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

She Did What She Could

I’m enjoying several reading plans this month and some wonderful “extras!”
Together, our church is reading YouVersion’s 21 Day Fast , and I’m also lovin’ some wonderful videos & blogs from Mount Hope Church (who recently adopted Courage Church!!!! YIPPEE!)

One thing I read today did a little zing in my heart. Here’s the tiny verse
and then my thoughts are following.

“SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD…” – Jesus
Mark 14:8a

————————————————————————————

(The “SHE” in this verse is the lady who broke her expensive perfume and anointed
Jesus before his crucifixion and burial. She took criticism from people…
but not Jesus. He said “She did what she could.”)

-The people around that table that evening seemed far more qualified to minister
to Jesus than she, yet that didn’t stop her.

– Her sacrifice seemed “unspiritual” and lacking wisdom. (It was not!)

– She could have done many other things with that perfume, and other people
(even the “Christ-followers”) would probably have admired her for doing it.
But she chose to bless Jesus and not be affected by the others’ opinions.

– She let go of what had once been very special to her (and her culture),
because Jesus was now far more important that cultural customs & standards.

– Humility preceded this act of love.

————————————————————————————–

After realizing these truths this morning I started writing down “what I could do”
for Jesus that He sees value in, even if others do not.

Most things on my list were non-exciting, normal, daily and
“not-very-spiritual-looking.” Each one required humility, even demanded it.
(insert big SIGH here)
Others won’t notice and probably won’t even see it happening. If they do see,
they may criticize me. I may appear lazy, ridiculous and lacking in judgement.
And yet…
If these are the things that Jesus sees value in now, and asks of me,
then how can I discount their importance?
On Sunday in his sermon, (1-5-14) Chilly said,
“Our job is doing God’s purpose!”

Everywhere I look, every blog I read & pinterest I view, I’m told what I need to do to be
valuable and successful. But Mark 14:8 tells me that Jesus values my willingness to
“do what I can” for Him & directed by Him.
Simple.
Difficult.
Do-able.

We Don’t Really…

 

We don’t really understand what we never have to experience.

This explains why the phrase, “Oh, I totally understand what you’re going through,” is SO
frustrating.

HOWEVER… just because someone has not walked in our exact pair of shoes does not
mean that they are unable to offer guidence, insight and assistance.

If someone “who just doesn’t understand you”  but is in a position to
help you, attempts to share insight with you and it totally annoys you,
then perhaps the real issue lies within your heart….
and that you’d rather wait for someone to tell you what you want to hear
than listen to wisdom.

Make plans by seeking advice…”  Proverbs 20:18

Hmm, yeah. I think sometimes the problem is NOT that others “don’t really understand,”
but that we don’t really want to hear anything but our own thoughts & ideas.

 

 

I’m Title-less

“Co-Pastor”

“Woman’s Ministries Director”

“Director of Development,” etc…

Many Pastor’s Wives have titles… it’s kinda the thing to do.

This is not a post to judge them.  (Please make note of that!)

 

I don’t have another title. People know me as “Netta,”  “Pastor’s Wife,”  or even “Mrs. Chilly” All of these are totally fine with me.  (Actually, this past weekend I was even called, “Nana” by a 60-something year old man who tells me I’m like a Mom to him. Admittedly though, if he starts calling me “Grandma” I may have to draw the line!)

Being title-less provides some great benefits:

1. Forces me to find my identity in what Jesus calls me & how He view me.

2. Reminds me that my first calling as God’s daughter is to love & minister to my husband.

3. Offers freedom to minister to all types, ages and groups of people without the strange stereo typing that can happen. (For example, when i was “youth pastor’s wife” the woman of our church were less accepting of something I may have been able to do for them because they just viewed me as the “Youth Lady.” See what I mean?)

4.  Removes that temptation for me to become overly focused on one area of giftings & neglect the growth of other areas in my life.

5. Keeps me on my knees because my “job” is so diverse that I don’t have time to “get into a groove” and forget that my strength & effectiveness comes from JESUS ONLY!

6. Helps me remember that it’s not my position that will leave an eternal effect on others, but rather my life & character.

 

Those of us who love Jesus are all called to encourage & disciple others… period.

Titles don’t do that. Love does.

 

 

 

His Lap

Recently during my morning time with Jesus I was wiping away another round of tears & apologizing to Jesus for all the crying I’d done in recent days.

 
“Lord, I’m so sorry. All I’ve done lately is just sit in your lap and bawl. How pathetic.”

 
“Netta, My lap is your safe place, it’s where you’re supposed to cry. ”

 

 

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress. The godly run to Him & are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10

 

 

 

 

Words that Sadden. Wounds that Lie.

“Ouch. They really just said that to me!?”

You’ve thought those words at some point & will again someday. (Nice, Netta, what a depressing way to begin a blog post!) But it happens cuz we deal with humans. Over the years I’ve learned that many hurtful words spoken to me are NOT really spoken AT me or because of me. Hurt people hurt people.

