How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aunt Janice and Her Designer Clothes:)

Good morning, Girls!

 I hope you are all having as "lovely" a time as I am having in this "light" study as Diane so dryly put it on Facebook:)  This first week has me reeling.  As I have lived out the hours in my days, there have been many times I have caught myself in an attitude of pride I had no idea was there.

While doing this study, I was reminded of a journal entry of my husband's Aunt Janice.  Aunt Janice died some years back and her journal was found on her computer.  Her husband read her entries and had them printed up for the family, and I am so glad he did.  Let me introduce you to Aunt Janice...Janice was a brilliant lawyer hired by the Los Angeles City Council back in the 90s.  She was a beautiful woman...inside and out.  Because of her high profile job, she had an incredible wardrobe filled with designer clothing.  However, the most important thing you need to know about Aunt Janice is that she LOVED Jesus and tried to follow Him in all ways.  Janice loyally attended a church in Los Angeles where she taught Sunday School and was extremely active wherever and whenever there was a need.  In her journal she tells of time when a woman in her church lost her job and was virtually penniless.  Janice found out that this woman was in need of professional clothing for job interviews.  She was pretty sure they were the same size, so with great excitement, she went through her closet choosing some beautiful outfits.  On Sunday, Janice had a large box of designer clothes to give to this woman and she could hardly wait.  She KNEW it would bless her...she just knew it!!  Janice found the gal after church and presented her with the clothes..then, she watched in disbelief as the woman, not only went through the box piece by piece, criticizing each article, but handed back the box to Janice with the statement:  "These just aren't my style" and then proceeded to turn and walk away!

In her journal, Janice explains the humiliation she felt because she had already told others in the church that she would be bringing some clothes for this woman, so" they would know this need was taken care of." Eventually, Janice had to face the truth...She had been filled with pride giving her clothes to this "needy" person.  She goes on to write that had she been giving the clothes with the right attitude..."as unto the Lord" she wouldn't have been offended...surprised, maybe, but not humiliated.  She realized during this experience that she gave those clothes for selfish reasons.  She like to be thought of as:  "Janice is always there when there is a need"...."We can always count on her"...and..."Look how generous she is!!!"  In the end, Janice was more humbled by the exposure of her own selfish heart before God, then the public rejection of her gift of designer clothes.  That truth changed her and in her journal you hear her confession and her declaration to change now that she saw "the real me." 

From that point on, Janice gave anonymously because she knew her heart's propensity toward self- promotion.  Janice died her fifties of pneumonia, but her legacy of honesty, humility and love for the Lord lives on in her journal.  I wanted to share her story with you. 

I hope everyone has received their books by now.  We will spend another week on "Humility" and then move on next Monday to "Confidence." 

Love to you....



  1. Thank you for sharing Aunt Janice's story. Isn't pride sneaky! The prideful thoughts that fly through my mind at times are very disturbing. God is faithfully helping me to see them for what they are, usually before I entertain them for too long. I know we'll always battle this unseen enemy, but the quicker we are to recognize it, repent and give God the glory He is due, the more like Jesus we will become. And isn't that our heart's cry.

    OK, now for an honest confession to my online sisters . . . How crazy is it that when posting about pride, I can get prideful about my post!!! I hate pride!!!

  2. Oh, are so right,Robin, pride is sneaky! It snuck up on me through feelings of vanity, envy, even embarrassment. I love your transparency, Robin...

  3. Yes, it is crazy! I desire to look good, and smart and loving etc.
    Janice's journal entry reminded of a challenge my 2nd grade teacher gave us. She asked us to go home and do something especially kind and helpful for someone in our family and to do it secretly. (She was a sweet nun at a Catholic school.) It will be a special secret between you and Jesus! I will never forget it and may have to practice that more often.

  4. So glad you shared this.
    I have felt for over a month that God has been working with me on my discipline and pride issues. I had never realized that pride could rear it's ugly head in so many "innocent" ways. The conviction was hard to take but I felt positive that God was doing a good work in me and for my family.
    Reading earlier posts I thought, "this is great it's going to work hand-in-hand with what God has already been saying to me." My book arrived last night and as I worked through the first two days, I did find many familiar things that had been "spoken" to me lately. Confirmation! When it came time to take the quiz, I was going to skip it since I needed to catch up with the rest of the group and of course I already knew I needed some help and was working on it. (Do you know where I'm going with this?) Well I opted to take it anyway since the book was at the table at lunch time. Ouch! Ladies, I've got some issues! More than I thought. Even though I'm feeling a bit exposed...again...I'm realizing the pride thing goes deeper than originally thought. I'm glad I'm receiving this chastising with not only a loving God but with loving sisters in Christ who are real and honest about their struggles.

  5. Isn't that the way it always goes, Erica?:) I can't count how many times there has been a question in a Bible study I am doing and I think: "I know I have issues but at least I don't have THIS one!" And I ask the question of God in obedience...when sometimes WHAM! He shows me that area in my heart completely undisguised. But, I am so glad that He does. Like you I am encouraged in this journey because God, in His goodness, has allowed me to take it with such honest, loving and encouraging sisters!

  6. We have a 2-day respite in Lincoln, NE, during our 2-week road trip and I had to comment on humility. My first clue that this study would be no cake-walk, was when I took that humility test and my PRIDE was miffed that I did not score in the most humble category. HAHAHA! What was most telling, however, was that many of the questions I could've answered positively with "others," but came up woefully short when it came to my husband. What an eye-opener. I never realized how much pride I have when it comes to me & my hubby. U-G-L-Y! Just realizing how it's the source of so many of our "tiffs" or flat-out arguments. So perhaps it's no coincidence that Ken & I are spending 4,000 miles & 2 weeks together in a vehicle so I can practice humility? God has a great sense of humor and timing.

  7. A while back, my nephew did an 8 month stint in prison, for being young & foolish. Since my sister, his mom, is no longer with us, but in heaven, I thought I would step up and try to encourage him through this self inflicted pain. I started to have a prideful attitude when my other sister was not so understanding in the matter. I thought I was such a great Christian, when, Bam.. The Lord spoke to me and said something along the lines of this:
    Where were you when your dad had open heart surgery a few years back, who selflessly gave driving 4 hours back and forth from the hospital with mom for nearly 2 weeks, O yes, that was your sister, Get over yourself! It's funny how "good works" can be a source of twisted pride.

  8. I think we're starting our new chapter, but I need to comment on this humility thing. I had no idea how pride was the root of so many of my "issues" with my hubby... how often I feel "superior" in my opinions, thinking my way is the best way, or my timing is better...wanting him to say or do things that make me feel comfortable or look good. Oh yes, I knew I "used" to be like this, but I'm so much better now. Not good enough. It's a point that has been driven home & I want to embrace it & make the change.

    The other morning he was being loving towards me and I made what I would have called a kind but 'corrective' comment to him about something he'd said the day before. He got quiet & when I asked if I'd hurt his feelings, he said quietly & non-condemningly "No, you're just being Diane." It was like a Holy Spirit conviction arrow to my heart. I profusely apologized and have determined that this will change. I will stop trying to be his "holy spirit" (as my friend Cherri once shared) and focus on thinking of him more highly than I do myself (isn't there a verse about that somewhere?).

    I am compelled to put this in writing to you. May I be faithful to make a true & lasting change. Love to you all...


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