Monday, January 10, 2011

Inspiration in Monotony

Obviously, I haven't posted anything on here in a while - since August to be exact. I would really like to do it more often, but it seems that life is just too busy. I rarely find the time or inspiration to post something new. In fact, I just said to my husband a couple weeks ago that I don't know how moms who blog daily manage it. Even if I did have the time, my life is just not that interesting. Nobody wants to know how many loads of laundry I did or how many dishes I washed. Does anyone really care what my girls argue about ten thousand times each day??

Then, last week, my mom forwarded me an email. It was something I had read before, but forgotten. It reminded me that, sometimes, the inspiration is in the monotony; in the minutia.

Hopefully, this is the first of more posts to come. I have set a goal (I refuse to call it a New Year's resolution) to post a blog at least once a week. We'll see how long it lasts, but I thought it was only fitting that the first post should include the passage that has inspired me and reminded me how lucky I am to have such a boring, mundane, wonderful, beautiful life!!

The Passage is called "The Invisible Mother" by Mary Lynn Plaisance.

P.S. Thanks, Mom, for the email and for everything you have been and done in my life!!

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 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 three 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.





3 comments:

Dokey Rider said...

Lisa,
This is truly beautiful, and oh so true. Thanks for the uplift!!
Lana

asgoodadayasany said...

This post was forwarded to me by my daughter. Great poem! You've set a reasonable goal for blogging. Best wishes with it. I am a fan of anyone who puts good stuff out into cyberspace, the world being full enough of bad stuff. Write on! - MARILYN

Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint said...

Oh, love, love, LOVE this!

Thank you for sharing!

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