Gifts and Talents

I am sure you have heard the term, “use it or lose it.” That can apply to several things, but I’m thinking especially about our talents that we have been gifted with. As an author, I write almost every day, so that keeps my creativity flowing and my skills honed. I enjoy writing, which is a motivating factor in getting me to write regularly. But I also write to share my knowledge with others and to let them know through the stories I create that God loves them and is there to help through any of life’s trials and situations.

Recently, I was asked to use my skills as a ventriloquist, doing a video routine with my ventriloquist figure, Randy Right. Since I don’t do ventriloquism on a daily basis, I needed to practice before doing the routine. You can see that video trailer on my Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wanda-E-Brunstetter/119136496242

The video has been well-received, and several people have asked me to do more routines with Randy in the future. I sometimes use Randy or one of my other ventriloquist puppets when I speak at schools and various functions. But in order to do it well, I’ll want to keep practicing and perfecting my skill as a ventriloquist. I want both my ventriloquism and writing to honor God and show others the way to Him.

What gift or talent have you been blessed with and how are you using it to bring glory to God?

Comments

  1. I’m not overly talented in any one area . These are a few of the things I enjoy doing.
    God has given me the gift of the greeting card ministry. I enjoy mailing out cards to people as a way of reminding them that I’m thinking of them. It takes very little time on my part and I get to make someone happy.
    I also enjoy doing reviews for different things I buy from Amazon. I love to enter contests that different writers, such as yourself, have each month in their newsletter. I love to do journals and have one for prayers and one for my daily activities.
    I’m the Secretary of my Sunday School class and Secretary treasurer of our woman’s missionary union.
    These kinds of things I enjoy doing . There’s a great deal of truth in the term “use it or lose it.” I used to sing alto in the choir but then we stopped attending church for many years. When we did return I found I had lost my alto range. If God has blessed you with certain talents than make use of them and enjoy them.

    • It sounds like you’re a busy lady, Shirley, using many of your talents for God. Bless you for that!

      • Thanks Wanda . Your journal postings each month is one of the things I look forward to. Love your newsletters also. Looking forward to your book Woman of Courage.
        I appreciate your God given talent. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • I am in a singing group with two other women who are very good friends of mine. Our group is called Shekinah Glory. We have been blessed to travel many places and sing and give God all the glory for the many blessings he has given us. I am also in a praise team at my church and my son and I do puppets for our children’s group. He and I stay behind a curtain while performing with the puppets. We change our voices to be the character of that puppet, but we are not ventriloquists. Ha!
      I always enjoy your books and your kindness of wanting to help others find the sweet serenity of God.

    • Clare Russell says:

      I have the gift of contentment. I am content within myself and I dont long for things I cannot have. I dont have a lot but I have sufficent for my needs. My father used to say “there are no pockets in the shroud” and as I get older I understand what he meant and I have a greater appreciation for things that money cannot buy.

    • I love organizing large meals and working in the kitchen, my way of helping others is by organizing and preparing funeral dinners in our church. Its my way of helping the griefing families. Showing Gods love for them. Very rewarding to me.

  2. Sisie prater says:

    I bake and clean house for ppl that can’t do them anymore I cook for them to I love that god give me talent to help others can’t wait. For the up coming books god bless u and your family

    • Sissie, cooking and cleaning is a real talent in my book. Especially when you share that talent with others. May God bless you for all that you do.

  3. I am a 73 year old retired nurse, writer and crafter. I do a community out-reach for my small church where I offer basic instructions in learning to either/and knit or crochet. I am in the process of writing two novels. One for young children about a mouse that resides in the basement of a large hospital. He loves children and uses ‘arobics’ to entertain them when they are alone and frightened. It is the story of Wilbur from the time he is young to when he had grown old. It is about 50 pages long or several chapters.
    The other story is about a yellow dog abused by other owners that finds a family that loves him. it is intended for teen to adult readers. I need to work on rewrites for them, then try to find an agent. I write many short stories 2 to 4 pages long and share over the internet.

    Since 2007, I have used a pattern of my own design and began to make nice cloth dolls for kids with cancer and other devestating diseases. the girl dolls flip their skirts to become a topsy turvy doll or a 2 in 1 doll. (one in a nightgown and one in a lacey dress for the outside) She is 2 foot tall. The boys wear thrift store clothes and are 28 inches high. I embroider their faces. some short stories I have written are on the web-page as well, but it is the dolls for the kids that are of real importance. I have because of help from others been able to send 173 out so far free, including postage. I am the only one doing the majority of sewing on these dolls, but many others are helping the best they can to help me and my hubby continue this ministry. You can see some of the dolls on the website, if you wish.

    I wanted to put a collection of super short stories I’ve done, into a book but was told people don’t like that kind of story book.

    at any rate, I have only 34% of my lungs, and other health issues, but the dolls and the writing I can do and I thank God for that Blessing. My email is above or on the doll web site should you wish to contact me.

    I look forward to the opportunity to read at least one of your books, as I am able to get them.

    Take care all of you out there and may the good Lord bless and keep you and yours in the hollow of His hands.

    Vickey S.

