I’m aware that I have controlling tendencies. I like things the way I like them – my house neat and uncluttered, my food condiments on the side, my boys napping on schedule. A place for everything and everything in its … Continue reading
All right – here goes the 2nd half of Mother Teresa’s Humility List as applied to married laity (For the first half, see my last post). Again, my thoughts aren’t by any means exhaustive and do not necessarily cover all situations, but I think generally there’s a good thing going here:
9. Accept insults and injuries.
No red lights on the morning commute. Someone comments as you walk by, “Hey, lookin’ good today!” The boss compliments your work. Good family dinner. Kids go down without a problem. That night you pray,”Thank you, Lord, for such a great day!” because you acknowledge that these good things were from him. Consider the opposite – someone cuts you off on the way to work, the boss is in a bad mood and is spreading it, and at the end of the day, you go home to Chaos Castle with sick or whiny kids. Do you thank God that the wreck of a day is over or do you thank him for it with the same joy as you did the day before? Mother Teresa noted, “We’ve accepted all the good things, we should accept [the bad] too.” My husband put it well, “God uses more than just sunshine and flowers to move in your soul.” Anything and everything can draw us closer to him with humility.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
A person’s value lies in God alone. SO hard to recall and recognize! When experiencing #10, my heart of glass shatters and in addition to being instantly forlorn, I become defensive and anxious; however, the confidence that comes with seeking to please God only is really great. When you place your value/dignity in other things (how cute your kids are, how organized you are, how many hits on your blog, etc.), then you allow it to be taken away when they fail. No wonder people are slighted when they’re disliked or ignored.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
There’s no sense in fighting fire with fire. Even the most tense disagreements Andrew and I have had have been settled in a spirit of charity and rationale – speaking from raw emotion does no good. Dr. Rioux at Benedictine once said in class, “My wife and I don’t look at disagreements as fights to be won by one side or the other, but rather as a rational attempt to arrive at the truth together.” And really, when you look at that way, that you and your spouse are a team fighting on the same side for what is good, you can’t go wrong.
12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
Serve others for the sake of serving others, not for the sake of being acknowledged. I just read on my friend Erin’s blog (Humble Handmaid) that “service done in the spirit of needing or expecting thanks isn’t the kind of service that makes healthy relationships, marriages, and families.” Of course, it’s very nice to be admired and loved, but let that come naturally instead of chasing after it.
13. Do no protect yourself behind your own dignity.
Christ, King of Kings, washed the feet of his disciples. So it goes without saying that, I, a small soul far beneath the heavenly throne, certainly must avail myself of any opportunity to serve others, especially my husband and child. When I went to camp as a kid (SO fun, Catholic, all girls, all week), one of the activities we did was give each other pedicures. As awkward tweens, we hated the idea of touching someone else’s feet, but the camp director, observing our hesitation, gently reminded us, “Your Lord and Savior did this ladies – it is not beneath you.”
14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
It happens: a difference of strong opinions can lead to a battle of wills. So certain of your own correctness, you refuse to back down, determined to convince your opponent to agree with you. But with a dash of humility, you can let the situation lie because your happiness doesn’t rely on someone else knowing that you’re right. If you know you’re right and the other person refuses to believe it, you can simply state your point and if he/she is unwilling to hear it, say a prayer and move on. Sometimes you have to let it go and consider this: does convincing this person make you more correct than you already were? or more importantly, happier or more humble?
15. Choose always the more difficult task.
Maybe not when it comes down to hand-washing or letting the dishwasher take care of the dried-cereal bowls, but I think most agree that habitually taking the path of least resistance won’t lead one to much virtue. Habitually facing challenges, however, imparts more knowledge, experience, and humility.
In applying this list to my life, married laity, I’ve understood the truth that all things are fleeting. Everything in this life will end, even my marriage (til death do us part, right?). I want to make sure I’m putting stock in God – everlasting, omnipotent, all-loving. Humility is realizing that love of God is #1 and proper love for yourself, your spouse, children, friends, etc. will follow naturally.
Weekly Life Snapshot:
Andrew, Liam, and I had a family dance party to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat” on Saturday night – Liam was in his Johnny Jump Up and had a blast bouncing while Andrew and I showcased our best moves. I love having a family.
I’m having surgery on Wednesday. I have pregnancy-induced gall stones so I have to have my gall bladder out. I’ve heard good things about the procedure and recovery time, so I’m not too concerned. The downside is, though I’ll be able to hold Liam, I’m not permitted to pick him up for a couple of weeks. Local extended family are going to assist with that challenge AND my mom’s coming in, too. I can’t wait (until AFTER that is). Please pray for me – I’m a little nervous about going under.
Liam has learned how to give kisses!
I celebrated my weekly, Monday Bake Off on Saturday – making a batch of granola and some white-chocolate covered strawberries. The strawberries weren’t much to look at, but they were good anyway.