That Word – Humility

When you think of words that make your tummy turn a
little flip and your heart utter a little prayer of
forgiveness, one of those words would most certainly
be HUMILITY. Am I right?

This difficult quality will not grow in us as long
as we are thinking about ourselves.
“How do I look?”
“Did I do that right? Are they noticing?”
“How will this affect me?”
“Why are they doing that? That’s not even right!”
“They’re so insensitive!”

Insecurity kills humility.
Cuz thinking about ourselves all the time
is pride… the enemy of humility.

A purposeful effort must be made to
NOT be full of self-thoughts.

Make an effort to…
– be gentle (deciding to be kind)
– be patient (cuz impatience is selfishness!)
– work without a title
– not depend on others’ affirmation
– choose the “invisible” jobs
– recognize others when you’re craving recognition
– be alone without being lonely (quote from our mentor Jeannie)
– stop rating other people
– remember Who you serve & why

Humility is the inside-out virtue that’s produced
by comparing ourselves to the Lord rather than to others.

“Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love.”

Ephesians 4:2

Whoa vs. Wow

 

A humble, “broken” heart (the kind that God speaks of in scripture)
is NOT a heart that walks about feeling crumby & putting itself down.

It’s a heart that is aware of its own faults & inheirent sinfulness,
but depends on God for forgiveness, strength & joy!

 

Instead of saying, “Whoooa is me!” it says…

“Wow! God!”

 

The people who recognize their need for God are blessed.

 

 

It all happend before lunchtime…

It happened just this week. It was noon.  A friend had texted me to say “Hi,” and innocently asked how my morning had been. I couldn’t possibly TEXT it all. I was feeling like, well, like the crazy picture of me at the top of this post. So I sent her this email below. I thought you might enjoy a little laugh & a bit of encouragement!
_________________________________________________________________________

It’s noon and so far…
– An entire bottle of hand soap hit the floor in the bathroom (ever tried cleanin’ that up?  Sticky goo)

–  No lesson plans this week for Max & Chase… just wingin’ it through their books…

– Laundry pile has eaten the remaining clean clothes in my closet

–  I’d straighten up my house but I can’t find the furniture, it’s hidden under several layers of dust

– There’s a national fruit fly convention in my kitchen AND bathrooms!

– I’m NOT wearing any make-up yet

– Pretty sure I could really use a shower

– Kids haven’t eaten any fruit or veggies today

– and I’m stuffin my face full of tortilla chips!

But… I spoke with Jesus about all this and He doesn’t seem upset by any of it… so I’m trying NOT to be either!  🙂

The Blank Look Does NOT say it All

Remember that minister who wouldn’t stop? His sermon seemed never-ending. And phrases like “and finally” or “in closing” were only segway to more & more & more?

I’ve sat in those services & thoughts, “Please, Minister, look around you! See the blank looks on everyone’s faces?  You’ve lost us. PLEASE stop!”  But those kinda speakers never seemed to notice the body language.

(NOTE:  My husband does NOT do this. His sermons are short (usually around 1/2 hr. and funny but full of impact. Just sayin!)

Well,  Tuesday I started reading a book to my little boys that was definitely for older children. But we tried it anyway. The boys sat for a couple minutes. Then the laid down on the couch. Reached for toys… or anything nearby.

So I asked a few questions & got them more involved. But within seconds they were hangin off the couch again just looking blankly at the wall.

I stopped reading.

“MOM! What are you doing? Keep going! Please!?”

“But you weren’t listening. We’ll read more tomorrow.”

“No, Please, I wanna know what happens next.”

 

So I read. Quite a lot, actually. And when I finally stopped my oldest boy (only 6 yrs. old) asked if he could please draw a picture of the story.  And he did. With great detail. He took delight in making giant background scenes & specific characteristics of each person mentioned in the story.

He was listening! And each morning since then  he’s asked me to continue reading the book that is several grade levels above his current grade. I learned something from this.

It’s NOT that preachers/speakers should ignore body language! I simply realized again that we cannot judge a situation by sight only. We can’t sum up people by first glance & then assume we know what’s happening inside of them. (I hate to admit it, but those of us in ministry do this sometimes.)

How to avoid this icky mistake? Talk. LISTEN. Ask questions. Spend time  together. Serve together. Be interested in them, genuinely. Their “blank-look” isn’t blank (unless, of course, the sermon is lasting for an hour). Something’s going on… and what a joy it is to find out what it is & be a part of their lives in some way.

Can you think of a time when you’ve assumed you knew what was going on in someone’s life & why, and then treat them according to your deduction?

 

 

Recently overheard 3

My friend, Freddie, has mentioned several times that she thinks it would be hilarious to be a fly on my wall. Ha!

The conversations inside our home & car this week have dished out a plethora of humorous comments. When I was done laughing, I started writing them down… enjoy.

 

“This is the most embarrassing day of my life.” / “That’s my job- embarrassing my kid when they’re preteens.” /” Well, you’re doing a great job!”

 

“Stop singing, Dude.”

 

“I’m pretty sure Batman & Robin are Christians.”

