The Fine Skin of Vanity


"There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth" 
-- Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I've been having trouble with confidence issues this pregnancy. In other words, I'm very vain and am not handling the extra weight gain well. Maternity clothes at 15 weeks? Yikes. Christian humility is not holding up well under this relatively small challenge. It's a tiny cross. Why does it feel so heavy? My pride is clearly having a flare up.

I've quickly lost my sense of humor on the topic. A clear indication of pride. Proof of this is a conversation that I had at church this past Sunday. A woman I know from the parish ran up to me after Mass and said, "I just had to come and see! I sat behind you and noticed you were a little broad in the bean...I had to come and get a look at the belly!!" This said with 3 others present including 2 men.

I didn't laugh and the effort of smiling was similar to the effort it takes to smile when outside for an extended period in sub-freezing temps. What could I say? Thank you so much for commenting about the size of my behind in front of these people? She surely noticed it because she followed up with, "Oh, pregnant bodies are beautiful! So womanly and amazing!"

That's fine. So glad. But she had already sucker punched my vanity.

I admit that I hate the visual attention during pregnancy. I do not like people looking me up and down and commenting on my belly and what-not. It is decidedly worse to have someone comment on my rear end, I care not what the intentions are. I should have been able to laugh and to hug her in appreciation for her joy and enthusiasm.

Lesson learned: I am much more vain than I thought. It's something to work on. An opportunity to grow in humility and give everything over to the Lord.

Gratitude reminder: My husband is gentle with me during my crazy proud times. He finds many ways to communicate that he still thinks I'm lovely. Accepting that gift is sometimes difficult but I am thankful that he continually offers it.

Prayer: Jesus, teach me to control my pride: May it never reach the extent of vanity. I seek to model You as a humble child.
Posted on May 25, 2010 and filed under "pregnancy weight gain", "vanity".