Monday, August 29, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
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.'
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 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: 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 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. 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.This was sent to me in an email some time ago and I kept it knowing I would want to read it again. It's the start of a new year and everyone is setting new goals and making resolutions, including myself, but it just wasn't really setting very well with me. I have my ever long list of things I would like to quit doing (drinking soda), start doing (exercise at least occasionally), and be better at (you name it...). I think it is time for me to be the kind of person I really want to be and stop wishing I was her. I am going to be a builder, a builder of my family, my children, myself, and those who I come in contact with. I can choose love, service, and sacrifice over bitterness, hurt feelings and selfishness. I can choose to do more of what He sees and less of what only others can see. Some of those choices will be easy ones and others will be much more difficult, but I can't see how this can do anything but make my life better and more fulfilling. I am ready for a new year, making better choices, loving more, giving more, and taking less, even if that means being invisible to some at times.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
First there is my sweet baby Bella who is 8 months old! She was born and I blinked and now she's big and eating food and drinking juice in a cup! She is teething and so not happy about it, which is a change for Bella. Bella is always happy and a total mama's girl. I love that! She loves to be tickled and she loves when any of her sisters or brother pay attention to her. I swear her hair gets more red everyday and it's gorgeous! I love my little red hair girls. Bella is just happy and sweet and perfect and I am still so in love with my dream baby!
Molly is having a great time with the big kids home. She missed them, a lot. It was Molly who had the hardest transition. She's used to running the house while the kids are at school and having lots of my attention. She has finally found her way with everyone home and now she's loving life again. Molly just finished her first ever dance class and she LOVED it! My little Molly looked so tiny next to the other girls, but she did great. She keeps asking when it's time to go to class and it's over now and she is sad. There is no substitute for dance. Molly will be signed up for dance again in September and she's already asking me how many days until September? Molly is trying swim lessons right now but she'd rather not. Usually, Molly loves the water and she wants to swim on her own. At swim lessons she sits on the side and cries and says she doesn't want to get her bow wet (even when she's not wearing a bow!) Who knows why Molly does anything? She is the reason for all of my gray hairs! She goes to the potty when SHE wants to and she goes to sleep when SHE wants to. She must wear a skirt or a dress everyday and she loves jewelry and sparkly shoes and magic wands, but she also loves dirt and mud and Lucas's bakugan's. She's always saying,"Remember when... That was so funny!" Molly is an individual and she does things in her own way and in her own time. She has been that way since before she was born. I am learning to accept this about Molly. With that acceptance has come less battling and much more laughter and enjoyment. I am still working on it, but oh how I love that girl who looks just like me.
My cute red headed Emma and her cute pink glasses that always slide down her nose making her look like a little grandma. She is so sensitive and so nurturing and so much like me that she drives me crazy! Emma has been doing cheerleading for the past 3 weeks and she loves it. In a few weeks she will start swimming lessons too and she can't wait. I love when Emma is home. She floats so easily between playing with Molly or Bella and playing with Lucas. She loves to help and be domestic. She is always wanting to cook and she can fold a whole basket of towels PERFECTLY (half, half again and then in thirds)! She is so excited for first grade and hoping for the same teacher Lucas had. She loves and looks up to her big brother so much. She is so so smart and loves to read. She is always reading and I do mean always, in her bed walking down the hall, walking down the stairs, in the car, in the bathroom, when she is supposed to be playing with friends or cleaning. ALWAYS! I wish she had more confidence. I pray and worry about that for her all the time. I want her to know that she is good, strong, smart, capable, worthy and loved. How do I make sure my daughter knows that? It took me a LONG time to know that and I still struggle with it.
Lucas is loving summer. All the sports he could want! Finally learning to ride a two wheeler has made bike riding suddenly so much more fun and finally losing a tooth! Lucas has also discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter and he has caught the fever. I am amazed that he has read the first 4 books in the last 6 weeks!!! I told him I would read the books with him, since I had never read them. It's hard to keep up with him. We are both enjoying talking about the books and sometimes staying up late and cuddling up while we read a chapter together. Lucas has always been my cuddler. Lucas is playing coach pitch baseball this summer and starting swim lessons soon too. He's just having fun being outside and playing with friends. He finished 1st grade in a blaze of glory playing the lead part in his class musical. It was so fun for him and so fun for me to watch him. I think he caught the acting bug! Lucas is growing up so fast and takes good care of his sisters, but still wishing for a brother. We will have to wait and see. The jury is still out on that topic...
Joe is busier than ever before, if that's possible. He's transitioning to a new role at work and feeling good about that. He is the young men's president in our ward and I never knew how much work that was going to be. Holy Cow! It's only been about 9 months so we are in for the long haul on that one. Joe works hard and he works hard for us. I know that. I do. I have to remind myself constantly. Joe never does anything half way or just enough and it's a wonderful quality to have. But, honestly I struggle with it. I struggle with it A LOT. He is gone a lot (work and church responsibilities) and that means the kids and I are on our own a lot. I just miss him when he's not around. I miss him a lot. I am trying harder to just be grateful for when he is here and not thinking how long until he is gone again. It's hard for me and I will never be great at it, but I am trying. I know that when we put the Lord first in our lives, serve first, that everything works out and falls into place. Doors are opened, blessings come. Now if I could just remember those truths when the kids are fighting and the baby's crying and there are mountains of laundry and dishes in the sink spilling over to the counters and cereal smashed all over the floor and earwigs in the basement and the toilet flooding and the toddler has peed on the couch yet again and Joe is out of town on yet another business trip, if I could remember then...that would be something.
I love summer. I love having my family all together. The time we share together is so precious. There is so much I want my children to know and I feel the urgency. I want them to know who they are and where they came from and what they can become. I want them to know that I love them and the Lord loves them. That's what I want and that's what I am trying to do here at home everyday. That's why today instead of starting dinner we played 4 square in the driveway while Bella was napping. And why when I was putting Bella down for her nap, I let her nurse and snuggle as long as she wanted. I didn't look at the clock or think about the next thing on my very long, ever growing to do list. I was just there in the moment with my sweet baby, breathing in that wonderful scent trying to capture that memory.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Mom, I love you more than pumpkin pie. I love you more than my dad. I even love you more than football. I love you like a moon loves night. I love the smell of your potato soup. I love the taste of your baked potatoes. I love the sound of your heart beat. I love the feel of your head against mine. I love when you find time to cuddle with me. I love you, I love you, I love you, I do!
From your kid, Lucas