Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisdom from the Bowling Alley

Today we decided to take advantage of the holiday from school and work and take the family bowling.  Bowling is only a once or twice-a-year adventure for us, so it's always good for some laughs and good photo ops. 

We had a lot of fun, but for some reason I was just "off" my game today.   I bowled much more horribly than is even usual for me.  Instead of being irritated at my string of gutter balls, though,  it got me thinking about life and talents and gutter balls and well, since this is all a bit weird, maybe I'll start with  the back story first. 
When I was a teenager I used to get all bent out of shape about how I had no visible talents.

I can't sing.   I'm not artistic.  I have no rhythm.  I can't speak any foreign languages. I can't run fast.  I can't multiply 6 digit numbers in my head.  I don't do tongue twisters. I can't sew.  I'm not organized.  Heck, I couldn't even tease my bangs very well.  I was throwing a lot of proverbial gutter balls. 

I felt that I was like the man given only one talent in Jesus' parable of the talents while everyone around me had been showered with ten (or more).  With the help of my parents (and a good dose of springtime sunshine), I could always eventually come up with a few things that I was good at to make me feel a little better.  Things like... reading really fast, being able to memorize things, being a decent speller, and having almost hairless arms.    

As I've grown older I still sometimes struggle with the same insecurities, although I like to think that as I've aged I've developed a little better perspective on things now.   While I still sometimes lament that I'll never be able to sing a duet with Glen at church, I can see now how my invisible-talents are instrumental in making me the mother/wife that I am today.

A talent for being fiercely loyal--to my family, to my friends, to my country, to my kids' schools, to my faith, to my insurance company.  

A talent for being consistent--in holding family home evenings weekly despite our crazy schedules, in blogging, in developing routines/traditions for my family, in my church callings, in ignoring my email inbox.

A talent for being passionate in my pursuits--in cooking healthy dinners for our family, in fulfilling my responsibilities, in mothering, in wanting to share the little tidbits I've learned along the way of life with others (aka blogging). 

A talent for not holding a grudge--while I am sensitive, I am not easily offended.  I give people the benefit of the doubt and assume the best, even when their actions speak otherwise

So what about bowling a bad game got me thinking like this?  I think it was the whole consistency thing.  I've been feeling lately that this is one of my gifts (although it definitely doesn't carry over to my  bowling abilities).  While it's not a spiritual gift you'll read about in the scriptures.  Nor will it ever be on a list of sought-after talents; it is one of my gifts and I believe it has been instrumental in making me the kind of mother I am today.  

The kind of mother who consistently brings her camera with her and passionately takes a gazillion pictures hoping to capture that "one" shot...  (of course the "one" shot didn't ever happen in the low lighting of the bowling alley)

A mother who can't help but be completely charmed at how sweet her husband and kids are...

A mother who passionately feels that some delicious food is the perfect ending to a fun day....

A mother who loves finding a fun new frozen yogurt restaurant (Red Mango) that we can loyally visit on a frequent basis...

A mother who fiercely wishes that her boys would stop running away from the camera, so she can capture more cheesy grins like this....
A mother who consistently stays up later than she should, while she rambles on and on about her philosophies and thoughts on life. 



Deanne said...

Consistency is definitely one of your many talents. You consistently write great blog posts that I love to read!

As a side note, I don't think your alone with feeling like you don't have many talents at times. We've all been there. Thanks for sharing this as a reminder that we all really do have talents, but some are not always as obvious. You are a great example to me!

Karey said...

Thanks for this great post, Lara! It's so important to recognize these "under the surface" talents that are really so much more important than being able to sing an aria in sacrament meeting! :)

R said...

And these are the very important talents to have that matter in real life. Consistency is a spiritual talent and needed for a person to be as excellent a mother as you are.

R said...

And these are the very important talents to have that matter in real life. Consistency is a spiritual talent and needed for a person to be as excellent a mother as you are.

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