Sunday, February 10, 2008

God Sees.. Is that not Enough?

My girlfriend sent me the following article this evening .. it is one of those e-mail round-abouts but I think it has a great message.
Just in case you haven't received it yet in your mailbox I thought I would post it here for you to read! While the author of this piece was a mother encouraging mothers .. the message can apply to anyone. We all wonder at times if our life is worthwhile , it we are contributing anything that will last.
1Co 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Be encouraged to know that everything you do as unto Him is part of the mosaic of God's purposes and is important to Him who is the master builder!!


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'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 theDisney Channel?'
I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'I

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 hair 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:
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 whisperingto 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.


Nicki said...

Oh Julie. How I needed your blog tonight. It was if it was written for me. I feel that invisibility as if I'm the only one working towards the goal of a clean house and basic organisation. That no matter what I do it is never enough and that I am failing my kids. I needed the reminder of who I am working for and why I am working because so often I forget and I get cranky and bossy and push my kids away from me instead of drawing them closer.
I want the sort of relationship with them that I didn't have with my parents where they want to be around me, to want to come home and to want to bring there friends home. Thank you for the reminder that if I remember my reason for being here and who put me here and I work for Him then my focus and attitude will be different. Thank you.

Lovella said...

Thank you Julie. . .it touched a tender spot in my heart as well.

(it's a little funny that again as cousins we do mention the same thing in our posts .. today it is the phone .. .it's not a huge part of your post .. but for me it is still a connection)

charlotte said...

Julie, you have no idea how much i needed this today!!!!today of all days God choose to speak to me directly, using my name....charlotte. thankyou for sharing that!

James Janzen said...

This was a great post, but for me I wouldn't have had to read any further than the title.

Doesn't this title really say it all? "God sees...Is that not Enough?" If we just based our lives on this one sentence wouldn't our lives be full of meaning? How would our daily behavior change if we asked ourselves this question each morning? How would we react if this question was on our minds when someone cut us off in traffic? Or treated us rudely or ignored us in a store when we were waiting for help? Good food for thought.

Sara said...

Isn't this a wonderful illustration? I had seen it before, but I'm glad you have shared it again with us...

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Happy Valentine's Day Julie!
Great post!

Demara said...

Oh Julie, that is so great! I will have to copy and paste it for a friend of MINE. I'm sorry I wasn't by earlier...I don't know what happened. I guess you should know, that I do get distracted QUITE easily!!!