January 2009


Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut: 6:5-9

God’s timing is perfect…this came from my sweet friend Debi  in my email box this morning…it was just what I needed today…hers is truly the biblical example of the older woman who trains the younger with such love and friendship (let me add here–please don’t picture Debi as some old woman wrapped in a shawl, rocking in a old chair pointing her crooked finger at the young women–Debi is vivacious, joyful, filled with life, laughter, & fun!)…my prayer is that one day I can be the same to someone else…enjoy the story…

wakefieldcathedral_small

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 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 Mum. 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.salisbury_cathedral

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 fuelled by their faith that the eyes of
God saw everything.

west_front1A 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 Mum 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.

home_motage

~Author Unknown~

I hope this encourages everyone, not only Mothers, when the going gets tough as it sometimes does.
We never know what our finished products will turn out to be because of our perseverance.

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feet1So…here’s the story…I noticed a few weeks ago that my daughter is running funny on the basketball court…at the time I thought it was just the toe that she had hurt a few days before…and let it go…but several weeks later, she’s still running funny, and now walking funny…I checked to see where her toes were in her shoes…and well, they barely were in her shoes…her newest pair bought a short 2 months ago…were a size 2…when I took her to buy some new basketball shoes…we bought a size 3.5!!  how in the world did her foot grow so fast??  On top of feeling horrible about not realizing sooner that my child needed new shoes, my youngest wanted to try on a pair of shoes, I was feeling rather impatient and not wanting to spend time trying shoes on a 4 year old who didn’t need them (yet again adding more points to my Mom of the Year status!) but gave in, knowing I wasn’t gonna buy them, and it would make her happy to try them on…so…the pair she picks has a plastic foot form inside it…wedged in pretty tight I might add…she is istting in front of me, I’m bent over, trying to pull the plastic foot out, try the shoe on, do the whole, “oh, it’s so cute!” thing and get her shoes & coat back on and skidaddle…when WHAM!!  I tug hard enough, the plastic foot come flying out, and my forceful knuckle lands square in her face…!!  I’ve just socked my 4 year old in the face–(please, please, no applause needed…I’m well aware of what a proud moment this was…)–I grab her up, apologizing profusely  and feeling just awful enough to buy her the shoes…(I didn’t–better judgement and low funds prevailed)the-whelp

…So now my poor 8 (almost 9) year old is pretty much shoeless…I got her a pair of play shoes at Goodwill (a sz. 4 by the way)…and found another pair of dressier shoes at Target for 4 bucks…but those were a little big…so she’s got 2 pair of shoes…I’ve got a 4 year old with a bruise…and…realized today that both the girls need new under things…and I’m quite sure that if my sons pants size has gone from a youth 14/16 to a man’s 30×30…then he probably needs new shoes too!!   Do I have to be present to win the award?  I just might be busy shopping…feet2

frazzled-mom-clip-art1This really touched me this morning…I so so often get caught up in “getting it all done”…all the lessons, all the errands, all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the stuff that seems important– that I end up shouting at my children for not keeping up with MY agenda…forgetting that my agenda should be…being the Mom & wife God wants me to be, and leading my children to a love and knowledge of Christ…(not pushing or dragging them there), and that I will lead them more by what I DO than what I SAY (or shout) at them.  Here’s the link…I really like her blog–hope you do too!

http://reneeswope.blogspot.co

m/2009/01/becoming-mom-i-always-wanted-to-be.html

Go in the strength you have and save Isreal out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?  (Judges 6:14) God’s words to Gideon…

Gideon argued about it…how many times do I argue with God…and let me add here that God has NEVER asked me to do anything near as difficult as “save Isreal out of Midian’s hand”… mostly it’s a subtle…”see that lady, help her”…”tell that friend about me”…AND I am forever stepping on my tongue and putting my size 8’s in my mouth….so why, if I can look like an idiot all on my own, about things that aren’t even the least bit important–why am I so hesitant when it comes to telling someone about the most amazing love, grace & mercy I have ever or will ever know…what am I afraid of?…God didn’t tell Gideon to muster up the super hero powers and defeat an army…he simply said “go in the strength you have”…hmmm, I guess what I’ve learned here and will try to take with me is…Gideon was fearful-but he did it, what God asks me (us, you) to do may seem huge, impossible, or even tiny and not worth you time…but God has asked…He is sending you…there must be a reason…(almost seems like God said the original “because I said so” to his children 😉 !), and if God has asked me, if he is sending me…then He will give me the strength, and fortitude to do what he asks…however seemingly impossible it seems at the time…

pho-1229I just think this whole argument is silly. If the president elect and his parade committee has chosen these girls to represent the state of AL…and he (our president elect) is in fact himself a black man…than what on earth does the AL NAACP have to fuss about? Mr. Vaughn makes it seem like some redneck wrapped in a rebel flag is holding a shotgun to some parade planners head forcing them to pick the Trail Maids…perhaps the Tuskegee band would have looked very dapper marching in the parade…but they weren’t picked…and if the new president isn’t bothered by it being a black man himself…then, well…hush up. These are a group of diverse high school girls who excel in academics and are a community service group…why not focus on THAT…instead of what they are wearing…y’all got me all worked up into a tizzy and I’m feeling flush, y’all pardon me while I go fan myself…

Azalea Trail Maids Remind NAACP Of Slavery
by The Associated Press
Published: January 08 2009 – 11:23 am Last Updated: January 08 2009 – 1:40 pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – State NAACP President Edward Vaughn
objects to having Mobile’s Azalea Trail Maids as Alabama’s only
group in the presidential inaugural parade. He says they remind him
of slavery days.
Vaughn says he thinks Alabama will be a “laughing stock” at
the inauguration.
The 50 high school seniors in the racially integrated Southern
hospitality group wear pastel-colored hoop dresses and matching
bonnets reminiscent of the Civil War era.
Vaughn of Dothan told the Montgomery Advertiser for a story Thursday that for the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, marching bands from historically black Tuskegee University or Alabama State University would have been a better choice.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee, set up by Obama, selected
the parade participants.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

I’m gonna do a google search and see if I can find out who wrote this…a friend posted it on Facebook earlier and I just thought it summed it all up…cause you can plan and plan and imagine and dream all you want…but you are never really prepared for the stuff that will happen (some good, some bad) and you are never prepared for the unbelievable amount of love you have for these little blessings…enjoy! (I promis to try and find and credit the author)

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn’t worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunization.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn’t want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn’t know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

teachPerhaps if I write this down somewhere I will have to be accountable…hmmm?
I resolve to:
–finish losing the weight I started losing in 2008…
–read my bible every day
–pray with my children and husband more often
–do things for others more than myself
–spend less time watching TV & on the computer and more time reading books-books for myself, books to the kids…
–stick to learning to crochet and not give up
–be a better wife and mom
–not to quit or give up on my resolutions!!
Hopefully in 2010 I will have new things on this list and not have to repeat anything again!!

PS…this goofy picture from a show I did this summer is by my friend Rick Malkin…just thought I’d give him some props!