Don’t answer the phone

Or, how to accept a gift of grace


Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.

The gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.
     ~ St. Rose of Lima


I’ve done it now. I’ve been reading too much about humility.
And wanting more.

So what happens next?

I get a little criticism, and suddenly discover myself in a crisis of confidence. I feel inadequate in the few things I thought I was okay in.

And I begin to question: Is humility supposed to hurt this bad?

Dying to self is painful. Is killing pride any less painful from your own hand than from someone else’s mouth?

It started this way last week:
my husband told me he felt slighted when he’d call from work and I’d seem too preoccupied to talk.

And that this had happened over and over.

Ouch.

I took offense.
I’d never answer the phone again.

Then I took self-degradation.
How could I trust myself to ever get this right?

Then, many tears later, all I could take was grace.

When you plunge into self-pity,
when you feel like you’re not good enough,
you’re probably right.

You’re not good enough.

You can’t keep a perfect life, be a perfect wife, a perfect anything.

Thank Jesus for His perfection.
Look for His open hand of grace.

It’s God’s specialty.
Watch for His gifts. 
Even in unexpected places...

For me:
     √ An unsolicited but much appreciated grilled ham & cheese in bed from the man I was wrongly mad at (# 239)

     √ My 8-year-old friend ringing the doorbell with a hand-made flower just for me, sweet conversation included (# 240)homemade_flower

     √ A timely wedding prayer for all married couples in attendance at James & Jessica’s wedding to recommit themselves to their own marriage vows (# 241)

     √ A fun Sunday afternoon with friends making parachutes to drop Bibles over Colombia (# 242)     making_parachutes

     √ Three decent nights’ sleep in a row (# 243)

     √ A special thank-you card tucked in a returned book from a special friend (# 244)one_thousand_gifts

     Texts only to return for a few days instead of phone calls (whew) (# 245)

     Making up that comes with forgiveness (# 246)

     The grace to start afresh answering the phone with more enthusiasm and attention when the one I love is on the other end (# 247)

     Free and abundant lessons in humility (# 248)

     An unpredictable God who delights in surprising me with gifts of grace (# 249)

* * *

Where has grace shown up for you lately?

1000 Gifts...the count continues

12 comments:

Dianna said...

Beautiful list, Lisa...#249 especially touches my heart as I wonder how HE might want to surprise me today with HIS gifts of grace.

Love you.

Julie said...

Thanks for this, Love to read blessings and counting gifts POSTS...
God's grace has shown up for me multiple times this week. I am so grateful, and especially for my dearest..Long distance relationships require...IT IS mandatory...to have God's grace poured and mixed in the formula...OH MY!!! LOVING the Father for His tender care over the ones who love HIM and are trying so hard to get it right...(me)..(my hubby)...Thanks Lisa...hits home..
{{{Encouragement.}}} that's what YOU are...
Blessings!!!! xoxo

tinuviel said...

Good words, Lisa. Thanks for the Monday reminder of grace greater than all our sins.

I give thanks with you for the gifts of good sleep, a forgiving husband, and our God who loves us enough to teach us to die to pride and live in the humility of Christ. Not fun, but a needed gift for all of us.

May the Lord bless you and yours, sister.

Barbara H. said...

You sound so much like me. :-) One of the hardest things for me to do is cheerfully and attentively answer the phone when I am in the middle of something at home -- and when are we not in the middle of something? I have to constantly remind myself that the people God has placed in my life are more important than whatever I am doing.

And I get wounded and suffer crises of confidence when criticized or corrected, too. Death to self is indeed painful.

Amen for grace!

Kay said...

Making parachutes with fun friends and your friendship were on my 1000 gifts list this morning! And I love your honesty about lessons in humility AND #249, too! :)

elizabeth said...

This is where criticism hurts the worst, in my role as wife and mom, because it is the one I most want to do well in. And oh the pain in that season where my daily prayer was to help me to die to self...He actually took me up on it!
You have been a blessing to me since the beginning of my blogging, Lisa. Thanks for being an encourager.

Lisa T said...

Great list. Parachutes, awesome. Thanks for sharing how God is refining you, a beautiful testimony of His grace.

bekahcubed said...

Yep. Sometimes I get really excited because I'm discovering my own faults and working on them--just to have someone else point something out. Then my defensiveness rises and I discover that really, all my "working on my own faults" was a cover for my pride. I was secretly proud of my own efforts at self-improvement--and the hackles I raise when another person calls me out prove that I haven't learned humility quite yet. And I won't learn it so long as I take pride in trying so hard (in my own strength) to learn it.

Thankful for the many opportunities God gives to crush pride (even if I continue to need still more and more opportunities before I learn my lesson.)

Davene Grace said...

This reminds me of how my husband told me yesterday that I sounded really grumpy when he had called from work the day before. "Really?" I thought, "I sounded grumpy?? I didn't FEEL grumpy!" Apparently, I need to do a better job of paying attention to my tone of voice! :)

And secondly, I felt my pride pricked this morning when my almost nine-year-old son pointed out my weaknesses during a game of air hockey, of all things!!! I say that I want people to speak into my life to help me to see my faults clearly so I can grow into the image of Jesus, but if I can't even handle a little criticism about my air hockey ability, I'm in trouble!! :)

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

I'm late in coming by this week, but I came at a moment when I so needed this reminder of grace. Thank you so much! It was like the Lord Himself spoke these words and they washed over me ---- like grace only can!

Lisa notes... said...

Cora,
Don’t you just love when the Lord answers our needs with such grace in the moments? I’m glad that he timed it just right for you. That blesses me too.

Lisa notes... said...

Davene Grace,
Ha. Your conversation with your husband sounded like mine. I really wasn’t aware how I was sounding. But I hope yours had a much better outcome than mine did!

So were you winning or losing at air hockey when your son made the comment? ;-) In theory I want constructive criticism too, but it still hurts when I get it…

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