Common sense, healthy living, Humility is important, real living in a virtual world, spirit led living

An obligatory New Year’s post.

new year

New Year’s “reso-lies”, as my dad called them, provide little hits of dopamine and adrenaline. They offer another opportunity to jump on a bandwagon, discuss ad nauseam how this is going to be our best year ever (new year, new me!), to be a part of the herd; things we women tend to thrive on.

It’s exciting at the beginning and makes us feel as if we’re accomplishing more than we actually are. Before you know it, it’s June 1st and we haven’t progressed one iota. In some cases, there may even be regression. I am reminded of a Proverb:

In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Yesterday at church, however, I was afforded the opportunity to consider principles worth remembering as I move forward into a stage of life that is transitory in some respects, and stubbornly mundane and consistent in others.

  1. Progress is made one day, one moment even, at a time. Where I am and what I have accomplished by December 31, 2018 is the cumulative result of daily decisions. Planning some things too far down the road instills mental margins which give me cover to blow it “just this day” or “just this week”. Skipping prayer this morning, a doughnut the next, vowing to double on this or that tomorrow? It’s what happens when I forget that all I truly have is today. Right now. This moment.
  2. Time is a commodity to be invested wisely. Not every minute should be spent with my nose to the grindstone. However, there needs to be some sort of corresponding return of value on how I invest my time. Value in the form of spiritual, financial, relational, and physical evidence are all valid areas in which to look for returns on my investment.
  3. Letting go of what lies behind when it is time to do so is vitally important. This has always been a challenging thing for me because I tend to hold on to people and endeavors far more tightly than I should. I used to believe that holding on to dead relationships with a ferocious determination is always a virtue, especially in our throw away culture. However, I am evolving in the area, albeit slowly. It is impossible to press forward while looking backwards. Lot’s wife is instructive here.

Does that mean I have no plans, hopes or accomplishments I want to see come to fruition for 2018? No, not at all! I am firm believer that failing to plan is planning to fail. One of the things I have had to work diligently on in 2017 however, is addressing the way I think about things and the way my thoughts are expressed, both in word and deed.

The first day of January can be an opportunity to start afresh, but there is nothing magical about it. Every day is an opportunity to do better than the day before. It’s not as if we get a new life on January 1st to go back to the starting gate and begin again. All of the good decisions which led me to this place in some areas, along with all the bad decisions which have kept me from a better place in others, are still in effect.

The New Year is an excellent time for assessment and contemplation. If there is anything I learned through the difficulties 2017, however, it’s that principles will sustain me when life throws curve balls that derail even the best laid plans. I don’t want to be this gal:

 

resolution meme

 

 

 

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from the best-ofs files, healthy living, Uncategorized

Why I Am Not a Foodie

This one is from 2010. I was foolish enough then to think I knew enough to lecture someone else on BIblical womanhood. We’re more strict about our choices now than we were back then because we’ve had to be. I’m beginning a 60-day habit changing push today in anticipation of my anniversary, and thought a re-post of something nutrition related might be in order.

Finally, I am back to the Biblical Womanhood series. While I have taken quite a long detour the past couple of weeks, I want to finish what I started here, and by gosh, I aim to do it!

Awhile back I noted my newfound resolve to revamp our family’s eating habits after reading Nourishing Traditions and seeing the documentary, Food Inc. After the comments I received from you all, and taking a hard look at the grocery budget, I formulated what I called my plan of attack for getting us on the straight and narrow.

I didn’t realize how big of an issue healthy eating had become on the Christian Mommy blog circuit until I wrote those posts and saw the responses. It was an eye-opener as I read links sent to me from readers to bloggers who were cutting back on their giving, in some cases eliminating it altogether, because their commitment to organic produce, pasture raised chickens and grass-fed beef was draining their pocket. Other women wrestled with guilt because their limited resources demanded that they eat the best food their families could afford, which was often far from the “best” food. It was as if for some,  healthy eating was an important matter of faith rather than stewardship of their temples and a best possible choice among many.

