An Encouraging Thought for Mother’s Day and Every Day

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I thought I’d bring an encouraging word this Mother’s Day weekend (though it isn’t just for moms):

You actually might not be enough.

Feeling better yet? Stay with me…

The current buzzword, especially as it relates to women, is enough. “Am I enough?” is the big question. And generally the big emphatic answer we are given is, “Yes! You are enough!” The end.

There was a point that I jumped right onto this bandwagon and wanted to climb to the top of the tallest thing I could find, thrust my invisible sword in the air and scream, “I am enough so get off my back!!!” Usually I am the one who needs to get off my own back, but not always.

One day, however, I was thinking about this idea that I am enough and I had this moment of revelation: You know what? Sometimes, I’m actually not enough. I mean, sometimes I really don’t show up or choose the best or I lose my patience or forget laundry exists for a week or that there’s a field trip or lots of other things every.single.day.

I’m not nice to my husband sometimes, I fail my children, miss opportunities to show mercy, respond in my “firm voice,” don’t force them to eat their vegetables, let them watch too much Spongebob, don’t read to them enough, and a myriad of other things that culture considers failure.

Side note: this isn’t a shame post…shame is not a motivator for long-term change. It also sucks all the joy and life out of us. So my saying all this isn’t an endorsement to swing the other way and wallow in guilt. Hear me out for a minute.

There are reminders everywhere of my not-enoughness. Yes, I made that word up. It’s what I do. Because sometimes I’m too much. See, that’s the other problem. We are not enough AND too much, simultaneously. #womanproblems

But, I digress.

I actually am not enough. For me the issue is being okay with that. As a Christian I know this to be true. The fact that I am not whatever enough is exactly why I rely on Jesus. He is my sufficiency. It’s why I need the Holy Spirit to guide and direct and teach and comfort – and He does all of those things.

It’s why I wrote this post and this one, about weakness. I am not ashamed to be less than people think I “ought,” to be, and I’m not ashamed to need saving. Believe me, I have been practically baptized in shame before and I’ve had to wrestle, believe and pray my way out of it. We all do, I think.

I have come to the place that {on my good days} I actually see weakness and not-enoughness as a gift. It pushes me to know Him more and in knowing Him more I can see myself more clearly. I am delighted in, right now, right this minute, even though my kitchen looks like a bomb went off and there are still boxes of miscellaneous stuff to sort out and I lost patience with one of the kids last night. Yes, those things need to be addressed, but they don’t define me.

My not-enoughness (I’m going to use this word as much as possible because it doesn’t exist and I’ll probably never get to use it again) also pushes me to seek out friendship and relationship with others. It’s a community builder. You are really great at things I struggle with, so if I am wise I’ll ask you lots of questions and learn from you.

Community is one of the greatest gifts we have on this earth. Friends are essential. And living in shame over not being enough is a waste of time. It’s a killer. We need each other, ladies. We can’t live life alone.

Listen, I am the mess of messes. Know that up front. But I’m fun 🙂 And I always strive to listen without judgment because I have experienced the freedom of being known and loved, even in my darkest place.

Let people know you and find those people that are trustworthy enough to hear your secrets. Not being enough is not the problem. Shame is the problem. Come out of hiding and bring yourself, as you are, out into the light. It will change your life.

Shame-free not-enoughness. It’s a gift. It’s okay. I wear it like a badge of honor. I know that sounds so weird and so heretical, as far as our culture is concerned, but it’s what I have to offer this Mother’s Day weekend.

You don’t have to be enough. And it’s so freeing to say it out loud.

One thought on “An Encouraging Thought for Mother’s Day and Every Day

  1. This reminds me of the book “Naked and unashamed” / Tony Evans for some reason. 😃 We all are nothing without Jesus!

    Sent from my iPhone

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