Have you ever heard the Sammy Kershaw song She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful? Might sound a little redneck, but I love some Sammy. Anyway, this song is all I can think of when pondering how to describe my precious friend Allison. She is completely unaware to the talent and graciousness she carries wherever she goes. Our friendship spans decades, so I can say first hand she has always been this way. Her heart is as humble as they come. Alison’s gifts of cooking and hospitality pour out of her with a casual ease you rarely see. She will always make you feel special and catered to when you are in her presence. This servant’s heart is so special and kind, I wish you all could go over to her house for dinner. Trust me, she would open her home and not bat an eyelash!
Here are a few things I picked up one when sharing this yummy lunch with my friend:
1. The people around us shape us and have such influence on the gifts and talents we have inside. Our bodies are like little blenders, we take little parts and pieces of family and friends and then swirl them up to express the gifts God placed in us in our own unique way. Its a beautiful picture of how no one person is gifted any more than the next, we all are gifted in different ways and can all learn from each other. Our gifts may overlap, but each one of us has something 100% unique to share.
2. Allison is like so many of us…she can’t imagine that anyone would be intimidated by her or envious of the gifts she carries. But I can promise you people are. She can’t imagine it because she doesn’t even see herself as set apart. That is how most God given gifts are. We are quick to point out our shortcomings and beat ourselves up over what we can’t do all the while never looking at all the amazing things God created us to do. God deserves more credit and praise than that!!! Look upward and inward to recognize who you were created to be. Then focus on expanding and growing what you’ve already got. It is also important to remember that uber talented people often don’t see themselves as anything special.
3. The thing I really love about Allison is that her family gets her best. She tirelessly works to serve her family, entertain them and keep everyone together. She doesn’t do for others what she won’t do for her own people. So often we give our best away to friends, church groups, organizations, even strangers. Not that we shouldn’t serve past the border of our family, but the people God entrusts us with are our primary misson. Allison is excellent at keeping this task in check.
4. I’m continually reminded that things don’t have to be as hard as they seem. Keeping things simple and planning ahead make for a successful outcome to any task your gift may involve. There is no need to overextend yourself or overcomplicate matters, do what you know and all will be blessed…including you. Allison says it best, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”
5. Start a legacy. We each hold a special trait or gift inside of us. We can use it to begin or continue a legacy in our home, among our family or anything else we are involved in. When we give freely of ourselves and serve others it starts traditions. We create things to be passed down through the generations and we help mold those around us the same way others molded us. But… you have to get out there and share yourself! So step out in faith with your gifts and bless others. Then stand back and watch the ripple effect that occurs from being a faithful servant.
Here are a few favorites and tips from Allison:
When having company prepare ahead. Make something that is ready to pull off the grill or out of the oven or frig when guests arrive. Make something that looks pretty all together on a platter. Use fresh fruits and vegetables. Aim for a colorful plate. Make something you have made before. It is less stressful and you know how it will turn out. Here is one of Allison’s favorite recipes to serve. It is Rolled Flank Steak from Martha Stewart. She serves it with roasted potatos and a roasted green veggie.
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