  4. I really have no big talent except to give my and care to my family and others. I do like to make sweet treats for people and I have cared for my Mother-in-love when she was dying from cancer, and then just 2 years later we lost our son in a car accident and I thought my world had just stopped and didn’t know how to move forward until my youngest child our daughter reminded me that I still had her and our oldest son. I was already caring for my disabled sister-in-law and my husband’s uncle when his Mom passed away so my plate was full but I did make it through one day at a time. Then the grandchildren stared coming, pure joy and happiness, I have baby sat all three while their parents worked, a full time job for me but I loved them so much it was a pleasure. I have been battling Thyroid Cancer since 1990 while taking care of others and I still have it with it spreading to my lungs but it’s stable with God taking care of me. I have to help my Mother now since she has many health issues but why wouldn’t I didn’t she care for me too! My father passed away 2 years after my son and I used to take him to doctor appointments etc so I guess I have always been a care giver. I have always had a love for books tho and they take me places I would never be able to go and it’s a way to just escape even for just a little while. Thanks for sharing with us Wanda!

  5. Rhonda Palmer says:

    I am sure that the things I do every week are God given talents. I enjoy doing them so I am sorry to say that I probably do not give Him the credit He deserves. God has given me the ability to cook, especially baking. I bake pies and give them away, I also enjoy teaching people to cook for themselves that can’t.

    I am able to do several things in church. I help with running our sound system at church, sing in the choir, and help with VBS (mostly crafts).

    But I think my best God given talent is being a wife and mother to 3 great kids. What more could I want.

  6. Karen C. says:

    I think my gift from God is the ability to make people feel included and good about themselves. I work with the public and it is my mission to make sure each person that approaches me feels like I have just opened my front door and they are exactly the person I was hoping to see. It is my gift and my mission to make sure that everyone who encounters me feels better than they did before our encounter.

  7. Jane Staiger says:

    Well, I learned something else about you today….a ventriloquist!! Amazing! I love knowing that about you Wanda. I believe my special talent is sharing my gift of sewing with my grandchildren and I share it when I am invited to baby showers. I love making stuffed animals…mostly dogs…and just about everyone I know…has one!! LOL!! My granddaughter has started making little things now too….she made a tag blankie last week for a baby shower she is attending. I am planning on doing either some machine embroidery or making myself a Dr. Suess Hat so that I can use it when reading a book to my other granddaughter’s pre-school class for Dr. Suess’ birthday week!! And I love, love, love that you share your gift of writing with all of us!! God Bless!!

  8. charlene capodice says:

    Hi Wanda, you are a new author for me and am looking forward to reading all of your books. very interesting site you have here! I do a lot of volunteer work for my church and I sing in our choir. I belong to all groups at my church and was blessed with a good ear for listening and trying to comfort and help others. I am a retired nurse . I was blessed with a pretty soft voice, so I put it to good use. I can crochet and love to make baby things to donate or for family members. Life is a miracle!

  9. Juanita says:

    I appreciate your asking us to focus on our gifts from God. I believe mine to be listening to people regarding their problems. In that way, they talk it out and find the solution that will work for them.

  10. Jason F says:

    Gods blessed me with understanding children. When I was younger, I was the youth group advisor at church. With several other leaders, we were able to build the largest and strongest group around. Those kids have grown and now are important and productive in society. Now I continue that with my children and there friends.

  11. debbie jamieson says:

    I am not sure what my special talent is. I watch my grandchildren when they need me and I am raising my older grandson who has a form of autism. I enjoy reading all of your amish books. Because of you I have become closer to God.
    Thank you and God Bless you.

  12. God has gifted me with the love of gardening. Not only to enjoy the beauty, but to learn life lessons. Such as, while I was pulling weeds one day (one of the many) , I thought about how easily we can let the “weeds” of our daily living, creep in and take over the simple beauty we love to enjoy. If we’re not careful, these “weeds” multiply so fast, even before we realize, and take over our “garden of living”. It is something we must do daily!

    Thank you Wanda, for helping us to understand the peaceful way of life and to simplify our lives!

  13. Love to read your books. Hope I am a winner.

  14. Kathy Kelley says:

    I have been blessed with the talent of stained glass and I am working hard on the windows in a local church. I also bless all my friends and family with gifts. Thanks for your blessed talent. I also am blessed with Genealogy talent. Thanks for all your works!

  15. I surely love reading your books on Amish life…for one thing…they are Faith based…God is at the center of your books…another is to bring Amish life to us outsiders…to understand how the Amish live…and lastly I love reading a book that moves me…moves me closer to God’s Spirit and also that it’s an easy read…thank you for all your books…

  16. I tried to email you but because I would have to enter in Outlook I couldn’t do it…can you please send me your email address so that I can use my regular email …thank you..

  17. Steph J says:

    My gift is working with young children. I like to watch the kids in the nursery at church and also enjoy helping out on weds. Nights for Awana and listening to their verses and helping with crafts. God has given me this gift to me, as i know children are very important to God..i also enjoy helping out at our vacation bible school.

