That’s What You’ve Got to Work With

When I was a kid, my dad was fond of saying, “That’s what you’ve got to work with.” I particularly remember him saying this when there was something I couldn’t afford with my allowance or when we got photos back and I didn’t like the way I looked. “That’s what you’ve got to work with,” he would say.

In that context, at a young age, knowing I was limited in what I had to work with was a negative. I really wanted the latest new toy, but I didn’t have enough money to buy it. I really wanted to look like Farrah Fawcett (just look at that gorgeous smile and ’80s hair!), but I knew I never would. What I had to work with just wasn’t enough.

But as I got older, I started to learn that whatever I had to work with was all I needed. God had given me many gifts, and everything I needed was already inside me, just waiting to be developed and used. What I had to work with was enough.

Over years, I have also realized that it’s not just knowing what you’ve got to work with, but also figuring out what you can do with it. How can you take the gifts you have been given and use them to serve others? What do you have to work with—right here, right now? That is what matters.

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