Lent with St Edith Stein Day 14: Cultivating Your Own Gifts

Lent with St Edith Stein Day 14: Cultivating Your Own Gifts

“It is [a woman’s] business to ensure to the best of her ability that [her husband] is not totally absorbed in his professional work, that he does not permit his humanity to become stunted, and that he does not neglect his family duties as father. She will be better able to do so the more she herself is mature as a personality; and it is vital here that she does not lose herself in association with her husband but, on the contrary, cultivates her own gifts and powers.”

St Edith Stein, Spirituality of the Christian Woman


               Because men are more prone to overwork outside of the house, it often falls on women to ensure that our husbands do not neglect their home and family life. However, we as women are more prone to lose ourselves in our roles to others: as wives, as mothers, or even in our careers. We must remember that God made us as individuals and it is important to maintain ourselves outside of our roles in relation to others. We can do this by honing our individual talents and interests.

               We cannot serve others when we neglect ourselves. Part of our mission as women is to guide others, especially our husbands and children, to develop their natural talents. How can we do that if we allow our own gifts and talents to atrophy? Some careers may allow for us to feel fulfilled in this respect but for many women, we need some sort of an alternate outlet.

               What natural talents and interests have you set aside because you are so completely overwhelmed with work and family obligations? Can you set aside one evening a week to work on them? Knitting, painting, quilting, model shipbuilding, car restoration – what do you love to do? Where can you let your creativity flourish?

               These natural talents and interests may directly relate to a particular ministry or they may only serve to add character to our own homes and enrich our own family lives. The development of your personal talents may only serve as an inspiration to your children to nurture their own individuality. Regardless, exercising our talents and interests recharges us and help us to refresh our energy. It helps us to maintain our individuality when we are otherwise at risk of being swallowed up in all of the hats we have to wear each day.

               If we can take just one evening a week, just a few hours, to make time for positive self-expression, we can recharge our batteries and have more to give to others. God gave you these talents for a reason; don’t neglect them!

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