Can you Relate?
God Sees You, Momma! I have to remind myself of this everyday.
I am a family woman, who decided to use all of my gifts and talents to raise little souls who are so right for me, but so hard for me, at the same time. I love my family so deeply, but I feel trapped and lonely too often. I want to keep growing and learning personally, and yet I am left with tiny bits of time in between naps. I ache to make big, meaningful contributions, but I feel like taking a shower and putting on makeup is an accomplishment.
I want to wake up super early, exercise, eat and create super healthy meals, create educational and fun activities for my kids, be actively involved with school, church and community and all the good things. Somedays I do it all and somedays I do none.
Sometimes I feel like my gifts and talents are being under-utilized as a mother, and I feel guilty for thinking that because I know that being a mother is so important and not an easy job. No one deserves my best more than my children.
Being a mother is so challenging, and I have noticed a pattern about things that are hard–they are usually well worth the struggle. Things that matter demand my patience and my whole heart.
If you relate…
So if you can resonate with any of these things I have shared about motherhood, I want you to know that I see you. You are not alone.
I recently went to a Relief Society activity and a mother of seven spoke to us. She said she relied on faith as a parent. She shared an experience of how Heavenly Father knew that she couldn’t do it all, but if she would listen, he would send the people and experiences that her children needed. Her story illustrated how certain people influenced some of her children at just the right time. She was so grateful she wasn’t alone in raising her children.
She said, in regards to being a mother, “I have given my whole heart to this.” I am so impressed with the love and service she has willingly given to her family.
She then shared a beautiful story that I had never heard. It has stuck with me and motivated me to keep going. I will share it below:
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,
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, devoured – 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
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
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.” -Nicole Johnson
Although you feel invisible, there are other invisible moms building their cathedrals and praying that it all turns out as beautiful as the real ones that dot Europe. My favorite women are not heroes, movies stars, models or even the women shattering the glass ceiling. My favorite women are women that I will likely never hear about because they are not demanding the spotlight. They are doing work that is vital to the welfare of the whole world, but getting no praise from that world they contribute to. Only God sees my work, and I pray that it is enough. Let God’s eyes and love be enough for you too.