Home motherhood/family/parenting Don’t Waste Your Talents

Don’t Waste Your Talents

by Kelly Crawford

Growing up I was a soloist in church. I was repeatedly reminded by older, well-meaning men and women, that I must “keep singing or I would lose my talent”.

I now attend a church where the emphasis is on worship rather than performance, and so I don’t sing solos in church anymore. (We have a beautiful music service where harmony and unity is celebrated, with an occasional opportunity for soloists to enhance the service; and I believe there is a time and place for those given unique musical gifts to showcase those gifts….I’m not opposed to public performance-my caveat for this article.)

But we miss the point. I was actually reminded not long ago, that since I’m not regularly singing in my church I may “lose my gift”. In other words, I’m “hiding” my talents like the naughty servant in the parable.

It was a sharp and painful reminder, again, of the lost view of the ministry of motherhood and all the opportunities the Lord gives a woman to serve her family, and the eternal Kingdom work that is precious in the sight of our Father who sees in secret.

As I knelt in the quiet dark of my children’s room, my five-year-old daughter whispered, “Mommy, sing to me.” And in a spontaneous moment, without any pressure of performance or critique, I softly began, “‘ ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word….”

And I believe it was not wasted.


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Jennifer Griffin April 6, 2012 - 10:04 am

Oh Kelly, this made me cry. I also grew up singing in church, school, contests, concerts…anyplace I could! I traveled for 3 years after high school with a christian singing team. I studied music at Liberty after I was finished traveling. My life was wrapped up in music for most of my years until I became a mama. Many well-meaning folks have said many things to me. “It’s a shame you aren’t singing!” and so many more. I will say for years it was a sore spot in my own heart. I would cry, throw a little fit, become angry because I wasn’t singing and able to use my gift the way I thought it should be used. I was so selfish that I would pray and beg God just to take my singing voice away. I am so thankful that God puts up with me! I am thankful for singing and music. I am thankful that I can share singing with my kids and my husband. I am thankful that God has worked in my heart in this area. We go to a church very similar to what you do. No fancy praise team or band…just worshipping the Lord together. The one thing I now see is that I never want someone to praise me or to lift me up but, to just focus on God. Worshipping musicians is a huge problem in most american churches. I am thankful, so thankful that God changed my heart and continues to weed out my sin struggles.

Word Warrior April 6, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Jennifer–so thankful the Lord has used your gift in so many ways, and continues to do so for your family! (It’s a beautiful voice, by the way.)

Tara April 6, 2012 - 12:17 pm

Wonderful post! I grew up singing southern gospel and bluegrass with my mother and sister in church. We sang three part harmony and traveled to different churches. It was a wonderful ministry at the time, but when I got married and began having children it was difficult for family and friends to understand why my heart was no longer in it. I knew I had entered a different season of my life and I didn’t want my children growing up in the nursery so Mommy could be on stage singing for the Lord.

What others don’t understand is that I still sing! (ask my husband who says I sing constantly~even when I don’t realize I am doing it:-) I just sing for a much smaller audience these days. My children love to sing with me and lately they have been asking if we could sing a song together at church.

Perhaps in the near future, we will begin singing as a family again! That is the beauty of life~there are many different seasons. We just have to be content to practice our talents in the sphere that God has placed us in at that time.

Beautiful post, Kelly!

Mrs. Santos April 6, 2012 - 12:42 pm

Nope. Not wasted at all. Also thinking of that intimacy of singing to the Lord and Him alone.

Glad to see you are in your own home now. Praise the Lord! I bet it is so nice to plan your Easter Celebration for home. God bless you and your lovely family.

Stephanie April 6, 2012 - 12:52 pm

Good for you, honoring your truth about the situation.

Laurel April 6, 2012 - 4:49 pm

That was beautiful. I love singing to my children and they in turn love to sing. Our focus should be on pleasing our heavenly Father who gave us the gift of music and not any glory we receive. Won’t it be wonderful when we can see Him face to face and sing praises with the choir of angels!

6 arrows April 6, 2012 - 5:08 pm

This post is so beautiful, Kelly, and is near and dear to my heart.

I was a music major in college (majoring on three instruments and minoring on one), and the opportunities for performance during and since college were (are) many and varied: choirs, orchestras, small ensembles, weddings, funerals, worship services, you name it, I’ve done it (and enjoyed it). Yet I have come to realize there is no experience, no matter what the venue, that matches the singular joy of sharing the gift of music (or any gift) within the context of home with the loved ones God has provided right there.

My 14-year-old daughter and I have shared some neat musical experiences lately. Just this week we stopped by a couple music stores, and at one of them we found the sheet music for Laura Story’s song “Blessings”, which we both love. One day as I was playing the piece on the piano, my daughter, who was standing at the sink doing dishes, started singing the song. Then before the end of it, she came over and sat on the chair next to the piano, and we completed the song at the piano together.

