Friday, August 30

On using your gifts

If you haven't yet seen the YouTube video of Sarah Horn's singing "For Good" on stage with Kristin Chenoweth, you're in for a treat.  Truly.  This is worth your time.  

Not surprisingly, many people who saw the performance assumed that Sarah was a plant rather than a Kristin Chenoweth fan who happened to be selected from the audience at the Hollywood Bowl.  In an interview for the The Hollywood Reporter, interviewer Seth Abramovitch asked Sarah: "What do you tell people who insist you were too good not to be a plant?"

Sarah, a 26-year-old voice teacher from Riverside, California, replied:  "One phrase: years of preparation for a moment of freedom.  That's something that just popped into my mind.  I've been studying music for years, studying how to sing, but I'm also very prepared with the Wicked music because that is my favorite musical of all time.  I was obsessed in high school.  I would sing the part of Glinda going through "For Good" and then jump back to the beginning of the song and sing Elphaba because I wanted to learn both [parts]."

An opportunity to sing with Krisitin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl is the stuff of dreams.  No doubt Sarah cherished that kind of dream, but she didn't just dream.  She got a degree in vocal performance from Belmont University.  She works as a vocal coach at California Baptist University and Riverside Youth Theatre.  She's not in the spotlight every day, but she uses her gift every day.

When an interviewer asked if she had musical aspirations beyond teaching, Sarah said, "I would love to perform more.  If I could still manage to teach that would be a blessing, but I know I was born to sing and I don't sing much teaching.  I know that I inspire people when I perform. . . Even in smaller settings--when I would sing at church or weddings--I have people come up to me every time and say that something about whatever I did touched them."

Did you catch that?  "I know that I inspire people when I perform."  That's the mark of a gift, isn't it?  And the amazing thing is that we're all gifted.  We've all been given gifts that, when we practice them, inspire people.

Maybe your gift is singing or dancing or playing an instrument.  Perhaps it's photography or painting.  Maybe it's writing or cooking or organizing things.  Whatever your gift might be, it's that thing that, when you exercise it, people are prompted to say that you've inspired them.

Will you ever have a chance to use your gift onstage in front of thousands of appreciative fans?  Perhaps not.  But one thing's sure for sure: if you don't practice using your gift in small ways, you won't be ready for the big performance if the opportunity comes.

So sing!  Dance!  Write!  Cook!  With an appreciative audience or just in humble service to the One who gave you the gift, use it!  The world can be a dark place.  We need to see you shine.

What is your gift?  How do you use it?


  1. I am always inspired by good music, especially heartfelt live performance. but you are right, any talent can be used to inspire. I think that is what makes the blogging community sui great, we are constantly sharing our talents and uplifting one another.

  2. wow..
    tears of joy for that young lady

  3. Hi, so powerful. Yes, even the smallest gift when used for His glory is powerful. Thanks for the encouragement today.
    Hugs, Noreen

  4. So. Good. From the video to your post. I needed to hear that, Richella.

  5. Wonderful post! I saw the clip of this performance on the news and it brought tears. My writing has always been very personal to me so sharing it so publically this past year has been a strange step but so blessed when I see someone encouraged or inspired. God bless you for your encouragement here.

  6. I saw this last week and LOVED it!

    My gift: Being a Nonny. It's my passion and I do it well. I don't do it perfect, but I strive to.

  7. Wow, wow, wow! That is an awesome video. You are so right about stepping out and using the gifts God has given us. I wish we could have a girl's night out and share our stories Richella. God opens doors when we are available. Blessings to you, Patti

  8. Oh. My. Word. Just watched this with my girls and I couldn't stop smiling and then…tears. When she went into the harmony part---whoa! So amazing the talents that are all around us yet inside us as well. Such an encouragement to share, share, share those talents! Thanks for posting!

  9. Wow! She was amazing! That was an inspiring post Richella...Thank you!


  10. I adored this video and this story. Just beautiful - thanks so much for featuring it and for challenging us with it, too. Beautiful.

  11. How beautiful, Richella! I actually have a degree in vocal performance and have used it often through the years. I love to sing but that door isn't always open on a regular basis. I do, however, have my blog where I have written to encourage other moms for many years. God is opening doors through the DIY but I know that the heart I share is still most important. If just one mom is encouraged (especially adoptive moms) then I know I used my gift for good. Thank YOU for using yours today.

  12. Great on! I saw this YouTube video the other day and was so proud of her for embracing the moment. So many would have crumbled even if they had been preparing all their lives. Good for her! And thanks for showing us all that we have that moment in us. Love you! Lisa~

  13. Amazing young lady! Thanks so much for sharing.


  14. wow and what a great post to go along with inspiring video!! Thanks

  15. So happy I found your blog and your boldness at inspiring a faith focused life! I am inspired. New blogger; new follower!-aimee

  16. When everyone uses their gift(s) the world is a better place ... a little more like heaven.



Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I read every one; they make my day. If you have a specific question, please be sure your email address is attached to your profile or leave your email address in the comment; I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Every blessing!