For so many years I wondered what my gifts were! Having grown up in church, the gifts that were "on display" the most were singing, playing instruments, preaching, and praying. If these weren't lanes that you could say you were incredibly talented, gifted, or dare I say "anointed" in, often you felt "less than".
That was me! I could sing well enough to be IN the choir, but not for a solo. I DEFINITELY had no desire to preach, and yes, I talked to God on my own, but the thought of doing that publicly was FRIGHTENING!
But this didn't mean I wasn't good at some things. I was good at school. REALLY good at school -- good enough that I would sometimes be able to help other students understand the material. I was pretty good at lifting my friends up when they felt down. I was pretty good at being organized (not in my bedroom, but like school stuff). I was pretty good at getting along with most people -- I had a knack for understanding where people were coming from and seeing the best in people. I was also really good at writing and loved reading.
As I grew older and began to REALLY connect with other women, I noticed a pattern. Lots of women were REALLY good at things other than singing, preaching, and praying. No shade to those with those gifts, but they were good in their careers, their studies, motherhood, encouragement, finances, crafts, creativity, writing, writing, sports, speaking, styling hair, doing nails, fashion, mentorship, and much more! Yet, these women either didn't recognize these gifts, didn't value their gifts, or didn't fully utilize their gifts. THAT made me sad and angry at the enemy!
In my 20s, during the "Rock the Vote" campaign when people were just starting to rock "I Voted" shirts and stickers. I thought it would be cool for folks to rep their gifts for Christ as "I [insert gift here] for Christ". No one was that excited and it was hard to find a model that allowed for such customization. I let it go, but it never left me. Yet, I kept seeing this pattern with women. The more spiritually mature I became, the more I realized that this was a trick of the enemy! If he could keep women from seeing, valuing, or using their gifts, then he keeps them from their Kingdom Purpose! THAT made me FURIOUS! So, I wanted to be part of the solution... but I FIRST had to see, value, and use my own gifts!
I had to realize that my love for school is a gift -- the gift of learning vast amounts of material and being able to use that for another gift -- teaching -- and being able to use another gift to do that -- speaking! I had to realize that my expertise in my field -- research, science, administration, healthcare, and leadership are all gifts! I had to realize that my ability to encourage and mentor are all gifts. My ability to analyze, synthesize, and integrate information -- all gifts! And much more! But I also had to realize that God gave all of these gifts to me for one reason and one reason only -- to build His Kingdom!
So now that I understood it, it fanned a flame that was sparked in me so many years ago in my 20s. Now, my passion is to get as many women as I can -- REAL women, with REAL gifts -- to recognize, value, use, and ROCK their gifts! And there you have it -- iGift Kingdom Apparel. It's not a T-Shirt business, but it's a calling to encourage women everywhere that their gifts MATTER... for Kingdom Building!