Just over seven years ago when Tenderhearted Boy was a baby, he would not sleep longer than thirty minutes at any given time for his first year of life. After about five months into this most exhausting year of my life I did what any irrational young mom would do, along with a friend, I signed up to take a cake decorating class.
Cake decorating was something I had always wanted to learn how to do, my Grandma decorated cakes and so did my Mom. It was a maternal tradition I wanted to continue. As a kid I remember how special it was when my Mom took the time to decorate a cake for my birthday. Even as a young adult, one year my mom decorated a Strawberry Shortcake cake and delivered it to where I worked, a complete surprise to me! My co-workers were pretty jealous, never mind I had turned twenty-one, I will never be too old or cool for cake!
But why on earth would I desire to learn a new skill in the midst of a year I was teetering on the verge of zombie motherhood?
It’s simple, I was drowning in motherhood and not in a good way. I loved my baby boy with all my heart, however I felt desperate to learn and produce one tangible thing that was a reflection of myself. For a few wonderful weeks I did learn how to use this creative skill along with my love of baking to make something beautiful. After class I would bring my cake home, show it off Dreaming Daughter who was only a toddler and thought everything sweet was amazing, then we would eat cake together.
This was a skill I used year after year to create my kids fun birthday cakes, some were hysterical disasters and some were gorgeous. Truth be told, I loved them all no matter what because each cake reflected an act of service and love towards my kids. Quickly I caught on to letting go of perfection when it came to these creations. Baking was something I enjoyed growing up and cake decorating got me focused on trying other new desserts and creations.
Lots of the food I made was less than praiseworthy, the important recipes I kept trying until I got the recipe perfect. I can bake a pretty impressive Chocolate Chip Cookie, my husband raves every time I make them. Of course, I know this is only so I make more cookies.
When we shared the baked good love with friends it was accepted with more than welcome arms because really, not everyone enjoys baking but most people love to eat baked goods.
This was one year before Pinterest was a thing.
Now I have noticed a shift in perspectives when it comes to sharing our talents with others. Am I right? Now when a woman shares incredible talent we dismiss it as a “Pinterest problem” and think of it as competition.
Are we sure that every woman with talents to share, is doing so solely based on the existence of Pinterest?
While I make cakes and cookies my friends and sisters have a whole slew of talents I was not created to posses.
One of my friends has an amazing garden, so much produce all Summer it is a part-time job to can and freeze it all. It has everything to do with growing up with a Dad who loved to put the soil to work to produce food. This lovely friend of my has a gift to cultivate that soil that I do not have. When she brings me the extra bounty I do not turn my nose up at her Pinterest hobby, I thank her for the farm fresh veggies!
For a few years our kids had major food allergies, that year I depended on the help of my friend who is extremely knowledgeable about eating healthy. Being a great baker did me little good the year we couldn’t eat dairy, egg or soy! She was a huge help to me sharing her talent for making fresh food taste incredible. This wasn’t some whim she caught from the last pin she saw, it was rooted in a deep desire to feed her family away from medicine.
I have a sister-in-law who can knit beautiful blankets, Little Brave is cuddled up with one of them right at this moment. Though I have tried knitting myself, it is a hobby I have neither the grace or patience for. When I had my rainbow baby in my bulging belly and was gifted that hand knit treasure, I did not scoff at a job I could not do but instead cried tears of deep gratitude.
Another sister-in-law of mine is a legit ballet dancer. I’m talking the real deal. Her artistic abilities and grace far exceed anything my short body was created to do. When Dreaming Daughter saw her perform, I marveled at the graceful way a seed of inspiration was planted in my daughter’s heart, a seed I could not plant without the gift of another.
Organization is my downfall but one of my long time friends is the queen in this category. When I am desperate to get an area of our home in tip-top shape, I know this is the friend I need. A gift set in place long since the internet was even a word.
As I chose some paint colors for my house this week, there is no question I will consult my younger sister. My sister is on color call from concept til completion. As we go through paint colors, get samples on the wall and figure out what decorative colors to put with everything, there are only a few I trust, she is one of them.
I could go on about every single woman God has put in my life, they all have amazing abilities! I’m sure you know some incredible women as well, do you receive the talents they offer with gladness?
Whether these gifts are brought to the table, stage, closet or home; should we continue to Pinterest shame each other?
Conversations I hear women have with each other now, when other women share these talents, are often rooted in bitterness. Continuing to say we are all creating because Pinterest has pressured all these women to have talent, we are forgetting about the One who is the talent giver. We shame others gifts and talents when we have not fully embraced our own, in turn we miss out on the blessing we all have to offer each other.
We should never allow the talents of others to pressure us into becoming an everything mom. However I see it getting to a point where women do not want to be seen as a competition or a Pinterest over achievers, so we bury our talents a little bit in an effort to avoid scrutiny.
Why God wants you to use your talents…
We are commanded to use our gifts to serve others.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
God has specially given us a unique gift to offer.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
Our talents are God’s good & perfect gift to us.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Our talents are opportunities to shine the light of Jesus & give the glory to God.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Sisters in Christ let’s stop seeing all the talents of others as threats to our identity, God made us fearfully & wonderfully. We each posses our own gifts we can offer each other, we don’t need to flaunt our abilities but we don’t need to blow out the candle of our God-given gifts either.
So I’ll keep baking my cakes.
You shine doing whatever God put on your heart to do.
Let’s cast the shame away, encouraging one another in our gift giving instead.