It certainly got me to thinking about our eating habits. I mentioned before that we eat hot dogs. Not every day, or even every week, but often enough. Beans and wieners are a big hit with the under 4 set. That said, we eat pretty well overall, certainly better than research shows the average American eats. Every meal is accompanied with a fruit or veggie. Water is our beverage of choice. As much as possible, when I bake bread (often using my bread maker as I am what you might call a lazy baker), I try to use whole grain flour. But it’s hardly something that I am religious about. The only place that sells the brand of wheat flour I like to bake with is out of the way in an area of town I rarely travel to. So I buy whole wheat sandwich bread from the store and bake my rolls and such with white flour until I have occasion to pass by my local Whole Foods Market. We enjoy our crackers, bagged pretzels, and the kids take Yoplait yogurt in their lunch boxes. We are hardly food purists.

That said, rarely do we eat dinner when every dish isn’t made from scratch. Same with breakfast. And we’ve cut way back on potato chips, saving them for the occasional treat. That said, I fail to see what all the hoopla is about concerning what we eat when I compare the hype with the Scripture. Further, most of the things I do that are healthy are motivated as much by frugality as they are health, if not more so. It just makes more sense to cook from scratch. Do I believe we have a responsibility to eat as healthfully as possible? Yes. Do I think it’s wrong to eat junk food morning, noon, and night giving regard only to what tastes good? Yes, again. My very brief study of what goes into the foods we eat has certainly given me pause and driven me to spend more time in the kitchen rather than put so much pseudo-food into myself, my husband, and my kids.

Still, making a decision to do better as I learn more is a far cry from spending so much energy, time, and money in the kitchen that it consumes my life. When we can’t enjoy fellowship at the home of a friend and receive whatever is put before us with thanksgiving for fear of preservatives, we have a problem. When we further tell ourselves that this is how God would have us live and judge the family who eats hot dogs as if they are doing something immoral, we have crossed over to the dark side!

My contemplation of this topic led me to a few verses of Scripture, of course. None of which, on the surface, seem to relate directly to the matter at hand, but they certainly apply,at least loosely, when healthy eating is elevated to a spiritual or moral concern.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:25-27

While these verses are about God’s provision and an admonishment for us not to worry, they apply here for those who worry about affording the healthiest, purest, least processed foods in the market. If you can’t afford to pay $7 a gallon for minimally processed milk from the health food store, then prayerfully and thankfully drink the $3 gallon homogenized milk, trusting your family’s health to the Almighty. Worrying just strips additional health and peace anyway.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Please know it is not my intent to call my foodie friends hypocrites! My point here is to recognize how easy it is to take good thing, or even a godly thing, and elevate it to an issue of morality or faith. Health, modesty, frugality, stable families- these are all good things in themselves that we should all develop as we grow in grace. It is just far too easy, however, for we humans, and women in particular, to judge others based on the areas of life that we feel we have mastered. This of course, leaves an open door for envy, competition, and strife to set in because none of us has mastered all areas of life. With that I’ll leave with my conclusion on the matter.

I have a growing appreciation for my kitchen, and how what I do in it expresses love for this family God has graciously given me. I’ve come a long way from my early days as a bride when the extent of my culinary skills was spaghetti and meatballs or grilled cheese sandwiches. I’d still rather read a good book than cook, but I’ve come to enjoy much of my time in the kitchen. If you ever have occasion to eat dinner at my house, however, please be advised that I will not have spent $32 to serve you a pasture raised chicken.

blogging madness, healthy living, real living in a virtual world

Okay, I lied.

I said I wasn’t going to write before next month, and with the exception of this little explanation, I’m not going to write. But this counts as writing, so…

What I am going to do is run what I would consider my “best ofs” for the next six to eight weeks, posts I have written over the past 7 years that I am particularly pleased with. After that, I need to get back to what I really want to do, which is read books, write book reviews, and write my own book on a topic that I feel very strongly about.

I started Cal Newport’s Deep Work yesterday, and it is already reverberating in my mind in ways I never anticipated. In addition, it is my firm conviction that the extra things we add to our lives, the things that our lives can do without, are things that we should re-examine, change, or abandon when they cease to add real value to our lives or anyone else’s. That isn’t to say we should only do things we enjoy, but those things which add stress without any corresponding value are things best left behind.

During a season when this particular enterprise was adding value to me intellectually as well as offering encouragement to other people, I (along with some other really smart chicks) wrote some interesting stuff. I call them my “best ofs”, and the next several weeks this space will consist completely of those pieces. Mostly for posterity.

