Monday, February 23, 2009

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.'

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. 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 t o 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 g reat 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 3 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.

I got this from a friend in an email; no idea who wrote it but it spoke truth and encouragement to me as a Mom and I hope it does to you too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Faith and Love


I just started reading Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy. He lays out a good case for God being incomprehesible and then asks "How can we know an incomprehesible God?" He answers boldly, "Through Jesus."
"In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. Faith is the organ of knowledge and love an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself and by faith and love we enter and lay hold of Him." p.14
"God can be known by the soul in tender personal experience while remaining infinitely aloof from the curious eyes of reason." p.15
I love this! Knowledge is important so that we can know what God says about Himself in His Word but it alone is not enough. We come to love God through experiencing Him. We can know alot about Him and still not love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Transformation happens experientially and relationally. As we relate to God and experience Him, we come to love Him more and more and are transformed by His Presence within us.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My thoughts exactly!


I came across this prayer this past week in two entirely different books! I love it when God highlights something He wants me to see or know like that! This really spoke to me the first time I read it and every time after that.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road through I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
(Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton)
Amen and amen!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

God Hunt: Edition 2


God has a sense of humor, don't you think? If you look at my post from July 7th, you'll notice I reference a "fellow life coach." Today I actually met her, on the phone! I was introduced to her blog through a friend, Kelly Angell, who knew and loved her and thought I would too. That was in October of 2007. Today I finally emailed her directly and we wound up chatting on the phone for an hour! She is a lovely and gracious woman who I feel privileged to know and is now the first "official follower" of my blog(she even helped me set it up which turned out to be a lengthy ordeal, was she ever patient!). I encourage you to go to her blog and check out the wisdom she shares. That is where I got my first exposure to the "God Hunt" and she often has very thought provoking posts. Thanks Kathryn for sharing your wisdom, musings and heart with all of us!

By the way, I've recommitted to updating my blog at least monthly so check back again. I promise I won't wait 5 months again!