Friday, August 2, 2013

Gifts, Jane Eyre and Our Greatest Work

Sometimes blog posts just have to wait.

I stared at the list on the whiteboard hanging below our family calendar. The long list spanned everything from Anna-Kate's Story to Tried and True Recipes to How (not) to Do It All. Each of them were blog posts that I had been meaning to work on for it seemed forever. 

As I heard the cries from the boys' room, I knew it was not happening that day. There was still packing to do for our trip with children to be loved along the way. Glancing up at our packed family calendar, it was clear that it could be weeks before I could devote some time to the writing that was in my head.

There was a time when moments like that would frustrate me.

In those days somewhere in my head I felt like my life had been put on hold. (Note that sneaky word there: "my" life. Another blog post for another day.) My gifts seemed to be sitting on the shelf while I wiped noses, changed countless myriads of diapers and taught simple things like don't throw your food at your brother. 

There was a time when I had no sense of the eternal work I was accomplishing: that every nose wiped, diaper changed and correction given was the Lord using me to raise little people to know and love him and that my children, given to me by the Lord, were way more important than any gifts I thought I had.

But as Jane Eyre once said, “They will keep.”
"But you comprehend me?" he said. "It is a village school: your scholars will be only poor girls—cottagers' children—at the best, farmers' daughters. Knitting, sewing, reading, writing, ciphering, will be all you will have to teach. What will you do with your accomplishments? What, with the largest portion of your mind—sentiments—tastes?"
Jane Eyre’s reply…."Save them till they are wanted. They will keep."

Yes, they will keep.

I have come to realize that the Lord knows my gifts, my talents, my strengths- he gave them to me after all. No matter where you are in life, He knows yours as well. They are gifts the Lord has given us for HIS glory and he will not waste them. 

I believe one day after this season has passed we will go to dust them off and find they are still there. And, as the Lord prepared David in his shepherding days, the Lord has used these days to refine our gifts in secret. Gifts that will be seasoned with a mature heart of compassion, humility and selfless love learned in the many sleepless nights and long days of the little years. Gifts that will be ready to be used for the sake of others to the glory of the One who gave them. Just like he had planned all along.

He knows our gifts that might be hidden away for a time. We must have the same willing, humble heart, trusting the Lord that they will keep and he will use them in HIS way and in HIS time. 

These days I am content. He has given me my task for now. And it is a worthy one. One that has no short cuts or easy outs. One that I would suggests requires a greater diligence and attention than the greatest novel ever written.

Those gifts and goals I once prized now pale in comparison to the great investment of my life in the daily, though at times monotonous, labor of caring for my family and home. This has truly become my greatest work and most worthy goal, a godly home and legacy of faithfulness that is being built each day brick by brick mostly without even realizing and seen only with the eyes of faith.

So when you are tempted to believe something lesser about the task before you, join me in praying for that same willingness of heart found in Jane Eyre’s character and in the pages of scripture.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ who you serve." Colossians 3:23-24

One day maybe I will write that book. Or maybe I will just actually get to a couple of those blog post that I have been meaning to write. Who knows?

What I do know is that I want to be faithful in the most important gifts that he has give me of being a wife and mother to four precious gifts from him. Those are the gifts that I never want to put on the shelf for the sake of a lesser calling.

So, if I am silent for awhile occasionally, you can be sure my whiteboard is probably full, the family calendar even fuller, but my heart is the fullest as I love these years of building with eyes of faith the greatest work that the Lord could ever give me to do.


  1. Oh, Katie, what an encouraging post and true words! I have to remind myself of these things often, and sometimes it's easy to see the work I do now is greater, but I feel the loss of "other things." But you are right, they will keep. Beautiful. And bonus points for using Jane Eyre as a reference. :)

    1. Thank you, Lynn! I knew you would love the Jane Eyre quote. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites and her character is so amazing. I was struggling with all of this when I read that. Her humility and willingness were so encouraging....
      You are so talented, Lynn. I have no doubt that the Lord will not waste any of what he has given you for his glory.

    2. Thank you for those kind words. :) I look forward to reading your book one day.

  2. This was beautiful, Katie. Something so easy to lose sight of! You're going to be a tremendous Titus 2 woman.

    1. Thank you, Kelly! That is one of my greatest hopes!