I think I've been ignoring God. Not to say this has been on purpose (hence the 'I think' part), but He has been glaringly clear about the pride in my life recently that I think I must have missed His whispered warnings prior to this scream.
I gathered a few weeks ago, reading in the gospels, that I may have a pride issue. Oh, that was probably one of the aforementioned whispers. Crud. Anyway, I thought about it a bit and well...thought process was all I got around to.
We had a leadership meeting last Monday at church. It's a lovely time of a light supper (always delicious), a message (either from our pastor or a DVD series or something - usually growth producing), and then ministry teams meet (I flit between missions team and children's church). Well, this past Monday, God decided to have the pastor speak directly to me. Not literally - wouldn't that have been freaky, "Randi, you have pride in your life." - but indirectly. He spoke about a book he'd read that had 7 symptoms that you have a pride issue in your life. I don't remember all of them but a few were "temper, irritability (which I associate with annoyance and Squirt has been heard lately saying "that's annoying?" which I wonder where he picked that up...), unteachable-ness (I realize that's not a word)" There were more obviously, but my mind eludes me tonight, so let's just say that I met 6/7 criteria for pride.
I pondered that while reading The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shrier. The chapters for that week were about word vomit (not really but in a sense). How we don't always need to be right, don't always need to have the last word, don't always need to talk just to hear ourselves talk.
"Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut." - Proverbs 10:19
That is one of my favorite verses. I've taught it to my children. We've memorized it together. I know I need it. Yet I forget. I realized in this past week that I love to be the center of attention. I love compliments. I love being noticed and appreciated. While it's nice to receive compliments, attention, and appreciation, it's prideful to go out of your way (even in your thoughts, as in 'I wonder if so-and-so will comment on these sweet shoes I'm wearing') to get them. My new haircut has brought around this realization. I just soak in those compliments...like it were God complimenting me rather than His creation. Ugh.
THEN I started to read my latest book for review: "Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist" (by Amanda Jenkins - review soon). Very funny. Very relatable. Very convicting. Ouch convicting. First three chapters: Vanity. Money. Recognition. Oh me, oh my. Perfectionism. Type A personality. That's me. I think this woman really took my memoirs and changed the names (which stinks because what ever will I write my New York Times bestseller about??). Not really but it's so SO relatable it hurts. It brought me to tears, to my knees, broke my heart today.
Even my hurt foot could very well be God's way of getting my attention that I was being prideful, bragging even, about my marathon training. Not saying running a marathon is bad, nor is running bad, but when I sought out conversations where I could slip it in that I was training for a marathon - because of the admiration/praise/confusion/attention it brought me. Oh me, oh my. The hurt foot could be coincidence but I don't know God's ways.
I agonize over what to wear. Who cares?! My friends compliment me often - and mostly not about clothes. I don't think that most people, most women even think about who is wearing what most of the time. I don't notice what my friends are wearing most of the time. I do like to compliment them when they look nice but compliments should be icing on the cake, not expected. Nothing to agonize over. Who cares if so-and-so doesn't open her lips to say she likes my necklace. Do I like it? Does my husband like it? Am I dressed modestly and appropriately? Am I dressing to bring attention to myself (from men or women?)? Pride.
I want my kids to behave and have wonderful manners. They can drive me nuts with a few repetitive noises or phrases (which is very unfair to Moose who has some sort of echolalia and he's a kid). I am so embarrassed and feel I need to explain about his autism to most people when he has an outburst - like others kids don't have outbursts in public? It raises my blood pressure when my children don't listen and obey like robots (not that listening and obeying the first time isn't a grand thing but they have minds of their own and sinful little hearts that desire their own ways, just like mine). I want others to see me as Super Mom...when that's impossible because we are all raising children who have minds of their own and sinful hearts - just like us!
Oh me, oh my. I'm sure I could go on. I even contemplated making my Facebook status something about this - for attention seeking, ugh. I hesitated to even write this post because I really do desire God's attention, not human's attention. Then I thought 'what if someone else is in the same boat?' That's usually what prompts me to write posts of this nature that are revealing of my sinful nature (who wants to write about how much their innards suck?!). Sin comes from secrecy and I don't desire this sin to continue so I'm bringing it to the light. *deep breath*
So, if you are out there and you feel irritable about everything (even your husband's loud eating annoys you), then you're in the right place. God can help you, too, like He's helped me. He's shining light on your pride as well as mine. He will take our loads and give us his load which is easy. He loves us so much, He created us to want compliments - but those found in His Word. He wants us to know that we are special just because He loves us (not my words, taken from the perfectionist book). Can you believe that?
It's hard but I want to believe that.