Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Invisible Mother

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Author Unknown

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.’

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.  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 4:00 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.


Well done Mother!

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Idolatrous prayer?

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She asked the question just before we went to bed last night. 

“Where in the Bible can I find a verse on idolatory?”
“There are lots” her father answered.
“The first one is probably the one in the 10 commandments” I added.

This morning in the car she told me that it is her turn to open the school today with scripture and prayer.  And that she was going to talk about idolatry.  She carried on before I could ask for more information.

“Many times we are so absorbed about something that we end up praying only about that one thing.  Like sport for instance.  We pray that we will do well.  We pray that we will not be injured.  We pray to win the game.  At the end, the only thing you talk about in prayer is your sport.  That is idolatry.  We should grow in our relationship with God in our prayer time instead of petitioning Him about our idolatrous activities”.

Deep words for a teenager.

Food for thought.

The danger of social media – read this story and read it to your children.

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After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line..
She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213:
Hi. I’m glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!
GoTo123:
LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don’t you live in a safe neighbourhood?
ByAngel213:
Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz’ I didn’t see anybody when I looked out.
GoTo123:
Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven’t done that have you?
ByAngel213:
Of course not. I’m not stupid you know.
GoTo123:
Did you have a softball game after school today?
ByAngel213:
Yes, and we won!!
GoTo123:
That’s great! Who did you play?
ByAngel213:
We played the Hornets. LOL.
Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL
GoTo123:
What is your team called?
ByAngel213:
We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are
really cool.
GoTo123:
Did you pitch?
ByAngel213:
No, I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my 
parents get home. I don’t want them mad at me. Bye!
GoTo123:
Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile, GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: Victoria

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday
afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High school. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information
to find her now.

Shannon didn’t tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn’t want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn’t be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her. Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her.
 
It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely. He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn’t look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon ‘s home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon ‘s house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

” Shannon , come here,” her father called.. He sounded upset and she couldn’t imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

 “Sit down,” her father began,” this man has just told us a most interesting story about you.”

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

“Do you know who I am, Shannon ?” the man asked.
“No,” Shannon answered.

“I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123.”

Shannon was stunned. “That’s impossible! GoTo123 is a kid my age! He’s 14. And he lives in Western Australia!”

The man smiled. “I know I told you all that, but it wasn’t true. You see, Shannon , there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line.
You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze.”

Shannon was stunned. “You mean you don’t live in Western Australia?”

He laughed. “No, I live in Abbottsford . It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn’t it?”

She nodded.

“I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn’t as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you’ve learned a lesson from this and won’t do it again. Tell others
about this so they will be safe too?”

“It’s a promise!”

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mum thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.

Author Unknown.