Friday, February 18, 2011

fw: the invisible mother

As a note...I HATE forwarded emails...usually.
occasionally though, you get a good one...
this is one my momma sent me:

The Invisible Mother 
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.' 
Some days I'm a crystal ball: 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone?  What's for dinner?' 
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the  eyes that studied history, music and literature--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 . She 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 she 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: '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: 1) No one can say who built the great  cathedrals--we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave  their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made  great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their  building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. 
A story of legend 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. 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, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand 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. 
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 monument to myself. I just want him to want to  come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend,  he'd say, "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 mothers. 
The Will of God will never take you where the
Grace of God will not  protect you.

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