 

“I get to choose what we play cuz I’M the BIRTHDAY boy!”/ “NO. I get to choose what we play cuz I’m the GUEST!”

 

“All this coloring is making me really tired.”

 

“That’s so weird… Some people are really weird.” (says the girl wearing this mask)

 

“I’m pretty sure that my sister doesn’t have any jewels in her crown!”

 

“Oh, you’re writing a story? Here’s a story for ya. ‘Once upon a time my sister was a mean bean. The end.’ There!”

 

“Mom, when we have kids you’re gunna be the most boring Grandma of all time because you never spend your money on candy!”

 

“MOM! There’s a man walking around outside our window! (and their window is on the 3rd floor… but they were right!)

 

 

One of those Minions Spoke Up…

 

 

Last week I blogged about my “Minion Kids” who learn to do chores at a young age. While I was writing that post, my 15 yr. old daughter, Courtney, was standing over my shoulder making hilarious comments. It seemed “only fair” that she would get to “add her two cents” worth … so here’s my original post with her comments added in Bold Red Italics!

———————————————

A couple of days ago a couple of my friends tweeted that they wished they had her own minions to do their work or go get  sushi.  I cracked up… and then realized… wait a minute… I DO have my own minions!  My kids!

Not exactly minions, but just as cute (well, cuter cuz they’re real) and they actually do my work for me… OK, they do SOME of my work for me! “We do all of it; let’s not kid.”

You see, since they’ve been young I’ve included my children in the many tasks that a family & home require. “Training them young helps them to grow accustomed to a life of labor.” As toddlers & preschoolers they LOVED it cuz it made them feel grown up. As they get older it kinda loses its appeal, but it’s already a part of their lives, so they do it anyway. My little minions are good workers… and don’t usually complain too much.

When they’re really little they’d do things like take the napkins to the table, put the shoes in the closet, toys in the box , etc… “Meanwhile I could get important things done such as painting my nails, talking on the phone and sleeping.”

Preschoolers & Early Elementary children clear the table each meal, push in the chairs, empty small garbage cans, dust window sills, feed the dog, put their clothes away, bring laundry to laundry room, clean light switches, even vacuum, etc… “They can also clean the chimney, scrub your feet, and park the car.”

Upper Elementary & Jr. High kids can do the dishes, dust furniture, pick up dog do-do from the yard, prepare simple meals, clean bathroom counters, sweep floors, do their own laundry, clean their rooms, wash & change bedding, etc… “Basically you could send them off to college now and they’d do perfectly fine.”

High School students can really do just about anything around the house, and should. Includingcook meals. “But in all reality, they’re too busy doing everything else in the entire house to have time to do your only job.”

Hmm, now that I’m looking at this list I realize two things

1. I sound like a total slave driver “Which is completely accurate.”

2. With all this help (I have 5 kids) I should have a spotless house.  Oops, I just made myself look bad!  ha!  “But you all like the idea of slave children already so it doesn’t matter!”

Being an effective parent will always require work… in every area!  But teaching our kids to help out not only gives us opportunity to have minions – hee hee- but to develop responsible, hard working kids that don’t expect everything given to them or done for them. “They’ll even offer to make their own soup if they ever come down with influenza.” It takes time to teach them… twice as long as if you were doing it yourself… but in the long run it’s well worth it… for THEM (and you, too).

So, Gru, get to makin’ that chore chart. “And don’t forget to make them massage your head, re-shingle the roof, make Christmas dinner, and wash your delicates.”

(I laugh every time I read this… she’s hilarious!)

 

 

Overrun with Imperfection

 

I haven’t worn make-up for 3 of the past 5 days.

 –

Our dining room table looks like a library threw up on it.

 =

My electronics (aka computer, phone, internet,etc) forced me to rename them.

 –

I’ve stopped for groceries 3 times but have failed to buy 1/2 of what’s

actually written on my list, so our meal choices are pretty dumb.

 –

My oldest daughter leaves for school next week…

(no words about that right now, just feelings)

The cute wedding gift-project that I want to make for our friends

is taunting me because I haven’t started it yet, and because my

ideas always exceed my talent & time.

 –

My neck hurts from leaning over school books & planning lessons.

Our lovely house cries out for a good clean, but remains unheard.

The beautiful summer weather is gone & I’m kinda mad at myself for

not being excited about fall. It’s my favorite season, but I’ve apparentently

forgotten that tid bit of info about myself.

We start home school in a few days  (I know.. it’s later than you) and

until I get it all planned out… things are kinda rough.

If you’re feeling poopy about yourself;

Incase you’ve been reading all those blog sites where everyone is

creative, gorgeous and totally organized in every area…

Well, ha!

Let’s be REAL.

Real stuff happens.

And sometimes we just hafta say it… and laugh. It just helps!

(And, saying “poopy” a few times also proves quite helpful, too!

A lesson I learned in Jr. High!)

 

Here’s the little phrase that God’s been reminding me this week:

Grace in Action

My imperfections are huge.

My Jesus is “huge-er” and totally Perfect in every way!