Have Child – Be Humbled

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
-Saint Augustine

So I am convinced I have one of the loudest little people in all existence. For being so tiny she sure has a set of lungs… and no shortage of attitude.

A couple of weekends ago we (rather unexpectedly) bought a car – hello new mom car! If you have ever purchased a car, particularly from a dealership, you know it is NOT a short venture. G was great! By “great” I mean in the typical active kid sense – like not sitting in your lap nicely flipping through a book, eating fruit snacks – that only lasts about 2 min max with her – a movie on the phone or iPad – maybe 10 min.  Thank God I had packed loads of snacks and stickers, but I think I went through 22 styrofoam cups, 18 coffee straws, 5 accessory brochures, (thank you Honda) and walked the entire dealership inside and out 45 times (but who’s counting) in an effort to entertain her. So yeah, THAT time – my mom tricks worked. Woo! High five! My hubby did the paperwork and I dipped in when necessary, but mainly I spent the day following her around and making sure she didn’t put too many smudges on the showroom cars. We celebrated our new car, G being “good”, and what was left of our sanity with several large pieces of pizza 🙂

Last week we had to go back to the dealer to finish up some things and pick up a seat cover (hubs is totally about protecting the ‘investment’) and I could tell from the ride over there that it was going to be a disaster and a half. Too much traffic and too little patience from the front seat, and too much neediness and overall crabbiness from the back seat.

She started walking/running at 10 months so it should not come as a surprise to me that the “terrible two’s” are starting prematurely as well. She threw a fit when we got her out of the car because she only wanted ONE shoe on, then walking into the dealer she wanted to get down and literally RUN and TOUCH EVERYTHING like a maniac. Meanwhile, yelling “MAAAAM!!! WHOOAAAHH!!” and “DAAD!! WHOOOAAAA!!!” AND THEN anytime you got in her way or tried to “redirect” her or, god forbid, pick her up and take her somewhere, AAALLLL hell broke loose. Dealerships are not built to absorb sound by the way, pretty sure they only amplify it. I can’t begin to describe the award winning meltdowns she had every time I touched her.

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Thrilled mama

Embarrassing. Uncomfortable. Annoying. Frustrating. Humbling.

As I made my 12th lap in the long rows of cars for sale, feeding snacks and sticking Frozen stickers to the little “darling’s” legs, I remembered a comment my mom had made to me just a week before, “God uses your children to humble you in the ways you need it most.” It got me thinking… what’s the big deal about humility any ways. Coming from a christian family I am familiar with the virtue, but practically speaking in my adult life, what does this look like? Why is it so important?

We live in a society where good fortune seems to favor the strong and prideful, and modesty is often viewed as a weakness. Climbing to the top of a corporate ladder or being some level of “famous” is our modern version of “survival of the fittest”. It’s easy to develop a “hardness of heart” and extremely difficult to be humble in a world that promotes competition, fame, and perfection… not to mention if your personality is already predisposed to being prideful.

As Confucius once defined it, humility is “the solid foundation of all virtues” — and possibly the key to achievement. So reminding ourselves (or accepting those “reminders”) that we don’t know everything, and that we are not perfect is a great way from keeping your heart from getting “hard”.

A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.  – James E. Faust

I read an article a while ago that touched on a few applications of humility that apply to the working world – but of course can also apply to motherhood or life in general.

To be humble also means being open or flexible – recognizing that I am not a know it all and to stay open and receptive to new information or ways of doing things.

To be humble also means recognizing that I AM going to make mistakes and to remember to use them as a learning opportunity to improve myself.

To be humble also means to be compassionate – the fact that I don’t know everything and will make mistakes makes me realize that everyone else is in the same baot. People make mistakes, people mess up.

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. – C.S. Lewis

So humility isn’t thinking little of yourself, it’s all about a healthy and accurate view or assessment of yourself and the world around you. It is knowing our own limits, our strengths and weaknesses, morally or otherwise.

As I walked around the parking lot I found myself re-accepting my mission as a mother, and thanking God again for the little “reminder” of humility in my stroller. Some days are “easier” than others no doubt, however I am incredibly grateful for the endless opportunities God gives me each day (sometimes in the form of a bouncing little toddler!) to grow in virtue and become a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, etc.

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My sweet little reminder of humility!

xo – J

“We learn humility through accepting humiliations cheerfully.” – Mother Theresa 

 

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