  18. Carol Billingsley says:

    I have two talents that I enjoy. One is raising Monarch butterflies. The other is gardening. In 2012, I brought 33 Monarch eggs into my sunroom to raise, I was very pleased that all of them hatched. The next phase was feeding the caterpillars. I put small milkweed plants into plastic bottles about 6 inches tall. The caterpillars are put into aquariums with the plants. I keep replacing the plants as the leaves are eaten. I replant the eaten plants back into the garden so they can grow more leaves. Finally when the caterpillars are large enough they spin their chrysalis and you can see the butterfly wing colors taking place inside. It is amazing to watch the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis. After their wings are dry, I put a very small round tag on them and let them go. These are the fourth generation that came from Mexico in the spring. They will fly to Mexico even though they are born and raised at my home in New York. They will spend the winter in Mexico and in March they will leave and fly to the southern gulf states (like Florida, etc.) where they will mate, lay eggs and then die. The eggs are the next generation to head north until the fourth generation emerge and fly to Mexico for the winter. The Monarch butterfly is one of natures phenomenal cycles. Thousands of people are working to preserve the migration thanks to Orley ( Chip ) Taylor professor of insect ecology at the University of Kansas. The Monarch is dwindling, so in my small way I hope I am helping them survive. With the help of Monarch Watch and people like me maybe they will survive for the next generation like my great grandchildren. For more information about Monarch butterflies go to ( Monarch Watch.org ).

    My garden is not only a way for me to exercise during summer but to make my landscape beautiful and help the animals and insects that visit my garden to survive.

  19. I truly enjoy cooking and baking and do more of both when I’m upset… my husband knows by what I’m cooking and the quantity (enough to feed an army as he says) that something serious is on my mind. I also enjoy reading, knitting, crocheting, sewing and making floral arrangemens. But at the end of the day, I like nothing better than to curl up and relax with a wonderful Amish novel.

  20. Joann Bentson says:

    Hello Wanda,
    Thank you for introducing me to your world of Amish and your books. I have learned so much about their life and faith. There have been so many times while reading I stop and think about the Amish way of life versus the “English” ways. In our daily lives I see where so many are taken with the technology and TV. The eating around the dinner table and talking has gone by the way side. That is such a shame.
    I have started my way of giving back – My father-in-law had Parkinson disease and went to rehab at a Senior Care Center. The care given to him was wonderful. I love to quilt. I made several lap wheel chair quilts that could also be used while sitting in a chair. I gave them to Center and I plan to keep quilting and giving to the patients and residents. The Lord has watched over me through so many times and now this is my way of helping to watch over others by giving them a little warmth.

  21. Love all your Books Wanda, and have a special bookcase just for them. I also love to write, and have written a couple of books just for my family and also write Poetry. I love to garden, as I feel this is how you feel nearer to God, being at one with nature, and we do lots of country walks. Have lived near the Amish, and am always in awe of their unmaterialistic way of life.

  22. Debbie Rudder says:

    I like to let others know they are special. I send cards–sometimes just because I’m moved to do so. Also, I bake many cakes for birthdays. So many times adults tend to forget birthdays if it’s not a child.

  23. I have been so blessed by your books. I share them with friends of mine. Your books were the first one I started reading. So thank you

  24. Robin in NC says:

    I know we each have God given talents, but I am not aware of having any artistic abilities at all! I try my best to be a good spouse to my husband, be a good friend to my friends & stay as upbeat as possible. If we all had the same talents, life would be boring! Thanks Wanda for all you do!

    o

  25. Josephine Bruzzese says:

    I enjoy many things; reading Christion fiction, knitting especially for new babies either family or friends, and just enjoying the city I live in. One of the best thing I am a good listener to my friends regardless of their age. Offering my thoughts and being empathic to their issues. This has earned me many lasting friendships throught the years. As a retiree, I look back fondly to them and thanks to Facebook able to keep in touch. I believe friendships are most important. I have almost all your novels as well as other Amish authors and enjoy these books as find them relaxing and interesting. Thx for writing them.

  26. janice hardin says:

    I’ve often wondered what my talent or gift was but so far I haven’t figured it out. I try to do my best in everything I do. Maybe someday I will figure out what gift or talent I have.

  27. I enjoy your updates … and love all your books …. always looking forward to the next release!

  28. Susan Beaird says:

    Thank you for sharing your talent. I am so amazed about the Amish and their simple living.

  29. Joan Serfass says:

    I really Love my Lord and Saviour. I am involved in many areas of our Church. I help in Children’s Sunday school class_; in the nursery- the food pantry- the bus ministry and what ever else I can. When I find time I love to read amish books or loom knit.

  30. Pat OReilly says:

    I don’t think I realized for a long time what my talents were..I realized I can make people laugh, and have been told my humor is a good thing.. I was quite surprised when I realized that my most significant talent and one that I love is praying for people.. I always say when I hear something is going wrong for someone “I will include you in my prayers” and I do, but I say a prayer right away so I don’t forget.. My prayers have been answered many, times for people.. So I’m going to keep that talent alive and well.. God Bless

  31. Betty Vincent says:

    I love to “play” with jewelry! I am forever picking up single earrings, broken items and loose stones. I bring them home and stash them away (sometimes for years) until just the right project comes along to make a perfect little treasure! My daughter and granddaughters frequently come to visit with a project for Nana to fix…A piece will come out of a pocket and I will hear “I found this at a yard sale with one stone gone – but, I know you can fix it for me” I do. And, we are all tickled pink!

  32. Linda Hoch says:

    Hi Wanda,
    Thanks for sharing your journal. I too, yearn for a simpler life. An Amish friend once told me that I don’t have to be Amish to live Amish. I try to keep my activities in perspective. Is it worth it? Is this something God would be happy that I am doing? My gifts are with children. I am a retired Preschool teacher. I work at my church with our children’s program. I am also helping to raise my granddaughters, ages 9 and 10. Family is also very important to me. I have 7 people at home right now and we are happy and healthy! I also quilt, make doll clothes, make doll furniture, and cross stitch. I scrapbook and make greeting cards as well. Thanks for your journal entries. They are inspiring to me.

