Skip to main content

The Invisible Woman

I was talking with a good friend just now, another mom like me. She's younger and in a different season of mothering, yet we both can relate to sometimes feeling lonely. Sometimes we need evidence of progress, or at least a friendly word from a girlfriend.

Maybe sometimes we just need somebody to notice and say thanks. Years ago I heard this short Ted Talk called The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson. I love her message so much! She talks about the great cathedrals of Europe and how they were built by anonymous workers. They sacrificed and built and went to work every day, knowing that their masterpiece was part of something greater. They knew that even when nobody else would notice their effort, God was watching and He could see.

Dallas Arboretum

Perhaps this feeling of invisibility is especially poignant as my two sons are older teenagers now. One is almost ready to leave the nest, and one is at the end of fall marching band season. The past few months have been exacting. My mama heart is full and happy as I watch these two young men. They make me so proud. My job with them is different than before. No more wiping away tears or patching jeans with holes in the knees; instead I support them in the background. 

My job includes taxiing back and forth to the high school, working concessions at the Friday night game - proceeds go back to the band program, buying suits and shirts and luggage, arranging my schedule so that I'm available when they're around, waiting up until late so I can see them after work at Domino's or Costa Vida or the football game, waking up early to see them out the door in the morning. Sometimes I make myself take a short nap in the afternoon because the 1am arrivals and the 5:38am departures shave away a lot of nighttime sleeping. My job includes buying endless amounts of food and checking endless amounts of email.

My moments of joy with these two include cheering for them after welding certifications; cheering at 3rd place in the state band competition; going to the bank to deposit that first paycheck; going to church and being delighted by the best mini sermon. Other moments of joy are when my oldest helps younger sisters with math or reading, and I see a glimpse of greatness. These past few months have been a gift as I've watched each of my children grow and change. 

In her speech, Nicole Johnson said she felt as though God said, "I see you. You are not invisible to me. No sacrifice is too small for me to notice...But remember, you are building a great cathedral. It will not be finished in your lifetime..." As I've been typing these words, I'm realizing that I see evidence of myself in my two young men. And I've stepped back enough to see that there has been progress, growth and transformation. These two boys have been growing right before my eyes. I almost can't believe how much I love them. "At times my invisibility has felt like an affliction to me. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my own pride. It's okay that they don't see... I want my son to want to come home. And secondly, I want him to say to his friend, 'you're going to love it there.' It's okay that they don't see. We don't work for them. We work for Him (pointing to heaven). We sacrifice for Him. They will never see. Not if we do it right. Not if we do it well. Let's pray that our work will stand as a monument to an even greater God."

photo credit Rachel Lacy


PS. Here's a playlist of great mom songs that I made a few years ago. Some of these songs are just for fun, others are like a "pick me up." Hope you enjoy. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Leaving Utah

Norm and I are at a crossroads.  It's time for our family to take the next step.  But first a quick trip down memory lane. We first came to Utah sixteen years ago.  We were young and cute and pregnant with baby #1.  Norm had been accepted as a student.  I had a lot of fun during my first two years of college, and I imagine the admissions board looked at my transcript and said something like, "yeah right!"  (More details about getting a D in organ lessons over  here .) So my first BYU application was rejected.  They let me attend classes as a visiting student, and one day an admissions officer called my phone.  It was a landline, and we were living in BYU married student housing.  He had two questions for me:  Is your husband a full time student?  Yes.  And you live on  campus?  Yes.  End of interview.  A few days later I got my acceptance letter. We finally graduated together in 2004. We bought our first home in Lehi, not too far from Willow Creek middle schoo

Thorns and gifts

We've been reading in the New Testament as a family lately, and Paul has some great advice and counsel that's still applicable today.  In his letter to the church in Corinth, he talks about a thorn in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. It's kind of a moot point to speculate what Paul's particular thorn might have been, but I've often wondered. More importantly: what is God's purpose in giving his children such difficult stuff to learn? Why does life have to be so hard?

One More Syllable

It's been a year. One year ago we moved to Texas. One year ago I started asking people to call me Kristina instead of Kristy, thus adding one more syllable to my name. August is our anniversary. Last year we celebrated that anniversary by adding a cool new memory. That day we drove up to our house, found the keys and walked inside with the kids. We spent the night in our house without any stuff. Isn't it funny how places seem bigger when they're unfurnished? And that pool in the backyard? We knew nothing about pools and maintenance but just jumped in carefree. It was great. It was like being in a hotel but with room for everybody to spread out. Maybe it's time to explain the name change. For me, I had decided before moving to Texas that I wanted to quit using Kristy as my nickname. It served me well for many years and I still like it, but it's mainly for simplicity. When I'd first meet somebody, maybe I'd mumble or maybe I don't speak clearly enou

Meek Warhorse

Norm's last church talk/sermon in Utah before moving to Texas July 2018, Lehi UT, Traverse Mountain 8th Ward Hello brothers and sisters, it’s my privilege to speak to you today.  I guess this is our good-bye address even though we haven’t moved yet, which I’m taking as a personal sign that the bishopric can’t wait for the next family to move in.  (that was a joke, guys) In my remarks today, I’m going to cover an alternative definition of meekness that really struck a chord with me.  Once I’ve introduced this idea, I’m going to share my supporting argument for meekness as a strength, and then I’m going to talk about how I believe we can develop this form of meekness in our lives. As Kristy told you, our topic is “being meek and lowly of heart” which, in the terms I normally think of meekness or lowliness, is a subject that does not come naturally to me.  I am not naturally what I consider to be meek, quiet or, as Kristy would tell you, all that well behaved.  While I