** Due to the increasing severity of MY ILLNESS, it has become impossible for me to continue to post on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as much as I desperately long to, I am also unable to visit each of your blogs often or reciprocate all the loving, supportive comments many of you continue to leave - even though at times it may appear as though you've arrived at some long ago, forsaken blog! With that said, I really want you to know that I miss every single one of you and that I really am still here! I'm just too sick and too weak most days to be able to sit up long enough to create a brand new post...or even read one. However, I absolutely do receive AND read every new encouraging word you leave (and, often, the old ones, again and again!) and I cherish them now more than ever! I truly appreciate your love, support, and, most importantly, your precious time spent on your knees in prayer for my family and me. It ALL means the world to me and I am truly blessed to have friends like you!
~Hugs and Sister Love, Teresa

FYI: All comments come to my email, which I can easily read on my phone. I also enjoy Facebook on my phone because I can catch up on A LOT in a very short time there. Soooo, if you're on Facebook, come 'friend' me there! {{HUGS}} **

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

The following piece was shared with me by a very good friend and I felt compelled to share it with you, especially right here on the heels of Mother's Day. I am dedicating it to my amazing mom and all the other moms out there who have ever felt invisible. I hope it lifts your spirits and makes you feel like the treasured lady you truly are.


It started to happen gradually …

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?"

"Nobody," he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?"

Invisible Woman CoverI would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking.

That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me.

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 dress; 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 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 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.


Printed with permission from the website Nicole's Freshly Brewed Life - Excerpted from the book, ''The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees', by Nicole Johnson.

18 comments:

The Holmes Crew said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this post! This is the exact message our pastor gave us on Sunday but somehow, it's a little more personal here!
Have a blessed day!

Samantha said...

Oh, so very true.
Beautiful thanks for sharing !

Zeemaid said...

great post!! that invisible woman thing really hit home with me...

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

It's a lovely post. Although I admit to still feeling a little sad for your friend. Perhaps we shouldn't be lauded all the time but it would be nice if her life partner "saw" her a bit more. I hope that he does.

T.J. said...

hello! Over here from our favorite veteran kindergarten teacher's blog and I'm so very thankful I swung by. What a MOVING post! God does see, even if no one else does and it's a good thing for me to be remembering from time to time rather than trying to find the glory from others. Thanks for sharing :)

the girl in the green scarf said...

Thank you very very much for this post, it was perfect for me! I'm gonna get married this year in September, so whenever I will feel invisible, I will think of God and I'll have the right attitude about things in life... God bless.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Nicole it the best. I have heard her do this in person twice and it is wonderful....She is one of nmy favorite ever doing dramas....and a great asset to WOF. Her testimony is one many do not know....but its amazing....

Deb said...

Love this story!

Simplicity. And sacrifice.

Now, that's real success.

Sweet dreams.

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

I've been feeling invisible lately. I really needed to read this...thanks!

Emily said...

This is a really touching post, and I think I can understand where your friend's coming from, but I don't think it's too much to ask to be seen, at least sometimes...at least by your partner. Still, it's food for thought. Thanks!

septembermom said...

I often feel invisible. This was wonderful for my spirit. Thank you!

Kylee said...

I was able to look at your post on peru, and oh my goodness, I am so excited! Thank you for your words on my blog. It will be a truly incredible experience to see how God uses me!! I am so excited!

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

wow this is such a great great post, one that i really needed!!! thanks so much for stopping by from SITS =) i've subscribed to your blog to keep up on your latest & i will keep you in my prayers that you will have strength only God can give in the midst of your diagnosis!

Ms. Understood said...

This is an awesome post. It really helps us to focus on who we are really doing anything for, God.

Stopping by from SITS.

VKT said...

What a lovely story. I had never heard it before. I love what the carpenter replied to the wealthy man who wanted to know why he spent so much time carving something no one would see......because God can....beautiful and so true.

Tree said...

This is just beautiful!! If only everyone could see their own worth like God sees us. Prayers for all of the "nobodys" out there! :)

christy rose said...

That was awesome Teresa! I feel invisible alot but not to God! Wow! That is just so good!!

carol said...

Excellent post. She may feel invisible but if she was not there she would surely be missed!

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