Monday, February 7, 2011

Because I'm invisible

My mother-in-law emailed this to me a couple days ago...and I just now had a chance to sit down and read it because I've been busy being "Mom"...which I found only fitting

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

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

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

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 3
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

To all the wonderful mothers out there!!

May God give you:
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.



  1. I remember reading this before. Sooooo good. Chokes me up every time. Im so grateful for my mom and all the unseen things she still does for her children, grandchildren , greatgrandchildren.

    Thanks for sharing Jennifer! You truely are building beautiful, great, cathedrals.
    Love you!

  2. Thanks for posting this, Jen. I really needed to read that this week!

  3. That is a beautiful story. Just beautiful.