The Great Deception

I have been told that my first sentence was this: I do it.

My baby voice is on an old tape, collecting dust somewhere, a cassette I recall hearing many years ago. At the time of the recording I was not yet one-and-a-half. As my parents were trying to help me with something, I responded with: I do it.

Even now I prefer little help. 

I make our bed just so each morning, pulling and smoothing the sheets straight, hospital corners neat and pillows tidy. I spritz our kitchen’s granite countertops on the daily, keeping them shiny and clutter-free. I hold to a simple method for paying our bills, organizing the pantry, preparing meals, and handling all weekly laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping.

Come to think of it, the only chores I actually prefer assistance with are clearing dishes and collecting the trash, hauling it to the curb come Thursday evening.


I have a good friend who keeps a key to our home, driving over to tend to our pets when we take day trips. It nearly requires an act of Congress for me to work up the gumption to ask for her help. I used to leave an envelope of cash on the counter, by way of thanks, which she repeatedly ignored, time and again.

Finally, she asked me to stop trying to pay her.

Kristin, I like helping you, she said simply.

Oh, how I wish she would accept the money. At least then it would feel less like receiving help and more like me paying for her kind services. This probably sounds ridiculous and I know it, because I, too, enjoy helping others.

I just prefer not to need help.

Such a smooth, stealthy voice.

Its name?



As I have been working away, little by little each week, stitching words together for my next book, I occasionally grow discouraged. As I am writing, the phone rings yet again, or I receive a slew of texts from someone needing counsel, or the mailman knocks on our front door. 

That sentence that was forming–a fragrant flower ready to burst open, that singular trail of thought that was finally gelling after days of spinning frenetically–has suddenly vanished. 

In the wind. Gone.

While there are no visible meltdowns happening around these parts, my inner toddler phrase rears up—I do it

So I go back to work, determined to make that paragraph appear, grow wings, and soar.

I do it.

And isn’t it just lovely that my working paragraph is all about patience, that lush and holy fruit of the Spirit?

Patience…a gracious yielding to God’s timetable, trusting him with all interruptions. 

I sigh, suddenly feeling bruised and sore. Come on, Kristin. You know this material.

But knowing is different than abiding in obedience to the Lord, isn’t it?

I ponder this now, as my number 2 Ticonderoga wavers above my favorite pad of paper. Dropping my pencil I sigh, gazing across my office at my Bible. It is waiting for me on a slender side table.

I fell deep within its pages only this morning, some six hours ago. Have I learned absolutely nothing?

No more of: I do it, but rather: God, You do it.

The plain truth is that I can do nothing worthwhile on my own. (John 15:4-5) Yes, grit and determination and a strong work ethic are my friends, gifts from God.

But stubbornness? Ownership of what I imagine I can do by myself? Without any help, thank you very much?

That mindset is nothing but utter foolishness, the dark and wicked heartbeat of pride.

I am sorry, Lord. Please forgive me.

Now back to the cold, refreshing well I go. The pages of truth.

The Bible.


Obadiah 1:3- The pride of your heart has deceived you.

Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

5 thoughts on “The Great Deception

  1. Oh, how I can relate. Thank you for your honesty. This reminds me of something I read just this morning quoted in regard to emptying of self (dreaded pride!)……”Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord, Oh, to be lost in Thee. Oh, that it may be no more I, but Christ who lives in me.”

    Liked by 1 person

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