I’ve been thinking about the idea of enough a lot recently. How to be enough, how to be OK with not being enough, what enough really even means.
As a woman, enough consumes me. Am I smart enough? Do I make enough? Did I spend enough time with my girlfriends? Did I give enough advice to help the people in my life know that I care? And, as much as I don’t want to say it, I have also wondered am I pretty enough? Am I good enough? Will people be proud enough of me? Will I be proud enough of myself?
As a professional, enough constantly lingers just under the surface. Did I represent myself well enough at that meeting? Did I do enough on that project? Did I work hard enough? Was I respectful enough while still getting my point across?
As a working mother enough permeates deep into my core. Am I a good enough example of work and an equally good example of quality time? Is my house clean enough? Do our kids have enough? Do I do enough? Do I spend enough time with the kids? And don’t even get me started on my poor husband . . . I know I don’t spend enough time with him.
The enough—or the fear of not being enough—is overpowering and gut wrenching. If I’m not careful, it will drag me under, leaving me exhausted and gasping for air. I seek and strive so much, yet attain so little. There never seems to be enough of me for all the bits and pieces of life, the priorities and projects, the relationships and the little humans who reach for me when they need comfort or guidance.
Then I start to wonder what would happen if I just gave up on enough. What if I said enough to the constant striving? The constant comparing? The constant mom guilt, self-criticism and never-ending cycle of trying to stack up? After all, what is it that I’m trying to stack up to? Who is really keeping score anyway? Why does all this enoughness even matter?
There’s this quote I love from Jennie Allen: “Our identity must shift from helpless, striving, surviving, insignificant small humans, to eternally loved, secure, confident, dangerous, empowered people on a clear, noble, eternal mission, who also happen to accomplish that as they are teachers, clerks, executives, janitors, mothers and friends.”
And I begin to feel a little lighter. We will never be enough, but we don’t have to be. Because we have One who is enough for all of us. And in this moment of realization, I give up my striving for enough.
There will be days as a woman, as a human being really, that I will soar. I’ll conquer that meeting, give the best advice, rock the new outfit and feel like the world is my oyster. Then there will be days I’ll be disappointed in myself (sometimes for legitimate reasons, other times not), where life just won’t go as planned and things get missed.
There will be days, as a mother, when the kids will be happy and healthy; they’ll have a home-cooked meal and be in bed on time. There will be other days where my house will be a mess, dinner will come out of a box from the freezer and there will be more tears than laughter.
There will be days for messy buns and days for looking completely pulled together. There will be days with to-do lists that never end and days when the list doesn’t seem to matter at all. There will be days full of anger and tears and hardship and days full of laughter, love and snuggles.
Let’s stop trying to be enough and instead give it to the One who always is. Because God is in the midst of all of it, in the everyday moments and moment makers.
So I give up my need for enough (for the 50thtime today) and march forward, knowing His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness.