Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm a....

The Invisible Woman
Excerpt By Nicole Johnson

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 five, but as we crossed the street I thought, oh my goodness, nobody?
I 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 to 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 putting 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 would 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 just push 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 else 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 will 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 shrine or monument to myself. I just want him to come home. And then if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it here.”
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, at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

*The book that Nicole used in The Invisible Woman is Churches (2001) by Judith Dupre. For more information, visit www.judithdupre.com.*

© Nicole Johnson, Fresh Brewed Life, Inc. 2006

***Sounds like a great book to put on my list!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine!

Kind of a familiar look according to her daddy...
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These babies l-o-v-e their bac-bacs {blankets}...
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Praise the Lord for the rain! And cooler weather! WE are super happy about it!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grace & Pumpkins...

GRACE---so thankful God extends it to me over & over & over!!!

"He who grows in grace remembers he is but dust and he therefore does not expect his fellow christians to be anything more. He overlooks 10,000 of their faults because he knows his God overlooks 20,000 in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature and therefore he is not disappointed when he does not find it."
Charles Spurgeon


FALL, FALL, FALL! Please hurry up and come!

I would love to have this drive home!
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We have our haybales out with our scarecrows up and pumpkins too! The leaves are falling but the temparature is NOT! We are ready!
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*Notice the precious little orange thing in the background {not the pumpkins}. He is my very best friend during this season! If you do not have one, do yourself a big favor and go get one!
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We have completed the back. The front is still a work in progress. Still waiting on more haybales and got to get a few more pumpkins. {John Luke is thoroughly enjoying pumpkin 'shopping'. Today as we picked them out he said, "Here Mama. This one looks great. And this one...and this one..." If it had been up to him we would have bought Wal-Mart out!
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Friday, September 17, 2010

"Did you do this?"

Okay, I know that laughing while your child tells you a big fat lie, is totally against the rules. But tonight we absolutely could not help ourselves! Me, John, and John Luke were in the playroom playing, and I look up and see coloring marks on the closet door. So I show them to John Luke and ask him if he drew them. He looks at me, squints his eyes, looks off into space and says, "No." "Lucky did it." "She did it with her foot." "She came in here all by herself and did it with her foot." {Lucky is our dog.} "Uh huh," he says. "I saw her." Then he walks over to the door and demonstrates how she did it. "I told her no." "But she did it."

My Oh My! They keep us laughing! I'm sure glad they do because some days I think I'd pull my hair out if they didn't!!!

Moving on to other things...
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John Luke L-O-V-E-S to drive most anything that has four or more wheels! Whether it be real or pretend, he could do it ALL day long, EVERY day!
And this fellow is his 'farming' buddy.
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Little Miss Sassy could be walking if she wanted to. But she doesn't want to.
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She has taken a few steps. But only when she wanted to. And don't even think about trying to 'trick' her into it! She will show you who's boss!
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The other morning when John Luke heard her awake, we went in her room and found this...
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Needless to say, she did not think it was as funny as we did!
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Haaaaappppy Friday!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

'Fishing River'

Fishing River is officially known as Fish River, but according to John Luke it is most certainly called Fishing River. And that is where we have been. Resting {Ha,Ha!}, relaxing, and enjoying some cooler weather!
Most of our trips are extremely long. And not necessarily in distance. I mean long as in very stressful! Our children are NOT 'riders' by any stretch of the imagination and usually we've run out of tricks within the first 10 minutes! To keep our sanity we sing, jam out, watch TV, dance, read books, look at equipment magazines, look at anything and everything that might be of interest outside of the vehicle, eat snacks, play with toys, drink juice/milk, etc.... This particular point in the trip down, we were singing 'If you're happy and you know it'...
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Even daddy was participating. {I told you, we're desperate}...
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And ofcourse I was entertained by the sky...
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Throughout the weekend we...

Rode the boat...
What in the world is John Luke doing?!?!?
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Rode the tractor...
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Did some fishing...and caught some fish!
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Played the drums...
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Found some little 'hideaways'...
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Hung out with the Mamys...
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Got baths in the kitchen sink...
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Entertained by the sky...again...
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And on the way home...

We found a nice little something we'd all like to bring home with us...
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And then we made a quick pit-stop for a waffle cone, and a brownie earthquake. While there, a little girl practiced driving...
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Hope y'all had a fantastic holiday weekend!