Thursday, September 6, 2012

Never Enough

I just read a blog post that inspired me to do some critical thinking (yes, I'm a fancy grad student now, and that's all we do). It was a wonderfully insightful post, written by an incredible mother, Christian and philanthropist who I have the pleasure of knowing :-) Read "How to Measure Success of a Mother".

As I sit up in the wee hours of the morning (3:17am to be exact), hammering away at the keyboard and probing the deeps of my mind to come up with something particularly genius for my classmates and teacher to read, I also think about how much energy I will NOT have for my children when they wake up. Then I feel guilty. Then the self-motivating pep talk begins. I tell myself that I can do this because "nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). I think back to when my boys were infants (seemingly not too long ago), screaming at all hours, with no regard for the time. In those days, sleep was stolen in haphazard patches in front of the television with one hand patting a back or holding a bottle and always cradling a baby. Yet, somehow I made it to work (granted that was my computer in the next room) on time and always met my quotas.

Despite the obvious triumphs of the past, I still struggle with feeling like I'm enough. I question my dedication to my family as I heat up a Stouffer's lasagna for dinner, rather than slaving over a stove to prepare them a home-cooked meal. I debate my commitment to school as I do homework to the sounds of crying/laughing (because sometimes it's difficult to know the difference) and the NFL game playing in the background. I examine my devotion to my marriage as I choose to let the idiocy of reality television wash over me, rather than share intimate conversation with my husband. Looking around at the hurricane that is my life, I have the impression that I can be swept away at any unpredictable moment. I am clearly not enough.

But, thankfully I know who is.

I know a God who is made strong in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) therefore, I'm really not that weak, am I?

We humans (especially moms) like to think that we can do it all. We undertake so many responsibilities, we strive for perfection. We fail. We can't do it all on our own. God wants us to rest in our imperfections, so that He gets the glory for our success. Unfortunately, sometimes that means we have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death first.

Like my precious, fragile toddler having a seizure, blue lips and eyes rolled back, unresponsive, unconscious and me with no immediate transportation... BUT GOD steps in. He proved that no amount of CPR and parenting classes could save me in that moment. Only He could. I was not enough.

As my oldest son lashes out in frustration at his younger brother with a shove and exclaiming "I said, don't do that! You are so disobedient!" or giggles when he burps, rather than excusing himself, I sadly realize I am not enough to raise my rowdy boys into kind, mannerable men. I have to rely on God to mold them into His image, in His time (but seriously, any day now God).

The pressures of this life are difficult enough, without feeling like you're doing it all on your own. We have spouses and friends and community groups, but in those wee hours of the morning when our eyelids threaten to close and the to-do list stares menacingly at you, it is then that we truly feel alone. It is also then that we are most in-sync with God, despite that sinking feeling that rests in the pit of our stomach. In those solitary moments, those times we most want to quit and wonder why we even started, that's where God resides. He lives in those junctures of time when our failures illuminate his prowess. It is when we are truly isolated from the distractions of the world that we can see and hear Him clearly.

He never leaves us, but often we leave Him, thinking we can handle things by ourselves. We can't.

When I cry, confused and afraid, praying over my husband's heart condition, He hears me.

When me children disobey me and I harshly reprimand them, then question if I did the right thing, He comforts me.

When dishes pile up in the sink, laundry overflows from every basket in the house, homework sits undone, emails unanswered, family unfed, He breathes through me and somehow it all gets done.

I am not enough and contrary to what I think at times, I never will be. But He always is and I relax and rejoice in that.

*** This song has been on heavy rotation in my head for the past few days and it seems so appropriate to this topic, so I thought I'd share. "By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North***

1 comment:

  1. I love this post, and your heart my sweet friend!!