  33. Norma Crise says:

    my sister and I are both writing books, she (LindaBelle Meyer) has been my encourager. She’s written several articles before, but I haven’t much. Just poems, filling out memory books for my family. I really enjoy your Amish series, and I told LindaBelle it would be so neat to be able to go and live among the Penn. Amish people, (our Indiana ones are diff) My husband and I gave up our t.v. in 1985 and were much happier since, family times with our children and in the evening it is so peaceful. We are too busy to miss it. I sew for missions, and for gifts making sock monkies right now. I am writing my 1st book, and started my 2nd one, but am slow to publish it, LindaBelle is pushing me, but still I wait. Mostly because of people’s comments of: Who’s going to buy them? and other comments. But every author started somewhere. So with God’s help I can do it! It is my witnessing tool, my sis says! But I do enjoy this web site, even tho’ the clip clopping scares my silly at first when I get into it :) Thank you for letting me let off my concerns! I am from Elkhart, Indiana and will be 66 yrs old next Friday the 7th. In school the eng. teacher told me to keep writing! So I plan to, thank you Wanda for all your talent of writing. Norma Jean

  34. Carletta Culp says:

    I can only say that I am not overly talented either, but I do have a talent for finding and reading good books from talented writers. Wanda, you are one of those writers that keep me wanting to know more about the Simple Life and the Amish in general. Not being one to be involved with lots of activities, sports or the like, I love to read which keeps my mind busy. After years of not being “active” in working out, it took a health concern to get me to the Y where I try and work out every day. I now look forward to exercising, while not being a workout fanatic, I realize God gave me a sign and for once I listened. Now all I need to do is learn to not eat all those bad things I love…..ha! Thank you for writing what you do.

  35. Wendy Davis says:

    I love to quilt. I have always love to sew since I was a young girl but had never given quilting a try. I saw a piece about an organization that provides quilts for children in hospitals. I got involved and they sent me a quilt kit. I put it together and began to learn the lingo of quilting. Now I make about 20 quilts a month for Quilts for Kids. They go to Payton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. I have German Baptist heritage and find that I would have loved being back in PA with my ancestors. One of my favorite times was doing my homework by gas lantern when one of those lake effect snows hit in my Northwest Indiana home. My mother used everything. She kept things “just in case” and we grew a garden that kept our family of 7 going year around. My husband and I are moving more to that style of life. Living on retirement requires we are mindful of spending. This year, canning and freezing for the winter is a necessity. Love your books and the ability you have of bringing God into the mix without being “pushy” about religion. Reading your books and quilting take up all the free time I have. Love your work.

  36. Annette Naish says:

    I have no talent whatsoever, but I am able to pray. I admire all the talented people here and all the wonderful ways they show God’s love for the world.

  37. Hi Wanda- I like helping people. I admire you and really love all your books. :)

  38. nancy jo horton says:

    I like helping people at the treatment center that my husband goes to 3 times a week.

  39. I have been blessed with an operatic soprano singing voice and I have used it to add beauty to the wedding ceremonies and bar mitzvahs of friends and family members. I also sing in my temple’s high holiday choir, which allows me to glorify G-d in a very personal way. “He who sings, prays twice!”

  40. Donna Hixson says:

    Hi Wanda
    I too,like some of the others,enjoy sending cards and calling those who need cheering up or are shutins.They are so appreciative of feeling thought of.I especially have sent my sister-in law,who lives in Arizona many inspirational packages with devotions,etc. I have found to help her through a very difficult two year illness.I’m in Ohio so I don’t get to visit,but try to minister to her this way Her Daughter texts me often at how much it helps her Mom to receive them.
    I recently purchased your new release of The Brides of Webster Count and yoour Quilting books and look forward to reading them.I have read all of your others except Lydia’s Charm.I would love to win a copThank you for your wonderful books that you write.
    Blessings,
    Donna

  41. Barbara Stevens says:

    In reading Wanda’s books I feel that I have been a visitor to several communities. I
    have smelled the foods as they are being prepared, enjoyed the gorgeous flowers
    in bloom, and sat with the folks at the Sunday worship services. My own faith
    was truly tested this past May of 2013 when one of my daughters passed away
    very suddenly and unexpectedly. She was only 48 years old, This was quite a
    test of faith, and I had, and still have, horrible meltdowns. I have asked God
    why so many times, and then I realize He had a purpose. I stop and remember
    the Amish stories and how they have coped….and then I go on. Thank you
    for the stories you have written, Wanda. I know that God has given you an
    awesome ability to write, and the faith has therefore sustained me.

  42. Hello Wanda! Whoa! After reading all of the other comments I feel like an under-achiever here. I believe I have yet to discover my talents. Although I have searched and searched they still seem to elude me. Some day I will find them and I hope the list is long and rewarding. In the meantime I will wait patiently, pray faithfuly and accept those talents that may come my way. Thanks, Lisa

    P. S. If anyone knows of an Amish lady who would enjoy a penpal. I am looking for someone to write to. Once again, thank you.

