Humbling the Grumbling

Posted By on May 17, 2012 | 24 comments


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One of the most powerful, life-changing scriptures for me comes from 1 Peter 5:6, 7.  It says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

I have mentioned this scripture before in a prior piece called Humble Pie’s Powerful Nutrition.  These verses actually initiated a turning point for me in the midst of great challenges in my work setting a couple of years ago.  It triggered a time of deep reflection and searching for God’s will, not my own.  In time, I came to see that His will was for me to be home for my children and my husband.

For the past year now, my new work setting has been my home.  I have absolutely loved being home.  However, in some ways I feel like I am trying to blindly be the “homemaker,” because really I was never taught how!  I know some may be thinking Come on! How hard can it be?  When I think of all that I juggled when working full time, I too, have been a bit perplexed as to why this new role seems to be so challenging at times…until now.

As a teacher in the classroom, I received many heartfelt, tangible rewards when working with my students.  The exchange of ideas, the Ah Ha! “lightbulb” moments, the praises for a job well done! Those were incredible external motivators each and every day.  (Not to mention, all that work created a great excuse for why the house was a wreck, and our family in disarray.)

Now, as a SAHM whose children are in school most of the day, I don’t have any excuses for not having a clean home, but there are very few external motivators for cleaning the bathrooms!  While boys have a sweet, amazing love for their mommas, they are not the greatest at noticing those little decorating details or understanding how much time you spent organizing all of their book bins by genres (I can’t help it!  I was a language arts teacher!)

Unfortunately, I am realizing that when I do clean up the house and cook dinner, etc…and I don’t receive the “praises”, I tend to exude a tit-for-tat attitude, and I take on a selfish tone when someone asks me to do something for them.  I then justify my response by thinking that I’m not going to raise any lazy children who won’t do for themselves!  If they’re not going to help me—huh! I’m not going to help them.

But here is where the frying pan proverbially whacked me over the head:  Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”  Wow!  That has been a game changer for me. It has made me realize that I need to humble myself under God’s mighty hand…

And you know what? In time, He has been lifting me up by helping me see that my attitude, motivations, and reactions do not do much to reveal Christ to my children! He’s also helping me understand the true meaning of humility, and from whom it comes.

Karol Ladd, author of A Woman’s Passionate Pursuit of God , explains that “an important step in our journey toward humility (is) realizing that God is working in us not only to do what is good but even to want to do what is good!  That pretty much knocks out our own prideful attitude when it comes to living and doing things for Christ.  Knowing it is God who works in us to both give us the desire and the ability to follow His ways keeps us humble as we depend on Him to carry out His good purpose.  We can’t take any credit.”

By drawing closer to Him, He alone is giving me the DESIRE to want a better attitude, and He alone will give me the  ability to follow the path on which He has called me.  How can I not say to God be the Glory!

Lord, thank you for continuing to open my eyes to your ways.  I still have so much to learn.
Amen.

 

By Christy M.

24 Comments

  1. Oh Christy! Have I been there and what a powerful and humbling place it is! My frying pan moment came at the refrigerator, looking at quotes I’d stuck there and thinking about the mountains of laundry I had yet to do. One of the single most powerful moments in my life as a mother. You articulate it so well here. And I am humbled anew by the message. Thank you for sharing this today. Smiles – (PS: If you want a glimpse at my frying pan moment, it’s here: http://sunshinesentiments.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-laundry-says-i-love-you.html)

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    • Amy! I just read your post! I think we’ve been in the same homes (classroom) lately! As I read it, I kept exclaiming, “YES! YES!” I feel like I have so much to learn still about what it means to serve joyfully in whatever we’re called to do, but I am incredibly grateful that He’s my teacher, and He’s given me so many other classmates to share in the lessons! 😉
      Love and God Bless!
      Christy

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  2. Your words really spoke to me tonight. HUMILITY….not praise. Colossians 3:23 is definitely a verse I’m going to keep coming back to. Thank you so much for sharing your frying pan moment.