To some of you who have been folwoing me a long time, it’ll feel like re-runs, but I hope they’re the kinds of re-runs you don’t mind enjoying again; kind of like your favorite old movie.

To those of you who haven’t read them before, I can only hope they were as good as I think they were.

 

Common sense, family life, healthy living, Homemaking stuff, Uncategorized

Monday!!! – or – the week, on purpose

This is a good reminder and strategy for moving forward after the holiday madness ends. So I’m reblogging it.

BAY boxwood

Happy Monday!  I hope you’re well and off to a great start this week!

We had an active weekend – I use “active” on purpose, because we weren’t merely busy, we were doing fun things, running kids to different activities, hanging out at the house, discussing Thanksgiving plans, cooking a slow Sunday supper.  It was good – loosely planned,  edited as necessary.  Way better than busy – in fact, I detest being busy.  I enjoy active, though.

I don’t do particularly well with a rigid list of to-do’s, particularly since I’m a recovering over-scheduler (read: busy work maker) and even after 20+ years in Houston, I do not have a grasp on the reality of the relentless traffic.  Every hour is rush hour, here, and somewhere between errands 3 and 4 things go off the rails, timing wise.  Still, an outline is necessary, because I have goals, and people who…

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el's rabbit trails, family life, healthy living, Homemaking stuff, real living in a virtual world, things that make me go hmm...., Uncategorized

Parting Shots…

I’m going to take a holiday centered break from here beginning November 1st until after the Thanksgiving break. I fervently hope to be able to enter the Advent season with a relaxed mind and a focus on commemorating Christ’s advent into the earth. That means a lot of planning and shopping need to get done now so that I have the freedom to do that.

This is similar to a Frivolous Friday post, but in a more stream of consciousness vein.

~ Growing up:  This past Saturday SAM and I attended the homegoing celebration for the widow of a man from his childhood neighborhood. This man, an electrician, noticed when he was a little boy that SAM had a unique sense of how things worked, and a mechanically inclined mind. He would take him with him to electrical jobs and show him the ropes. Incidentally, we have lived in this house for a long time, have never called an electrician, and not because we’ve never had an electrical problem. The man’s door was always open to SAM and his brothers, and they came and went in his house, and this woman’s refrigerator just as if they were her kids. Her children had the same freedom at SAM’s parents’ house.

The interesting thing about occasions like that one is how strange it is to see people you haven’t laid eyes on in 20 or more years. Many of them I knew from the days pulling my beat up powder blue ’89 Ford Escort up to SAM’s parents’ house at the beginning of our relationship. It’s funny how people you think you’ll be connected to forever sort gradually fade from view as you build a family and grow into a separate person than the one you were when they knew you when. It has a surreal quality to it even as you are so happy to know that they are all alive and well. I can remember when I used to wonder how I lost touch with so and so. Now I know it’s just the way life is.

~ More surreality: I am not a person who hears from God directly as some do, but I had an eery experience recetnly.

I have tiered friendships. There are the couple of women I speak to on an ongoing basis. The ones I immediately pick up the phone to call or shoot a quick text to ask for prayer. There are others I see weekly (and have for years) as a result of our kid connections.

Then there are the friends I connect with maybe a few times a year: holidays, birthdays, etc. I can literally go months without speaking to them and out of the blue one of us will call or text the other and say, “Just thinking of you, friend. Love ya.” I woke up Saturday after having a dream about such a friend and her family. I hadn’t connected with her with since March. I didn’t call her right away, but I did pray for her. I was pretty busy so I shot her a text Sunday, to which she replied, “Oh my gosh…this was right on time!”, and preceded to tell me what challenging blow her family was dealt just last week.

It was definitely one of those things that made me sit up and take notice.

~ Brazen: I shared a story with Hearth (and another friend) the other day which sent us off on a very funny text conversation about a subject that isn’t particularly funny. Namely, the realtively shameless way many women comport themselves for the attentions of married men.

It’s not particularly shocking to me, since I don’t live under a rock, but it certainly puts to death this notion of the so-called sisterhood that feminists and masculinists try to put forth as a real thing. What sisterhood there are between women are not about being of the same sex. If it was, certain things wouldn’t be a thing at all.

I have a much greater respect for the woman who said to my husband a couple of weeks ago: “I know you’re off the market, but if you have a brother -or even a friend- who is available, set something up for me. I know your circle must some good men in it.” His circle does have some good men in it. Most of those old enough for her are already taken, though.

