Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 26

Opinions please? Is highlighter orange a little too orange? :) I had fun making him a pair of overalls that fit him. But it's orange. My mother made a comment about his Dallas Cowboy's star. That made me think about the blue/orange Denver colors. Neither was intended. Both teams are not our favorites. (I'm a Philadelphia fan by marriage, a New England fan by birth).

He slept from 1am to 7am and was wide awake, ready to be fed when I woke up. He ate for 45 minutes this morning, and at that I had to "cut him off". Haha. He's so hungry!

Matt's working on a project today: sanding down our new bedframe. Friends of ours have a new bed, so they gave us their old one. Yay for a queen size - we've had just about enough of a double! Doubles lose their 'draw quality' when there's a 40 week pregnant woman and a toddler added to them. There's just not enough room to go around. This upgrade is much appreciated. However, at present we have a double mattress, but not a queen. So we're not completely upgraded yet. Hopefully we'll find a 2nd hand (but decent) mattress soon.

We may be taking more family pictures today. Our friend Margo came over on Monday and took some shots, but wanted to take more. Oceana was not in the mood for sitting still, smiling, cooperating in general - so she said she'd come back this weekend. I'm looking forward to it. Anything that we plan several days ahead, I get nervous about - thinking maybe Joshua won't be here then.

Friends of ours went through their newborn clothes and brought Joshua a few things to borrow until he fits his other stuff. What a blessing. And how awesome to see him in stuff that fits him. I think he feels "less tiny" when his clothes fit. I've heard the same thing about preemies - that parents don't see them as so small if their clothes, hats, socks, etc fit well.

I just got a forward from Barb - a blog-reader. I am not usually into forwards, especially the "flowery stories". But this one belongs in a book. This is how (I'm sure) many moms around the world feel. And this is exactly what I'm hoping to be. I hope and pray and wish that my selfishness will die, my pride will take the back seat, and that Oceana will come home from high school with her friends in tow.

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. 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." 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: 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.

***Pray Joshua's cele stops leaking and heals over
***Pray for our sanity, grace, strength, and peace
***Pray that God's will be done this week. My dad's in Western Samoa for a week - it's a bit scary having him away, when Joshua's situation is so precarious.
***Pray for our immigration paperwork to go through smoothly and quickly.

Posted by Picasa


  1. Hi Susie,
    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog and how I appreciate you sharing your life. I am a regular on the Babyfit site which is where I found a reference to your blog. I love seeing Joshua's pictures and would love to kiss that precious face myself - what a doll! I pray consistently for you and your family. Thanks again for sharing your story and your life.

  2. It is quite orange but nice, If you like it thats all that matters. I'm ammazed at all the clothes you make, you are so tallented. I'm glad Joshua is doing well, and I'm still praying for him. God willing he will be with you and Matt for a long time to come. Keep the pictures coming, I love them. Dianne

  3. The orange is bright...but I think our LO's can get away with it! What made you choose such a bright colour. Do you Choose specific types of clothes to put on Joshua that aren't difficult to get over his 'cele?

    Praise be to God for the glimpses of perspective he gives us. even in forwards.

  4. I LOVE it! But I'm a fan of orange myself. I think it looks adorable on him. You can really see Joshua growing. He's an amazing little boy and you are an amazing Mom.

  5. I like the orange, it is bright but cute and it fits Joshua perfectly.

    The invisable woman story was good to thanks for sharing.

    May grace be with you,