CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

4/2/09

I AM INVISIBLE by Nicole Johnson


I Am 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 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, 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 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.

---------
Written by Nicole Johnson in her book The Invisible Woman

3 comments:

Shellbie said...

This post was...well....simply wonderful.
I sit here weeping, only 5 minutes earlier I was irritated that another phone conversation was interrupted and I lost yet another drink to my youngest.
Thank you.
Oh and call that friend of yours for me and tell her that she herself is wonderful.

The Story Of Us........ said...

Shelbbie
Not written by my hand I'm afraid...
This is a snippet taken from a book written by Nicole Johnson. It was forwarded to me in an e-mail and I've seen it on other blogs also...just had to share it on my blog, as I too was crying while reading it. :-)

Shellbie said...

Ahhh....I was so weepy eyed I missed that inclusion at the bottom.
Now I've got to get to the book store and pick up that book and a box of tissues.
;)