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The Invisible Woman

As I post this it is Mother’s Day in Australia. So in view of this I have decided to post a revised version of a talk I gave to some of our church Mum’s during Mother’s Day weekend a few years ago.

 If you are a Mum I hope it encourages you. If you are not a Mum I hope it helps you to notice what Mum’s do and to see how valuable they are.

There are many sayings about Mum’s.

Here’s a few of them.

Mums have eyes at the back of their head.

A Mothers kiss can heal any wound (and also eliminate the tears)

Mums have supersonic hearing. They can hear trouble. In fact the quieter it is, the greater the amount of trouble being caused.

Mums have their own GPS recognition. They know how to find everything in the house

Mums have an inbuilt lie detector.

Mothers are walking diaries, smartphones, dictionaries, encyclopedias… they (apparently) have a knack for knowing just about everything. When someone asks my husband if our family can come round for dinner he often says “check with Teresa”, when I asked my father-in-law if he could come round for dinner he told me to check with my mother-in-law.

Mothers have intuition or a sixth sense when they know something is not quite right with their child.

Mothers (like most women) can multi-task.

Mothers have an ability to not only multi-task but to shift almost seamlessly from one task or conversation to something completely different. Eg. preparing dinner, then changing a nappy whilst answering homework science question from Miss 8yo, to preparing dinner, then policing a fight between Miss 8yo and Mr 6yo, to welcoming Dad home, to answering his question about a bill and at the same time listen to him talk about his busy day whilst you prepare him a drink, snack and find his towel and still have dinner on the table by 6pm.

Mothers are irreplaceable. Most jobs have positions that can be replaced by people. I used to work as a nurse and when I had to take a sick day they would be able to find someone to replace me. Even after I resigned from my job someone else was employed to fill my position. Even the queen if she abdicates or dies will be replaced by her son.  

But if all the Mothers of the world decided to walk off their duties and roles as Mothers tomorrow, the world would go into chaos. And I’m pretty sure the Dads would go into a meltdown. Mothers are not only irreplaceable for what they do, but also who they are.

Mothers have the ability to be invisible. They can do and say things to and for the family and home and it seems to go by without much notice.

For example: Mothers are invisible until

…their toddler runs onto the stage in the middle of the sermon at church

…her husband runs out of ironed shirts

…dinner is half an hour late

…someone can’t find their homework, or their phone, or their socks, or the tv remote

So it’s not until something is not done or something is wrong usually because she is not able to take care of it (eg. sickness, death, being away) that the extent of what she does becomes ‘visible’.

I’m sure many of you can relate. Much of what we do at home is often unseen. No one is there when we are on our knees scrubbing the floor, or bent over the baby cleaning up diarrhoea for the 5th time that day, or staying up at night with a sick child or waiting for your 21 yo son to come home from a party. You may think even your husband and children don’t even notice how much you do around the house or notice you at all.

I was reading an article the other day and the Mother was telling a story about how she was about to walk with her 5yo son across a pedestrian crossing to go to school . The crossing guard said to the boy “Who is that with you young fella?” “Nobody” he shrugged. Nobody? The mother and crossing guard laughed. As she crossed the street the mother thought to herself “Oh my goodness. I’m nobody?”

Then I came across a similar article where a kindergarten teacher met her students for the first time. As approach one of the boys and asked him who the lady was with him he replied “Just my Mum.” Just my Mum. Later on that year she got her young students to fill out a questionnaire about their Mum and these were some of the answers

“Whats your mum’s name?”         I don’t know

“What does your Dad call her?     I don’t know

Where does your Mum work?      She doesn’t

“What does your Mum do while you are at school?             “Clean up my mess, buy me toys, wait for me

“What do you mean wait for me” the teacher asked “ She drops me off then waits for me to finish school and takes me home.” The whole time?” the teacher asked “ Yes” the girl insisted.

“I don’t know what she does”

The teacher who was a mother herself became quite frustrated. You see at a young age children are egocentric, that means they think they are center of the world. But I’m sure if you talk to some mums of teenagers and adult children it doesn’t always change.

It’s often not till we leave home and have to do our cooking and cleaning, that we realise we took our mothers for granted. Some don’t notice because they get married to someone who carries on some of those roles.

But as women – wives and mothers we can come to a time in our life where we also feel taken for granted and that we have no value

BUT

Even though you feel like no one sees you.

That no one appreciates you. Your kids are oblivious, your husband is too distracted.

God sees you and God notices.

One day a mother got given a book by a friend who had been on a trip to England. Whilst this mum was feeling a bit down and envious of her friend, she opened the book. It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. Inside was written ”With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

  1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their name
  2. The builders gave their lives for a work they would never see finished
  3. They made great sacrifices whilst not expecting credit and recognition
  4. The passion of their building was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A rich man came to view the cathedral whilst it was being built and saw a worker carving a small bird inside a beam. He asked the man why he was so busy carving something into the beam which would be covered by the roof and not be seen. The workers replied “God sees”

God notices every little thing you do.

What are we doing? WE are building cathedrals. We are building into our chidren’s lives. The work takes time and sacrifice. Most likely we won’t see the finishing point of our children’s lives.  And many times we will not receive credit for what we do. No one comes to us in the middle of the night or even the day to thank us for changing a nappy or wiping away a tear. But God sees everything. He sees the end and he’ll be there for our children when we can’t. And God sees the things  you do that no one else notices.

I think in the mundane-ness and busyness of Mum-life it’s easy to forget this.

You have value and what you do as mums has eternal value

In this modern society and culture it often appears that motherhood has less value than having a career.

Proverbs 31:10 reads “A woman of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies”.

Rubies are one of the most expensive gemstones. They are priced from $15000 USD and up per carat. The most expensive is a ruby ring from Burma and is worth $30 million. It is created from corundum – a rock forming material. So as well as having a beautiful colour, it is strong. It is a symbol of wealth and power. We are mothers are like rubies. Not only are we beautiful and priceless but we are strong, powerful women.

What are we doing? I’ll say it again because we need to remember this. We are building cathedrals. The work takes time and sacrifice

I just want to end by encouraging you with this verse.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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