greenwood, Program Coordinator

The year is almost over, and I know that you all were so excited to read one last “Behind Julia’s Glasses” of 2014. Unfortunately, our fearless leader recently had surgery on her eyes and is recuperating at home. Have no fear! This month, you get things “From Carrie’s Perspective.”

This past week, as I realized that I would have to take a stab at this whole editorial writing thing, I was taken back to memories of high school. Many people don’t know, but for three years of high school, I was on the school newspaper staff. I even worked my way up to Managing Editor my senior year. With this position, I had to write an editorial (aka. My opinion) article for each issue. I remember being nervous about writing these articles. Every month, I had to put my opinion and my writing skills on display for the whole school body to see.  While this was nerve wracking, it also taught me a very good lesson… when we rise above our fear and share our gifts and talents, the reward is SO worth it!

Do you have gifts that you have been given? No, I’m not talking about a new iPad or the latest video game or some stylin’ new jeans. While those are great too, I’m talking about gifts that you can share with other people. What are you good at? What is that one thing that you do really well… maybe even better than most people? When is the last time that you told someone about this talent or even showed them?

I have truly been given some wonderful gifts. I try to use these gifts in a variety of different ways. In the long run, when I share my gifts, others can benefit from them. I have a gift for organizing and thinking of every little detail of a project. How does this benefit others? Well, I use this gift to coordinate our KS Youth Leadership Forum each year, our new Empower Me! Series workshops, and, in my volunteer time, the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas event. I have a gift for listening to others. How do I use this to give back? Well, I think many of my friends would say that I am the one they come to if they just need someone to listen.

Oh yeah, and I have a gift of singing (yes, I said it… it is no longer a secret!). This is where the fear piece comes in. I love to sing, but get very nervous singing in front of people. For many years, I did not want to share this gift with anyone but the walls of my own bedroom. But then, I was approached by our music director at my church who asked if I would lead the congregation in song on a monthly basis. I was terrified, but knew that this was something that I needed to do. So, I decided to share my gift, and the reward has been SO worth it! Not only do I get to share my voice with others, but I grow each time that I push past my fear, stop worrying what others think of me, and just do what I love to do.

So, I ask you again, what gifts have you been given? Are you sharing them with your family, friends, and community? Or, are you too afraid to put yourself on display? I encourage you to let go of the fear and just celebrate your abilities and talents. Think of all of the people who could benefit from your gifts. This holiday, pick one thing that you are good at and share it… it might just be the best gift that you have given to someone or to yourself.