~Another day, another diet: So I’ve been flirting with the idea of the keto diet off and on for months. I haven’t been able to bring myself to bite the bullet on it, though, mainly because it’s the kind of thing for which there are no margins. I like margins. There is such a thing as too wide margins, and I know something about those as well. But NO margins? That’s daunting.

Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a go. I, as usual, could certainly stand to lose a few pounds. I’m always wrestling with the same 25. Up and down, up and down. But one of my overwhelming reasons for considering this is the pain I have been battling since I injured myself in late summer trying to impress the man with the heavy duty work I could get accomplished. He was impressed, but unhappy with my lack of priortizing my health.

Apparently something about keto affects the body in a way that relieves pain. I’ll let you know next month how I do with it. My bullet proof coffee this morning was delicious.

~App-oholic update:  So the man got me a new phone, because he just figured I needed one. The old one wasn’t broken. It just had a crappy camera and was always notifying me that I was about to run out of space.

The space problem was more about music, un-deleted text streams, and the myriad pictures and random kid videos that I never bother to transfer, but compared to his phone with years of information and 5 times as much music, mine was a relic. So he replaced it.

About a year ago, I went on right here about my increasing dependence on apps for things I would have found ridiculous a couple of years ago. Ahem. Since I got this phone, my app usage has gone up, not down.  Not only do I have the apps I mentioned before, but I’ve added even more: a HIIT trainer, parallel Bible app, and a put my WordPress app back on there. Oh yes, my Target Cartwheel app. I get a perverse pleasure out of that little cha-ching sound they text me when I combine a cartwheel discount with my red card savings. My husband added Spotify and Letgo because I need a classified app on my phone, I guess?

In other words, I’m wading in apps again. I figured I should confess it since I feel a little wormy about it. And I don’t even have Facebook!

So…this is the view from the rock bottom of app-oholic mountain.

I’ll be around a bit because wordpress app, but I don’t anticipate posting anymore before December. If you’re already well underway with your holiday preparations, do share!

 

 

 

cultural absurdity, family life, healthy living, Homemaking stuff, wife stuff

What is the point of our work?

Has God indeed said that we are to “work hard”?

I read this and it pierced me, because I can be so possessed with efficiency and fulfilling lists that I regularly find myself out of steam.

I set ambitious goals for all the *stuff* I want to accomplish, frustrating myself when I inevitably fail to get it all done. This striving continues for several days, and then crash and revert to doing the bare minimum. Usually on Mondays. I just need to try harder, I tell myself. Be more organized. Eat better and get more sleep so I will have more energy. Pray for more focus and concentration so I can get more done. The Protestant work ethic gone sour. Joshua Gibbs questions these notions for homeschoolers, but his ideas are easily transferable to the life of the home in general:

The idea of finishing a certain task in “a more timely fashion” was meaningless, for Adam and Eve had no expectation they would ever run out of time. Efficiency places value on time as a limited commodity, but for deathless beings, time is endless. Adam replies to his wife that man was made delight, for the love of God and the service of God’s friends, and that work exists that man might love God in his work. Work has no value in and of itself.

Granted, we do not live in such a world anymore. We do not have unlimited resources of time at our disposal, and it is possible for a man to run out of time without accomplishing all he needs to do. However, the imposition of time on our lives does not change the fact we were made for delight in God, not for work. Work is not the point of work. When a man obscures the love of God with his commitment to work, he becomes a slave. A slave lives in fear, as St. Paul suggests in Romans, for the slave is commanded from above with coercive threats. If a man neglects the knowledge of God in his work, he has been reduced to a chattel, for he regards himself as purely physical object.

My husband, ironically, is always encouraging me that I am doing fine, that I don’t need to be stressing this stuff all the time even as I insist that I am just trying to be a good wife to him. He says I am already a good wife; excellent even.

This begs the question: If God doesn’t want me to work purely for the sake of working, and my husband is happy and more concerned with his family’s overall quality of life than a perfectly executed checklist, where does this pressure I put on myself come from?

 

el's rabbit trails, healthy living, Kitchen tips, Uncategorized

Breakfast of champions

20171025_072917
You have to try this!

I thoroughly enjoyed our quick and delicious breakfast this morning so I thought I’d lighten things up by sharing it here.

