Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A few things...

1. My hats are stocking at a fabulous online store!

Congfu


2. Thank you so much to those that emailed, called, or left comments on facebook or my blog! <3 you all. Yesterday was hard, but it was easier because of all of you!

3. Thank you to my friends who shared something secret with me. I'm very excited.

4. Read this story. Made me cry.

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 me a question.

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 sum a cum laude
- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be
seen again. She's going; she's going; she is 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.

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 presses 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 at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

2 comments:

Angela said...

Okay, that just made me cry!!! :)

~amy~ said...

I have read this before.... and it still gets me everytime:)