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    • You are so welcome, Cheryl. God is good, and I’m learning more and more that I don’t want to wait for the frying pan to whack me over the head every time! Instead, if I just stay with Him, maybe I will hear it in His gentle whispers. 😉 I like that visual a whole lot better.
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  3. Excellent post, Christy! This is something that I struggle with all the time. All I ever REALLY wanted to be was a stay-at-home mom, so I’m very thankful to have had this time at home with my girls, but it’s a job that could never have met my unrealistic expectations! It’s HARD not feeling appreciated sometimes. It’s really essential that I remember whom I’m working for, and to remain humble. A wonderful reminder for me today! Thank you!

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    • I think the people who say SAHMs don’t know what it’s like to really work are people who have never been SAHMs! There is a steadfastness and love that is needed, and it makes one have to dig really deep to maintain it. So thankful we serve an amazing God who is the source of that love!
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  4. Hi Christy, I too have been there! After being a SAHM for 17 years, I went back to work outside the home to receive a tangible reward for all my hard work. What a let down! After working part time for 3 years and full time for 2 years, I’m back at home, remembering each and every day the wise words of Ruth Bell Graham (Billy’s wife): above her kitchen sink she had a little poster which read: Divine services held here three times a day.
    Do it unto the Lord and you will never regret it!
    Thanks for sharing this post on NOBH!

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    • Kelly,
      I LOVE those words from Ruth Bell Graham! Wow! How powerful! It’s amazing how our perspectives can change when we just stay near to Him, never rushing ahead or lagging behind. Thank you for your insights!
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  5. Oh how I can relate to this…
    But I LOVE your heart to be obedient to His leading.
    So encouraging!
    Thank you…
    Love,
    Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

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    • Kara,

      “…to be obedient to His leading.” We just talked about this last night in my “Sisters” group! We were discussing how different life would be if we could just consistently be obedient to Him. Then as we delved further, we reflected on how similar we are to our children…I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve said to my youngest, “If you would just listen.” I’m extremely humbled when I think of how many times my Heavenly Parent has probably wondered the same thing about me.
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  6. Imagine if the kids were with you all day! Summer will be a transition too.

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    • Oh yes! We’re about two-three weeks away from that, so I’m thankful that God is preparing my heart now. 😉 I love how God does that for us!
      Love and God bless,
      Christy

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  7. This was JUST what I needed to read today! It spoke to places in my heart that have been rubbed raw lately and because of that “humble” has been lacking. I feel like I’ve just been doing a Bible study with you! I looked up the verses you mentioned here in my Bible and not only read them but some of the verses before and after. God really used you in my life today. Thank you!

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    • Oh Marilyn,
      I am crying tears of joy right now because you’ve been encouraged. God is so good, and to Him be all the Glory!
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  8. Thank you for sharing- I can relate to so much of what you shared- I was working 60+ hours a week before I stayed home with my daughter, and that was quite a change of pace! But God has used it to draw me nearer to Him in so many ways- and I am so thankful.
    I also have found myself reading up on Humility and Waiting on God a lot lately- and God keeps bringing those things up through various sources-I have loved Andrew Murray’s books on both those subjects. Very small books with lots to chew on. God bless you. :)

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    • Rachel,
      Your words ring so true, “…draw me nearer to Him in so many ways.” That’s exactly what I have reiterated to close friends about this time of change. I just read your blog entry called Waiting on God Part 3 and read some of Andrew Murray’s incredibly powerful words. Thank you for sharing. I now know what I’ll be reading before bed. :) I love to see how God can bring us fellowship with exactly who we need when we need it!
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  9. Wow how awesome our God is! I love to see how He’s working in the lives of other wives and moms. Thank you for leaving the link on my blog so that I could find you :o)

