We had a blizzard throughout Saturday and Sunday and then the temperature plummeted to below zero. The snow is back again today and the cold continues....a nice sunny beach sounds good! OR....we can warm up the house by baking! Christmas cookies here I come.
A friend sent this to me and I thought it was beautiful....for all the Moms out there.
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?'
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.'
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.
I am not a daily blogger and love to roam the halls of cyberspace reading about others lives and enjoying their willingness to share their lives with the rest of us....and I always think nothing in my life is that interesting really, nor do I have a keen sense of wit and humor to be overly funny as some of these amazing creative people are, however I wanted to share this story about my son Joshua who is 19 and finding his way in young adulthood.
Last night Josh came home after 12 hours of hard work and walked in the door with a bag of Taco Johns. I playfully said "wow you brought me dinner thank you" and he did share his 6 pack and a pound with me! But that isn't the story....he tells me that he took a co-worker to Taco Johns to feed him because when they got back to the shop and everyone else had left it was just the two of them there and the guy starts making himself a sandwich and Josh said what are you doing and the guy tells Josh that the only time he gets to eat is if he eats at work because he is a young man with a girlfriend and two young kids (under age 3) and that he doesn't eat at home because he saves it for his young family. He shares with Josh that they have had their electricity and heat turned off because they can't afford to pay the bills and money is tight for groceries. Josh said "come on" and he took him to Taco Johns and bought him supper. They other young man cried and told Josh how much he appreciated his kindness and would never forget it.
I have thought about this all last night and today and can't tell you how much pride I have in Josh for being so kind and caring about others. I could tell he was deeply touched about this young man's predicament and how sad he felt for them and their struggles. Sometimes you wonder as a mother did I really instill good values and have your kids picked up on the lessons you try to teach in life and I am go grateful to have a son who cares enough about other people to reach out and help. Joshua I am so proud of you and love you to pieces.
School is back in session and the baby of the family is a Junior this year....she came home from her first day crying and stressed saying she couldn't handle everything. She has a hefty schedule of classes, plus volleyball and a part time job. Of course I told her if she really felt she couldn't handle it then quit the job, school comes first. I think she was just over whelmed in the moment as she has so far been keeping up with everything. She does also have a boyfriend for the first time and that too takes up time and commitment...alot for someone who is still so young but also so close to becoming a young adult. I have a feeling the next two years will go by all too quickly and she will be ready to leave for college, and then what will I do? Why is it that the older you get time seems to go by so quickly. Remember when you were in high school and you never thought the year would end soon enough, now time marches on too quickly.
I have been learning faux painting techniques and love the European look. It adds warmth and beauty to your home and it is what I have been working on...I am starting my own painting business specializing in faux finishes. I am excited about this venture and the opportunity to be in business for myself.
Since quitting my job in April I have been trying to decide what to do when I grow up...I think I have found something that is right up my alley and I have been working on over the past couple of days....I will show you tomorrow with some pictures. I am kind of excited about it. Summer has finally arrived as it normally does in the upper midwest, we go from mild (almost cold at times) to blazing hot over night. It has been hot and humid here, but the corn is growing like crazy so it must be good for us.
Happy Birthday America! I hope you have had a wonderful 4th of July, I ate too much, did some pruning in the garden, had friends and family over, and took a nap, just got home from watching the fireworks display, ....does it get any better than this!
Today is my daughter Lisa's birthday; it seems like it was only yesterday she arrived in this world, all 6 pounds 7 ozs of her! She was such a petite and beautiful little girl and has grown into such a wise and wonderful young woman. Her beauty today includes not just her looks but her great mind, her love of learning, reading and writing. She is such a talented young woman and I love her more today than ever before, if that is even possible. Anyway Happy Birthday Lisa!
I am on the Tuesday Garden tour that MsGreenthumbJean has arranged so have added two slide shows of my gardens, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. My yard/gardens are a sanctuary and place where I not only get great joy from working in them but a place of rest, respite and prayer for me.
