I have a set of hand embroidered tea towels. They each have a bonnet gal – one for per day of the week. They are lovely and took quite a bit of time and love to make. I am blessed by them. But I didn’t always see them the way I do now…
I was 23 years young when I married my husband (we are both the oldest children in our families- as well as the oldest grandchild on one side of each family). I received a gift of tea towels from my husband’s grandmother. Immediately I was sentimentally attached. I put the tea towels at the bottom of our kitchen drawer & they seldom saw the light of day.
One day, a friend who was staying with us, pulled out a towel (one of my beloved, hand embroidered tea towels) to clean up a spilled glass of wine. Red wine. Inside of me sirens were going off and I was screaming “What are you doing using that towel… There are plenty of other towel choices”. I was miffed. I was ticked. I was downright mad. Later that evening I vented about this abominable situation to my husband. He really didn’t see the problem; his response was “if it bothers you that much, say something to her.” Obviously not the reaction I had planned from him.
‘Fine,’ I think to myself. I will say something. The courage to find the right time and the right words seemed elusive for a several days. Finally, I blurted something out that sounded a little like this “The towel you used to clean up the wine—I would rather you use a different one next time. Dan’s grandma made those”. Looking back at it, I’m guessing I sounded a little crazy. She apologized. It wasn’t that she had actually done any harm; it was that I didn’t explain to her why I was hurt. On a deeper level, it was that I was really the one in the wrong.
We are blessed by gifts our Maker gives us– whether it be our voices, our ability to calm a screaming child, our smile, the warmth of our presence in a friend’s life, our written words, our ability to create– whatever that gift, it was not given to sit at the bottom of a drawer in our life- seldom to see the light of day. Our gift was meant to be used, meant to be shared, meant to be a benefit to others and a return blessing to our Marker. When I look at my towels now, nearly ten years later, I see stains and a few little holes. I see a gift that is well used and frequently sees the light of day.
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
Thank you, Grandma Swan for the blessing of towels. Thank you, God for all the blessings you bestow on me. May I continue (or in some cases start) to use them well!