Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hidden Talents

I loved snow days as a kid. Mom got out varieties of beans and noodles and rice and showed us how to make collages by gluing the mixed shapes to construction paper. We'd make play dough and mold to our heart's content. We'd fold paper into layers then cut out paper dolls. And of course, we'd go outside to sled down terraced fields and make snow men, coming back in for real hot chocolate with whipped cream on top.

My mom knew how to transform what could have been a dreary, boring day into wonderful memories, overlooking the gluey mess on the kitchen table or play dough smashed into the carpet or dirty floors from melted snow. In the process she instilled a sense of value in us.

“I would define ‘hidden art’ as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life. Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being – a talent which could be expressed and developed.”

By Edith Schaeffer
The Hidden Art of Homemaking

My mom would not consider herself talented, yet her expertise in knowing how to make young people feel esteemed hides in the satisfied faces of her children and now her grandchildren.

Every week she was physically able, my grandmother baked cinnamon rolls, kolaches and rollicks. For the last nine years of her life, she did it while leaning against a counter on one leg because of an amputation. She would think it no big deal, just something she did to pass the time, but her special treats are pretty hard to duplicate. Even a short visit to Grandma's included her delicacies, giving her visitors a reason to linger, to sit a while and catch their breath from a busy day.

Grandma never thought herself anything special, but the warmth of her steady presence in the form of baked goods gave her family an anchor, no small feat in our transient society.

My father-in-law can fix about anything and does so without making any fuss over it, sometimes without even telling you he did it. Providing the knowledge and labor on countless projects saved his family thousands and thousands of dollars.

He'd be quick to point out how it isn't perfect, how he's not a professional, but his aptitude and willingness to give of himself teaches his family the value of a servant's heart. His knack for modeling quiet strength and perseverance brings respect.

My mother, my grandmother, my father-in-law--each offer themselves sacrificially, without recognition, for the benefit of someone else. Their names may not appear in history books, but their legacy of love trickles through generations. They may not be known by millions, but their hidden talents are certainly not overlooked by God.

They remind me the importance of blooming where I am planted, of making my unique mark in my own little world. God has equipped each of us. No talent is too small to be used by Him.

Visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures for more thoughts on this quote.


MiPa said...

Great post! I love reading examples of how the simple can be ministry to someone else.

Karen said...

Love it! Your phrase about how there is no talent too small to be used by God. Too often we downplay our talents when in their own ways they are a great thing. I marvel over mom's talent to make one can of tuna feed 7 people when we were growing up. :) She had other talents too!