I often like to sit in beautiful gardens that I spot on my journeys and reflect. The one above happens to be in Door County, Wisconsin, one of my all time ‘perfect spots’ to spend some time, be it days or hours.

I have several grandchildren of various ages that love me unconditionally and bring great JOY and PURPOSE into my life. My idea of present and future is always filled with how I can teach them, share with them, and model for them values that I hold dear. Yes, of course they hear it from their parents, but a grandparent is a different entity. We hold a different type of weight with them than parents because we aren’t around everyday and are not involved in the daily trials and disciplines. (Thank you very much).

I recently read  an article published by Lorene Hanley Duquin  in Word Among Us entitled “What Makes Your Grandchild Special?”  The topic was about teaching your grandchildren to value and appreciate their different gifts and talents. At young ages, it is about helping them value  the gifts of sight, hearing, smell, speech and touch and how to use them to help each other and make the world a better place. The article also spoke about gifts that can turn out to be weaknesses if used inappropriately.  One example would be if a child has good athletic abilities and physical strength but uses this gift to ‘bully’ others.

For older children, Duquin talks about the gifts of knowledge for a desire to learn; the gift of wonder to help them appreciate the mysteries of life; the gift of judgement to help them know the difference between right and wrong; and the gift of understanding to help them ‘know’ what lies deep within.

As I read the article and reflected, it came to me that it probably is not just the children and grandchildren in our lives we need to share thoughts of valuing our gifts; perhaps there are adults in our lives that we should focus on their gifts to us rather than the negatives.

What special gifts do I have and am I using them to the best of my ability? What gifts can I share today with someone?

Duquin says:  “Gifts are like pieces of a puzzle. We can’t see the picture unless all the pieces fit together”.