Monday, February 08, 2010

Humble Places

I've been thinking a lot about humble places.

Mostly because I'm living in them.

Like most of us, I dream of greatness. I desire to be known. To do something big!

Yet, the lines for me have fallen in humble places.

At first it was difficult.

Pride and ego are hard to set aside.

Yet, the burden is in the holding, not in the letting go.

What do I mean by humble places?

Well, in all I have ever done, from tap dancing to mothering to bible teaching (and all things in between), I've always wanted to be the star.

I've done all these things with joy and love and passion. Because I was certain I could do them, or at least fake my way through.

Until I was called to homeschool.

The Artsy One, called to do something that she never really liked: school.

Homeschool is a place where no one sees what you do. (Other than your biological students, and they don't really count.)

No one tells you how awesome you sound... or how cute you're dressed... or how the subjects chosen were thrilling. They don't let you know that the history book you assigned, or the words you spoke, really moved them. Some days you wonder if all your effort is making one iota difference in there young lives.

No one tells you that your doing well, or what a great teacher you are, or how amazing it is that you are able to accomplish so much in a day.

As a matter of fact, many people will think you're weird, or too religious, or that you're actually harming your kids.

Others will say, "I could never do that!", and, "I could never be organized like that.", or "That's a lifestyle that isn't for me."---when what they really mean is: I'm scared I might become weird too.

How do I know these things?

Because once upon a time, before I was a homeschooler, I thought and said those things.

Out loud.

On more than one occasion.

To more than one homeschooling mom.

On the Daniel Safari this week we are focusing on:

  Exploring: Humility          Conquering: Vanity

We were asked to write about this question:

Talk about a humbling experience in your life. 
What did you learn from that time?

The truth is that I am still very much here, in my humbling experience. Where every-blessed-day, I lay down my own agenda...I choose to be content with what I have, and where I am. I close my ears to those who are opinionatedly verbal, who don't know, or don't want to know, why we are on this homeschooling road.

I'm learning that this center-stage girl is really OK with working behind-the-scenes.

In fact, I've grown to love the ways the Lord works through me when no one else is aware.

I'm learning that my desire for God to use me in a big way! to do big things! (read: in a very public way with myself at the center) takes my focus away from the truth: God's willingness to work in my life IS the big thing.

He's taken this Coffeegal, who never considered herself "smart", set her apart from her natural talents, and placed her in an arena where she HAS to depend on Him.

And the biggest gift of all? I get to learn these lessons of humility in the safest place of all: the center of my home.

That alone is proof that we serve a merciful God.

I'm not perfect. I still clamor for attention. I still (privately) pout when I don't get my way. Sometimes, when insecurity is running high and my ego begs for preening, I am far too quick to feed it. Every once in awhile I am prideful enough to compare myself with others, or worse, judge someone else who may have the position I once desired...

But I'm learning...that although humble, "the boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places." Psalm 16:6

*If you'd like to see what others are seeing on their Safari of the book of Daniel, click here!


Gretchen said...

Your words drip with heart, my friend. Such wisdom and, yes, humility. xxxooo

Candace said...

Great post, Kelli. Truth and wisdom is welling up from within you in your place of humility. Blessings on your journey, my friend.

Anonymous said...

oo yes! I have had those thoughts, those words out of my mouth. But now.. I feel God pulling me to do it.. I just hope when the time comes I can step up and follow what I think he is laying out for me :-)

Sarah said...

I grapple with these same thoughts and feelings every day in the stay-at-home-broke-sweatpant-mama realm. Thanks so much for this encouragement!

Laura said...

You will be center stage when your kids are 18+ and talking about you as their mother to their friends....

If I had just some of the dad my kids have I would be able to go on and on but that is not the case...

When parenting correctly it IS the hardest job on earth....and not much praise to go along with it,until it is past.

Just think about the honor you will hold in G'a heart when she is sitting around the "soccer" moms and talking about you at your age now.....(these are just my thoughts, when sitting around as a stay at home mom, thinking about how I want my kids to talk about me to their friends....(I am sure I fall short much too often)..

Great post, And I am sure your outfit was cute, here in the Az people never compliment anymore even when you don't homeschool...$100+ later and nobody noticed I got my hair done:(

Anonymous said...

How i love to hear women speaking thruth! Yay you - that's great. I can totally relate to your words and it feels good to hear someone else say them. Thanks for sharing :)_

His Girl said...

oh, Kellie!
this post!!!
So raw and honest. What an amazing way your words and 'confession' about clamoring for the spotlight spoke right to my heart.

excellent job, amiga.

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...

You're so brave - and it was an excellent post.

I respect you for homeschooling, and I bet your kids do, too... :)

Lisa Smith said...

ok, several things.

1. i could've written this post. it is about me.
2. except i don't homeschool (yet)
3. i was totally meditating on this verse today:
Psalm 16:6
"Although I have cancer, the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a delightful inheritance."

this is so great!

Woman Interrupted said...

May I feed your ego for a second and say, "fabulous post!"

You could have written these words to describe me. In a couple of years.

The brave thing to do is to step out in faith and you do that every day!

Jewel said...

I really relate to what you're saying on so many levels. I'm not homeschooling but raising pre-teen girls is a lot more than I thought. I guess I should have known because...well I was one. Thank you for your words of wisdom:)

Jen said...

I have had to re-read this 3 times now....I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and transparency. I have felt many of the same things that you write of. Many.
I love this: "I'm learning that my desire for God to use me in a big way! to do big things! (read: in a very public way with myself at the center) takes my focus away from the truth: God's willingness to work in my life IS the big thing." LOVE THIS!!
And totally needed to hear it. Again. :)

Sherri said...


Tracey said...

Even after 8 years of homeschooling, this has been my struggle the past few weeks. It's an area the enemy likes to tweek every now and then. Especially when I feel like a complete homeschooling failure.

Thanks for putting words to my thoughts.

Carpool Queen said...

I've loved the conversations we've had around this subject, and I love to see how God uses you in the humble places.

It's breathtakingly beautiful.

Tiffani said...


I have pushing back the tears. Gosh, I feel like there's soo much to say on this!!

I want to echo every.single.solitary.word.

I struggle in the absolute same ways.

I loved your perspective w/ our chapter in Daniel (I've been fighting sickness, as have my kids, and I feel I need a do-over this week w/ this chapter)!

I love your heart. I have LOVED watching/walking in the homeschooling journey with you.

This post was perfect for my heart today...

ps--I ran a 5K Saturday and won 3rd place in my age group! We'll have to run one together one day!

Tanya said...

Okay, I just have to say that I *have* said those things to you about homeschooling, but I did not mean what you say I meant! Does that make any sense? :) Seriously, I admire you for what you're doing. In my heart of hearts, I know I could do it if God called me to, but I'm really glad He hasn't called me to it --- NOT because I think you're weird!!! But because I don't think I could handle the pressure. I would a terrible job and then never forgive myself for the terrible job I did. I love the way you claim God's grace in your life. I wish I were more like you.

I also really wish I had done this Daniel study. You girls are doing some great stuff!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh, Kellie. I love your honestly. And your big, beautiful heart. And the way you say things with such clarity. I'm feeling some conviction...

Anonymous said...


This was so good.

I love your honesty. And I see myself. Just don't know that I've been looking at things with the maturity you have on this subject.