Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Invisible Moms

This sums up how it feels to be a mom on those days when you wonder why you got out of bed! It is a bit lengthy {sorry ;-)} but worth the time. Thank YOU Julie Z for sending me this...she knew I was having a tough one last week...and she made me smile!

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I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack
of response, the way one of the kids will walk into
the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or
sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner,
because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:
Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human
being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide
to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order,
'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held
books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated
summa cum laude- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter,
never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating
the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from
a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she
stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put
together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as
I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could
find that was clean. M y unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip
and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me
with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you
this. ' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly
sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To
Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building
when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book.
And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing
truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of
their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they
would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no
credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that
the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a
tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and
asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird
into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'

And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you,
Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one
around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on,
no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.
You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now
what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction .

But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I
keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great
builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will
never see finished, to work on something that their name will
never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no
cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few
people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to
tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My
mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she
hand bastes a turkey for three hours and dresses all the linens for
the table.'
That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to
myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is
anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot
be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible
that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but also at the
beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of
invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know

... I just did
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