by Jo Moulton
A man's pride shall bring him low:
but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Lest I forget the verse in my title to this blog, I am here to boast about my weaknesses so that God may be glorified, and also so my little ones can learn from their sinful mama's ways.
One of my weaknesses is in fact pride. The only person it is tough to admit this to, is myself. I'm certain that to those around me, it is probably more obvious than I think.
I will give you two recent examples, and again, may my boasting about my weaknesses only point me, and you, to God - for without Him, we can do nothing. But, as Philippians 4:13 says, with His strength, we can do all things!
I've been sewing and knitting a lot lately. With each piece that comes out good, my pride became puffed up. "Wow, look how cute that is!" Especially with my daughter's dresses, the ones that I made and posted a tutorial here about. Oh the compliments! Surely, I must be able to do anything!
So last week, when the weather was perfectly autumn, I set up my sewing machine like so, as my children went out to play:
and I set about sewing my oldest son's Halloween costume, because I certainly could make something better than those store-bought things (said with a little eye-roll).
Rather than bore you with details, what should have been the simplest thing to sew (the one thing I in fact had a pattern for), was the hardest, and turned out to be the worst thing. When my Mom came that evening, it was all I could do to show her - I was embarrassed. I contemplated going and buying new material (or an already made shirt), but the Lord helped me quickly realize that this shirt would be a good reminder for me that I am not all that I think I am (far, far, far from it!), and besides, my son doesn't see all the flaws, but loves this shirt, made with his mama's hands.
Now, lest you think this is as bad as it gets for me, and this is a pretty petty thing, let me fast forward to last evening. While the details of last evening certainly would not bore you, to spare my family from further embarrassment, I will be a little vague here, but still give you the general idea.
Last night, we had an evening at the hospital where we were to meet all the midwives, and get a tour of the place. I cutsied up my children and myself, and packed a little dinner for my family in a cute little basket. We met Daddy at the hospital and had a little lovely time having dinner in the car before we went in. Sounds quaint doesn't it? Let me rewind a few days though.
I had a number of days, when everything just clicked. The house was in nice shape, the laundry was caught up, I was making nice dinners, baking bread, getting up and prettied and prettying up the children as well. I was spending wonderful, quality time with the kids. Boy did things look good from the outside. Don't get me wrong, life was lovely for us, but inside of me, I was getting more and more puffed up with that pride all the while putting God aside.
Yesterday, and for a few days before, I felt the storm starting to organize within myself. I should have listened for the storm-warnings. But for a few days, I managed to keep doing the next, even the right thing. As the day went on yesterday, I felt the tension rise within myself, but I thought "I have the drive to the hospital to calm down" and I relied on looking forward to that, more than getting on my knees and begging God for His help, which He would of course given, had I simply asked!
After dinner was done, we went on into the hospital. I couldn't even look my husband or children in the eyes any longer, as I was so concentrated on me and keeping myself in good behaviour. Whenever I look back on times like that, I'm reminded time and time again, that the more you focus on yourself how terribly selfish that in fact is.
The first part of the tour was question and answer time. Things were not going my way. I was getting irritated more and more as the evening went on. Before the actual tour, I was no longer able to even think rationally. So, after the final straw of me not getting my way, I hightailed it out of the hospital, looking like an out of control, crazy, and angry mother. My poor family, including my poor husband, just followed this lunatic of a woman out, not saying a word. How humiliating to them, and I've begged for their forgiveness many times since then - yes, I've even begged for my children's forgiveness. I am most sorrowful for how this must have been for my husband, as surely, this had to be embarrassing - I know I embarrassed myself very much.
Now to you this may be a little amusing - a very pregnant woman, with three quite little children, practically running out of the hospital, throwing a temper-tantrum. There is never an excuse for such behavior, yet we often make excuses for our sin. "Oh, you are just pregnant, you have crazy hormones running through your body." "Oh, you are just really over-tired." It doesn't matter how many hormones are running through my body, it doesn't matter how busy or not I am, it doesn't matter how anything is - sin is sin is sin, and I sinned last night, no ifs, ands or buts about it.
You see, I had been very prideful lately about many things when it comes to my family, and last night I was reminded that it is not all about me! But that is where my focus has been for too long.
After I asked everyone for forgiveness, a still, small voice said, "what about Me?" While I knew pretty quickly that I sinned against my family, I almost forgot about my Father in Heaven, and that I too sinned against Him. I was broken, and asked God to please, please, PLEASE forgive me. The enemy made me feel pretty unworthy and I will admit, I cried myself sleep, after already crying for a few hours with my loving husband. In the middle of the night, God was so good to me, and after waking around 3:30 a.m., I asked, yet again, for His forgiveness. How was God good to me? Well again, He spoke to me in His still, small voice saying "I already did, now go back to sleep."
So today, on this dreary rainy day, I am feeling a little drained from all the tears last night and a bad night sleep, but I am quietly thanking God for His little dose of "humble pie", for I needed it to remind me, once again, of my desperate need for Him.
Thank you Mom for sharing Romans 8:1 with me
"There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit."
After several hours of condemning myself, with no help from the enemy who kept reminding me all night and all day of my temper-tantrum last night; through this verse that you shared with me, I am reminded that because I am in Christ Jesus, I am not condemned! Praise be to God!