  43. Mary Roelke says:

    I in retirement am a school crossing guard. Love the interaction with the students,parents, & staff. I get the students a treat for Halloween,Christmas,Valentine’s Day,Easter, & last day of school. I am also in charge of funeral dinners at the church I attend. At Christmas I make goody trays for family & friends. Really enjoy the gift of giving.

  44. Susan Departhy says:

    I enjoy crocheting blankets for hospice patients. It gives the patient comfort and the family something to keep. I also enjoy working with a animal rescue group called A Time 4 Paws. I enjoy seeing the rewards from my simple donations of time and a little effort.
    Thank you for the wonderful books you have written. I feel like I know all the families personally.
    Lord Bless you,
    Susan

  45. Susan M. says:

    I guess that my talent is my empathy for others. I ‘m good at meeting people and somehow remind them that they are not the “only” one. I don’t do this on purpose and didn’t know it until I got several “thank you.” It was one of the nicest surprises of my life.

  46. peggy c. says:

    Hi Wanda- I enjoy send ing people cards and making them happy. I also feel that I can work with kids that are taken from their homes and placed in foster care. I volunteered for 7 years and got several rewards but it wasn’t at all the rewards or being volunteer of the state of Calif. it was the children they looked forward to me coming and I would take them out to eat every time or I would bring them something special and I did that as I was an abused foster child well I remember that a social worker brought all of the foster kids a christmas stocking she was 1 of the kids social worker but we all got one 45 years later I still have it. That also got me into collecting stockings they are a meaning of love to me. I also crochet dish rags,hot pads and pot holders that I send people as presents if I know one is sick or just things aren’t going well I send a small package of them. Just to notte 1 of the kids that I had we are still writing each other and even though it seems that since she moved out of her house she calls alot less and now married but she is doing what I was she is a teacher so I know she is helping other kids doing what she and I did so much together when she was very young.

  47. I’ve been knitting, which I practice everyday. I’ve made prayer shawls which will wrap a person with love and blessings.

  48. shelly itkin says:

    I don’t have the free time I used to but when I can I volunteer at an assisted living facility for seniors and encourage them to read. Your books are a huge hit and whenever I purchase one I donate it to them so they too can enjoy your writings
    I sometimes wish I were Amish as life was so much simpler and people go out of their way to help each other in the community wish I had that.

  49. Susan Fletcher says:

    I enjoy working with children, so I have been teaching for the past 30 years. I also spend time with my elderly parents and try to help them out as much as I can.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

  50. Elizabeth Sheehy says:

    I am a singer, and I used to sing in church. Please pray for me that I can go back to music ministry. My mother is mentally ill, and was psycologically abusive to me as I was growing up, and I have PTSD as a result. Things happened at church that “set off” my symptoms, and I’m having trouble getting back to church choir and cantoring as a result. Because my parents don’t love me, sometimes I have trouble remembering that God does! Thank you. You are in my prayers as well.

  51. Gailann Newton says:

    Hi Wanda,
    I love to cook and bake. When a member of my church has been ill with extended illness, I will help put together meals for the person and their family. I also enjoy cooking and baking for my family and extended family. My husband and I were foster parents for nearly 20 years. We are still in touch with many of the children who came to live with us for their port in the storm. Our own daughter is now married and expecting her first child. She went to school to become a social worker so that she too can help kids in need. She and her husband would like to build their family first and then become foster parents. Her passion is also cooking and baking.

  52. i use my gift with my job – listening.with compassion i work at a hospital so listening to people is a very important aspect of my job. i not only listen with my ears but with my heart as well. someone may be yelling at me, but my heart tells me they are telling me about their fears. so i address their fear not their anger.

  53. Beverly Turner says:

    I truly believe that God does bless everyone to do something but if the person listens is another thing. I on the other hand did listen and he has blessed me with a wonderful talent; he has blessed me with the ability to work with special needs children and that is why to this day I am forever thankful for the ability to be the best Special education teacher that there is my students are a wonderful blessing and I look forward to each day that I get to spend with them.

  54. Barbara Bassett says:

    Wanda I enjoyed your words on the talents God has given you. I was blessed with a talent to play piano. Since I was a teen I’ve played in church. I would practice every day for a couple of hours. My Dad played any kind of instrument with strings. He would come home and play with me and we both enjoyed it so much. I also loved to sing gospel music. My husband is a minister, I play the piano at our church and we also sing in our church and at other places too. When I play or sing I just get caught up in the moment and soar to Heaven!

    We moved to NY for 20 years where I did not play the piano very often and I missed it. I didn’t own a piano at the time. I worked and learned the keyboard of a computer and was able to keep my skills up because to me they were one and the same. Not only do I play and sing, I also create the church bulletin, which I love to do too. They have become my passion over the years. And now, my youngest son plays the keyboard and guitar along with me in church. God has blessed our family with many talents to share with others.

  55. Arlene Weston says:

    I so enjoy your books so I am very glad that you ‘use’ that God given talent. And being a ventriloquist is not something just anyone can do. And it is so entertaining and can so be used for teaching about God.

