Misplaced Talents

This week, Fiction Friday is at Cat's blog, A Work in Progress. Be sure to join us there for links to more fun fiction!

Kelly jumped at the knock on her front door, her seam ripper jabbing into an already sore finger.

“Kelly? You in there?” The voice of her sister Laurie came through the screen.

“Yes, I’m in here, although I’d rather be somewhere else!”

“Sheesh! You’re in a lovely mood today. Kids been monsters?” Laurie had let herself in and made her way to the dining room where Kelly was working.

“No, the kids have been fine. In fact I haven’t seen much of them since they’ve been outside playing all morning.” Kelly picked up the seam ripper again and went back to work.

“What on earth are you doing?” Laurie bent over and studied the heap of fabric on Kelly’s lap. “How many times have you taken out that seam?”

“You really don’t want to know.” Disgust was evident in Kelly’s voice.

“You’re right, I don’t want to know.” Laurie eyed her sister and the clutter of sewing scraps and thread on the table in front of her. “Ok, let’s try this one. What are you doing?”

Kelly dropped the fabric onto her lap and gave Laurie a look that could have fried bologna. “Mortaring brick? Chopping down trees? Computer programming? What do you think I’m doing?”

The biting sarcasm made her sister laugh. “Well, that’s a relief! I thought you might be sewing.”

Kelly picked up the wad of fabric and her seam ripper once again. “I’m making a baby-doll quilt for Melissa’s birthday present.”

Laurie bit her lip, realizing it wasn’t the time to laugh. “How long have you been working on it?”

Kelly glared at her again. “All morning.” The seam ripper attacked the crooked stitches, jerking them out one at a time. “I can do this. It just takes me awhile.” Her voice rang with determination.

“Do you have to make the baby-doll quilt?” That earned her another glare so she tried a different tactic. “Are you throwing a party for her?”

Kelly sighed. “I don’t have time to plan a party this year, although I wanted to do a birthday tea party.”

“That would be so cool—a tea party for a bunch of 8-year-olds. Were you going to have them dress up and serve tea cakes on china and everything?” Laurie smiled, seeing her sister weaken.

“That was the plan, but now I just don’t have time. This silly little quilt is going to take up all my spare time.” The wistfulness in her voice was getting stronger.

“Kelly, why are knocking yourself out doing something you’re not good at and don’t enjoy, when you could simply buy a dolly quilt from Mrs. Cunningham, who could use the little extra money, and use the time to plan a tea party and make the tea cakes and a beautiful birthday cake? You’re so good at planning parties and get-togethers and making the food that goes with them. Everyone, even Melissa, loves your parties.”

Kelly once again dropped her sewing to her lap. “I wanted to give Melissa something that would last and a tea party doesn’t last; it’s over in two or three hours.”

“The party may be over that quickly, but the memories will last longer than that quilt you’re killing yourself over. Even without all the pictures you take of the parties and then put in a scrapbook!” Laurie spoke gently, understanding her sister’s heart.

“So, you think I’m wasting my time?”

“I think you’re wasting your talent.”

Kelly snorted in a very unladylike fashion. “Planning parties is a talent?”

“Yes, planning parties is a talent, a talent that not everyone has. Remember that party I planned for you two years ago?”

Kelly laughed at the memory of the horribly organized party her sister had surprised her with. Laurie had even made a birthday cake for her and it had been the ugliest cake anyone had ever seen, even though it had been baked and decorated with great love. “I’m beginning to think my idea of making a dolly quilt is about like you decorating a birthday cake—a very bad idea.”

“You’re a smart cookie, you know that?” Laurie hugged her sister. “Don’t waste your talents; focus on what you’re good at! Plan that tea party, bake all those little goodies and a hum-dinger of a birthday cake, and buy her a dolly quilt. Take lots of pictures and scrapbook them so she’ll remember forever; long after she outgrows playing with dolls. Do what you’re good at, Kelly, and use that skill for God.”

Don't forget to join us at Cat's place for more Fiction Friday links!


  1. I love this!!! I know people who have this talent, and YES, it is one!!! Love the message and the writer!

  2. This is such a good reminder that it really is okay to be who God made us to be - I really love that He did make us individuals, with different gifts and talents, and when we rest in who we are, we can use all to His glory! Hugs!

  3. a message I need to quit stessing over. Wonderful job. Thanks.

  4. Isn't it funny how other people can see talents that we don't? Thank you for the story!

  5. How many years I banged my head trying to be gifted at things I wasn't, and ignoring the gifts God gave me. Great reminder!

  6. A wonderful lesson in the wonderful piece of fiction. "Don't waste your talents." I'll definitely remember this one!!

    Thanks for starting "Friday Fiction", and thanks for letting me host this week!!!! It's been fun. :)

  7. Yeah, I know how it feels. I can't plan a decent party, or make a pretty home, or sew anything, or do any of those lovely feminine things I feel I ought to be able to do. Frankly, about the only thing I'm good at is writing!

    I try not to stress over it, but what do you do when the things you aren't good at aren't just your "want-to's?" What if you're not good at homemaking, and it's an "ought-to?"



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