“God created human beings, not human doings. Which do you identify with?”
This question was posed to me years ago by a mentor. The details of the conversation are now foggy, but I can guess at the context. My bent toward the human doing side has been a primary struggle over the years. Excitement about new opportunities and wanting to experience everything has often caused me to overcommit and become stressed out.
Part of the trouble is my inability to correctly estimate the full cost of said opportunities. I see all the good and fun without calculating the time, effort, and energy required. When time is short and commitments are stacked high all around, that’s when I realize I’ve not given enough space for my human being side to flourish. (This is also when my soul goes into emergency power mode and I feel like a zombie.)
I’ve always thought this human doing bent could be blamed on my dreamer personality’s inability to calculate time and effort. But then I read Hannah Anderson’s new book, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul, in which she proposes this explanation:
“You can see the relationship between pride and stress. Pride convinces us that we are stronger and more capable than we actually are. Pride convinces us that we must do and be more than we are able. And when we try, we find ourselves feeling “thin, sort of stretched . . . like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”11 We begin to fall apart physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the simple reason that we are not existing as we were meant to exist.”
When my life gets scraped over too many activities, responsibilities, and opportunities, my peace gets worn thin. Life can be busy sometimes. But overcommitting as a habit is a refusal to embrace my status a creature. It’s a rejection of the reality that, although made in the image of God, I am not the all-powerful One. I cannot do everything, be everything. I have limitations, and I need to learn how to live well within them. Grappling with my creaturehood is key to resting in my status as a human being and finding freedom in Christ to let go of being more than God ever intended me to be.
In Humble Roots, Anderson identifies the beauty of embracing creaturehood in order to find the rest our souls require. Each chapter features rich personal narratives about family or work that tie back to a specific plant or flower. Anderson’s stories, along with fanciful illustrations by Michelle Berg Radford, lead readers to consider the gift that humility is for God’s people. Humility is how we learn to live within our limits, which then maximizes the gifts God has entrusted to us.
And this is why I believe Humble Roots is a must-read for every creature—man or woman, young or old. This is one of those books you can’t put down but also want to savor—my copy is completely marked up and I’ve referred back to it often since reading it in October. It would be perfect for a discussion group, book club, small group study, or personal devotional.
Humble Roots Giveaway!
Because I joined the launch team for Humble Roots, Moody Publishers gave me two copies—one to read, one to give away. (Thank you, Moody!) Which means, it’s giveaway time. I’m also contributing two copies, so there will be three lucky entrants.
To enter the Humble Roots Giveaway, sign-in using the FB login or your email to register with Rafflecopter. Then choose from the drop-down options, explained below, for how you can enter the drawing:
(1) TWEET about the giveaway (worth 1 entry for each day you tweet)
(2) SHARE about the giveaway on Facebook (worth 1 entry)
(3) COMMENT on this post about why you want a copy of Hannah’s book (worth 1 entry)
(4) LIKE my Facebook author page (worth 1 entry)
Entries are open Tuesday, December 13 to midnight (CST) Friday, December 16. Winners will be randomly selected Saturday, December 17, and announced on social media.