She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family. Proverbs 31:15 (NIV)
I miss the days of aprons, and all they represent. When my mom or grandma walked into the kitchen, the first thing they did was reach for one of the aprons hanging on the hook. The hook held beautiful hand-stitched designs and patterns, some with flowers and scallops, others plain and stained. Most of them were the shorter variety that tied only around the waist. A few were full length from neck to knees, for those particularly messy jobs.
As a child I remember watching her lift the apron from the hook and secure it in place. Inside I was gleeful, because I knew an adventure was about to begin. Sometimes I was invited to join in but even as spectator, I loved this carved out time. In hindsight, I doubt that my mom realized how these moments affected her little girl. Did she know that when these beautiful coverups were hanging alone on the hook, my little hand spent hours tracing the intricate embroidery? Did she know what these aprons represented?
I’m sure an apron to most was a necessity, to keep their clothes from getting soiled while carrying out daily chores. But for a little girl with dreams in her head, the aprons represented so much more. First, there was choosing the right one, for the right occasion. Yes, there was a Sunday apron, because mom always invited folks over after church, so it was a little nicer than the rest. Each one made sure that mom’s clothes were protected, which was important to a woman who only owned a few dresses.
They became a towel, for messy hands, a potholder for moving hot pans, a handkerchief for runny noses or a runaway tear from a child’s cheek. Many days I saw folded hands on that apron and heard heartbroken prayers for loved ones.
Aprons represented time, together. Time to do what some might call mundane things, together. It represented steadfast work. It represented selflessness on a daily basis. It represented a time when everything else in the world paused, while something amazing happened in the kitchen.
From the moment she pulled the apron from the hook, I knew a creation from a few ingredients would make the house smell divine! Memories pulled from those moments, reminds me to pause, be steadfast in my work and selfless with my love.
Father, help us to slow down and enjoy our mundane daily tasks. Show us that others are watching and learning life-long lessons by how we handle ourselves today. We need You, in Jesus’ name, amen.