Monthly Archives: May 2016

A Big Slice of Humble Pie

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Last week I gave a lesson on the need for both humility and self-esteem. The result for me (that didn’t really hit me until yesterday,) was a big slice of humble pie, and a little voice inside my head with the question: “did you even hear yourself?”

It was not a good presentation (and I am not, NOT, NOT fishing for reassurance, so please don’t go there.) I stumbled over my words. I tanked on trying to explain “asceticism” and tie it in to the lesson. My power point wasn’t readable. I relied too much on my notes. I was boring. (Wow, there are a lot of “I’s” and “my’s” in that paragraph…my first hint that something is wrong!)

So, I’ve been fretting over it ever since. There are a lot of other frets that took up valuable brain space (and heart space) last week, too. Like my fret about my continuing fight against fat, and how I looked, and how my clothes fit (or didn’t), and hating my glasses and how I have to forever take them off and put them back on and how they make my eyes look like I’m ogling the person I’m talking to…and how my scaly heels needed a good pedicure (just keepin’ it real, y’all!) And then, did I hurt someone with my words or opinions given in the afternoon forum that same day? Did I mention that the reason I have these opinions is because I’ve made these mistakes and learned from them? Does someone think I’m a hypocrite? (Wow, do preachers wonder these things every week??) Will someone think less of me if I admit these insecurities? Will someone think I’m somehow disingenuous if I write about my own lack of confidence and humility – and then post it publicly? Fret, fret, fret.

Wow, lots more of those “I’s” and “me’s” and “my’s”.

Back to the lesson last week. What I was trying to relay to the audience was that our confidence and self-esteem shouldn’t come from how we think others perceive us…or from things or looks or smarts or from the admiring masses. Our humility shouldn’t be “pretend” – all the while enjoying the attention that our “modesty” attracts.

The light bulb came on yesterday morning. I already knew that the more I focused on me, myself, and I, the more Satan could distract me from my task at hand. But what really hit me yesterday is how he REALLY uses it against me when the me, myself, and I isn’t a matter of pride at all, but rather disappointment with me, myself, and I. My self-esteem had taken a hit because I was not pleased with how I might have been perceived or misunderstood. Basically, I was simply preoccupied with myself.

In last week’s lesson, I tried to convey that Godly humility looked like the heart of a servant, like Jesus. That humility says “I came not to be served” (or, I suppose, “liked”, or “admired”, or “fawned over”) “but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).  Humility is doing “nothing from selfish ambition or conceit” but counting “others more significant than yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3-4). Hard for me to do, when I’m only focused on myself.

I hoped to show that regardless of how we look or sound to the world around us, God sees our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The Maker of the universe knows me better than I know myself, and the precious blood of His only Son redeemed me. I am a daughter of the King (Romans 8)! That, truly, is the only confidence I need. Feeling like you’ve presented something with clarity is a good thing. Complimentary, supportive friends are nice, too! But I think they’re the “gravy” in life. My confidence and self-worth has to come from God.

“Physician, heal yourself” came to mind yesterday morning while cleaning the kitchen and thinking of the things I wished I’d said and done differently last week. How sadly ironic. Did I even listen to my own words? I know I believed them. But did I apply them to MYSELF last week?  Evidently not.

I’m trying, now!

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Thankful

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On my heart: I’m thankful for so many things about the last few days.

I’m thankful John, Doug and I had returned home from Israel.

I’m thankful John was home after he’d been gone all week.

I’m thankful that Mom was always a strong advocate for Dad’s health and dignity.

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I’m thankful that Dad had sweet, funny, and engaging table-mates at mealtimes at Hill Country Care – June, Maggie, and Anne.

I’m thankful to have learned some really practical things that help grieving families (especially large packages of Kleenex pocket packages, Ziploc bags, and paper goods!)

I’m thankful for thoughtful people who bring what seems like the entire grocery store – including Cokes, Keurig cups, and bottled waters.

I’m thankful for laughter through tears.

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I’m thankful for thoughtful daughters-in-law who jumped in and helped with things that I didn’t even know we needed help with.

I’m thankful for beautiful weather while sitting at my father’s graveside.

I’m thankful for an honorable, meaningful service with so many words that captured Dad’s essence.

I’m thankful for the opportunity we had to look through Dad’s writings and notice things we’d seen before but had forgotten about.

I’m thankful to hear of so many kind things he had done for others in the past.

I’m thankful for a family gathering of those who knew him best, laughing about his quirks and sharing memories.

I’m thankful for a cohesive, loving, united family.

I’m thankful that my brother loved my Dad and always respected him.

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I’m thankful to have seen Mom ministering to the staff at Hill Country Care, and seeing how they love and respect her and how they came to surround us with tears on their faces.

I’m thankful for a father who wasn’t careless with anything: his possessions, the way he treated Mom, and his responsibilities as a father.

I’m thankful for good friends who stopped their hectic and eventful lives just to bring us cinnamon rolls, or barbecue, or coffee cake, and to hug us tight.

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I’m thankful for arms around us and prayers on our behalf.

I’m thankful for tears.

And for waterproof mascara. 🙂

I’m thankful to have witnessed how much people respected Dad.

I’m thankful to have no fear of death.

I’m thankful that Dad never lost the ability to pray, or sing songs of praise.

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I’m thankful to have heard Jordan’s wise words and reflections, and all of the grandkids’ memories of their Pawpaw.

I’m thankful for Dad’s legacy of faith, wisdom, steadfastness, and love.

I’m thankful and humbled by dear friends who came from so far away to pay their respects to Dad.

I’m thankful for how much my parents loved and depended on one another.

I’m thankful for the comfort that comes with the thought of his reunion, however it happens: with his father and mother, his old college buddies, preacher friends.

I’m thankful for the comfort that comes with imagining what his soul may be seeing and experiencing right now!

I’m thankful for peace.

I’m thankful that my Dad knew where he was going.

I’m thankful that he was ready to go there.

I’m thankful that I saw recognition in his eyes when he saw me on Thursday night.

I’m thankful that for years, I have witnessed Mom’s tender care of Dad, but especially on Thursday night, as she held him and whispered to him.

I’m thankful that I got to tell him one more time that I loved him, and unexpectedly heard myself call him ‘Daddy’, even though I haven’t called him that since I was tiny.

I’m thankful Mom wasn’t alone.

I’m thankful that death came quickly.

I’m thankful that he wasn’t hurting.

I’m thankful for the memory of his left hand, lying still on the sheet, yet thinking of the thousands and thousands of good, helpful words that left hand had written; of holding my hand, and Mom’s hand; of holding chalk to a chalkboard; of driving to Ruidoso and Colorado and around Maine and New Hampshire and all over Texas.

I’m thankful I was there when he drew his last breath.

I’m thankful that my Dad is strong again.

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