I visited with my sister this weekend and when I arrived there was a show on the Food network where the hosts were sharing new, different, and delectable things to mix into your morning oatmeal.  One of the ideas was titled “Carrot Cake Oatmeal”, and I was inspired to try it. I didn’t use the recipe of the television chef, which you can find here, but it was my inspiration. This recipe served 8.

I prepared 3 cups of old-fashioned oats using the standard 2:1 water to oats cooking method, with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the water. To the oats I added:

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded

3/4 cups chopped pecans

chopped candied bacon (optional)

vanilla yogurt (optional)

I cooked the oatmeal with the carrots maple, and spices in it, then topped it with more carrots, the pecans, chopped candied bacon, and a dollop of vanilla yogurt. Not everyone in our house eats bacon, or wanted the pecans or yogurt, so I did what we generally do here, and lined all the toppings up on the counter for each person to top their yogurt the way they liked. A couple of people added butter and brown sugar as well since I made the recipe to suit my husband’s preference for “not too sweet”.

There are lots of ways to spice up your oatmeal, and since the temperatures are dropping, there’s no time like now to liven up your oats.

 

el's rabbit trails, healthy living, Humility is important, real living in a virtual world

Grow or stagnate.

I think about this most often in relation to the Christian faith, but it occurred to me today that it applies in most areas of life.

Life provides a wide range of  conversations, experiences, interactions, and trials. To go for years on end, never having our perspectives challenged, understanding clarified, capacity for grace expanded, conclusions honed or faith deepened, is indicative of lack of growth.

If anyone can live 5, 10, 15 or more years and not have the lens of their view in any way changed, or their reactions evolve more maturely and graciously, they’ve lived a stagnant life.

Stagnant water stinks, and the only things which live and thrive in it are bacteria and parasitic insects which transmit disease. Insects like mosquitoes, which fly around biting as many people as possible to spread the diseases they carry as quickly and as widely as possible.

I am thankful for growth, including stretching, painful growth. That I questioned suppositions I was so certain of years ago, and that my smug surety about so many things has given way to an openness about the things that don’t matter as much in the eternal paradigm. Even so, I have grown more certain than ever about other things.

This, of course, requires thought and ours is a culture in which thinking has died a painful death. Even among the supposed smart people. That’s is too bad. Without growth, what’s the point?

*I am not referring to watering down The Faith, its bedrock principles or the clearly commanded principles in Scripture that form the foundation on which the believer is to live her daily life.

 

 

Common sense, cultural absurdity, healthy living, real living in a virtual world, spirit led living, things that make me go hmm....

Saturday Stream of Consciousness

Mountain stream

Some thoughts rolling around in the streams of my mind while my beloved works and our firstborn has commandeered our kitchen for business purposes. With some time between loads of laundry, I came here to ramble before I start reading The Children’s Homer  and putting some effort into making a skirt.

~Boring testimonies?  One of my kids shared with me this article from Christianity Today. Because I know intimately some of her struggles, all of my girls’ in fact, I was glad she ran across this piece as she was looking for something else.

I was on my way to having a similar testimony but my inner rebel reared her ugly head in a spectacular way just before I turned 21 making it easier for me to identify a need for repentace. Even still, it was years later before I understood the depth of my depravity apart from Christ and that it was so from the moment I was born into the world. I was totally gripped by ” But I’m a good person” syndrome for a good long time.

~Exercise lethargy: Missing workouts for just 10 days has made me feel like I am back at the exercise starting gate. I know I’m not, but it just feels like it. I’m getting back into the swing of it however. Making proper sleep and tending to the needs of someone else the priority over my early morning workouts was absolutely the right move, but I am glad to be getting back into some semblance of a normal routine. 

It’s kind of eerie really, how the rest of the world keeps moving when ours stops, and how they (gasp!) expect us to somehow get it together and start moving again too.

~Couple dynamics: Spending some time with my stepmom last night highlighted for me how powerful couple dynamics are. It has always been pretty obvious that my dad was the more socially active, community minded of the two of them (even though he was more than 20 years older than her). However, his presence made the dynamic less apparent while his absence has made it almost palpable. It made me think about our couple dynamic. I am much more social than my mom, but my husband is the relational guru of this duo, and it would be a struggle for me to keep our connections alive and relevant without him.

