Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two Great Emails

I'm posting two of the greatest "mom emails" I've gotten in awhile. I always hate forwarding this kind of stuff, so here you're subjected to it under your on free will- if you'd like a copy, let me know.

The first is a great reminder of how important our work is not only to our children, but to us and our relationship with God. When you've dried your tears, watch the video. You'll probably cry again, but this time because you'll be laughing so hard at our day put to music.

Enjoy! :

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'm thinking, "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, because no one can see me at all.

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 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.

The underlined statement makes sense. When things are done wrong, everyone sees it.

"Therefore encourage one another, and let each one help to strengthen his friend, as in fact you do." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Budding Artist

Since you don't all get the privilege of having Wilson jump in your car after school and yell, "Hey Mama, look what I made!", I thought I'd share some pictures of his creations from Big School.

This was the picture from the first day that we were completing at 8:00 that night because he didn't want to get his hands dirty at school.

Red Circle week

Painting skills- each week they have a color and shape that they look for

The above 2 are from the "God bless my friends & family" week

This week is "I am special"

As you can see, I think it's time to get my camera serviced- sorry these are blurry. Guess we'll be having a field trip to De Ville Camera later!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wilson Wit and Wisdom

A few months ago Wilson went into a maternity store dressing room with me. I had several things to try on, one was a dress. I got the dress over my head and shoulders, but that was as far as it was going. When I tried taking it off, it was quite apparent that it was not going the other direction either. After a few tugs and hearing a few threads pop, I called the cashier to come remove me from her merchandise. This was apparently more embarrassing for Wilson that it was for me because several weeks later we were in another store and as I entered the dressing room with an arm load of potential purchases, Wilson stopped. He looked at me and said, "Mom, you not gonna get stuck"!!

Our best pal, Nathan had his birthday party a couple of weeks ago. It was a bug party and everyone had a blast. As a favor he gave out small, plastic magnifying glasses and plastic bugs. Wilson has been attached to these treasures like they were gold since we left the Werne's house. He momentarily left them on the coffee table and went into another room while we were at my mom's a few days ago. His daddy picked it up and, being his "curious" self, began to fiddle with it, ending in the glass coming off of the handle (in his own words, Pat Pat & Paw you'll appreciate this, "it came apart"). He slyly stuck the glass back on the handle and waited for Wilson to return. As soon as Wilson picked it up, the pieces of course "came apart" again. Phil gasped as if in shock and asked what happened. Wilson looked right at him and said "who did it!?"

Wilson is very aware of any and all flags flying right now and lets you know when there is an American flag or a Mississippi one. We were watching a video the other day and he recognized that there was a flag on a ship, but didn't know which it was. I explained that it was the French flag- it goes with the country France. When I asked him what country we live in he replied "Big Daddy's country" (my dad's undeveloped land near Pisgah).

"Where's my Granna . . . where's my Granddaddy . . . where's my Grandjohn?" (that would be my 18 year old brother) I said where's John? "He's in Mississippi" (he's currently a freshman at MS State).

After asking him multiple questions about his day at preschool, "Mama, your driving me peanuts!" I guess a combination of me telling him he's driving me crazy and making me nuts.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What's in a Name

Well, after much debate and a horrific view into the names on my side of the family's ancestry around the dinner table yesterday, we have settled on a name for little Shu-Shu (assuming we can break the habit of calling her Shu-Shu!). Her name will be

Miller Adelaide Ethridge
Miller is Phil's mom's maiden name and Adelaide is name that we just like. Maybe we'll get to take her to Adelaide, Australia one day- the place where her daddy first heard the name! As for what she will be called, we're throwing around Miller, Millie, and Addy. Of course, there was good ole great-great aunt Zora. Hmmm . . . .