Every mom needs to read this. In fact, every woman needs to hear the lessons Hannah has learned and shares in this post and in her book, Humble Roots. I promise you will identify with her in the opening paragraphs.
Be It Ever So Humble
Guest Post by Hannah Anderson
I’d had it. For weeks—maybe even months—I’d been wrestling through a period of worry, anxiety, and personal frustration. I wasn’t going through any major life crisis. No, I simply couldn’t handle the daily responsibilities of life: the forgotten field trip forms, the piles of laundry, the unreturned phone calls. All of it seemed to mock me, to remind me of how much I was failing to be a good friend, a devoted mother, and a helpful wife.
At first, I simply doubled down. Maybe if I got up earlier or found just the right routine or put boundaries in place… but nothing helped. Not the schedules, not the boundaries, not the “me-time.” The harder I worked to find peace, the more elusive it became.
Eventually my restlessness crept into family life. If I hadn’t slept well the night before, I’d wake up cranky and out-of-sorts. Morning routine would get off balance, throwing off the trajectory of the entire day. When we had family time together, I couldn’t relax because my mind would race, thinking about the email I needed to send or remembering that I’d forgotten to schedule my son’s allergy appointment.
The painful irony was that I wanted my home to be a place of rest. More than anything, I wanted my husband and children and friends and family to walk through the front door and be blessed. But how could they when I was spinning my wheels? How could my children feel at peace when mommy was pressuring them about their chores because she felt pressured by hers? How could my husband relax when the woman he loved, his God-given partner in life, couldn’t relax herself?
In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus calls tired, worn out, weary people—people like you and me—to come to Him. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
I remember reading this in the midst of my anxiousness and thinking, Yes! Yes! Rest is exactly what I need. But then I kept reading:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me,” Jesus continues, “for I am gentle and humble in heart” (NASB).
What? Why is Jesus suddenly talking about humility? And if rest comes from learning humility, does that mean that my restlessness is rooted in pride? What does pride have to do with my rushing around and being tired and worn out all the time?
Part of the reason I didn’t connect pride to my restlessness is because we tend to think of pride as a certain swagger or boastfulness—the man who expects star treatment or the woman who regales you with her children’s accomplishments.
But at its root, pride is simply self-reliance. Pride tells us that we can be more, do more, and know more than we’re actually capable of. Pride tricks us into thinking that we are God. And slowly, subtly, we begin to make choices and set goals for our lives that only He could accomplish.
Humility, on the other hand, teaches us to remember our limits, to remember that we are not God. Humility confesses, “I am not enough. I cannot hold it together. I cannot make my life beautiful.” For me as a wife and mother, learning humility means remembering that
My house won’t be spotless…
The laundry will never be finished…
The To-Do list won’t get done…
My children will disobey…
My husband and I will fight…
But even as humility brings us face to face with our limits, it doesn’t leave us there because humility also teaches us about God’s lack of limits. Even as humility reminds us of our inability, it also reminds us of God’s overwhelming ability. I may not be able to do it all, but I know the One who can. I know the One whose strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Like you, I want my home to be a place of rest and peace, a place where tired, weary souls can come and drop their burdens. But this means that we must drop ours first. We must run to Christ and learn humility. We must learn our limitations. We must learn to depend on Him. The rest Christ offers us is not some vague sense of affirmation or self-help; it is a much deeper rest—a rest that comes from acknowledging His power and surrendering ourselves to His care. A rest that begins the moment we answer to His call to “Come.”
Hannah Anderson is a pastor’s wife and mother who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her recent book, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul, uses stories of gardening and rural living to show how humility leads us to spiritual rest.