Truth Time: It's About Truth and It's About Time

2010 is starting off well for us at Answers In Motion and our star product Thumball. Customers are coming to us from big business in search of ways to improve the office atmosphere. Administrators and teachers need a way to make parents more comfortable at school events; Educators report that "Our students are crazy about playing Thumball and knowing they will get to play motivates them and improves their classroom behavior." All this from a ball? Yes! Proving again that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Everywhere I look, everywhere I go I see more and more honesty coming through from friends, family and colleagues. Less of trying to get over on someone for a better deal and more about establishing relationships based on trust. The economic conditions still touch our company daily with our buyers needing more time to pay. We talk with them about it and when they are direct and honest and forthright we can't help but say Yes. At times this puts our own business at risk but then the magic happens and a new order arrives or an old unpaid invoice appears and is paid promptly. Fear holds us back from trusting but every time I take the risk it pays off. Sometimes the wait for that return is longer than we like but we stay the course and remain in our own truth.

President Obama stated some difficult truths during the State of The Union address further setting the tone for an outstanding new year, The Year of Truth and the growth from that alone will improve hearts, minds and ultimately the economy. And that's The Truth.

More Conversation Starters Requested: New Thumball Designs Answer The Need

Answers In Motion announces three new Thumball designs in production and available in March 2010. Trainers, teachers, parents and counselors requested more designs that encourage people to share personal stories and reflect on life experiences. Creators Mary and Gregg Pembleton agreed that the more we know about each other, the more we can understand each other.
  • Entertainment Talk encourages players to discuss and share ideas about books, film and television.
  • Best, Worst First allows players to share stories about events such as weddings or job interviews and choose to tell about their first, best or worst experience on that subject.
  • People, Places and Things offers open-ended Who, Where and What questions to stimulate creative thinking and interesting discussions.
Our retailers are excited to increase their Thumball offerings. Human Resource trainers, elder-care staff, special education teachers and families are eager to use the new Thumballs at work, school and home to get everybody talking, laughing and sharing a piece of themselves while learning about others.

What's A Cathedral Got To Do With Me? The Invisible Mom

*Invisible Mother...... *

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, 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. 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 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, I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is 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. 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 My Dear Friend, 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. 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 going to 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.

Great Job, MOM! Share this with all the Invisible Mom s you know...*I just did.*
Hope this encourages you when the going gets tough as it sometimes does..
We never know what our finished products will turn out to be because of our perseverance.
Erin Burgdorf <>