As I prepare for a full house of in-laws in a few days, it’s good to remind myself of the need for humble pie this Thanksgiving. I love what Michelle had to say about that in her post from November 2008.
Ladling spicy tortellini soup into shallow bowls, I handed each plate to my husband where he added a thick slice of wheat bread and placed the meal in front of a waiting child. Speaking above the din of our six children I outlined for him the indignities and frustrations of hosting both grandmas for Thanksgiving, “She criticizes everything I make! She brings nothing for the dinner and then doesn’t even help with the dishes!”
He spread a thick layer of butter on yet another slice of bread and suggested, “If you could be a little more humble this Thanksgiving, you’d be a lot more happy.”
The words stung, but I had an instant, almost spiritual confirmation that he was right. If I could be a little more humble, I’d be a lot more happy– not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.
Pride is my great grand barrier to sincere gratitude. Pride declares: I created this, I deserve this, don’t step on my toes, don’t assault my dignity. Not only does my prideful heart neglect to thank God for what he has given me, it covets even more. But humility (charity) “suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not…. seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” 1 Cor. 13:4-5
As I consider every situation that makes me unhappy it is my pride and the resulting lack of gratitude that drags me into misery. And as much as I need humility in dealing with all my fellow men, I especially need it with my family.
What is it about family ties that makes me so impatient, so critical? My friends’ human foibles are not only acceptable, but endearing. And yet those same frailties are like fingernails on the chalkboard at family gatherings.
In Shoulder to Shoulder by Courtney Miller Santo, the author views her sister differently after seeing her through another’s eyes. If I stand back and look at my mother and mother-in-law, they are incredible, outstanding women. Both were raised by drunken fathers, converted to the church as adults(one in Denmark, the other in Idaho) and raised their children without support or assistance of grandparents.
Yet, despite their heartaches, they show up, they keep trying, learning, reading, desperately trying to make sense of this life and their place in it. Each woman deserves my respect, not my disdain. As Marjorie Hinckley oft repeated, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
So Wednesday, as I begin rolling out the pastry for a half dozen pies, I’ll fill a very special crust with love, patience, charity, joy, hope and laughter. Thursday morning, I’ll eat slice after slice until I am filled with the love of God. It’s OK if I ruin my appetite for turkey. This Thanksgiving I simply want to be kind.
How do you prepare your heart for Thanksgiving? For family? Help me please, because I really don’t have the recipe for humble pie. And I need it.