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  10. Christy,
    even though I did have a very successful career pre-kids, like in your case, my hubby and I decided I would be home when we (finally) were able to have kids. I am thankful every day for the gift. Then why do I get annoyed when he doesn’t jump up and do the dishes (or do them MY way) when he’s been at work since 6am? Hmmm…
    recently I found a blog/website/program on Flylady.net. It is amusing, and esp. helpful for a ‘house-keeping’ challenged gal like myself. Amazing, the main thing I’m getting from it is not just how to keep the house cleaned, but WHY I’m doing it. Check it out, read through some of it. It is such a great way to get into routines.
    I have also started learning to play tennis. I think I avoided it because I didn’t want to appear as one of those “SAHM doing nothing but playing tennis and lunching”…I thought I was superior to that LOL…BUT, as you can guess, it is fun, healthy, and a great source of fun friends. many are in diff. stages of life, which brings perspective on my ‘problems’. I have also found it a place to ‘shine a little Light’ to some of the ladies. I still get embarrassed when I have to run into the grocery store in my tennis clothes, but I’m getting over it. I have had women say ‘you are so lucky, wish i could just play tennis all day’ to which I get to respond ‘yes, I am very blessed. My husband and I made a decision for me to be at home with my kids, so if I want exercise time, I have to fit it in while they are at school.” Mainly, I’m learning that I am cleaning the house for myself as well, and to look at it as blessing my family. I’m only 48…maybe I’ll figure it out by 80 HaHa…

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    • Kathleen–I love your last line! “Maybe I’ll figure it out by 80!” That is exactly how I feel. Although, now I’m beginning to finally understand that our Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to figure it all out right away! Look how many opportunities would be missed for Him to teach us how to be more like Him! 😉 My dear friend, and contributor to Cross Moms, Heather, told me about Flylady.net. a long time ago. I haven’t been to the site yet, because I have taken so much from Time-Warp Wife, but I’ll be sure to check it out soon. Thanks for the reminder!
      Hope you have a beautiful weekend that involves some great tennis! 😉
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  11. Christy

    Thank you so much for this post. I needed this fresh perspective this morning when I started redoing what I did yesterday, that my husband and daughter undid in just a few short hours. This post has given me back the hope and humble attitude that I needed today, and that I hope to keep everyday.

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    • Ashley,
      I am so glad this post could give you a little boost today! I actually just came back from shopping with my in-laws, and I, too, came home to a house that was completely undone! I am reminded myself this afternoon that I have the opportunity to grumble or to serve my Heavenly Father as I serve my family. :) When I look at it that way, how can I not be content with the chores ahead of me?
      I pray you have a beautiful weekend!
      Love and God Bless,
      Christy

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  12. Just what I needed to read today… Thanks for sharing. I think I may print, mat, and frame the verse for my kitchen – as a reminder.

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  13. Ok… So… I just got crunched! Crunched like a bug by the Holy Spirit. I work full time because that is what my husband would like me to do, so when I come home… I am grumbly, because I don’t want to do anything for anyone else… Selfish I know. I am just being honest! I think that realizing that I am Working for the Lord by serving my husband… I didn’t see it that way because my husband is so human! But I realized, I am not working for him, I am working for the Lord to be a blessing! So… Thank you for my spiritual crunching! I needed to read this!

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    • Oh Tiffany! I remember so clearly feeling the same way after I came home from teaching all day. I found that poured out everything I had to my students all day, and by the time I came home, I had nothing left for my family. But then I had to learn some hard lessons. I had to start looking at what was driving my actions and responses. Why did I feel so compelled to give so much at work? Because I thrived on other people’s praises. My worth was wrapped up in the responses I received at my job. And since cleaning the house and all that comes with keeping our homes doesn’t ever come with those same types of praises, I became really grumbly, too. God continues to show me, though, that my worth is not found in praises from anyone– not even my husband. Rather, my worth is found in Him; and when I do even the smallest thing for Him, it outweighs all that I ever tried to do for the praises of men. Whew! I didn’t realize I had so much on my heart to share!
      I pray you have a beautiful day!
      Love and God bless,
      Christy

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  1. Actions or Words | Cross Moms - [...] do or do not reflect Christ to my children.  Based on the responses to my recent article called Humbling …
  2. Ponderings in the Midst of an Attitude Adjustment | Cross Moms - [...] So it has been one week since my grumbling has been humbled. (Refer to Humbling the Grumbling) [...]

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