Writing because I cannot sleep and I am sort of tired of writing for school... So, welcome, once again, to the corners of Michayla's mind.
Many of you know the Michayla obsession with animal facts;
-Did you know that a Beluga whale is known as the canary of the sea and can make over 50 different vocalizations.
-Beluga whales are part of the cetacean family (that includes, whales, dolphins, and porpoises). In that family the Beluga holds unique traits others in their family do not possess... They can swim backwards, they can turn their heads from side to side (like you and I, cause their neck vertebrae are not fused), they also do not have a dorsal fin on top like many of their relatives, instead they have a dorsal ridge (helps bump through the ice, plus helps from getting tooooo cold in those arctic temperatures).
-Okay, what about the manatee... They have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives, called marching molars...
-Sharks have dermal denticle aka skin teeth (shin is basically a lot a small teeth, feels like sand paper).
-Sting rays are cool... Their skin is "slimy" but really it is a protective layer of mucous... Yum!
I could GO ALL DAY! BUT, I won't...
In the scriptures there is talk in the bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, about spiritual gifts and how we all have them, and how we can gain them as we go through this life. In Corinthians it even tells us we can covet them, we aren't supposed to covet anything, but here is a great disciple of the Lord telling us to covet these gifts. I have met many fantastic individuals over the years and seen many gifts.
What do these random animal facts and spiritual gifts have to do with each other? Well, the facts I shared are adaptations, they are traits that these animals have developed to live in their diverse climates. We all have adaptations as well, they are spiritual gifts! There are ones we have been born with, but also ones we develop to deal through our different missions and "climates."
Recently I have been thinking a lot about my own "spiritual adaptations." I have been thinking on the ones I have and the ones I want to "covet earnestly." It is a good "check yo self moment." Sometimes their are gifts I don't even realize until I take these inventories. In one of my recent inventories I have been reminded of a special spirit that has helped me find one of the hidden gifts that I am now MOST proud of... Story time...
Seven years ago, I was driving through downtown Davenport, Florida on my way to a church activity with a good friend I had just picked up. As we drove though downtown we saw this silly, and very shiny pit-bull running though the streets with a big rope around his neck, no collar, just a rope. He was darting in and out of traffic so I pulled off and coaxed this silly mutt over. He was timid but seemed decently friendly. I held him on side and called animal control. They told me to tie him to a tree and they might come by in the morning... Um, I think not...
I took this poor, skinny, flea ridden, pup home and put him in the backyard.. He very quickly won over the hearts of all in the home. He quickly earned the very fitting name Ferdinand because of his clumsy ways but obvious capacity to love. After some research on the rules for pit-bull breeds in that area I realized if he wanted to be saved, I needed to keep him. After a bath and vet visits he wormed his way right into the hearts of all in the home. Only problem was his unpredictable behavior. He was labeled by many as a "vicious" dog and obviously neglected by past owners, which labeled him as "untrainable."
Fast forward to today a sad day of goodbyes to this gentil and sweet spirit. I look back at these past seven years with much joy and some challenge. Ask my poor family who took him during my years away serving the Lord... He gave them quite a run, good thing Egberts are the most loving people I know haha... Their were rough moments but in the end a best friend. I write this for my pup Ferdinand and we snuggle together in his last night of this mortal life. I am reminded of the memories, the first meetings with new friends. I think of the times trying to walk this very head strong pup through the streets of Celebration. I think back on the fishing trips of a girl, her truck, and her pup. I think of the road trips across the county and the safety he provided in the sketchy hotel rooms. I think of the times I help him and cried because of the loneliness I felt.I think of the times he licked my face and snuggled into my broken heart after a bad date or a hard breakup. He knows it all... I think of the way this pup fulfilled his purpose so fully. I love my boy!
I also think of myself and the gifts he helped me see. He helped me see my ability to love what others thought broken, not just in dogs but in all species. He helped me learn that I am actually pretty patient as I chased him though the streets of our Florida neighborhood and we worked to train this silly pup. Most of all he showed me my favorite gift of all... My capacity to love... I think part of our gifts is owning up to them and their greatness. My greatest gift is my capacity to love and see and love the "broken ones." This includes myself. There was a time I felt that I was the most broken but through this pup, the Lord, and the people he put in my path I have learned to even use this gift on myself. I realize I am not yet perfect, and I have a long way to go, but I am overflowing with gratitude this hard night for this pup and the way he has helped me learn and grow. I am even more grateful to my Heavenly Father who has given me this gift and so many others. I am grateful he gives me a small stewardship over just a few of His creations. I hope I never let him down as I pray to adapt more to my mission and expand my capacity to love and see others the way my Heavenly Father sees them...
Thanks for joining me all this hard night! I love you all and hope you will take on the journey of recognizing and magnifying your "spiritual adaptations." I know we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and has given each of us gifts to help us make it home!