Think about that… Hurt people hurt people.

That said, I’ve learned to remain calm, smile and do my best to keep loving people when they’ve lashed out at me… well, I’ve mostly learned that. Here’s the deal:  that’s not so hard to do unless the person knows you well & is quite close to you. Then the words go deeper.

 

Those words sink in and make me ponder. Now what?

I pray. “Lord, what truth is in these statements?”

I talk with my husband. “What do I need to learn from this?”

I pray for the person, the situation, etc. .

But still…

Those words can start eating at me. They’ve cut me & now there’s a tiny seed of UNtruth that has planted itself there. Something like, “Since they said that about me, they must really think I’m a jerk. What if they’re right?  They probably are. I was probably way off in that situation.”  Then it can grow into thoughts like…. ” As hard as I try, I just mess things up all the time anyway.

Then it grows into bigger lies: “No wonder people don’t invite me over, I’m not really a friend.”  and  “How am supposed to do anything of lasting value if no one wants to be around me?

See how the lie grew?  It began as a sad heart with a wound that started doubting what it knew was true, and it soon turned into a giant lie that had little to do with the original situation.  We cannot blame someone else for that thought process. WE choose it. So, the flip side is… CHOOSE NOT to think that way.

When those thoughts arise, stop them. Talk to Jesus. He ONLY tells you the TRUTH! Think about what HE’s already told you… what you already know is truth!
Philippians 4:8 says to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely & of a good report!

 

Lots of thought will pop into our heads during the day, but it’s up to us if we’ll keep thinking & expounding on it or NOT!  Choose your thoughts. It keeps Hurts from Wounding us with their lies!

 

Timid is Tempting

 

If you’ve been around me at all, you know that I’m not shy.. or timid… or

even remotely quiet. Nope. Not at all.  Usually I can talk to anyone and

find great pleasure in getting a “don’t-talk-to-me” kinda person to start

talking… and extra points if I can get them to smile.

(Like the somewhat-cranky ol farmer at Eastern Market who sells the yummiest

sweet corn… it’s taken me two years, but this past Saturday I got him

to smirk slightly and then kindly wish me “nice weekend!”  YES!)

But circumstances in life can smack us in the face and knock the confidence

right out from under us. It’s then that I can sometimes be tempted to just

quiet down & be more timid. But  really, those are the moments when I must

face this question:

Did my confidence come from myself?  or

Does my confidence come from my relationship with Jesus?


Sometimes it’s not the earth shattering things in life that mess with us, but

rather the smaller things that wanna play with our heads.  I’m walking

through a few of those situations, and  I’ve certainly winced in moments of temptation…

moments where I wanted to pull away,

stop being friendly & just close up my heart,

be overly cautious (aka fearful),

be too calculated about friendships & discipleship,

let my courage melt a little  (aka be timid)

think about myself,

second guess the “outgoing-ness” that makes me vulnerable,

be what I am NOT created to be simply because it feels safer.

It’s not safer. It’s horrible to be something/someone that God did NOT make

me to be simply because I’m afraid. Giving into fear means I’m

not trusting Jesus.

So…

*When our car is stolen out of our driveway & a check stolen from our front porch,

I will not ponder all the “what if’s.” I will remind myself of God’s calling, protection

& purpose for our lives.

* When dear friends move away, I will not shut my heart to current & new friends

because of the “fear of losing another friend.” (If I do shut out people then I’ve

already lost them)

*If my scale says something that makes me wanna cry, I will continue to do

my best, smile & love people. Self-consciousness only makes me ugly.

I will NOT cave into to any of these timid thoughts. They quickly take over and

gain power over me. It says that so plainly is 2 Peter 2:19  (The Voice)

—— “Whatever you give in to will soon become your master.”

Instead, I will give into the overwhelming, undeserved love & acceptance

of Jesus Christ!  I let go of fears & the damaging thoughts that go with them.

Jesus is my BEST friend. I will think about Him, read His Words, listen to Him,

talk to Him & give into Him. He’s my Master.

A Mentor once said…

 

“Give what you need!”

———————–-Jeanne Mayo

Years ago we heard Jeanne share this thought.

We’ve watched her live it, too.

It stuck to my head & heart. It’s true. It works.

If you need encouragement, give it to someone else.

If you need prayer, pray for someone else.

If you need a friend, be one.

If you need help, help someone else accomplish their task.

If you need hugs, give a tight one.

etc, etc…

Leadership of any kind can be a lonely place; teachers,

directors, CEOs, pastors, parents, managers, administrators &

captains can all experience the discouragement and “aloneness”

of leading the pack.

If we start thinking about what we’re NOT getting from other

people we’ll get frustrated & even resentful. Maturity decides

to GIVE the very thing you wished you had.