When a homeschooling mom walks out on her family, that's news. Even if it happened 6 years ago. And so, amongst the internet discussion, I happened upon her blog.
Whatever one thinks of her decisions, I couldn't help but identify with this post on the invisible mother. After all, I live for affirmation. I could hardly wait for the parent-teacher conferences as a child, because I wanted to hear the scoop back from my mom on how great I was doing.
As a mother, things are tougher. My three-year-old simply isn't going to say, "Mama, the quesadillas tonight were delectable. Amazing that they turned out so well, since you were teaching me how to play Memory as you flipped them. And the way you cleaned the kitchen? Absolutely efficient."
And my husband, God bless him, just isn't the overly effusive sort himself.
What once bothered me most, though, in moments of self-pity, wasn't the lack of expressed gratitude. It was knowing that my husband did not see, and would probably never see, every last detail of my day's work. After a marital "discussion", I remember wishing that we had a video camera in the house, broadcasting the differences between my Sunday morning versus his. Surely, then, he would get it!
Yet he won't ever fully get it, any more than I will ever fully get what he does in a day.
We're not in the same shoes-- and if I let my happiness rest on his ability to imagine himself in mine, I'm going to be a very sad woman. (My husband is incredibly left-brained. He doesn't imagine, period.)
I've not let this bother me much lately, though. A turning point came when I realized that, while it's not my spouse or my kids, I do have someone who sees me. He sees every last tear, frustration, and joy. He sees every triumph and failure. He saw Hagar, the mistreated slave, crying desperately in the desert. He is El Roi, the God Who Sees.
He sees the juggling, he sees the dropped plates, but most importantly, he bids to me stop the performance, and find my rest in Him.