Not My Strong Suit

     I recently acquired 7 large picture frames from my mother.  Each one  holds old pictures of my children.  I thought it would be fun to display these pictures temporarily, but now I am trying to replace each one with updated pictures.
     I am having to use 8 x 10s with matting.  For the first one, a picture of my four girls, from Liz's high school graduation party, I stole matting from another one of her picture frames, but I had to cut it down to fit.  Apparently, these frames are a rather odd size.
    Next, I asked my daughter-in-law, Danielle, for a picture I saw of their family on facebook.  I finally got around to buying a mat.  While they were here the other night, I removed the picture and cut down the mat.  But the glass needed to be cleaned, and I was unable to find a glass cleaner.               Because we are presently remodeling our bathroom, our back bedroom/office is being used to store our towels and all of the other things that would normally be in the vanity or on shelves.  Apparently, I took the glass back there because I was looking for glass clearner (which I never found).  But then, I left the bedroom without the glass.  Now I couldn't find it!  After checking and rechecking the kitchen, dining room, and living room several times, I gave up.  It was somewhere, right?  It would appear.
     Yesterday, while Becky (my daughter) and I were talking, I went into my back bedroom and proceeded to sit down in my office chair.  Crack!  I had found my glass.  How frustrating!  The thing is, this is not an unusual occurence.  My husband thinks I have ADD.  He may be right.  In any case, not only is it frustrating.  It's demoralizing!
     I have a lot of problems with hands on tasks.  One time, our church was making lap quilts.  I volunteered to piece patches together.  But the longer I worked at it, the more lopsided it bacame.  I finally had no choice but to return the materials and admit that I was unable to do it.  That was embarassing!
     Another time, our little homeschool group was going to laminate the books we had purchased for our library.  I was leading.  My idea was that we would talk while we worked on the books, but try as I might, I was unable to do it; laminate the books, that is, not talk.  I was glad I was able to do something.
     One hands on thing I can do, is cook.  In fact, I have a reputation at my church for being a good cook.  But if you ask Andrew or Rebekah (my youngest son and youngest daughter) they will tell you I can't do that, either.  Both have come into my kitchen to tell me how I should be doing things and what I am doing incorrectly.
      I've been the primary driver's ed teacher for my kids, since I spend more time with them then my husband.  But I'm a lousy driver.  At least that's what my kids say.
      In all honesty, my kids have had to help me with many things.  I have never lived alone and have no idea how I would.  I am very dependent.  I say all of this to illustrate my incompetence.
     Now, I want to tell you the story of a friend.  Her name is Rose Piper.  She used to live in our town.  A number of years ago, she moved to Virginia.  One time, on our way to North Carolina to see my sister, we spent a few days with her in her home.
      It wasn't until then that I saw how talented she really is.  While we were there, she made us three meals a day.  Breakfast wasn't a cold bowl of cereal.  Oh, no.  We had baked oatmeal, for instance.  The whole time we were there, she made things look like "a piece of cake".  She seamlessly went from one meal to another.  Her house was perfectly cleaned, but she visited with us the whole time like she had nothing to do! I told her, if she became a widow, she could easily turn her house into a bed and breakfast and make a living that way.
      Here's the funny part.  Her husband is very active in the Gideon's, and because of that, she confided in me that she just didn't think she played the part of his wife very well.  What in the world was she talking about?  She thought she should be more like me!  She wanted to be more bold, outspoken, etc.  I couldn't believe my ears!
     The fact is, we all have a tendency (at least as women) to look at each other, "size each other up" and feel the pain of our own weaknesses, deficiencies, and shortcomings.  Everyone else seems better suited for something.  In so doing, we often come to the conclusion that we are worthless or inept.
     When that happens, we often try to hide, detract, or compensate in some fashion, even if it is only in our minds.  So what should we do?  (I am speaking to myself, here).  First, I think we should celebrate each other's strengths.  We don't need to try to compete.  We should be free to appreciate our own strengths while acknowleding our areas of weakness.  We can also work together for the good of everyone.  At the same time, we can try to strengthen areas of weakeness, all the while accepting that no one is good at everything.
        Our church has VBS.  One year, I helped my daughter, Tabitha, who is crafty, with the preschool crafts.  Preschool crafts I can handle, but remember, we're talking hands on, again.  Somehow, this trend of making crafts, took on a life of its own.  Our crafty leader, Barb Hamilton, put me in charge of crafts another year.  It was an extremely stressful week.  I couldn't make the craft!
        Fortunately for me, I had two helpers who could.  Afterwards, they both told me what a good job I did.  What?  Without them, it would have been a disaster.  I went away shaking my head.  But then it occurred to me.  Both of the ladies were the type that help quietly in the background.  If they had been asked to lead, they probably would have panicked.  They are not leaders, they are helpers, and what they were seeing that was good in me was that I could lead, not that I was lousy as a craft person.
       The next year that Barb asked me to do the craft, I politely declined, telling her how much trouble I had with the crafts.  She got this puzzled look on her face.  It was incomprehensible to her that I couoldn't do something so simple.  In fact, I'm not sure she believed me at all!
    Such is life.  Today I will measure my picture frame and get a new piece of glass.  Since I haven't found the glass cleaner, I hope it will be clean!



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