Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

If you are a Mother, I want to wish you abundant blessings.  But not for only today.  You might need them more next week when you have to dust the cards you were given.    Or even in a few days while you wash all the clothes your family wore to the picnic they made for you.  Or you might need them tomorrow when you have a cook again.

I have mixed feelings this Mother's Day morning.  I spent yesterday in battle with two of my teenagers.  It felt like a tag team.  They weren't working together - I don't think, but who ever was in the room was in conflict with me and my husband. THEN, because I love them I stayed up to 1 am to finish the laundry they needed (but wouldn't get to me all week) for the band trip that leaves at 8:30 am this morning.  I was angry, sore and hurt ... but I couldn't fathom NOT doing the laundry.  I felt like the 100's of times I do the laundry would get lost in the one time I didn't.

So ... not to be a downer for you.  I awoke this morning and remembered an email my brother sent me many, many months ago that I saved because it makes me cry and then it makes me keep going.  And that's what I need today ... to keep on keeping on.

I searched the Internet to find the author.  It is an excerpt from Nicole Johnson's novel The Invisible Woman (W Publishing Group, 2005). For more information, check out the author's Web site at  Or check her out on this YouTube clip. 

It is long and I apologize, but read it anyway.  It will greatly bless your soul ... especially if you are a mom!

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 3 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.

 To all the wonderful mothers out there!!

 May God give you:
 For every storm, a rainbow,
 For every tear, a smile,
 For every care, a promise,
 And a blessing in each trial.
 For every problem life sends,
 A faithful friend to share,
 For every sigh, a sweet song,
 And an answer for each prayer. 


  1. Absolutely great!!! It puts the importance of the work mothers do in perspective. You are building cathedrals that will be seen and admired by many people when you raise your children. I thank God that three of my gramdchildren have you for a mother, Jodi!!


  2. I'm thinking my original comment got "lost":).

    Thanks so much for posting this Jodi. It reminds me of the song "Do Everything" by Steven Curtis Chapman:

    I find that for me it often goes in waves. For a while I'll be content doing my "invisible mom" thing...and then I'll start feeling sorry for myself & wishing someone would acknowledge all that I do...and that's when I need a reminder like this:). Thanks my friend.