Oct 24, 2017

Jane-of-all-trades

By Leah Sherman

Recently, I signed up for Instagram.  It seemed simple enough: a few questions, a username and password. Filling out my profile, however, posed a challenge.  “About Me.”  What about me is worth putting out there for everyone to see? I left it blank.

Years ago, I had great ambitions. I was learning Hebrew and Greek. I was planning to student teach in Australia, and would graduate college in the spring.  I had been accepted in graduate school and would eventually obtain a doctorate.  I wanted to do something with my life.

My ambitions were interrupted when I met a boy.  My Greek studies fell by the wayside, the Australia trip fell through, and my plans to obtain a Master’s degree came to a halt.  I graduated in spring, and was married in summer.

Looking at the lives of my friends, I sometimes wonder if I did something wrong.  One friend is living in Korea teaching music. Her pictures are exotic and happy.  She travels to all the places I wanted to see, and more.  Another friend started a successful business making and selling granola, then sold it for a nice profit. Friends get graduate degrees, friends get swanky jobs, friends get their names on the covers of books.  What about me?

In these past ten years of marriage, I can’t lay claim to mastery over anything.  I cook great food, but still burn the meat occasionally. I bake, but those gluten-free muffins I just pulled out of  the oven fell.  I clean, but can’t keep the counter clutter-free. I quilt, but can boast no County Fair ribbon.  I am a mother, but only to one, so certainly no expert.  I read great literature, but can’t understand Virginia Woolf. I homeschool, but my teaching certificate expired.  I garden, but forgot to thin the carrots. I write for a blog, but my afternoon musings haven’t earned any money or prestige. A little of this, a little of that, a kind of Jane-of-all-trades. What about me is worth putting out there for everyone to see?

It is here where my husband meets me and becomes Christ to me.  He didn’t marry me because I was ambitious.  He doesn’t stop loving me because the steak was scorched or the biscuits were blackened.  He doesn’t come home because the counter is cleared and the school lessons were expertly taught. He doesn’t think less of me because I spent my day folding clothes and listening to audio books. He doesn’t resent me because I am unable to give him more children. Rather, he loves me every day because I am his wife.

This is Christ’s love for the church, his bride.  This is Christ’s love for us.  Ambitions or none, accomplishments or not, Christ’s love is for his chosen.
“And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal’… And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.” (Hos. 2:16, 19-20)
Whatever great things we have done, or desire to do, or wanted to do, but failed to do, don’t matter with Him.  We do not earn his love.  Indeed, we cannot earn his love.  Yet, his love is ours. “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded,” writes Paul. “By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Rom. 3:27-28)

When I despair over my worth, my husband comes to me and reminds me of his love. He forgives my faults, and calls me his wife. When I despair over my worth, my Savior assures me of his love. He forgives my sins, and calls me his own.
To me He said; “Stay close to me,”
I am your rock and castle.
Your ransom I Myself will be;
For you I strive and wrestle.
For I am yours, and you are Mine,
And where I am you may remain;
The foe shall not divide us. (LSB 556 vs. 7)
In my husband’s love, I am restored.  In my Savior’s love, I am redeemed.

I may never make a memorable mark on this world.  I may never see my name on a book, sell a granola company, or teach overseas.  I may never have more than one child, renew my teaching license, or win a ribbon at the County Fair. I may never go down in history.  But none of that matters.  None of it matters in comparison to what I have in my husband, and to what I have in Christ.  To my family, and my Savior, being a kind of Jane-of-all-trades is worthwhile, for it is in the various tasks I accomplish that my family is served. In serving, I remind them of Christ’s love for them.

What about me is worth putting out there for everyone to see?  I am my husband’s wife. I am my son’s mother.  I am a child of God.  I am a Jane-of-all-trades.
By grace! On this I’ll rest when dying;
In Jesus’ promise I rejoice;
For though I know my heart’s condition,
I also know my Savior’s voice.
My heart is glad, all grief has flown
Since I am saved by grace alone. (LSB 566, vs. 6)


***

Leah Sherman is a pastor's wife and homeschooling mother.  She and her husband have struggled with secondary infertility, but are constantly reminded of God's great blessings through their son. She lives in Gordon, Nebraska, and enjoys reading, gardening, and sewing.

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You are welcome. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Thank you for writing this! It hit WAY too close to home - I'm a pastor's wife, homeschooler, struggler of secondary infertility, and Jane-of-all-trades who often laments my failure to excel in anything. I needed to read these spiritual truths written in this post to be reminded of my identity in Christ and how He sees, knows, and loves me. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  3. You also have a beautiful voice to accompany your piano-playing :). You have aided me in learning new hymns’ melodies to teach my children.

    Lovely little essay <3

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  4. You can't understand Virginia Woolf because you're not a ridiculously spoiled quasi-intellectual who thinks she can't make syntax work right because it's intrinsically sexist. Congratulations.

    PS, you're the leading expert on two humans for whom Christ died.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your heart. It hits very close to home for this momma who also gave up her dreams and married a boy. I too needed to be reminded that it is Christ who gives me value.

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  6. Lovely post ...we all have value Jesus loves us ...we don't have to compare ourselves to each other...we can rejoice in everyday things , you are right , serving others is pleasing to our LORD...there is joy in serving Jesus..everyday things are important..God loves us :)

    ReplyDelete

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