  56. Dawn Kleinsasser says:

    I have to say that your books always have me thinking while I read them. Now reading your journal, I am thinking about your question… What is my talent… I feel God has blessed me with the talent of being able to listen to others and being able to help when and where needed. I grew up with an “open door”. Our friends came and went as they wanted and our mom was always okay with it. When I moved out, I continued to have an “open door”. For over 20 years, it has been that way. Many people have lived on my couch, in the spare room, in the shop office, etc. We have also hosted 7 exchange students from 5 countries. Many of the students we hosted, did not attend church. One of our rules was they had to attend church with us each Sunday. My heart is full of love for each of them. A couple of them have even turned their lives over to God!
    I want to thank you for each book that you write. When I am having a difficult day, I turn to books for a reminder.

  57. Linda L. Rabe says:

    I sing for my Lord mostly in group settings. I minister in my church. I also have a card ministry

    where I use for encouraging others. I post uplifting and inspirational items on Facebook. I have

    researched and compiled my genealogy on my father’s side. I am so thankful for the computer

    which has helped immensely. This was and is quite a job to keep on top of the additions, deaths,

    marriages, divorces, etc. My mother and father had 14 children. Everyone has a fairly large

    family. My father had 4 siblings which had large families. It seems I am the organizer for family

    get together, potluck, etc. I enjoy helping people whatever their need happens to be.

    I tried to listen to your ventriloquist presentation, but it is so skippy, it is hard to understand.

    Thank you for all your work in writing enjoyable Christian books.

  58. Dorothy Mullikin says:

    My talent is improvising hymns. Since I was in grade school, I could hear in my mind the way I could embellish the notes to speak to the listener, to encourage or to praise the Lord, or lead them in a closer walk. All of this requires many hours of practice but it is my gift to God. I play each week for two different churches.

    I also do behind-the-scenes work for a Christian pre-school; it is cutting or pasting or sometimes coloring. So not every talent is obvious! Its just helping in some small way our fellow Christians.

  59. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    I do some crocheting, making gifts for friends and family. I have also crocheted over 80 premie caps for newborns at my local hospital.

  60. It sounds like you are very talented. I used to dance before my back and neck surgeries. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get back into it. I do though have a web site that I’ve kept up since 1998 to help new dancers in my state to find places to dance and to find places to take lessonss, etc…It’s all about partner dancing, ballroom, latin, swing, etc. I enjoy it.

  61. Patricia Cochran says:

    I was blessed with a fairly good singing voice and I use it each Sunday
    at Mass to guide our congregation at worship. I was also blessed with
    the ability to present the Word of God to our parishioners and aid in
    their understanding of the Word. I am truly thankful for my Ministries!

    Pat C.

  62. Mary M. says:

    Although I have worked in the church for many years in various offices I will only list one talent. I have been a church pianist/organist for over fifty years. My service is freely given and I provide my own musis and materials.

  63. Ola Osborne says:

    I have been given the gift of bringing a smile to another’s face. I make eye contact and smile , really smile, at them. At times it takes them by surprise. I try to smile at the busy cashier, the waitress being hassled by another customer, the worried mother sitting next to me in the doctor’s office.

  64. I’m a good person with a good heart. I will give someone the shirt off my back and I give to charities and to people. I don’t have much but I am more fortunate than others and try to see life in a positive light.

  65. A friend that I use to work with recommended your books. It has been a Blessing for me. I love each book that I read and continue to read what ever I can about the Amish. I have been Blessed with a wonderful Husband and a great Son. I am in remission with Cancer. I try to help others and say the right things to help others get through the rough times. I know that God has given me the opportunity to share my experiences with others and assist where I am needed. I am now helping a Senior that has alzheimers. What ever I can do to make his day better I do. Thank you for your books and words that keep me going.

  66. Wanda, I have read most of your books. I love your writings about the Amish. I love the simple life they live and find myself going back in time as I read. It’s so relaxing. Thanks for sharing your talent with us. Shirley

  67. Debbie G. says:

    Hi Wanda, Thanks for sharing your many gifts and talents with those of us who admire you so much. I’m a huge fan of yours and your books have taken me on many a journey to Amish country!

    I guess I’ve never thought I had any special gifts or talents. I am disabled and now completely housebound…my muscle disease has progressed to a point that I’m no longer able to get out into my community anymore. I have never really thought I had any true gifts or talents but in discussing this with my mother she pointed out some things that I wasn’t aware of. She feels that the Lord has placed me exactly where I’m needed the most.

    My kids are both young adults who live on their own here in town, so I’m now living alone (except I do have a cat!). I actually had 3 children but I lost a daughter to cancer when she was 17 yrs old.

    I live in a 72 unit low-income apt complex and we have all different age groups that live here…single moms with young children, elderly, disabled, and also some two parent households with children. I enjoy sitting on the back porch in my wheelchair when the weather is decent enough. I enjoy visiting with various people as they come and go. I have found though that alot of them will usually want to talk if they see me.
    Sometimes it’s young moms who need advice in regards to their children or just a kind shoulder to cry on when they feel overwhelmed. The little kids here are fascinated with my electric wheelchair, especially the little beep sounds the “horn” makes. The kids love to crawl up on my lap, help to use the joystick and go for what they call “beep” rides. Lol Well now that has become a reward some of the moms use for their little ones, if they behave, take their nap etc. Lol :) Sometimes it’s folks who are struggling with depression, or an elderly person who is just lonely and they just want to talk to someone.
    The hardest ones though are some of the children here who don’t have a good home life, I’ve even found a child hiding on my porch because they were frightened to go home because mom, dad etc. takes their anger out on them. I’ve made many a call to CPS and then all I can do is pray and turn it over to the Lord. I just hope that when these little ones get older they will remember that someone did treat them with kindness and that they were made to feel that they were valued and given unconditional love by the “beep” lady.
    My mom has been told by others here how much I’ve helped them, that I’ve encouraged them when they were down or that I inspired them to reach for the stars and to go after their dreams. That I’ve never been judgmental so they feel comfortable discussing things with me that they may not feel comfortable discussing with someone else.

