If You Have a Gift, Use It!

Ontermaa

By Guest Writer – Marie Ontermaa

Something my mom once said to me was quite impactful, “If you have a gift, use it!” It’s true! If you know you are gifted to do something, if God has given you a propensity, an ability, and an innate desire to do something, whatever it may be, then do not hide it! Rather, use it!

When I was younger, in my teens and even as a child, whether or not people knew Jesus always concerned me. I always wanted to talk to people about Him. However, as I got older, I became cautious, not feeling equipped or able enough to explain why I believe what I believe. In short, I was afraid! But still, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit consistently nudged at me to speak–He promised that when I opened my mouth, He would fill it. I had to be obedient! I wasn’t supposed to listen to the voice of the enemy, filling me with fear, because scripture says that “God has NOT given us a Spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind!” In my hesitation, I began to step out and be obedient to the voice of the Lord, talking to people–even strangers, about Him, and something wonderful began to happen! I noticed that when I stepped out in obedience to Gods voice, in that moment He WOULD fill my mouth! I would notice words tumbling out–edifying, powerful, God-words–pouring out of my mouth, all because I took a step of faith, a risk, and obeyed a nudge the Holy Spirit gave! And it was amazing! I could take no credit because I knew it was not me! Rather, it was the gift, the grace, God had put on my life!

“I had to be obedient!”

Really, walking in step with the Spirit is wonderful and fills me with joy, and truly, that is how EVERY believer can feel! The commands of God are not burdensome, rather, the joy of the Lord is our strength! Truly, he equips those He calls.

Thank you for reading,

Marie Ontermaa

Visit Marie’s site to see more of her lovely writings!

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Handlettering Hobby to Big Business Idea

Obviously, as a child, we’re all taught how to read and write. Well, I wasn’t so keen on learning to read, but I loved writing and drawing. I was always a strange, imaginative child with wild stories and fun tales. There was no stopping me once I learned to write all of those crazy stories down! I became a mini illustrator and author to my own ideas and I would adorn my bedroom with drawings of my latest work.

But…

Like with all things, I grew up and lost my fervor for being wildly creative. Somewhere along the way, while growing up, someone told me to stop being the way I was and shamed me for who God intended me to be — this wild, charismatic, quick-witted, imaginative person. And I must have listened, because I stopped being all of those things and I stopped being me.

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A church friend holding a handlettering piece I did for her.

It’s only now, just one year shy of being 30, that I have begun to rediscover ME.

Part of this rediscovery portion of my life, is getting back into things I love — like handlettering. Using anything from a brush to a calligraphy pen, I appreciate the ease of each pen stroke coming together to form multiple letters to make one word.

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Handlettering is a soothing hobby I’ve come to admire.

I began a journey about a year ago in handlettering. I started out with the #30daybiblelettering challenge on Instagram. In the beginning of the challenge, I was perplexed. I couldn’t get my projects to turn out clear and artistic. It ended up looking like a four year-old drew my work! Really, I was relearning an old hobby that I had put away many years ago — it was time to retrain myself and learn it all over again. So slowly, over time, I got better and better at the challenge. By the 20th day I was in love with handlettering. I found myself sharing my ideas, following other handlettering gurus on Instagram and finding myself. I found ultimate joy in what I was learning to do.20161203_122554

I began getting feedback from my photos I shared on social media and started to wonder, “Could there be a business idea here?” I thought my dream of building a business based on handlettering was odd, but I don’t think that anymore. It is now my goal to do something with this talent I’m building, God willing.

Thanks for reading,

@brittwillwrite