Monday, March 19, 2018

Misplaced Talents

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Misplaced Talents
By Patty Wysong


Kelly jumped at the knock on her front door, her seam ripper jabbing into an already sore finger.
“Kelly? You in there?” The voice of her sister Laurie came through the screen.
“Yes, I’m in here, although I’d rather be somewhere else!”
“Sheesh! You’re in a lovely mood today. Kids been monsters?” Laurie had let herself in and made her way to the dining room where Kelly was working.
“No, the kids have been fine. In fact I haven’t seen much of them since they’ve been outside playing all morning.” Kelly picked up the seam ripper again and went back to work.
“What on earth are you doing?” Laurie bent over and studied the heap of fabric on Kelly’s lap. “How many times have you taken out that seam?”
“You really don’t want to know.” Disgust was evident in Kelly’s voice.
“You’re right, I don’t want to know.” Laurie eyed her sister and the clutter of sewing scraps and thread on the table in front of her. “Ok, let’s try this one. What are you doing?”
Kelly dropped the fabric onto her lap and gave Laurie a look that could have fried bologna. “Mortaring brick? Chopping down trees? Computer programming? What do you think I’m doing?”
The biting sarcasm made her sister laugh. “Well, that’s a relief! I thought you might be sewing.”
Kelly picked up the wad of fabric and her seam ripper once again. “I’m making a baby-doll quilt for Melissa’s birthday present.”
Laurie bit her lip, realizing it wasn’t the time to laugh. “How long have you been working on it?”
Kelly glared at her again. “All morning.” The seam ripper attacked the crooked stitches, jerking them out one at a time. “I can do this. It just takes me awhile.” Her voice rang with determination.
“Do you have to make the baby-doll quilt?” That earned her another glare so she tried a different tactic. “Are you throwing a party for her?”
Kelly sighed. “I don’t have time to plan a party this year, although I wanted to do a birthday tea party.”
“That would be so cool—a tea party for a bunch of 8-year-olds. Were you going to have them dress up and serve tea cakes on china and everything?” Laurie smiled, seeing her sister weaken.
“That was the plan, but now I just don’t have time. This silly little quilt is going to take up all my spare time.” The wistfulness in her voice was getting stronger.
“Kelly, why are knocking yourself out doing something you’re not good at and don’t enjoy, when you could simply buy a dolly quilt from Mrs. Cunningham, who could use the little extra money, and use the time to plan a tea party and make the tea cakes and a beautiful birthday cake? You’re so good at planning parties and get-togethers and making the food that goes with them. Everyone, even Melissa, loves your parties.”
Kelly once again dropped her sewing to her lap. “I wanted to give Melissa something that would last and a tea party doesn’t last; it’s over in two or three hours.”
“The party may be over that quickly, but the memories will last longer than that quilt you’re killing yourself over. Even without all the pictures you take of the parties and then put in a scrapbook!” Laurie spoke gently, understanding her sister’s heart.
“So, you think I’m wasting my time?”
“I think you’re wasting your talent.”
Kelly snorted in a very unladylike fashion. “Planning parties is a talent?”
“Yes, planning parties is a talent, a talent that not everyone has. Remember that party I planned for you two years ago?”
Kelly laughed at the memory of the horribly organized party her sister had surprised her with. Laurie had even made a birthday cake for her and it had been the ugliest cake anyone had ever seen, even though it had been baked and decorated with great love. “I’m beginning to think my idea of making a dolly quilt is about like you decorating a birthday cake—a very bad idea.”
“You’re a smart cookie, you know that?” Laurie hugged her sister. “Don’t waste your talents; focus on what you’re good at! Plan that tea party, bake all those little goodies and a hum-dinger of a birthday cake, and buy her a dolly quilt. Take lots of pictures and scrapbook them so she’ll remember forever; long after she outgrows playing with dolls. Do what you’re good at, Kelly, and use that skill for God.”


The years that influenced me most were spent in Ecuador, as an MK. Although we only lived there for 6 years, my junior high and high school years, the tone of my life was set. I may be an American, but the real me is not. I’m a child of God and my citizenship is with Him.
My husband and I have 5 children, between the ages of 14 and 5, who we homeschool . Between school, a contracting business, church and karate we stay busy, but everything is done as a family. We live in the midst of the soybean fields of southern Illinois and grow palm trees in planters to remind us of our dream to move to a warmer climate where we can enjoy scuba diving more often.

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