Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Can You Believe My Mom Did This To Me?

Sometimes as mothers, we have to embrace change. Everyday we raise our children we do that as everyday we watch them grow older, smarter, braver, you know. Today, Joey tried the Bumbo for the first time (on the floor, not on the counter or table top!). And he really seemed to enjoy himself.
He is almost six weeks old.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Building Our Cathedrals

I awoke to find this in my inbox, for all mothers in the world:

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 dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.

My unwashed hair was pulled up in a 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 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, devoured - 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 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.

God Bless You as you build your Cathedrals!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Happy Birthday KrisTaBelle!!!

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...."
The post may be a day late, but the wish and prayer made it inperfect time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy 21st Ben

May God's blessings be yours all the days of your life.
Hang tough, be good, do well.
I love you.

Jacob was left there alone. Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled.
27 The man then said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me." 28 "What is your name?" the man asked. He answered, "Jacob." 29 Then the man said, "You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed." 30 Jacob then asked him, "Do tell me your name, please." He answered, "Why should you want to know my name?" With that, he bade him farewell.
31 Jacob named the place Peniel, "Because I have seen God face to face," he said, "yet my life has been spared."
Genesis 32:25-31.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Praise Sister Death, Later if you please, My Lord.

On Wednesday, October 4, on the feast of St Francis, cartoonist Tom Batuik put character Lisa Moore to rest . Lisa succumbed to breast cancer. As I mentioned in my 8/5 entry(, the storyline has captured my heart because Lisa Moore is someone that we all know. She is a mother.

As a Lover of God, a wife, a mother, friend and a nurse I have come to a peace and understanding with Sister Death. I have grown into that peace over 49 years of talking to God about it. Just when I think I’m pretty cool about it, I run into a few kinks. Kristen is the mother of two beautiful babies. Babies need their mothers and fathers for shelter, nurture and most importantly to show them the face of God. I’m not so cool about young mothers like Kristen leaving children behind. If the truth be told, I’m not cool about my mom leaving me, but it’s a reality that I accept knowing that full communion with Our Creator is our ultimate joyful homecoming

As a result of Mr Batuik’s storytelling he notes in his blog that awareness has been raised and a national fund raising venture for research will bear Lisa’s name: “The Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research and Education”. Mr Batuik and King Features will contribute the royalties from the publication of Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe to cancer research. Mr. Batuik enjoys the fruit of joy by virtue of the fact that he took a risk in using his God given talent in the funny pages. Well done Mr Batuik.

Our patron St. Monica and Our Blessed Mother lead us as mothers of prayer for our children Let us together pray for our own children and the children left by the untimely departure of their mothers. Let us pray for ethical research. Please prayerfully consider financial contributions and when the occasion arises, care for the sick.

Rest in Peace all faithful departed mothers.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for our sister, bodily death,
whom no man living can escape. -Francis of Assisi