Humble Pie

Humble Pie

I’ve decided that it would do me good to be more humble. I do not consider myself to be a conceited person (in fact, I’ve always had a bit of an inferiority complex), but I do tend to think about myself and worry about what others are thinking more than I’d like to. I’d love to “get out of my own head” once and for all (not going to happen, but a good goal!) as I know humility can bring much peace.

So I started to say the Litany of Humility. Man on man, this is a difficult prayer to say! I say the words, but I feel like a fraud as I often would secretly love exactly the opposite of what I’m asking. I guess this is the point!

For example, one line says:

From the desire of being praised…deliver me Jesus.

I love praise! I desire praise! Who doesn’t!?

School was my thing as a child. I was extremely shy and not much of an athlete, but I was a great student! So I always put forth my very best effort. Sure, it felt intrinsically good (I probably wouldn’t have continued to be a good student throughout graduate school if it hadn’t!), but it also brought the praise and affirmation that I so desperately craved from others.

As a parent, the praise that I crave takes a different form. My three oldest children were at a vacation bible school this morning. The director came up to me at pickup and told me that my children were a joy…very well-behaved, kind to everyone, and they seemed to get along with each other. This is all true, and I’m very grateful. I guess I can take a smidge of shared credit with my husband (while giving God supreme credit for creating these awesome people!).

Yet, at the very same time that my older three were behaving so well at the vacation bible school, I was at the mall with my younger three children. I was receiving lots of attention as we were quite the show. The 3-1/2-year-old boy was flipping out because I would not pay $18 for a package of Ninja Turtle underpants (I did promise him TMNJ undies…but who knew they were SO expensive!?), the 2-year-old girl was screaming at the top of her lungs because I got sick of losing her under clothes racks and finally strapped her in the stroller after threatening 100 times, and the 8-month-old baby (who had been an angel up until now) realized that she had skipped a morning nap and was expressing her loud unhappiness.

Oh, how I HATE putting on a show for others! I strive to be the mom who has it all under control at all time. I was thinking, “How many hours until the kids are in bed and I can crack open that beer?!” I know I really just needed a big dose of humility though!

I have six children and I am (with God’s help) doing my best (well, some/most of the time!) to raise them up to be saints. At any given moment, three are well-behaved and praiseworthy, and three are a train wreck. Ugh…only a 50% success rate is failure! God knows my heart and my intentions, so why am I seeking to do a job worthy of “praise” while doing a silly errand with a preschooler, toddler, and baby? It’s not always about me…

From the desire of being praised….deliver me, Jesus!

Another line from the prayers says:

That others be chosen and me set aside…Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

This is a hard one for me. I just think of how much it hurts not to be included. I haven’t know it to happen yet, but I’m sure it will hurt just as much if one of my children is left out of something and I find out about it.

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love Facebook when it keeps me connected to others and when I feel like I am a welcome, accepted member of a community. I hate Facebook when I see posts of something that I perceive that I should’ve been included in (like a play date or mom’s night out). I find that my perfectly happy and content mood can be ruined instantly (which always trickles down to the kids!). When this happens, I reflect on why I feel this way. And, I always find that it stems from thinking too much about myself and comparing myself to others.

I do not want to give up social media because I do find that it adds to my life more than it takes away, but I do want to be okay if I am “set aside.” Obviously, this is an everyday example. I know that being left out can be much more painful, but I am just including a small example from my life. I think that if I was more humble, I would not feel so affected by others (who most likely are not thinking of me at all…and certainly not meaning to hurt me!).

That others be chosen and me set aside…Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

So, my journey to humility is one step at a time! I believe that Jesus appreciates my desire to become more like Him and that the Holy Spirit is helping me…one trip to the mall at a time :).

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Copyright 2014, Trish Bolster

One Comment
  1. Lauren
    June 27, 2014 | Reply

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