Category Archives: Learning to be Humble

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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My Silly Personal Pity Party

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I have a confession to make: today, I had a tiny bit of a personal pity party.

You see, I woke up with a headache – the kind that doesn’t go away. And John is out of town again. Then I didn’t push my coffee cup lid down hard enough, and I poured hot coffee down my chin (so it has been cherry red all day) and on my shirt (the one I wanted to wear) and it dribbled on my white pants (which I wore anyway.)  Then on the way to take Micah to school, someone a few cars ahead decided to be nice and let another car in…but it slowed us all down, and the teenybopper with the phone in her hand behind me didn’t slow down with us. By the time she did decide to slow down, I could see her uvula reflected in my rear-view mirror. THEN, Flores put beans on my taco, which (as Mike Rowe is fond of saying) was unfortunate.  And when I went to have a pedi to make myself feel better, the lady (who was very sweet, but I think we were each having a conversation that neither of us understood) rubbed some kind of lotion on my legs that I must be allergic to, and now I have these cute little red bumps.

And it was my birthday, and I had absolutely no plans. With anyone.

I felt sorry for myself for a while. I didn’t feel very special. Then I started feeling really ashamed of myself. I was humbled. And I started questioning myself.  How often have I made other people feel special on their birthdays? (Not very often, I’m afraid.) Have I been as thoughtful towards others as I should? (Not always.) Have I been self-absorbed, instead of serving others? (Yes.) How spoiled am I, to think everything must revolve around me? How silly, to feel sorry for myself when I have so much to be thankful for! How blessed am I, to have been made to feel special all of these 45 years I’ve been on this earth!

Every time I’ve looked at my phone today, I’ve seen birthday wishes from treasured friends everywhere.

The most wonderful man on the planet loves me. ME!

My family is happy and healthy.

I ate a Flores taco (which I haven’t allowed myself in two years.)

I enjoyed my pedicure (despite the bumps.)

I got a birthday call from Rig!

My dog just licked my elbow, which I take to mean “Happy Birthday” (or maybe, “may I please have the leftover chicken?”)

And Micah and I are about to sit down for another few episodes of LOST.

Life is good. I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you, God! Happy birthday to me!

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IMHO

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Women could never be accused of being opinionated.

Co-sleeping or crib sleeping? Cry it out, or soothe to sleep? Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding?  Cloth or disposable? Shots or no shots? Home, public, or private school? Lots of kids, or no kids? Stay-at-home mom or work-away-from-home mom? TV or no TV? Skirts only, or pants too? Sugar or no sugar? PTA or no PTA? Makeup or no makeup? Band or athletics? Too much Facebook, not enough Facebook, or no Facebook? Long hair or short hair? Courtship or dating? Kids should have phones, or kids shouldn’t have phones? Vegan, vegetarian or carnivore? Organic or inorganic? College or trade school? Be fit and exercise, or embrace the body you have? 

lady violet

Okay, so maybe we DO have a lot of opinions. Like Lady Violet, we think we are never wrong. And IMHO (in my humble opinion) that means a lot of different ways for us to feel superior – or inferior – to one another. I know I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of this – and I’m trying to remind myself that in matters of opinion, I need to be more careful with my attitude. (And even in matters that aren’t opinions, but doctrine, I still need to be careful with my attitude toward others!)

We shouldn’t quarrel over opinions (Rom. 14:1). We should put on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another…forgiving each other,” ( Col. 3:12-17). And we should be “of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…” (Phil. 2:2-4).

We women need each other. We need to lean on one another, to cry on each other’s shoulders, to laugh together, and to know we aren’t being scrutinized or criticized when our backs are turned. We need to build one another up instead of tearing one another down. We need to be more gentle and less harsh and assertive about our views.

But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

Don’t Forget Your Pants

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Jordan recently received his senior ring in a ceremony commemorating his upcoming graduation (that he says can’t come soon enough) from Texas State University.

[Picture my proud mama beam here.]

The seniors who chose to participate walked single file through Strahan Coliseum, shook hands with official-looking people and dipped their hands in San Marcos River water while posing for pictures. I’m pretty sure Jordan was a reluctant participant. 🙂

Hang on, I’m getting to my point.

These young men and women were asked to wear “business attire.” For some, that meant nice blue jeans and boots. Quite a few of the men had on suits, and many of the women wore dresses. But one young woman in particular caught my eye (and quite a few others, I’m sure) because I think she forgot the bottom half of her pants suit. No kidding. She wore a buttoned suit coat and I’m not sure what else. Sorry for the mental picture, guys.

suit coat

While I’m sorry to say that my first reaction was one of distaste, I then began to wonder why this young woman chose to wear something like that. Was this (in her judgment) typical business attire? I wondered if her father was there, and if he wanted to run down the steps and throw a blanket around her. I wondered if there was someone in the audience that she was trying to impress with her beauty. I wondered if no one had ever explained to her that she was worth so much more than the skin beneath her coat.

I’ve noticed that as my size has gone down, so has the average neckline at the department stores. But not the hemline! It tends to be higher! Hmmm…I wonder why.

Here’s what I wish.

I wish girls of all ages would honestly, clearly, prayerfully, carefully, Biblically and humbly consider if the clothing they choose to wear reflects godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10.)

I wish that our standards came from God and not fashion magazines or celebrities or best friends.

I wish that our girls would be so filled with God’s love and so content with pleasing Him that they would not want so badly to be physically admired and desired.

As far as my own attitudes are concerned – I wish that I were gentler and more patient in my attitudes towards those who are still learning and growing.

I wish that I did a better job exhibiting the amazing love of God towards ALL people, especially those who have no knowledge of Him.

Maybe some of you would agree that we all have some work to do?

Food log: Ham and one Kerbey Lane pancake for breakfast.  1 1/3 slice of grilled chicken pizza from Pizza Garden (YUM); some of Erin’s evil drizzled chocolate popcorn as a mid-afternoon snack; and soup & ½ piece of corn casserole/cornbread and one piece of dill bread at Anita’s Christmas party. And 1 little pecan pie tart and a 1X2 piece of coffee cake. NOT A GREAT EATING DAY. L

Pray.

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John prayed for me to lose weight. I guess some women might find that offensive…and I guess if I thought he was asking God to turn me into Angelina Jolie, I might have been offended. (And because he knows what’s good for him, he was careful how he told me.)

I knew he was asking God to help me be healthier. But it caught me a little by surprise, because I tend to think that God has much bigger things to pay attention to than “Carla’s struggle with fat.” The more I thought about it, though, the more comfort I felt. There is no anxiety too small or too large that can’t be given over to Him, because He cares for me and you. I read that in 1 Peter 5, and tell other people about it, and I need to remember that it applies to me, too.

People I love

I put that picture in the middle there to distract you from my food log for the day, because my determination was low, and my struggle was high. For breakfast I had a few cocoa roasted almonds, 2 ounces of Boar’s Head ham, and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. That’s pretty much the end of the determination. Lunch and supper consisted of two Mexican food places: Garcias and Trudy’s.  Garcia’s = chips. I had two cheese enchiladas and about 1/4 cup each of rice and beans. And chips. At Trudy’s I had two smoked chicken tacos. (Man, I wish I could re-create those smoked chicken tacos at home!) And chips.

I bet even Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be able to resist Garcia’s chips.