Have you ever built anything?
I mean, really built something! If you have, then I am envious of you! This is simply not a gift that I possess. Actually, it’s not even a “so so” skill that I possess. Actually, all my life I have looked with awe and wonder at people who can actually build something! There really is such an art to it. Now some may disagree with me and say it is more of a method or a process. All I can say is that I can take items out of a box, I can lay them out on the floor in perfect order, I can lay out the direction book and follow steps one, two, three in a distinct and perfect process, but I still can’t build!

Would you please picture with me in your mind the mess that would be laid out on my living room floor as I tried to build some thing that came in 332 pieces inside of a box? It truly would have looked better if I would’ve hung the box on the wall instead of creating the mess I had on the floor and tried to make it into something!

I have said over and over that I do not have an artistic bone in my body! I do not say this to acquire accolades or affirmation. I truly believe that I have other gifts to offer, but artistic gifts are not among them! People have argued this point with me many times. They have looked to the way I dress or to the way I even decorate my house and they have pointed out that I do have artistic gifts.

But I firmly disagree! What I do have is the ability to recognize beauty in something and the way it is put together and re-create or mimic it. As a teacher I used to say, “ I can copy and trace very well, but building it from scratch is not my forte!” Because I lack this natural ability, I believe it has given me an incredible sense of appreciation for those that have it.

I love walking through an art museum and staring at the masterpieces on the wall created out of nothing!

I love walking down crazy, busy, crowded city streets and being awestruck and inspired by the architecture around me. Someone built that out of nothing!

I love seeing the characters drawn freehand  by my brother-in-law and his son! I am flabbergasted by the artwork they create out of nothing!

I used to love to go to work with my dad as a little girl and watch him pull boards out of his truck, measure and cut them to a precise size, place them in the perfect position and pound nails into them to create something out of nothing! By the way, my dad could draw and paint freehand, beautifully! He once drew a horse head that looked so real I expected it to NEIGH! I truly believe their is an artistic connection to building!

I am in awe watching my son-in-law look up a project on YouTube and literally make something perfectly out of nothing!

This truly is a God-given talent that I do not possess! I can recognize it in others and even admire it, but that does not mean that it is a strength of mine.

However, I am made stronger by others who bless me with their strength of building!

Over four years ago now, we moved from Southern California to Northern California. My sister had come over to help me put together my new home in Sonoma County. I had bought a new set of shelves that I wanted to put in my living room. Like all wonderful products these days, it came packed in a box that looked way too small for a set of shelves! Inside the box were all the shelves along with 1 million other pieces! I just left the box laying in the entryway, unopened! As I was busy unpacking other boxes, my sister walked up to the box and said, “do you want this put together?“ “Yes,” I said, “I would love that!”

She opened that box, laid out all the pieces on the floor, laid out the directions, and built that set of shelves in less than an hour! Those shelves are still in my living room today. She has that ability to build! She blessed me with her strength of building and it compensated for a weakness of mine.

I could have gotten defensive knowing she had a strength I did not possess and said, “No, I’ll do it later!” Or, I could have let myself get defeated knowing she had a strength I did not have. If I would have done either one of those things, I still may not have a set of shelves in my family room(my husband does not have this strength either)!

I believe that we become our very best selves when we allow the strengths of others to compensate for our weaknesses! They in turn become their very best selves when they allow our strengths to compensate for their weaknesses!


God does not intend for us to live our lives alone! He also does not expect us to be perfect. God knows that we are better when we are together! He also knows that we are most effective and successful when we are pulling on our strengths and allowing the strengths of others to compensate for our weaknesses.

We all have those friends! Those abilities that are weak rather than strong. The question is, will we allow the strengths of others to BUILD us up and compensate for those weaknesses or will we pretend we can do it all by ourselves?

If this becomes our mantra, we are not only cheating ourselves of being our BEST selves, but we are also cheating others from being their BEST selves!



Speak Truth Love

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