    I truly never was aware that I was making a difference, I was just being me. I feel bad now because there were times I just wanted to be left reading my book, maybe it was a day that I was having alot of pain or I just didn’t feel good but I kind of resented the intrusion and I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t let my irritation show but it still was there inside me. Now that I’m aware of all of this, when I see someone approaching I will close the cover on my Kindle and I will make the time to just be a good listener.
    I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that God works through us without us always being aware. I didn’t feel like I was a “participator” in life anymore, I thought I was just an “observer”…turns out I was wrong! It truly doesn’t take much at all to make a real difference in someones life.

    Sorry for such a long post, I didn’t intend for it to be this long.

  68. I agree with you, Mrs. Brunstetter, that if you don’t use it you lose it! Not only your talent but also, if you don’t keep using your physical strength, like walking or using your muscles, your legs will grow weak and your muscles will atrophy. Or if you don’t continue to read God’s Word and/or go over the verses you memorized they will soon be lost to you. It’s amazing how quickly these things can happen too. I believe that is why God tells us to live each day wholeheartedly and to bring glory to Him because today is all we have. Thanks for your journal entry, it was very thought provoking. :-)

  69. I believe I’m good at praying for others I also like to feed the hungry.
    I volunteer at my local cold weather shelter.
    I don’t care for bullies so I cheer on the underdogs and do what I can to help.

  70. I love your books. Love to read & your books are a pleasant read and a much need brake from the
    books I normally read. Everyone goes through good & bad times in life but there is nothing racy & no violence in your books. Keep writing!!

  71. GladysMP says:

    It may seem like a strange thing to call a talent, but I love working in the yard and I have so many people tell me how much they enjoy my flower beds. So many of my neighbors work and don’t have the spare time to do yard work, but it is obvious that they appreciate my efforts. I have even had mothers to bring their children and ask if it is okay to take the children’s pictures with my flower beds in the background. Of course, I let them. I take bouquets from my yard to friends who are ill.

    I come by my love of gardening naturally. My grandmother and mother both had flower gardens and often shared blossoms with those visiting cemeteries so they would have bouquets to put on their loved ones graves.

  72. My one talent I claim t being creative. As a child, I could put simple objects together and make something unusual- I once made a necklace out of acorn shells for my mother who thought it was beautiful (at least for a 6 year old it was).
    I used my talents to teach others to draw and paint for many years. I love to paint but always want to keep my work, and over time they piled up. I had to limit them and then start giving them away.
    I guess God wanted me to share my work with others.
    I enjoyed your video and it is a wonderful name for your friend Randy.

  73. Amber Kuehn says:

    What gift? Once we did a bible study on Fruits of the Spirit and talked about our individual talents and gifts. I guess my is the heart of a servant. I love volunteer work and tend to take on tasks that no one else wants to do. I love working with people and working in social services fields, although it seems that for now the Lord wants me working with children-I have been the paid Nursery Supervisor at our church for 10 years or so, and for the past 9 years I have subbed for a local parochial preschool/day care. I love to crochet and make chemo hats and prayer shawls as well as scarves, lap robes, afgans, and pockets for wheel chairs for different ministrys and for our LWML District convention mission fairs.

  74. Rachel Anna says:

    As the mother of a toddler, I have let some of my talents, like writing and piano/harp playing, fall by the wayside. I do want to make time to practice these talents again so I can share them with my daughter and so I don’t lose them forever! One thing that I do well and am able to use in my daily life is baking. I love to bake all kinds of goodies and share them with others to brighten their day and give them a special treat!

  75. Mary DeBrunner says:

    Can hardly wait for the newest book. My talent since retiring from teaching has been focused on quilting for various charities, including the nursing home where my husband was a multiple sclerosis patient for many years. Also quilt for Project Linus and Kids Komforts. Better to give than to receive in this case..

  76. Marilyn Ridgway says:

    I believe my gift from God is to be an encourager to others who are struggling in life. I send notes, cards, personal messages via FB or e-mail, and phone calls to encourage individuals. I don’t have a talent like writing or singing but I’m thankful I can encourage others during difficult times and most of all pray for them. Also, another gift would be to provide food or other items to others facing a trauma or harship. God has been good to me and I want to share what I have with others who are less fortunate or struggling as we’ve all can use a wood of encouragement. Jesus instructed us to do unto others as He did without being recognized because our Heavenly Father sees everything we do and will bless us when we have blessed others without expecting a pay back. Also, I’ve been blessed to assist others with sewing and making fleece throws at times. Thank you for your inspiring newsletter and blogs to help us all to live more like God wants us to. I have learned simplicity is the best and there is great contentment in following God’s leading in every area of life. Blessings as you continue to write proclaiming God’s love, mercy, peace and forgiveness.

