This weekend, I had the privilege of sharing a short devotion with a group of ladies. I speak like I blog because I blog like I speak, so, I figured I would share it here as well! I hope you enjoy! 

I want to share an article that was shared with me. It that was given to me when I was knee-deep in babies, diapers, nursing, potty-training and toddlers. I had three babies in three years and the days were oh-so-long. 

The Invisible Mother 

By Nicole Johnson

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, I’m nobody?”

As 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. No one 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. 

That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. 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’d think, “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. No one can see me, because I’m 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 merely a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”

Some days I’m a crystal ball: “Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone? What’s for dinner?” 

Hands, a clock, a crystal ball—but always invisible. 

One night, some girlfriends and I were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and was telling wonderful stories. I sat there, looking around at the others all so put-together, so visible and vibrant. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic when my friend 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 read—no—I devoured the book. And I discovered what would become for me, four life-changing truths:

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. 

In the book, there was the legend of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He saw a worker 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 worker replied, “Because God sees.” 

After reading that, 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 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. But I see.” 

When I choose to view myself as a great builder—instead of Invisible Mom—I keep the right perspective. 

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 four 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 monument to myself! But I don’t want that—I just want him to want to come home with a friend and share a wonderful meal as a family.  

The author 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. I disagree. 

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right—which is why we may feel invisible some days. But 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.

Such a great article! How true those words are. They impacted me in a profound way at that point, and they still do today. I don’t know where you are in your mothering journey. Maybe you’re not a mother yet. Maybe you are in the throes of raising and parenting children. Maybe those babies are just learning to walk. Maybe there are no more babies- maybe its grandchildren or neighbors. Regardless of where you are in your mothering journey, I know we can all apply this lesson to our lives. 
In the article, it states that Mothers are invisible, most of the time. This, I believe, is what makes Motherhood so humbling. It is a precious precious gift, motherhood. But this gift that we’ve been given, is wrapped up in an impenetrable package of hard work. It means sleepless nights, early mornings and never ending days of labor. It means being on call 24 hours, 7 days a week. And to me, it’s the best job I could ever hope to have.  

In my ten years of motherhood, I have yet to find a way around the hard work though. Maybe some of the wiser mothers here have figured it out- if so, get with me after because we gotta share some secrets! 

Whether you have 1 or 7, children take time and patience and love and most days, mine take my sanity. The job descriptions are endless and the appreciation is usually an afterthought if thought of at all.

But today, I want to talk about the cathedrals that we can build. 

Paul says in Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

Another translation states it a little simpler “But my life is worth nothing to me, unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus” many of us can say amen and preach it when speaking of this in terms of ministry. We can clearly see how a pastors wife can finish the work assigned to her. Or maybe a worship Pastor. We can see the calling and appreciate the sacrifice. We see it in those called to the mission field. What an amazing calling. I have some close friends in Jordan ministering to Muslims. What a high and heavy calling. 

But make no mistake, Mothers, these children, these babies, these young men and women were assigned to us and it is our job to finish the work. They are part of our calling. To me, they are my highest calling. Matthew states that what good is it if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul. I know I feel that way about my babies. I can accomplish many many things in this life, and I hope to. But it was all for nothing if my babies aren’t walking in relationship with my savior. 

We have a responsibility and we have the privilege or raising them well. My mother raised me well. She made mistakes. Probably more than I remember. But she loved me unconditionally. And if I can pass that down to my babies, I know I have mothered well. 

My daughter and I had a conversation the other day about another verse that comes to mind.

Colossians 3:23-24 states 

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

We are called, in every aspect of our life to work heartily, as unto the Lord. Not as unto our defiant three year old. Nor our ungrateful elementary student. Nor our sassy teenager. Not as unto our husband, or our boss, or our pastor or our best friend. 
As unto the Lord. 

As unto THE LORD. 

What would that look like on the daily? What would that sound like played out in real life amidst dirty socks and tantrums and arguments and discipline? 

I am so very, very guilty of responding to my children in less than Christ-like joy. 
The days are long, my friends. The homework is plenty, the accidents abound and the laundry never ceases. 

But, we have the choice as Mothers to speak into our children. We can speak life or we can speak death. The word says that power is held in the tongue. 

We mold their view of the world, just as we mold their view of Christ. 

The weight of this is not lost on me as I’m sure it isn’t on you as well. What a mighty position we have been placed in. It isn’t a visible position, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s not important. Just because it’s not on stage and applauded for, does NOT mean that it is worthless. On the contrary, it is priceless. I know of no love like a Mothers love. The love that would gladly lay down their life, their desires, their wants and needs to serve others. 

After all, isn’t that what we’re all called to be? Mother or not? We’re called to be Christ-like. I constantly see the Master laying down his garments of beauty and taking on the mantle of a servant. And if I want to model that to my children, what better way than in servant-motherhood. One day, maybe they will realize the depth of sacrifice. But like the article stated- I don’t want to have my child brag on my work. No. I’d rather have them want to be in my presence because I modeled the love of Christ to them. 

This Mother’s Day- and this year, lets choose to be more intentional in our motherhood. Let’s choose to daily build the Cathedral. Let’s choose to be invisible, when necessary. Because we know, beyond a doubt, that to the One who called us to this humbling work, we are never invisible.