|“Cathedral Roof” from christianphotos.net|
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10
Personal attacks seem to come right when we are doing the most important work we can do. Isn’t that true? I recently went through sudden and intense discouragement as a wife and mom.
The only thing that brought me out of it was God’s Word. His truth and His thoughts about me are what gave me the right perspective. Apart from God’s empowerment, I have no confidence or courage to do this very difficult and important job.
Because, trust me, I fall far far short on my own.
On my own…
I am easily frustrated.
I get angry.
I can use harsh words or tones.
I can be selfish.
I can be lazy.
I am careless.
I am prideful.
I am impatient.
With and through God…
I am gentle.
I am joyful.
I am peaceful.
I am self-controled.
I am kind.
I am humble.
I am patient.
I can love like Jesus.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
~ Ephesians 3:20
Moms, we need to find our confidence and courage in Jesus if we are to do ALL the things He has called us to do! We need the empowerment of His Spirit to do that work with an outpouring of love. We need to continually encourage ourselves and each other with God’s Word!
This has been a sweet time for me, where God is revealing more of His heart about what I do every day and the little souls He has entrusted to me. He can renew me every day with His Spirit… if I come to Him.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they may stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I recently heard an excerpt read from Nicole Johnson’s novel The Invisible Woman. It has been around for a few years, but it is powerful. I cry every time I read it. I really encourage you to read it, and I included it here for you (emphasis mine):
The Invisible Woman
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 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.
God smiles over you! He gathers you up when you stumble and He cheers you on when you succeed. He is even more heavily invested in you than you are in your own children. God knows you, weaknesses and all. Yet He chose YOU for your family and your family for you.
He gives you the power, strength, and courage to do every good work He has called you to. Tomorrow, that may mean wiping a nose or playing with blocks. It could mean that early morning alarm clock or that prayer you say over them before stumbling to bed.
Let us begin a new day tomorrow wholeheartedly working for the Master Planner to build a cathedral for His glory.