Here is this week's passage from Charlotte Mason:
"Children do not make Self-depreciatory Remarks––What is the secret of this absolute humility, humble alike towards higher or lower, and unaware of distinctions? Our notion of a humble person is one who thinks rather slightingly of himself, who says, deprecatingly, 'Oh, I can't do this or that, you know, I'm not clever'; 'I'm not cut out for public work of any sort, I've no power or influence'; 'Ah! well, I hope he'll be a better man than his father, I don't think much of myself anyway'; 'Your children have great advantages; I wish mine had such a mother, but I'm not a bit wise.' Such things are often said, in all sincerity, without the least soupçon of the 'Uriah Heep' sentiment.* The thing we quarrel with is, that the speakers are apt to feel that they have, anyway, the saving grace of humility. It is worth while to reflect that there are no such self-depreciatory utterances ascribed to the Example of that 'great humility' which we are bound to follow; and if there is not the slightest evidence of humility in this kind in the divine life, which was all humility, we must re-cast our notions. Children, too, never make self-depreciatory remarks; that is because they are humble, and with the divine Example before us, and the example of our children, we may receive it that humility does not consist in thinking little of ourselves. It is a higher principle, a blessed state, only now and then attained by us elders, but in which the children perpetually dwell, and in which it is the will of God that we should keep them." ~~ Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, Chapter 26: "The Eternal Child"*In other words: not just fishing for compliments, or even trying to be "humbler than thou"
In the Spirit of Charlotte Mason
Do we go through life feeling like hobbits in a world of bigger, stronger, wiser creatures? Reminding everyone continually that we are smaller, weaker, and less capable, so that they won't ask us to do anything really hard? (Like...parenting.) Or expect us to succeed at the task?
Does self-belittling offer us an excuse for not attempting something we might fail at? (Remember David and Goliath. Remember the Parable of the Talents.)
Illustration from The Pilgrim's Progress
Christmas literature is full of little, lesser creatures who have some part to play in the birth of Christ. Spiders, donkeys, drummer boys, doves in the rafters high. Littlest angels. Shepherds abiding in the fields. The chosen earthly family of the Lord.
The remedy seems to be to focus not on capability, but on calling...and the One who calls us.
"Of this thing I am quite sure, that his calling, or, if you like to name it so, his chance, comes to the person who is ready for it. That is why the all-round preparation of body, mind, soul, and heart is necessary for the young knight who is waiting to be called. He will want every bit of himself in the royal service that is appointed him; for it is a royal service. God, who fixes the bounds of our habitation, does not leave us blundering about in search of the right thing; if He find us waiting, ready and willing...
"Each one is wanted for the special bit of work he is fit for; and, of each, it is true that––
'Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident:
It is the very place God meant for thee.'"
~~ Charlotte Mason, Ourselves (Book I), "Vocation"
Things to Do This Week
Do you need a new tablecloth and/or napkins for the Christmas holidays? We have a giant piece of red sweatshirt fleece that has done duty under a lace tablecloth for several years, but it's starting to show its age, so I'm thinking about replacing it. Here is a basic tablecloth tutorial. (Yes, you can!)
And if we're talking about tables, we might as well start thinking about centerpieces. What do you like? Fresh things? Fruit? Flowers? Something old? Something unique? We have used something different almost every year:, almost always chosen at the last minute (so you know I do not plan everything ahead).