My mother was an excellent quilter. She started quilting with her mother when she was 10 years old and continued her whole life.You could have measured her stitches with a micrometer; they would have been identical in size and very tiny. She knew her quilts were beautiful and special, but she would never have bragged about them.
I once asked her permission to enter one in a quilt show. I tried my best to persuade her; it would be protected from peoples' hands, it would be safe and people would get to see the lovely handiwork and all of her effort. She adamantly refused. I honored her wishes and did not enter it. I have often thought the reason for her refusal was fear of being prideful.
I can't say that I have inherited as much humility as my parents had. I believe we should be proud of the gifts God has given us, as long as we give him the honor for them. Not a boastful pride, just honestly knowing what we do well and not so well.
I have eaten a large slice of humble pie several times in my lifetime (that will be a future post) and you would think I would learn, but occasionally, I find myself on that high horse of pride again. I should recognize it and be ready for the fall, but unfortunately, it appears I have to keep learning the same lessons over and over again.
Recently, I found myself having to create a website; this one. I couldn't afford to have it done for me, which is what I really wanted. I had absolutely, and I mean a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y, NO idea what I was doing. I am not computer illiterate, but I had no idea where to start. I researched a lot of 'author' sites, read many articles on what words should be in the domain name so it would show up on search engines and a lot of other gook I didn't understand. So, armed with some advice from an online friend and what I had read, I tackled it.
I quit in frustration 3 times. Slammed my laptop closed and went to bed, only to get up in 30 minutes and start working on it again. When I had it presentable, I felt like I had given birth. A lot of pain, sweat and some tears, but joy and lots of pride in the finished product AND in my ability, of course.
I had to let my friends and everyone know about it. The ones who didn't have Facebook received an e-mail so they could see it, too. I got all kinds of great feedback and the needle on my Pride-o-Meter was going off the charts. These were my friends; they loved it. Then I made a mistake; I asked my nephew's wife: sweet, pregnant, Katie, to evaluate the website. She doesn't build websites, but she works with eLearning on a computer every day, is very proficient at what she does and obviously sees many websites in her profession. I even stressed the fact that I wanted her honest opinion and she wouldn't hurt my feelings if she recommended some improvements.
She sent me a list of 14 things that she felt needed changed, along with some suggestions about content. Well! My first reaction was one of frustration and defensiveness. I thanked her and decided I liked it the way it was and I would, maybe, change one or two things.
Proverbs 29: v. 23 A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. NKJV
In the morning, I decided to re-read her advice. I printed it out so I could address her concerns page by page. Once I got over my wounded pride, I realized she was right about so many things. There were a few I did not change, because I wanted them the way they were for my own reasons, but I worked on everything else. I eliminated a page and some images, changed fonts and titles, replaced some images with better ones. When I was finished, I had a much more polished and professional-looking site.
I thank Katie for her honesty and direction. I also thank God for helping me see the value in not being prideful AND bull-headed.
Proverbs 13:v 10 : By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom. NKJV
Hopefully, I have gained a little wisdom; however, I know God is not done sanding the rough edges of my pride yet.