One of the gifts we receive from our children is humility. It’s not my favorite gift as it’s normally preceded by embarrassment. I hate to be embarrassed. I have a sneaky desire to look put-together, polished and have my little angels following me around with smiles on their faces. I dress my kids in stylish clothes, name brands, tutu’s and bows in hair. I know they are adorable, so let’s show the world! But then, chopping right into the heart of feeling like I am a good mother because I have well-dressed and well-behaved kids, tramps the very opposite.
Last week, I took a memorable trip to the Grand Canyon with a girl friend and two of my kids. We had just arrived and our eyes were still sparkling with the wonder of the view when we got in formation for a perfect photo. Two middle-aged men were standing near by and one offered to take our group photo. I scoop up my daughter so all our heads are close together and we smile…we smile for a mere second until we hear a voice yelling out, “My xxxxxx hurts!” (Insert a word similar to Virginia that you don’t want your daughter yelling in public.) Again and again, “My Virginia hurts! My Virginia hurts!” Our smiles crack…I’m waiting for the strangers to just take the picture already so I can put my daughter down and get out of this situation and he seems to be waiting for me to address this loud complaint so we are frozen in an awkward pose, none of us moving while my lovely daughter bellows her complaints.
This event and another public tantrum involving flailing limbs, crying/screeching and falling on the ground that left me steaming. Ahhh humility! I was angry and defensive. I was blinded by embarrassment. There was a slow trickle of truth, taking several days, before I allowed the painfully awkward moments to shine into my heart. Revealed was my superficial need for approval. My own self-worth attached to the behavior of my children. Humility settled in as my motives were laid bare. From painful to thankful.
I accept this gift of humility. I need it. I am reminded God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. I want to be close to God, close to my children and walk through life with graciousness. Embarrassment, I welcome you. When I untie the bow and lift the lid, I’ll find the treasure of humility within.