Friday, August 31, 2007

I am invisible

I have been sitting here trying to decide what to write for a while now, so I decided to check my email. The first one was from my mom, who sent me this wonderful story. I don't have kids yet, but I do have a husband, and I hope that it helps all you moms out there who wonder if it is worth it sometimes.

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 th at 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.

The story had no author, but I think as long as take it to heart, we can all claim it as our own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pork Chops

Tonight Nik and I have the pleasure of having my little brother Jeff over for the night. I use the word "little" loosely, Jeff is not little. he is probably about six feet tall and wears a bigger pants size than my dad, but he will always be little to me! With Jeff came pork chops. Sounds funny, but I mentioned that I didn't have anything for dinner with Jeff coming and she sent me with the pork chops she was going to make for dinner before my dad decided to take her out to dinner for their 26th anniversery tomorrow. So now I had pork chops...and no idea what to do with them. Nik got on the magical interweb and found a recipie for breaded pork chops that we were able to manipulate enough (meaning that we dont keep real food in our house and we had to find a way to make it work with what we had) to make. Anyway, Iron Chef Nikimoto was able to pull of some amazing chops and I paired them with some good old white rice. Jeff even ate the rest of mine. I dont eat much. Needless to say, this will be a regular in out house hold. Nik was very pleased with his creation and brings it up every once in a while to remind us how good he did. I love it when Nik cooks dinner. It makes it not so bad that I have to do the dishes before and clean up after :) Anyone interested in the real recipie can find it here: Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Ten!

Tomorrow is dearest Kersten's 31st birthday. I think we can safely say that he is all grown up now, even if he doesn't want to admit it. Nik and I love to hang out with Ten and bask in his warm glowing loving warming glow. He is always good for a laugh and wont hesitate to tell you are doing something stupid, with the most tact possible. Our lives are better because we have Kersten. Thanks, from the bottom of our hearts. You are the best!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Life Update #2

Hello again from me! Since we finally have the net at home and I am (for the moment) unemployed...I have time to waste blogging again! Trust me, you should be excited. Given that I don't read my own blog, some of these things may be repeats, but just bare with me.

We are finally starting to feel at home in the new apartment. The living room is mostly in order and the kitchen and bedrrom are livable, but not all the way settled yet. The Comcast guy finally came yesterday, a week after our original appointment. That is another story, I'll let Nik tell it. Anyway, we have cable and internet now. That is great. And it couldnt have come at a better time. I feel like I can live in this house now without making adjustments to my living habits or daily schedule. Its great.

We have recently acquired an XBOX 360, and I hate to admit that I have had more playing time than Nik has. We have the game Viva! Pinata! and I am addicted. I had to pry myself away to come job search online. Which turned in to this after a while. Its a lot of fun.

Nik has been having what we hope are minor problems with his car and so we have been taking mine everywhere. Its not bad, I just never realized how much gas we go through as a couple. Its a good thing my car gets reasonable gas mileage.

As I am sure you put together from earlier comments, I have finished my stained glass jobs for the time being. I really enjoyed both jobs, but they were really waring and the problem solving was like nothing I have ever had to do before. I still think I would really like to do stained glass as a business in the future, but I want to be the one creating the designs, so I know how it all fits together.

Lou was really fantastic this last couple weeks. With all she had going on in her life, she still managed to produce a beautiful end table for us. I am really excited to incorporate it in our living room. I love having a designed piece in my house. It makes me look like I meant the room to look like it does, not that I just threw all the furniture I had in there and called it good. Even if thats what really happened. Thanks Lou!

Ok, I think that is enough of an update for now and hopefully I can resume my regular blogs from now on.