  77. Shay Damato says:

    I learned to sew and quilt and a VERY young age. My grandmother mended clothes on an old treadle sewing machine and when varicose veins prevented her from operating the treadle, I would sit on the floor (I was only 5) and move the treadle “faster honey… now go very slow” for her. The peace and tranquility of those times caused me to want to learn to sew and I made my first garment at age 7!! Now I am teaching my 7 year old granddaughter to sew and she is as enthused as I was in seeing the completed items and in your time together!!

    Recently, a Christian School teacher from Hawaii passed away. She had many loving students who had passed through her classroom several years before and were going to be giving birth to their firstborns. She would have made them something special. So when asked what I could fashion from the muumuus she always wore, I was happy to match them with baby prints and made 8 gorgeous and memorable baby quilts to be passed on. Now I am making more for those less fortunate to bring home their darlings.

  78. Shay Damato says:

    I learned to sew and quilt at a VERY young age. My grandmother mended clothes on an old treadle sewing machine and when varicose veins prevented her from operating the treadle, I would sit on the floor (I was only 5) and move the treadle “faster honey… now go very slow” for her. The peace and tranquility of those times caused me to want to learn to sew and I made my first garment at age 7!! Now I am teaching my 7 year old granddaughter to sew and she is as enthused as I was in seeing the completed items and in your time together!!

    Recently, a Christian School teacher from Hawaii passed away. She had many loving students who had passed through her classroom several years before and were going to be giving birth to their firstborns. She would have made them something special. So when asked what I could fashion from the muumuus she always wore, I was happy to match them with baby prints and made 8 gorgeous and memorable baby quilts to be passed on. Now I am making more for those less fortunate to bring home their darlings.

  79. I have always been good in math. I am now helping my husband in his tax practice. I also volunteer at various places.

  80. I have always been good with animals. I’m just able to connect with them a lot easy than people. It just too bad that my parents will never understand why I chose this professional as a veterinarian but the only thing I know is that it is my calling from God since I was little.

  81. Mary Preston says:

    My Mother taught me to knit when I was a child. I now use this gift to make much needed garments for the premmie babies up at the hospital. It brings me so much joy that I can help in some small way at this very stressful time for the families.

  82. Joan Serfass says:

    I help others how ever I can. I enjoy reading famish books and I like to loom knit. Congratulations on reaching the selling of seven million books.

  83. Cassandra D says:

    I have been blessed with the ability to give to others.

  84. Betsy Patton says:

    Thank you for the reminder and for the challenge. If you call it a talent I enjoy helping others when I see a need and lending an ear or shoulder when needed. I’m also artistic but rusty. Your post challenges me to get out the WD40 so to speak. Knowing that all good things are from God I shouldn’t be wasting what he blessed me with. You seem to have many loving, caring busy readers that are blessing many lives. They are drawn by your moving, honest heartfelt characters and your loving, Godly way of expressing your stories. May you continue to write for many years to come.

  85. Roseann Cicalo-Powell says:

    I never thought i had any talents .Then I walked into a church and after 3 weeks they asked if id help with coffee hour it meant leaving home earlier and setting it up through that i met some elderly woman who were lonely they always showed up early so i asked them to help .well our coffee hour turns out many coffee cakes pies cakes and lots of coffee God is good they are 88 and 90 we now have a sewing club and a woman’s aide God is Good as a widow for 20.5 years I’m57 years old. Kids are gone and Married . Anella and Joanne are my friends and my talent is we sew for baby’s at the Hospital that have nothing we knit for the local school kids hats gloves and scarves we start in june as we do all 3 schools for Christmas I have fantastic friends thanks Wanda for the encouragement.God bless You and Richard and Your family..Roseann

  86. Many years ago when I was pregnant with my first son I wanted to learn to knit. My mom being left handed said she couldn’t teach me, instead she bought me a kit and I taught myself. I knit everything from Barbie clothes to baby sweaters, booties, etc, to adult sweaters. Knitting became boring so I taught myself to crochet by borrowing a hook from Mom and using the single page of instructions in a McCalls Needlework magazine.. The first thing I was asked to make was a hat for a ceramic doll that my aunt was making for her daughter. I had no pattern and no doll to fit a pattern to, so I used a tennis ball and the hat fit the finished doll perfectly. During the past 15 years or so I have been crocheting, first hats for children in Central Texas who had very little in their young lives. I crocheted lap robes for an agency who donated them to nursing homes in PA, where I lived at the time, and afghans for that same agency which they auctioned the first Saturday of December and used all the money from the auction to provide groceries and Christmas gifts for needy families. In recent years I have been crocheting hats, scarves, lap robes and afghans for the Disabled Veterans in Dallas. All of this has helped me probably as much as it has helped the people who have received my crocheted items. I love doing it and it is my way of saying Thank You, especially to the Veterans.

    I love reading your stories, Wanda. No matter what the story is I feel like I am right there with your cast of characters, sitting down with them for supper, working in the fields or barn or doing washing, even playing tag or volleyball.

    I had the honor of meeting you and your husband in Canton Ohio and will forever remember the few word we exchanged. God Bless you and your talent for telling these wonderful stories.

  87. bj maxwell says:

    Dear Wanda, One gift people at first find hard to believe is my ability with young children which also follows with young women. I have been blessed to work with and care for many difficult and needy children and young women.

    I finally decided people just didn’t see the value of getting on eye level and making eye contact with infants and young children as I have always done. I don’t talk baby talk but engage the person with genuine interest and caring. It is a skill that has enriched my own life.

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