It has been a few days since I have been able to blog and check out RMS and favorite blogs due to my computer going down. It is now back in working order and I am soooo glad. You realize how much you use it and get attached to the blog world. My peonies are blooming like crazy and are beautiful...I took a good friend a bouquet of white peonies with light red tips and a red rose; she hasn't been feeling well and I thought it would cheer her up. My roses are also doing well this year. I must catch up on my favorite spaces before turning in so will blog more in a day or two.
On the eve of Father's Day I find myself thinking of my Dad, he has been gone for 10 years and that doesn't seem possible. I miss him and think of him often. I hope all the father's out there have a wonderful day and if you still have your dad take time to spend a few minutes with him and count your blessings. Also ask all those questions you want answers to....I think of so many things I wish I would have had time to ask, family history questions, questions about what life was like when he was in school, those kinds of things.
Meanwhile I will be spending time with my wonderful husband and honoring him on Father's Day, he is a great father, a wonderful son and the best friend I could ever ask for.
I am still reading through so many other blog pages and am so amazed at the talented and generous people in the world, sharing your lives with others. I am still trying to get the hang of this and am going to attempt to blog on a more regular basis.
Today has been a difficult day in our family, early this morning my adult daughter called me crying hysterically; her darling friend and companion for the past 15 years died. Abbie was a chocolate lab who has been the center of my daughter's life since her husband died very unexpectedly almost 8 years ago. It is a tragic story, they eloped in May 2000, 5 months later he turned 29 and dropped over dead two days later. He had a heart condition since a child but had a clean health report in April so it was shocking to say the least. He had gotten up at 4:00 in the morning and my daughter heard a crash and called to him when he didn't answer she ran to the kitchen to find him laying on the floor in cardiac arrest. She started CPR while also attempting to call 911....long story short he died later that morning never having regained consciousness. He was the love of her life and she has never gotten over his death. Since then her life has really revolved around Abbie. She has never had any desire to date again and has spent the last couple of years focusing on furthering her education. Abbie has been her confidant, support and love, she was such an expressive dog, she knew how to communicate in her own way and was such a sweet heart. I don't have grandchildren yet but as I like to say I do have 3 grand dogs! Abbie, and my daughter Kylie's, Jasmine and Lily! And yes they all come to visit when the girls do.
We just spoke last week about needing to consider putting her down due to her health problems but as I said she has been Lisa's companion and really her child for so long it is a difficult decision. This morning there was a thunder storm that frightened Abbie and she couldn't be calmed down and began to have great difficulty breathing. Lisa loaded her in the car and rushed to the vets office where she died. It is so very difficult to watch your children suffer and hurt, I don't think there is anything more heart wrenching for a mother. It doesn't matter their age, whether 5 or 30 it doesn't get any easier. You just wish you could take away the pain and make it all better. I have spent my day with her and she agreed to come home with me tonight and has been sleeping for the past couple of hours. It is difficult to understand why a good person may have to endure what seems like more than their share of heartache and what do you say to your child when they ask why would God allow this to happen this way. I realize that part of the trauma of today is also related to losing Rod years ago, so much of the event was similar to what she experienced with him and is like reliving it over again. Tonight all I can do is continue to pray for her and hope that she will be able to find peace in the coming days.
This is my first attempt at blogging so I am just trying to figure out how it all works, so bear with me! It has been very cold and rainy in my neck of the woods and I have been so envious as I have visited various blogs and enjoyed your pictures of gardens, porches, and homes. Thank you for sharing. As I get the hang of this I hope to post pictures as well.
Three of my children are here for the weekend, well one is always here as she still lives at home, she is 16 and the baby of the family. The other three are now young adults and finding their way in life. My daughter is here with two of the grand dogs, yes I have grand dogs, not grand kids, three of them plus two of my own so Lily and Jasmine are here to play with Bear and Cordie and Abbie will be here tomorrow. You can imagine what my floors look like with 4 dogs running in and out in the rain and mud. Tomorrow we will have a nice dinner and hopefully no rain, I am praying. My mother and father-in-law will join us for dinner as will my oldest daughter and Abbie.
I love to garden, read, do scrap booking, and working on my beautiful old colonial home. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have been able to do so visiting many beautiful and interesting places, including France, Quebec City, Canada, Mexico and 46 states! I live with my wonderful husband and 2 of my children, and our 2 black labs Cordie and Bear.