Invisible Moms

I received an e-mail from my son-in-law the other day. It was addressed to my daughter and I.
I’m sure she gets e-mails from him often, but this is not a common occurrence for me.

So I was a little surprised…pleasantly so!

He prefaced the story below with a personal note. I have not included the personal note, but suffice it to say, it was very kind and thoughtful, expressing much gratitude and love!

I have to say, if he keeps doing stuff like this, we might just keep him around! 🙂 (Just teasing!) He’s a good guy!

It’s obvious that he loves my daughter very much, and he is adjusting to the role of being a new Dad quite well!

I hope the story encourages you as much as it did me!


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 fuelled 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

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.


75 thoughts on “Invisible Moms

  1. Life&Ink says:

    Yup, he’s a definite keeper alright! What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing such sunshine! 🙂

    • Becky says:

      My pleasure! Now I just need to work on his baseball allegiance 🙂 he’s a SF Giants fan, and we just don’t cheer for that team in this house! We like to tease him about it all the time. He’s a very good sport about it, but it sure can be interesting when the two teams are playing each other 🙂 thanks for stopping by – hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Imelda says:

    Oh, a sweet Son-in-law he is.

    Becky, I am so touched by this post of yours I had misty eyes by the time I reached the end of the story. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Becky says:

      Yeah, I think the sun got in my eyes when I was reading it too 🙂 I think every mom can relate to the story, and to have it passed on to me by my son-in-law was pretty special! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment Imelda – I always enjoy hearing from you!
      I hope you have a wonderful week!

  3. dogear6 says:

    It’s a great story and I’m glad you shared it. I struggle with the same thing. My gift / ministry is working one-on-one with people, from my husband to my daughter to the many co-workers I’ve had over the years. I’ve made a big difference in people’s lives, but it’s almost all behind the scenes. Only the person I’m helping at the moment knows I’m doing it. And some days it is hard to always be the one in the background. But that is where my gifts and talents are. Thanks for the reminder of how important that is.


    • Becky says:

      Nancy –
      That is a wonderful gift that you have, and a very important one too! It encourages me to know that there are people who care enough to help others, especially when it is behind the scenes, and there isn’t a lot of recognition given! Let this be your moment of recognition, and allow me to tell you what an amazing lady you are!
      Keep doing what you’re doing, and be that person who listens and helps when no one else can or will!
      I hope you have a wonderful week and God Bless you and your family! 🙂

      • dogear6 says:

        Thanks for the encouragement Becky! It took me a long time to accept that God’s will for me was in the workplace, working with others. And for them, I am for a season one of the most important people in their lives.

        You have a wonderful week too and enjoy God’s blessings.


  4. Lara says:

    That’s very touching..thnx for sharing 🙂

    • Becky says:

      Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I was hoping it would be as impactive to others, as it was to me! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I like this post and would like to re blog this saturday,!? Take care and God bless :-). Kenny T

  6. I can totally relate to the invisble mom syndrome 🙂

  7. inspireddaybyday says:

    Thank you! This post meant a great deal to me and I’m sure to countless others.

  8. Thank you for sharing this!!!

  9. bernasvibe says:

    Absolute beautiful glad you shared it! Mothers rock ! And in my heart of hearts being a Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma..has been/IS the most rewarding & most important JOB I’ve ever held. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better Mom myself; and I give honor still to my ex Mom-in-Law(who still calls me daughter..) and my God-Mom, and to the other friends of my parents who are mother-figures to me. Even though Mothers Day is quickly approaching; I love them all daily. Again, wonderful piece that made me have such beautiful reflections. Stay UPlifted & blessed

    • Becky says:

      Thank you! How wonderful for you that you had so many great role models in your life! It’s a true blessing when you have people in your life who enrich you and encourage you to be a better person!
      Thank you for sharing your fond memories! God bless you today and every day!

  10. A very lovely post……I cud absolutely relate to what u had written in the post…..A strong foundation is built only ’cause of the great sacrifices of the people behind the scenes……& yes, God can see even the minutest of things…..God bless, my dear…..

    • Becky says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I hope you found encouragement and inspiration!
      It’s a hard job, but the rewards can often far outweigh the work!
      God bless you on your journey!

  11. adventures says:

    This is a very motivating story. I enjoy it each time I get to re-read it 🙂

    • Becky says:

      Yes it is! 🙂 it seems as though I get something new out of it each time I read it too! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

  12. This is very touching and encouraging. It is true. Thank you for encouraging me today.

    • Becky says:

      Yep, that’s what I was hoping for – that other people would be just as encouraged as I was…if not more! Glad you enjoyed it! Have a great day!

