Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Invisible

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 invisible.

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
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
"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

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.

This was sent to me from a dear friend...I wanted to share this with you all. I hope you all have a blessed weekend...I'll talk to you on Monday.
You know what? No one commented on me yesterday. I had over 100 views.....but no one commented. Sometimes I think I should quit doing this......some people get 2-4 comments some people get 10-18..some get 60-90...I got 0. How should this make me feel? You got it...Invisible.


gail@more than a song said...

Oh that's good, I like that! Glad you shared it.
I don't think my bloglines showed up yesterday with anything new for you, plus....I had a TERRIBLE time trying to comment on blogs yesterday! I tried on several a few times and kept getting kicked off so I wondered if blogger was having problems. I'm sorry I didn't check back with you, and some others.
Hope you have a good Friday!

Our Family of Five said...

Keeping the right perspective.... I believe that's key also. It can be soooo hard but I will be completely honest and tell you that somedays the sacrificing is so much easier than showing love or kindness. I can sacrifice and keep on keeping on..... being invisible.... but remaining loving, sweet-spirited, and kind-hearted through all of it....... now that's where I am challenged most sometimes!

Is there a way to add you to my microsoft feeds? I tried before but the little orange square up there on my tool bar (beside the house or 'homepage button') is greyed over and won't let me click it to add you. Let me know if you know of a way. Hope you had a great day today. God Bless! :)

Overwhelmed! said...

Jen, this is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.

Please don't feel invisible just because you don't get comments some days.

I've learned that lurkers can be shy about leaving comments but the important thing is that people are taking the time to stop by and read and possibly come back for more another day!

I'll be back to read more and I'll leave comments when I return. :)

Take care!

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

What a lovely thing to receive in an email, Jen. And by the way, I got your email about Christmas. I'm just so completely overwhelmed right now, with Cameron here constantly, I can barely think straight and I want to give some thought to how I reply. So give me a few days. You know, he's been here every day since Tuesday and will be here for seven more days in a row before I finally get a break. This whole thing with Nancy's poor husband has thrown all of us into a complete tailspin.

Anyway, I love this post. I so relate to feeling invisible sometimes. I'm talking about my family, not my blog. Sometimes you feel like they just don't "see" you but I think we both know they'd be devastated if they really couldn't see us.

Keep your chin up and keep posting and OW is so right. It's always nice to know people are reading even if they're timid about leaving comments. I vividly remember when I first started my blog and started reading other blogs, I was almost embarrassed to leave a comment.

Now, I just blather away. LOL But still, there are just days like that. And I've noticed a huge dropoff in blogging and commenting on weekends. In a way, it's kind of encouraging to know so many people are getting their priorities right and keeping weekends for family time.

Don't even talk about not blogging. It wouldn't be the same without you out here.


Sandra said...

Hey I commented yesterday LOL

You know I love you Jen and even if no one else comments, I still will and I enjoy your blog, so please don't even think of giving up....I'll have to come find you and force you to continue blogging LOL

HOpe you have a beautiful weekend :)

Trish said...

Hi, I just found your blog. Love this post! Thanks for sharing that with us! P.S. Love the picture of the coffee at the top of your page too!

Jeni said...

My good blogger friend, Shelby of "Time With Shelby" sent me by here and as usual, I found her recommendation to be stellar! Great blog!
The piece you posted here - just so happens a cousin of mine down in Alabama (I'm in central PA) sent that to me just this morning for some words of encouragement as I deal with watching my two little grandchildren -Maya, almost four and autistic and her baby brother, Kurtis -16 months -who is displaying markers of autism now too. Never a dull moment and sometimes kids can make us feel invisible -heck, life in general, at times does that too and it's great to read such a good picker-upper, isn't it?

LORA said...

Hi, Just stopping by. I loved this blog and relate to it so much! It is so true!