Friday, August 21, 2015

Not "Good Enough"

For those of you who have kids, have you ever felt the weight of not feeling “good enough” when it comes to parenting?  Some times I feel like a part-time parent.  My husband is amazing and an incredible dad, but mom is always sick. 

Often I feel like my best effort will never measure up to what all of the amazing “Suzie Home-makers” are doing and my kids are missing out.

The house is dirty more often than not.  The laundry struggles to get finished.  It gets stuck in either the washer or dryer all too often waiting for a transfer.    The rest of the clothes are piled up on the couch in pretty stacks ready to be put away.  The dishes are the same… stuck in the sink or the dishwasher.   The dust rarely gets dusted and the floors are full of crumbles of dirt waiting to be swept up.

My boys are not greeted with home made treats and sweet lemonade when they arrive home from school.  Meals are not all home made from scratch.  There is not always a main course, several side dishes, and a dessert to follow.  We eat a lot on the go and are many times are left to make a meal of our own choosing.

Lectures and life lessons are shared on the fly mostly in the car.  Sometimes I feel we are too strict on some things and not strict enough on others.  Either way, we disappoint.   I nag more than I lovingly encourage and get frustrated more than not.  Parenting is hard work.  It is not for the faint-hearted.

Parenting is difficult, rewarding, exhausting, fulfilling, frustrating, and life-changing! 
My little bit I can give, added to my husbands best efforts, plus God’s wisdom and guidance along the way is the “just enough” we need to see us through.

I remember a few years after we first got married discussing with my husband about the possibility of having kids.  I wanted to wait.  He said, “Why?”  I was afraid God hadn’t worked on me enough yet.  I still had a lot of personal baggage I needed to get rid of before I could be a good mom.  I didn’t want to “mess” my kids up.  I told my husband I would pray about it.   Later, I felt God speaking to my heart that we weren’t alone in parenting.  God was with us.  He was there to assist us all along the way, all we had to do was ask. 

For some reason I thought I had to be “good enough” before I became a parent.  I never factored in the fact that God could still make improvements in me all along the way.

Isn’t that what we do with our relationship with God some times?  We disqualify ourselves because we don’t think we are “good enough”.  We don’t feel we measure up with everyone else.  “They” pray MORE, read their Bible’s MORE, shine brighter for God MORE, and I’m just not even in the same league spiritually.

When in all actuality, God just wants us to spend time with us.  He is madly in love with us and savors every moment we have together.  It’s not a competition to Him.  It’s a personal relationship He wants to build with us… daily.

There may be times in our relationship that God may ask us to do things we don’t necessarily feel qualified to do.  Don’t panic!   Even though we may be able to think of scores of others who would be more qualified, trust Him and remember…

“God promises to qualify us for whatever He has called us to do.”

The disciples in the Bible were a perfect picture of a group of UN-qualified people, yet God chose them.  Look at what Paul has to say about it in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

“I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (MSG)

God doesn’t need anyone else if He has called you, friend.  YOU are His perfect pick.  When the panic starts to wash over you and you begin to doubt all of your abilities, choose to trust Him.

If He made the stars in the sky, knows all the hairs on my head, and hears every cry of my heart then I have to believe that He can do what He needs to do in me to prepare me for whatever He has called me to do. That goes for you too friend.  He is trustworthy.

I remember in some of my sickest moments with this dreaded autoimmune disease wondering if my boys would some day grow up with out a mom.  It hurt me to think about, but I felt they were lacking so much of my attention.  My best effort seemed so small, but as I got stronger I tried to do more.

I know at times my little bit seems insignificant, but added with God’s wisdom and guidance I pray it is very significant.  I am planting nuggets of truth in the hearts and lives of my kids daily that will last a lifetime.

We pray together several times a day… on the drive to school, over food, before bed, and randomly as needs come up on the spot. 

I tell them I love them several times a day and give them hugs and kisses secretly at home where their friends won’t see and embarrass them.

My husband and I try to model a godly marriage before them.  Their response generally is turning their heads, closing their eyes, or shouting out to knock it off, but I know secretly they are learning… taking it all in for future reference.

I know we are doing a lot of good when it comes to parenting, but sometimes I just don’t feel “good enough”.  I’m sure some of you are there with me right now.  Don’t give up or disqualify yourself.  God is waiting for you to ask for His assistance.  He has been my greatest source of strength in some of my darkest hours. 

What better person to help us in this parenting endeavor, but perhaps the best dad ever in the whole wide world.  I think He has quite a bit of experience and expertise in this area that He might be able to share with us.  I am so thankful that my husband and I are not alone in this.  God is aware, involved, and assisting us all along the way.  Thank Heavens!
My husband and I are seeking Gods direction every step of the way with this parenting thing.  Some people may not agree with our decisions or even our parenting style at times, but regardless of that, we are choosing to respond by God’s leading.

Yes, I may fail at times with my kids, I may be too strict or not strict enough, I may lovingly DIS-courage my kids and even disappoint them at times, but if nothing else they know we love them. 

Hopefully my little bit, with my husband’s best efforts, with God’s guidance, will make a HUGE impact on my boys.  We love them dearly.

Living to leave a legacy,

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