Women who invest their gifts in the home don’t usually get much attention, so today I want to highlight two of them. They are not the only women I know whose gifts and talents are utilized for the good of their family. In fact, I am privileged to know many such women. These two happen to be the most recent examples I have observed.
The first is my friend Emma. A kindergarten teacher before she came home to raise her two children, Emma also studied art at college and is a gifted artist. The other day, her husband honored her at one of our small group meetings. He shared how grateful he is that Emma uses her many gifts in the home: “No one else sees how you plant flowers on the front porch or work hard to decorate our home” he said. “But I’m grateful for the way you quietly serve and use your gifts for the good of our family.” Makes one think of the Proverbs 31 woman whose husband praises her.
The other humble, hard-working homemaker is my sister, Kristin. Always better in math than me (not that that is saying much!) Kristin worked in accounting before she became a mom. It’s been neat for me to watch her use her skills, knowledge and general “intuition” for numbers to help her family secure a loan in order to move into their new house. She demonstrated such an aptitude for the numbers process that the mortgage broker said he’d rarely worked with someone so savvy. He even told her she could come work for him if she ever wanted a job! But Kristin already has the job she wants, caring for Brian and her boys.
Emma and Kristin, and countless other women I know (you know who you are!) are living proof of Dorothy Patterson’s insistence that:
“Homemaking—being a full-time wife and mother—is not a destructive drought of usefulness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary cell to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work; it is not a rope for binding one's productivity in the marketplace, but reins for guiding one's posterity in the home; it is not oppressive restraint of intellectual prowess for the community, but a release of wise instruction to your own household; it is not the bitter assignment of inferiority to your person, but the bright assurance of of the ingenuity of God's plan for the complementarity of the sexes, especially as worked out in God's plan for marriage; it is neither limitation of gifts available nor stinginess in distributing the benefits of those gifts, but rather the multiplication of a mother's legacy to the generations to come and the generous bestowal of all God meant a mother to give to those He entrusted to her care."