A while ago, my kids and I were rocking out in the car to Vertigo by U2. We had the windows down and the volume obnoxiously loud. I was one cool mama chick, cruising Ahwatukee with my cool baby-chicks in my way cool minivan. Basking in this most excellent coolness I turned to the kids. "You know guys, I listened to U2 when I was in high school." Their jaws dropped open and their eyes nearly bugged out of their heads in disbelief. "And U2 is still alive?!" Ouch. I'm not cool. Apparently I'm ancient. That's bad news for Bono. Anyone who owned Joshua Tree on cassette can understand - wasn't it just yesterday? My daughter asks me questions about "back then," meaning when cars were new and television had yet to be invented. She expects me to answer from personal experience. I feel like I was just 19 but my daughter thinks I can tell her about what life was like without electricity and running water. Kids have a way of humbling you. Repeatedly in the Bible we are encouraged to be humble. One of the surest ways to develop humility is to become a parent. Just when you start thinking you have figured it out, your children will show you don't. Just when you start thinking you're pretty cool, your children remind you that you're not. Kids tell it like it is - and usually in earshot of strangers. The thing is, humility is one of the key ingredients of motherhood. From the moment of conception we are pressed into the humble service of children, body and soul. We bear them, labor and deliver them, change their diapers, wipe their noses, wash their clothes, answer their never-ending questions, kiss away their tears and stay up all night while they toss with a fever. We struggle through the math homework almost as bewildered as they are, drive them to school even though we're still in our pink flannel pajamas, drive back to school with the forgotten lunch and, after school, drive them to piano practice, soccer practice or gymnastics practice. We paste together book reports and biomes, plan birthday parties, search eBay for the most wanted Nintendo DS game, paint rooms hot pink and lime green, drive to urgent care with the broken arm in the Spiderman suit and bear the rolled eyes and injured sighs over requests to unload the dishwasher. Why? Because we love them. Because we're moms. Humility is the key to being able to persevere in the sometimes dreary tasks of motherhood without bitterness and resentment. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." We need humility to face the daily tasks. We need humility to ask for help. We need humility to be willing to suspend our own lives and dreams for a while. We need humility to say sorry, I was wrong. We need humility to fall to our knees and say, "Lord I'm empty and I need to be filled up if I am going to make it through today." The good news is we are promised in the book of Proverbs that with humility comes wisdom, another key ingredient for success in motherhood. I can't tell my daughter about life "back then" but I can lead her in life here and now and yet to come, showing her the path that is straight and level. I wish I was cool but I'd rather be wise. Humble me Lord, and give me that wisdom You promise - I sure need it to be the best mom I can be. --Jennifer Zach lives in Ahwatukee Foothills with her family and is director of Women's Ministry at Bridgeway Community Church.
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