Growing Into Our Gifts

My youngest daughter decorates for her brother's birthday

My son turned twelve last week with the right level of fanfare. And the right amount of attention.  And, I think, the right gifts. Birthday celebrations have only gotten better with age–mine and theirs. I’m maturing with the realization and the practical application of this truth:

All the giving doesn’t just come from me.

In the midst of making a requested celebratory dinner with homemade crescent rolls and chocolate eclairs, my daughter offered to set the table and decorate the dining room. I helped her with the tape on one side, and then she said, “I’ve got the rest, Mom.” And she did. She gave her gift of beauty and energy.

An older friend from church couldn’t wait for for my son to turn twelve and graduate to be in the youth group with him. He surprised NH and showed up on the big day. He brought him a personal homemade gift and they hung out like guys. This friend gave his gift of camaraderie and genuine interest.

When we added the gifts my husband and I gave our son to the gifts other’s gave, the whole day came out right. Teaching the Apostle Paul’s explanation of the gifts of the Spirit to my New Testament seminary class in the past few weeks prepared me to appreciate this.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And whether one member . . . be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians 12:4, 26.

I’ve nurtured my son with my gifts since his birth. Now, he continues to receive my gifts, but in a less dependent way.

His father’s gifts will increasingly provide an important example of manhood.

With his twelfth birthday he received a new opportunity and responsibility as a new deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood of the LDS Church. And this step of development from boy to young man will teach him to recognize and use his own gifts of the Spirit to bless others.

As he grows into manhood, I can think of no better gift, for him or for me.

Paul with our son after church

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca
    Mar 26, 2009

    Happy birthday to your son! 12 is a great birthday. How wonderful it must be for you to watch him grow into a young man.

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