The simplicity and quiet beauty of that experience moved me nearly to tears. What a treasure it is to use our God-given talents right where God has planted us! There has been no rehearsal or performance I’ve ever been a part of that has had such a profound impact on me as did that simple, spontaneous moment within the context of ordinary family life. The intimacy of using our gifts in the home setting with those we love is an indescribable blessing!

Thank you for such an inspiring post…very heartwarming 😉

Andrea April 6, 2012 - 8:36 pm

I don’t think that all of the talented ladies here are remembering that even in the corporate worship context, your gift IS being used. Every time you sing with gusto, as I know you do, in the worship service, everyone around you is encouraged to sing out louder to the Lord without realizing that it is you helping to inspire them!! Not to mention that singing in tune helps others to do so…

I’m certainly not against musical ministry in a more “visible” context. Please don’t forget that messages can be carried to almost anyone under the guise of music!! Oh, I could tell you about some fun outreaches…

It is nice to know that even aside from home, we can use our musical gifts to encourage others without being “on stage”. I’m sure that many of you minister with your families in nursing homes and etc.

Just as anything else, we go in seasons. Sometimes he will use this gift at home, sometimes more in the “public square”, and sometimes he will even choose to not use it at all…and that’s ok too.

An encouraging post, Kelly 🙂

Word Warrior April 6, 2012 - 10:06 pm


“even in the corporate worship context, your gift IS being used.”

Yes, so true and forgotten. If we could only remember that ALL we do is solely for God’s glory.

Keri April 6, 2012 - 9:21 pm

What a Beautiful Post! I love to sing….but really am not that good at it but my children love to hear me sing to the Lord!! I have a good friend in church who sings beautifully and is raising seven children.She sings every now and then with one of her children and it really glorifies the Lord!! I jokingly tell her to “get the bus ready”..for their singing group and she knows I’m kidding.She’s a very humble lady!!

melanie April 7, 2012 - 10:31 pm

beautiful post, Kelly. You put this into words in a way that I couldn’t…”It was a sharp and painful reminder, again, of the lost view of the ministry of motherhood and all the opportunities the Lord gives a woman to serve her family, and the eternal Kingdom work that is precious in the sight of our Father who sees in secret”
i’ve had “well-meaning” family members comment on multiple occasions about how i could be using my talents outside the home.
thanks for the reminder that our talents aren’t wasted when we are investing them in our family.

Lori April 10, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Kelly, you hit the nail on the head!

I grew up singing from the crib with my twin, youth choir,girl’s trio as a teen, nursing, home, adult choir, ect.

My husband and I sang at our wedding….and then in various churches, choirs, quartets, duets, family singing, ect.

Since we’ve changed churches,the singing is mainly worship team led…with choir once a month..one song. Some people have told me ” the Lord will take your talent away if you don’t use it for him.” I informed them that there are rare opportunities to sing publicly….but, I can still sing at home privately to my Lord and King….plus, my 8 children get to sing along and my guy too!

This year, I’ve been praying, telling the Lord if He wanted to use my music talents more somewhere outside my home…to open the doors. This Easter I had the chance to try-out for a rare solo. I gave it to God….if I was chosen, to help me sing for Him in all 3 services that morning…and if not, I would still enjoy the music anyway.

Amazingly, the director decided to have me sing the solo!!! 🙂 God is so good to bless us in HIS timing. Whether more opportunities come or not, I will always use my music to glorify Jesus in and out of my home…whether the audience is thousands or to that special audience of One, Jesus.

Nanci April 14, 2012 - 5:04 pm

Wonderful post and responses!
I admire you ladies who can sing well.

I am a homeschooling mom of 6. I have a doctoral degree working with children with depression and behavior disorders. I got saved shortly after my oldest (now 17) was born. I finished up my degree from home- all I had left was dissertation. It’s amazing how my heart was always towards home…
Sadly, my parents constantly reminded me at first that I was “wasting my degree”, and they still don’t “get it”.
But after I got saved, I turned over ALL of my life to the Lord, including my degree….and in His Economy, nothing is wasted….One of the children He blessed us with has Asperger’s (High Functioning Autism) and ADHD and Depression…so the Lord had been preparing me even before I knew Him!
I have been able to use my research skills and knowledge to help our son, and he is now recovering.
I would not call that wasted! I just had a smaller number of “patients” than someone in private practice, but how fulfilling to use your gifts and talents for those you love most.

Wendy key April 21, 2012 - 2:44 am

I really enjoyed the paper about why I don’t teach my children to follow my dreams. You gave me something to think about. You are right the bible doesn’t tell us follow our dreams. Jesus also tells us he knows the plans he has for us in Jeremiah 29

Amy Kelley April 24, 2012 - 1:53 pm

I’m looking forward to using your CD to help us memorize our scripture. We are using Preparing Hearts for His Glory and it’s scheduled in there. I love to set scripture to music. It makes it so much easier to memorize. Although my made up tunes don’t sound nearly as good as the ones on your CD! Thanks! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and now enjoy your CD. I just listened to it myself this morning for the first time.

Word Warrior April 24, 2012 - 2:26 pm

Amy–thank you! I pray it is a helpful tool for your family.


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