Image from Wikimedia Commons

On Humility (And Nursing a Bruised Ego)

Yesterday Madeleine got her card moved from green to yellow – for the first time EVER!! She made it all the way through kindergarten and first grade without having her card pulled. There were a lot of tears on the way home yesterday. She didn’t do anything terrible; she was just supposed to be sitting down and kept standing up. She’s fidgety like that sometimes, and she just wasn’t thinking and stood up. It’s really no big deal. She wasn’t deliberately disobeying or being difficult. I know that.

But for a first-child perfectionist, it’s hard to get called out when you make a mistake. It hurts.

In a way, I had my card pulled yesterday, too. I won’t go into detail, but I feel like I was called out on something I could have done better. I was in a stressful situation and I reacted. I do that. Sometimes I am so intent on the message, on the information I’m trying to convey, that I forget that I”m conveying it to real people who have real feelings.

All that sounds terrible from someone who’s supposed to be coaching teachers and raising children and making a marriage.

But it just means that I am human, humble, like humus, close to the ground, able to make mistakes.

Last night I wallowed, re-analyzing every word I said, every action and gesture. (If I’d had some Ben and Jerry’s I’d have scarfed it down, but my 80-calorie fudge pop had to do.)

This morning, I woke up to another sunrise and went about my business, and life went on. As it does. We make mistakes; we learn; we move forward.

I found a poem that speaks to all this; though this poem is far, far deeper and more encompassing than my little bruised ego.

Ask Me

by William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me

mistakes I have made. Ask me whether

what I have done is my life. Others

have come in their slow way into 

my thought, and some have tried to help

or to hurt: ask me what difference

their strongest love or hate has made.


I will listen to what you say. 

You and I can turn and look

at the silent river and wait. We know

the current is there, hidden; and there

are comings and goings from miles away

that hold the stillness exactly before us.

What the river says, that is what I say. 

(from The Darkness Around Us Is Deep)

Image from Wikimedia Commons



  1. Like mother, like daughter!

    You both need to see yourselves as much smaller, and Christ as much bigger! If I were you (and I definitely have gone through similar experiences), I would thank the Lord for it, since it’s an opportunity to be changed more into His likeness. The more free we are from self-justification, the better we will be able to serve others, and to be used by God.

    This paragraph from Martin Luther speaks to the matter:

    “The desire of self-justification, is the cause of all the distresses of the heart, But he who receives Jesus Christ as a Saviour, enjoys peace; and not only peace, but purity of heart. All sanctification of the heart is a fruit of faith. For faith is a divine work in us, which changes us and gives us a new birth, emanating from God himself. It kills the old Adam in us; and, by the Holy Ghost which is communicated to us, it gives us a new heart and makes us new men. It is not by empty speculations, but by this practical method, that we can obtain a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

    I also think this article is very useful:

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