  13. Jennifer says:

    To click on a little “Like” star seems so pathetically minuscule sometimes. I love this. I’ve read it before, and it’s moved me deeply as a mom. I feel this one so powerfully. I’m glad you shared it! Thank you.

    • Becky says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it…again! It really is great to be a mom. Yes, it’s a hard job, but what an honor we have to impact lives!
      And I agree, sometimes I think we need to have a “love” button that we can click! 🙂
      Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Reblogged this on 4011caregiverstreet and commented:
    What an uplifting perspective for all us moms. Thank you, Blessings through raindrops…

  15. Thanks for sharing such an uplifting perspective. almost as if to put the stained glass on the everyday mundane, but oh so important demands. I reblogged, to pass on the encouragement!

    • Becky says:

      It was my pleasure! And oh I like the way you said that! I think that the mundane is probably one of the most difficult things in life to overcome. As a parent, or not…there is always that challenge to look for the good things in life! I like the idea of the stained glass on the mundane – that certainly would change the perspective now wouldn’t it?!
      I’m glad you like it enough to pass it on…hope others were encouraged by the story too!
      Have a great day!

  16. This beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Patty O says:

    I love the name of your blog…and I love this story! What a sweet son-in-law you have…and obviously a very smart daughter to have chosen him. Great job Mom! Have a wonderful day!

    • Becky says:

      Well, thank you! 🙂 of course I think my daughter is pretty smart, probably because she is so much like her dad!! …and my son-in-law, well he certainly earned some points 🙂 with that one, that’s for sure!
      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you stopped to visit.
      Hope you have a great day too!

  18. Patty O says:

    Reblogged this on A Thankfully Imperfect Woman and commented:
    A dedication to all the Moms out there! We may be Invisible, but for the most part we don’t care, do we? This is for those moments when being an Invisible Mom gets overwhelming. Hugs to all!

  19. awesome words, thanks!

  20. Nancy Ruegg says:

    My children are grown now, but this piece still brought tears to my eyes. Indeed, those endless days of 24-7 mothering that seemed to stretch into infinity. But what a lovely image–grand cathedrals– to keep a weary parent pressing on. I’ll be sharing this essay with young parents, to give them inspiration for the glorious task of raising God’s next generation. Thank you, Kenny!

    • Becky says:

      Mine are grown too…there were times I thought the 24/7 days would never end, but they did! And now I am watching my kids with their children, and it seems even harder! I trust that the people you shared this with we’re encouraged by it as much as I was!
      Thank you for sharing! Have a great day! – Becky

  21. mkesling63 says:

    I can relate. I got sick of being the all answer station too at home. Like noone else could.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, it can be exhausting at times, but I hope you were able to find some encouragement in the story. It’s a hard job, but oh what an important job it is! Hang in there! The days go by quickly, and they will be gone before you know it! Enjoy the moments!

  22. […] Invisible Moms. […]

  23. desireepurvis says:

    Reblogged this on Of Moms and Monsters and commented:
    I’m not even sure how I managed to find my way here – but I’m really glad I did! This is a great story, and oh so true to life sometimes.

    • Becky says:

      Well, I’m not sure how you did it either, but I’m glad you did! As a mom you have one of the most challenging jobs in the world. I hope that this story was just as encouraging to you as it was to me!
      You are making a difference in those little lives. I know the days can get long and hard, but the reward is so worth it! Stay strong, be encouraged, and hug your kids! 🙂
      Thank you for commenting, and sharing with your friends!

  24. jhosack87 says:

    Definitely a keeper. This is absolutely wonderful. I’m glad that I follow your blog. Beautiful.

  25. robbyefaye says:

    Thank you for this beautiful story-I read it at a time I really need it.
    Re-blogging, too.

    • Becky says:

      Oh you’re welcome! It is a very encouraging story! I’m glad it helped to cheer you up a bit, and thanks for sharing it with your friends!
      Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day.

  26. And the same goes for dads too. I was getting a bit maudlin with my son, a bit self pitying. ” You’ve done OK,” he said, ” I remember the time you stayed up with me till midnight and helped with my Geography homework .”
    That was nearly forty years ago.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, it does! 🙂 it sounds like you have an amazing son! You did a good job! For him to affirm and acknowledge your love and commitment to him…makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?
      Thank you for sharing this perspective. Have a wonderful day!

