Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm invisible...

I have often heard the job of a mom being described as one of the most thankless jobs a woman could have. I disagree...It is one of the most rewarding blessed jobs anyone with the right focus could have. Have I ever had that same opinion? Sure I have...almost daily! But that's when I have to stop and refocus my priorities...they do get out of sink every now and then.Being a mom is tough,messy,exhausting,blood boiling and at times makes you want to crawl in a deep hole and disappear. But the rewards far out weigh the sacrifice, when my eyes are on the one who blessed me with the opportunity to guide, shape and mold the nine souls He has so lovingly entrusted my husband and I with.

I have been a mom since the age of 19...A stay at home mom for 24 1/2 years. I have never had an opportunity to go to college or land a high paying prestigious job...well what others would call prestigious! I am blessed to be married to a wonderfully talented man who does have a good job that affords me to stay home with our children. As far as the pay... kisses,hugs,smiles and achievements. Being a stay at home mom is a major sacrifice in the world's eyes...but in God's eyes I am right where He's called me to be and He will be faithfull to equip me to walk this road.

Have you ever ran a race or marathon? Maybe you have watched from the side lines cheering the runners on.Those cheers do make a difference! They give the runner that extra breath to continue the race. Maybe you've seen a mom at the store or in public struggling with her kids or just sitting with a zombie look on her face. You would be amazed at the difference a word of encouragement...a big cheer...a smile...saying what your doing matters and your doing a great job! Nothing means more than those words coming from a fellow mom. We have a connection...a comradery!

I will never see the end result of the many years of parenting 9 kids brings. But I pray that it continues on in generations to come.

A few years ago I received this in an email from a fellow mom. She may never know how this simple sharing of a moment gave me that extra breath to continue the race!

>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
>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. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana
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
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.
>Great Job, MOM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spinning wheels going no where...


Clifford ( Our big red van) has been rescued from the mud pit that I so foolishly got him into. I think a warm bath and some TLC is in order for me our dear old friend. After many hours, blood, sweat and tears I drove him to the safety of the PAVED driveway. Our lower unpaved driveway now looks like a war zone...but hey, I am a one step closer to planting my garden! Now I'm off to make my self look like a woman again and to see what else I can tear up fix!

Yesterday...all I can say is "I am so glad it's over!" However each day is a gift from the Lord and I should rejoice in it's entirety.

Our 3 year old daughter seems to find her way in our bed most nights. By now our older kids would not have been doing this, except on an occasion...after a bad dream or not feeling well. She is not the most pleasant person to sleep with. No matter how much I move away from her she seems to find me with her feet or head. I am a light sleeper and any movement or noise usually wakes me.I guess waking up with back ache is not the way to start a day.

Monday started out with that back ache and a wet bed. Oh the joy of a leaky pull up!
I am trying so very hard to cherish these moments with our last child...even the not so fun moments.

Our next adventure began with our trip down to the basement and getting the girls started on school. Our oldest moved back home this past weekend and everything from the playroom is now in the school room. So, in my desire to have an inch to move in our school room, I decide to load up the van with the things I need to get rid of.

The day before we had a lot of rain and that means a soggy lawn. This is where the fatigue kicked in and my brain left the building! I got the bright idea to drive our 15 passenger van...not a small or light vehicle...around to the basement door. No one should ever drive a large vehicle on their lawn after an all day rain the day before! You guessed it ...I managed to get stuck! These things always happen when my hubby is out of town. Here I am home alone with three of our kids and I get stuck in the mud! For HOURS I try everything I can to just get it to move.To no avail I just dig a deeper hole under the tires. Our son returns home to find me spinning tires and covered in mud. At that point I'm tired, angry and in tears! Bless his heart he didn't say a word and tried to help. After a while he managed to get the van out and about 50 feet only to get stuck again. Did I say I'm tired of the rain and our soggy lawn? Georgia has been in a drought for a few years and this past year we have made up for the loss and then some.

Well today is a new day and our van is still stuck! God is still God and He is still on the throne! So many times we face trials living our daily lives. Some big and some small. It's during these times when I finally focus on the Lord and listen...that I realise that He was there with me all along and I never was alone. I get so caught up in the moment that I fail to stop and really focus on what God is trying to say to me. Maybe the reason I just spin my tires going no where is that God is trying to get me to just be still and listen. Do you ever feel like you're just spinning your tires and making no progress? Maybe it's time to stop and listen. Get still and quiet before the Lord and allow Him to work a good work in you! Maybe the reason we never hear Him is because we are always talking...and spinning our wheels!