It would be easy for me to get a big head.
(Actually I DO have a big head. Hats look super funny on me.)
I’m smart. I have a degree from a reputable college (go Heels!!). I have a (smokin’ hot) husband who lets me sleep in. I have a successful business…many, actually. I have three beautiful, healthy kids, zero stretch marks and a flat belly. I have no debt (aside from a mortgage which I guess is debt but healthy debt). I get to spend each and every day with my kids (and more importantly, I thoroughly ENJOY it). I have a nice singing voice and the ability to speak and act in front of large audiences. I can run a 6 minute mile or 14 miles consecutively. And for good measure, here’s a picture of my perfect family*:
(Give this girl some humble pie, geeeeez. We get it. She’s awesome.)
All of those things I said about myself are FACT. Reality.
I am nothing.
Actually, I am something.
I’m a big, fat phony.
You see, I did NOTHING to deserve the things I have, my status, my abilities. Sure, I show up and put in some work but even that drive to show up isn’t something I can take credit for.
It’s all Him.
Anytime my head starts swelling (which is dangerous, remember the hats), I’m reminded of Deuteronomy 9. Moses is speaking to the Israelites just before they (FINALLY) enter the Promised Land. He speaks to a people who have been wandering lost (and sinning a whole lot) about God’s provision and grace:
3 Today know this: God, your God, is crossing the river ahead of you—he’s a consuming fire. He will destroy the nations, he will put them under your power. You will dispossess them and very quickly wipe them out, just as God promised you would.
4-5 But when God pushes them out ahead of you, don’t start thinking to yourselves, “It’s because of all the good I’ve done that God has brought me in here to dispossess these nations.” Actually it’s because of all the evil these nations have done. No, it’s nothing good that you’ve done, no record for decency that you’ve built up, that got you here; it’s because of the vile wickedness of these nations that God, your God, is dispossessing them before you so that he can keep his promised word to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
6-10 Know this and don’t ever forget it: It’s not because of any good that you’ve done that God is giving you this good land to own.
The Israelites didn’t deserve the Promised Land, just as years later, we did nothing to deserve the salvation that was so freely given by Jesus’ death. WE deserved that death. WE sinned. We continue to sin.
We did nothing to deserve these blessings.
God’s grace pours out time and time again. His love is never failing and always easy to find. He’s the most perfect example of how parenthood should look…of how perfect love should look.
So yeah, I have a lot and I can do a lot. But it’s not me. I point to Him.
Friends, I’m in this perpetual place of being so utterly grateful, hands opened up with nothing to actually give to God (for He has everything) but to only receive what He has in store for me. And when you’re in that place of knowing that you’ll be taken care of, during the best of days and the worst, gratitude explodes from your being and it spreads to those around you.
And maybe that contributes to my success. Being grateful and truly thankful. A wondering Israelite whose hands are full of milk and honey. I want to shout it from the rooftops!
It’s all Him, you guys.
So I say, “Thank you, Father. Thank you!!!”
*Which took at least 15 minutes to get one that was somewhat decent…meanwhile I burnt my MIL’s homemade cinnamon rolls which had to be scraped off the pan with hammer and chisel. Again….GRACE!