I'm Not Good Enough
Last week my littlest clamored for my attention. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I was busy trying to balance the bank account and finally stopped, rolled my eyes, and said, “WHAT?!” less patiently than I should have.
I wish I were a better mom.
I tried to make a meal in my new pressure cooker and it didn’t turn out very well. I hesitated in the kitchen wishing I didn’t have to tell my husband that we would need to just eat sandwiches for dinner.
I wish I were a better cook.
I had to cancel plans with a friend because I double booked myself on Saturday and just couldn’t do both things. It’s been weeks since we have spent quality time together.
I wish I were a better friend.
I pushed my husband away when he lingered for a longer kiss because I was in a hurry to finish cleaning the kitchen. As if the mess would get worse in those few seconds. He acted like it didn’t bother him, but I know it did.
I wish I were a better wife.
I was late to the school library on my day to volunteer. The other helpers weren’t there that day but I had to leave before all the work was done. There were still stacks of books waiting to be put away.
I wish I were a better helper.
Sunday I came home from church to a house full of clutter. Laundry to be put away, dishes to be finished, a floor that needed to be swept, a table that needed to be cleared off, beds unmade.
I wish I were a better housekeeper.
I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Wrinkles, pimples, dark circles under my eyes. I don’t look young anymore.
I wish I were prettier.
I start putting lotion on my arms over the scabs from where I can’t leave my skin alone - a sign of my anxiety disorder. I want to stop messing with my skin but just can’t. It’s embarrassing. It’s ugly.
I wish I could get control of my anxiety and my bad habits.
My mom called needing some time to talk. She had had a rough week. I felt bad that I had not checked in on her earlier in the week. She could have used my encouragement.
I wish I were a better daughter.
Someone asked me to take photos for a church newsletter. I said yes but worried about how my photos would turn out. I knew there was someone who could do a better job than I could.
I wish I were a better photographer.
I failed to show up for a ministry I am a part of at church. I had too many things on my plate and couldn’t complete them all. I should have found a replacement, but I didn’t.
I wish I were a better church member.
This morning I had time to read my Bible but I didn’t have time to spend in prayer before my kids woke up and the day got busy. I should have made time to talk to God.
I wish I were a better Christian.
How many times do I look at my life this way? It’s so easy for me to look in the mirror and feel disappointed. Too often I feel like a failure, like I’m less than. I’m insecure. I’m afraid. I’m ashamed.
You probably know what I’m talking about. You probably feel it too.
Friends, it ought not be this way. The Bible tells us that God has given us the light of the glory of the knowledge of Him and that He has chosen to place this treasure in us, in His jars of clay, so that His power will shine through and not our own imperfect human strength. (2 Corinthians 4) God made us just the way we are on purpose! We are perfectly imperfect, and it is in our weaknesses and imperfections that He can show Himself strong. (2 Corinthians 12)
I may be insecure and introverted, but when I avail myself to the strength of God and His grace and greet a new visitor at church with a smile and a friendly handshake, the light of God is shining through me. I may let my schedule get busier than it should, but when I make time for a friend and focus only on her for the time we are together, God’s love is being shown through me. I may not always be the perfectly patient mother, but when I take my little one on my lap and look her in the eyes and tell her that she is my answered prayer, God is using me to show His love and kindness.
The problem with looking down on myself is that it means I think God made a mistake when He made me this way. I let myself believe that He would love me better if I were more outgoing or more put together. Maybe if I were a more “perfect” mom and wife He would be more please with me. And of course, I always want to strive to be the best version of myself. But God made me the way I am for a reason! He carefully crafted me - my body, my personality, my talents - on purpose! I can glorify Him through my strengths, and yes, even through my weaknesses!
It’s time to stop saying “I wish I were better” and to start saying, “Lord thank You for giving me the opportunity to do the things You have allowed me to do. Thank You for giving me a faithful husband and sweet children. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve You in these specific ways. Thank You for bringing these people into my life and for the mutual encouragement we can be to one another. Lord, You are enough. And in You, I am enough.”
It’s time to reframe my thinking. It’s time to see myself through the eyes of God’s love. It’s time to celebrate the things I am doing well and to strive for more of those things!
Last week my little one asked me to play outside with her. We jumped on the trampoline and then lay next to each other looking at the sky while I just listened to her talking to me.
I am a good mom.
One evening I made my husband’s favorite dinner - quesadillas. He asked me what he did to deserve such a delicious meal. And they were delicious.
I am a good cook.
I messaged a friend I haven’t seen in a while and asked if we could schedule a lunch date with no kids. Just time for the two of us to reconnect. I can’t wait.
I am a good friend.
After the girls went to bed one evening I sat and talked for a long time with my husband instead of editing photos, reading, or watching TV like I usually do. We had a long and meaningful conversation and I really connected with him and listened to him.
I am a good wife.
When I helped in the school library on the day no one else could be there I stayed an hour longer than my scheduled time in order to pick up some of the slack. I helped children find age-appropriate books and made sure the books I didn’t have time to put away were organized before I left.
I am a good helper.
One day last week I set aside time to clean the entire house, get everything put away, and put new fragrances out to make it smell nice. Sure, the house never stays clean longer than ten minutes, but I do regularly clean and declutter so we can enjoy living here.
I am a good housekeeper.
I caught my husband staring at me from the corner of my eye. I had almost no makeup on, my hair was a mess, and I was wearing a giant sweatshirt and yoga pants. I asked him why he was looking at me and he replied that he just really likes to look at beautiful things.
I am pretty enough.
I did some reading about skin picking disorders and anxiety and started working on my own version of habit replacement therapy. I made sure I had things to fidget with nearby and made a plan for the progress I want to make. I added it to my prayer list and am asking God to help me replace this nervous habit of mine with something that isn’t destructive to myself.
I am making progress.
I made plans to spend some time with my mom this week. I offered to help her with a project she has coming up. I love my mom. She is my best friend.
I am a good daughter.
I finished up a client’s photo gallery and sent her the photos and she loved them. She thanked me for the way I captured her family and said she can’t wait to have me take photos for her again.
I am a good photographer.
I served in four different ministries at church this week. I worked with kids, I sang in the choir, I taught Spanish to the teens, I took photos for a church publication. I connected with other church members. I participated and did my part.
I am a good church member.
Every morning this week I woke up early and spent quiet time in God’s Word. I journaled about specific verses that spoke to my heart and carried those verses with me throughout each day. I may not have made it through my prayer list, but I did talk to God several times each day as I was able to.
I am a good Christian.
I am enough, because I carry God’s treasure in me. Because He designed and created me to be who I am. In Him, I am good enough!
And so are you.