This first thing I think of when I hear the word Mom is that we all need to learn to forgive ourselves for what we perceive as our failings in motherhood. We also need to forgive our own mothers for the places where we feel they have failed us. We must remember that we are only human. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our children’s lives, but we are not God. We are sinners by nature and therefore we will have times where things do not go perfectly according to our plan, but that does not mean it’s not still part of God’s plan. We will have times when despite our good intentions we fail miserably. Just as God provides us grace for our failing, we must also provide grace for ourselves and our own moms. All moms wonder at some point if they are making terrible mistakes with their children, but we press on in doing the best we can with what we have. In those places where you give yourself grace to make mistakes, you learn a little bit more about the heart of God for your children. Our mothers were once right where we are, making choices in our best interest to the best of her ability with the skills she had learned to that point. I think this is why Grandmothers are usually such amazing and inspiring people in our lives. They have already walked in our shoes and made the mistakes we have yet to make. They speak such grace into our lives from years of experience and sacrifice for their children and families. They were not perfect at motherhood either. We will all one day sit at the feet of Jesus and learn the answers to why things happened the way that they did, but until then, give grace to yourself, your mother, your friends, your families.
In focusing on enough this year I have seen that my value is not in how many steps I walk or how often I win the “workweek hustle” on FitBit. It is not tied to being the first car in the parking lot or the last one left at work each day. It is not in how many Starbucks stars, LulaRoe leggings, or tubes of LipSense I collect. It is not even tied to getting my preferred seat at church on Sunday mornings. My value is not in the percentage of times I win at Words with Friends, not even when that friend is my brother 😉 It is not in how clean I keep my house or car, how well behaved others believe my children and grandchildren to be, or how neat I write in cursive. It is not in the price of my house, car, or other material things. My value is in who God says I am and who He made me to be. He is my Father and I am His child. He loves me unconditionally regardless of any of these things.
The biggest thing that I am learning in this focus is that my “enoughness” is not based on how well I was parented or how well I have parented my own children. I keep being brought back to this and having to remind myself that even though there are pieces of both that were not and are not perfect, they are best left to God as I, myself aside from Him, do not have the tools to take them on. This does not mean that I am any less of a daughter or mother. It just means that I need to learn what areas of my life to turn over to God and let go. No matter how often they return to my sight and thoughts, they are not mine to pick up again unless and until God gives me that skill set and tells me to go slay those giants.
Linking with 5 Minute Friday today.
I’m reading Jennie Allen’s book, Restless, in which she talks about how our hearts are restless for more because we were not meant to live forever in this world. Our purpose here is to live our story and then tell it so that others may benefit from what we have lived and learned. I have been struggling with a nagging thought that I am meant to tell my story in a greater way and with more depth than I have ever told it before. I have always felt like each step of my life was a stop along the way to more: more of God, more of life, more love, more faith. However, along with more comes fear and uncertainty. I am realizing that my fear is tied to the idea that I am not enough: not good enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not experienced enough, not deserving enough. The great thing about this type of fear is that it can be overcome with the knowledge that we do not need to be enough because He is enough. God is enough. I never before realized that I do not have to be enough because God is enough. My purpose has not been to get to the point where I am enough. I will never be enough. God designed us to need Him. He is our enough. He came to be life through us. He doesn’t expect us to be enough on our own. In her book, Jennie says that He chose us to do His work because He knew we would never be enough. We are a vessel that He designed so that He could fill us up and pour us out. Our purpose is to let Him work through us. Our purpose has never been to be good enough or strong enough to handle anything on our own. We are made in His image for His purpose. How freeing is that to know!
Linking with Five Minute Friday today. The prompt is Purpose.
Things happen in life over which we have no control. It’s the way we respond to those things that determines where we will go next. The song Just Breathe, by Jonny Diaz says, “Breathe, just breathe. Come and rest at my feet and be, just be. Chaos calls but all you really need is to just breathe.” It reminds us who is in control and that the only response we should have to whatever is happening in in our lives is to just be with Him. There are times that we just need to take a deep breath, breathe in who God is and breathe out all of the negativity in our lives. Just breathe. My middle daughter has a tattoo on her wrist with the single word “breathe” to remind her of just this simple act that we can easily take for granted. Breathing is a part of who we are, it is something that we do without thinking, but if we stop and concentrate on it, let it soothe us, it can be as easy as taking a long deep breath to calm our selves and remove ourselves from the chaos that surrounds us. He is waiting. Just breathe.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is breathe.
Control is something that I have spent a lot of time trying to gain. From a young age I think I felt that life was out of my control and I was determined to correct that. I was a perfectionist in a lot of areas. I wanted to do my best, but never felt that my best was good enough to please others. I would make bargains and try my best, but yet again I would come up short of the goal that I set for myself and had assured others I could reach. These bargains were attempts to find acceptance. They were ways of proving my value. They were ways of changing the way others felt about me so that maybe I would be loved. Of course those things never made me feel accepted, valuable or loved. After years of trying to find those things in people, I now know that they only come from God. He has shown me very vividly in recent months that I am His and that not only is He enough, but I am enough. It’s an amazing feeling to give up the control I have fought so hard for years to maintain, and let God be the ruler of my life. There is a peace in knowing that the God of the Universe, the King of Kings, is my Father and that He is in control of not only my life, but the lives of my family, the lives of others who might seek to pull me down or destroy me, and the lives of those who strive to build me up. He is in control. I can let go.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is control.
Knowing that you are enough and that God is enough means thanking Him even when you’re in the middle of the journey. It means knowing that you are on the right path even when you cannot see the light at the end of the way. It is being alright with who you are and who He is creating you to be. It does not mean that it is always going to be a comfortable place; growing pains are not comfortable. They are, however, necessary to get you to where you are ultimately destined to be. You have every tool you need to succeed. God has made you for a purpose, and becoming that purpose should be your ultimate goal in life. I am capable of doing and being everything for which I was created. I am enough for the pitfalls as well as the victories I will face along the way. Sharing my story, even in the middle of that journey, is my job. It is the expectation of God that I share with others who may be walking along a similar path, in order to lift their faith and build their courage in who they are and who they will become. We are always growing. We are always climbing. We are always in the middle of something, even when we are not sure where it will lead or if it will ever have an end. God is in control, even in the middle. So, thank Him where you are, for what you have overcome, for what you have learned, and for what you have yet to see before you.
Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is Middle.