  27. Reblogged this on Knotical Inspiration and commented:
    I was so blessed to witness the Confirmation of our oldest daughter at church today. When the bishop was talking to the candidates he told them that they were all here today because their parents were fulfilling their confirmation gift and promises to share their faith. At baptism we as parents bring our children to the church. We teach them and show them love. It reminds me of the saying that we give our children roots and wings. We start by giving our children a foundation of faith and God’s love and then we give them wings to go and share that love with others.

    It all seems to have happened so fast! Where did that little baby go who we held in our arms and offered for baptism? She is now a beautiful young lady who has a heart of gold! She has so much love to share that I have no doubt that she will fulfill her confirmation promises and gifts by sharing God’s love with those she encounters throughout her life. She is a blessing!

    I have many days when I feel that my job is not very glamorous or important. My days are spent doing household chores and taxiing the kids to their activities. I sometimes feel like my wheels are spinning and I am not doing anything important.

    I read this as a blog post on another blog today. I have read it before. I think I was meant to read it again today. I believe it is a message that God wanted me to hear today. Even when I feel the things I am doing aren’t very important, God sees them. I am building a cathedral in my children. All of the times I listen when they need my ears. Every time I talk to them about how to use kind, caring words when they talk to each other and about others. Every time I hug them and say “I love you.” Building. Perfecting. Giving.

    Being a mother is like creating impressionist art. When you stand really close and look at every brush stroke you can miss the beauty. It is not until you stand back to observe the creation as a whole that you can really see its beauty. Thank you for today and the opportunity to stand back and adore the beauty of my daughter and the incredible gift I have been given in being a mother. Thank you for the reality check and for helping me to see just how rewarding and amazing my job is!

    • Becky says:

      Wow! What a beautiful moment for you and your family! This story just confirms everything you are doing in the lives of your children! You are absolutely right on with your analogy of impressionist art work. When you are in the thick of it, the daily grind, it’s so difficult to see if anything is actually sticking at all! But, when you step back and look from another perspective …. It can be beautiful!
      You are an amazing mom for a lot of reasons, but most importantly because you care, and love her enough to invest your life into hers!
      Someday, if you haven’t already, you will be rewarded in ways you never imagined!
      God bless you on your journey through motherhood! It’s a wonderful place to be! 🙂

      • Thank you! It was perfect timing to see this again. Last week was crazy busy and it was a good time to stop and appreciate why I am doing all of this! I have been a better and more patient mom this week because of it! Thank you for the reminder!

  28. I am speechless!

    This is one of the most beautiful pieces I have read before! How great is our God! How awesome all mommy’s … Love it!

    • Becky says:

      Wasn’t it a great story? I really enjoyed it too, and I guess the fact that my son-in-law sent it to me, just made it even more impactive!
      I’m glad you enjoyed it too. God is good! 🙂 have a wonderful day!

  29. jubilare says:

    Whether mothers know it or not, they are seen, and sometimes when their children grow enough to understand how, they will tell them that they see. 😉

    • Becky says:

      Oh, this is so true! I have actually had the honor of my grown child telling me how much they appreciated all that I had done for them when they were a child. It was a pretty special moment. I hope you will or have already experienced the same!
      Thank you for the kind words. Have a wonderful day!

  30. Thank you for sharing this and for seeing the beautiful presence of mothers in the world.

    • Becky says:

      Thank you! There are a lot of beautiful mothers in this world. I hope you were encouraged by the story as much as I was.
      Have a wonderful day!

  31. Jane Squires says:

    Enjoyed this – It may help uplift my spirits today.

    • Becky says:

      Oh I hope it did just that! I know being a mom can be a very tough, exhausting job. There are days when it just doesn’t make much sense. But just like anything else in life, we can only take one day at a time, and trust in the faith that is strong enough to pull us through to the next day. Don’t ever give up! Thanks for stopping by and I hope today is a good day!

  32. […] Invisible Moms ( […]

  33. My Tropical Home says:

    I needed to read this today…building cathedrals…I’m not building that grand more like that woodcarving of the bird. but I rest assured that God sees all that I do…thanks again for this.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, it is a very encouraging read! I’m glad you enjoyed it. God not only sees what you do, but He loves you, and He gives you strength and comfort when you need it the most. What a wonderful reminder, right?!?
      Hope you have a wonderful week-end, I’m so glad you stopped by!

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