~The prosperity gospel is about more than just wealth and health: There is an unspoken but nearly ubiquitous belief among American Christians. Namely, that if you do everything *right* then you deserve good things to happen to you. Conversely, if you’ve ever been a rank sinner in your life (which supposes that there is anyone alive who never was), then you don’t deserve for good things to happen to you.

It’s another form of the prosperity gospel, which is no gospel at all. Matthew 5:45 springs to mind, but more than that, where does any one of us get off declaring evil those whom God has called among His redeemed? This is why I echo what David said: Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” Which brings me to my final thoughts:

~Making the perfect the enemy of the good: My e-friend Scott has been thinking, which may or may not be dangerous. His is one of the few sites I bother to dialogue at anymore, even though he espouses a few ideas with which I disagree. His latest post made me think, and not just about the topic at hand, even though I agree with his thoughts there.

Specifically, I was thinking about how most people, in various areas of life, are pragmatic and appreciate that reality will do, even as we strive for the ideal. It’s not like I don’t understand why this tendency breaks down when the subject is our most intimate relationships, but I wonder how many more marriages, families, and children would be spared to later thrive in something closer to the ideal if we weren’t being conditioned to believe that we all are fabulously unique and specail creatures wh only deserve the very best all the time. Actually, that wasn’t my final thought.

~ Musings from the stats page: I sometimes  look back at an old post when I see on my insights page that someone recently read it. I’m not much one for looking back, or even remembering, the details of what I wrote 3 months ago, let alone more than 6 months ago, so it’s kind of neat to re-read some of those posts on occasion. After reading some of the things I wrote this spring and summer, I noted how closely my thoughts were dovetailing with a verse of Scripture I read this morning in 1 Thessolonians about people being busybodies, minding others’ matters.

Being really big on the idea of “live and let live”, I find anyone’s fixation with things which are really none of their concern equal parts fascinating and grating. I suspect it’s probably just part and parcel of being a denizen of an Internet “community” which is hihgly concerned with orthopraxy as well as orthodoxy, but it really does grate on my nerves when someone teaches a wife to do things that are actually her husband’s business, or mind what someone else should read, write, or comment on. Additionally, there is a lot of Romans 2 on display, which is an excellent reminder for me to stick with discussing issues, and never people. I’ll close this stream of consciousness with one of my daily prayers, which seems apt:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and My Redeemer.

You can find that one in Psalm 19 for anyone interested.

 

 

 

healthy living, Humility is important, spirit led living, wife stuff

Damaging my self-esteem.

I often write about Grace, how important it is to be properly aware of it, and how it should influence the way we see ourselves. Namely, that if we believe the Bible as it describes our God-less state, and what we deserve as a result of that state, then we know that every good thing in our lives is a gracious gift. It is not something that we deserve, no matter how wonderful we appear from a temporal perspective.

As a result of my steadfast adherence to this principle when I write, it occurred to me recently that I must sound like a person devoid of all self-esteem, whatever that is supposed to be worth anyway. The truth is exactly the opposite, and it’s because of that I remind myself daily to be grateful; for my most excellent husband, for wonderful kids, good friends, and yes, a fair number of worldly admirable qualities.

It is not an unusual thing for me to hear something along the lines of, “I like the way your mind works”, or “Tell me how you do this or that”, “Your family is so great”, “But you’re so young [ROFL]!”, etc. etc. That’s not even counting the wonderful things I think about myself when I slip and indulge in that nonsense.

Nothing about me is more worthy of the amount of love in my life than many other women, some of whom suffer greatly in their relationships. Yet in my marriage, I am loved well, my opinions respected, my efforts acknowledged, and  there is appreciation for whatever bit of beauty I may possess. Expressions of gratitude, or even statements of “unworthiness” are not about my worth compared to my man. We are perfectly matched. The point is to view the thing in light of eternity.

The last thing I need is healthier self-esteem. There is plenty to sate my pride and feed the beast of vanity lurking inside every minute of every day. On the contrary, what is needed is to look into the mirror of the Word, to hold this flesh up to the light of Holiness. Heaping doses of humility is what I need, so that I don’t fall victim to believing my own press over God’s Truth.

It seems this little ditty would be best rounded out by a Scripture quote but for some reason, I keep hearing Dave Ramsey’s voice when callers query him about his well being:

“I’m doing better than I deserve”.