One Word 2013: Enough

I wish I were a mom with constant craft supplies. I wish I had every kind of glitter available and fresh scented play-dough always waiting for little fingers to mash. I wish I were a mom who filled hours with learning, a mom who sent thank-you notes on time. I wish I had real, practical goals in my mothering life.

I wish I weren’t just standing at the kitchen sink while my son begs me to play cars with him again. I wish I weren’t begging him to stop asking so I can finally mop the floor for the first time since we moved in two months ago.

I wish I were a mom who knew how to plan ahead and get my children (and myself) ready on time. I wish I knew how to help my stubborn son actually get his clothes on without having to ask seven times until I’m a raging, fire-faced mother, snapping children up and sticking them in car seats, using my “stressed” voice to complain to my kids that we’re always late because they won’t listen.  When really, we’re late because I can’t seem to order us. I can’t seem to order myself: my morning routine, my dealings with my boys, my heart that screams at these little ones I love the most.

There is enough.

There is enough time. That’s what I needed to know when I was eight years old, carrying our kitchen’s egg timer around with me from morning task to morning task. Five minutes to make my lunch. Two minutes to brush my teeth. Three minutes to tie my shoes.

And when the timer rang, I was a crying mess, my little-girl-self shaking and shoving my foot into the floppy shoe, shouting to my dad: “I can’t do it in time, Daddy! I can never do it in time!”

My brothers mocked my egg timer ritual but my parents whispered about it in concerned voices. They finally took it away. I couldn’t time myself anymore, they said. But we always find a way, don’t we?

Who is ever enough?

We are people pleasers, aren’t we? I’ve always been striving for the Honor Roll: in childhood, in my family, in my relationships, in ministry, in God’s view of me. Tell me I’m exceptional! I silently beg whoever is near. And when I fail, I hate what I am not. I want you all to think I’m awesome. I want my family to be proud of me, my husband to be mesmerized by me. I want my kids to come out of life with me kind and brave, unwounded and full of love. I want to be everything: good enough and inspiring enough, stylish enough, bold enough.

There is enough.

The Benedictines have always believed there is enough time in each day, Kathleen Norris said in her Preface to The Cloister Walk. I was reading it just days after giving birth to my first son. I was sitting in a bathtub while my mom held my newborn son downstairs. I was looking for something, anything, to tell me what to do with my new mothering self.  How would I survive? How would I be who my son needed me to be? How would I keep working and praying and being a friend when this child was asking me to be his everything?

“The Benedictines,” Kathleen Norris wrote, “have always believed there’s enough time in each day for work and study and rest and prayer.”

Enough time. There’s enough time. Those are the words God whispered to me that day, back when I’d never heard of St. Benedict. Those are the words I’ve been working out ever since. Words I still can hardly believe most days. Words I need to see every day. Words that led this girl and her egg timer to the Benedictines and to this blog.

Enough.

There is enough time because I don’t have to be enough. There is enough time because I have been rescued from my weaknesses. I am weak but I am loved by a Creator who sliced Time into its minutes and hours and days and months. I am loved by a Creator who doesn’t judge me by my Pinterest-style or some Motherhood Honor Roll whose ranks I will never enter. I am loved by a Creator who offers Time with grace on all sides of it. A Creator who writes “Enough” into every slot in my calendar and whispers in my ear, even as I scream threats at the piddling child.

I am enough because I am Christ’s beloved.

There is enough time in every day for prayer, whatever it looks like. There is enough time to love well.

There is enough time because I don’t have to do it all or be it all or please them all.

There is enough of Christ, enough of grace, enough of me.

That’s my New Year’s Resolution. One Word: Enough.

This year I am being formed by God’s Sweet Enough in my life. I am choosing to believe there is enough time to love my family and friends well, to create, to care for the people entrusted to my hands.

 

Linking up at One Word 365
Photo Credit: Erin Molloy Photography

 

 

Comments

  1. I nodded along with every sentence here. So often I hear the word enough with disdain – not good enough, not enough time, not mama enough – but you’ve re-framed it in hope here, and I’m excited to follow along with your journey this year, Micha, lean into the sweet enough myself. Thank you.

    • michaboyett says:

      Thank you, Annie. I hear you. There’s something about our culture, too, right? We are always needing more– time, opportunities, stuff, wisdom–and then we’ll be okay. I love the chance to be counter-cultural here, to say: I have everything I’ll ever need. Grace should give us the tools to believe that, right?

      (PS I’m always grateful for your comments, friend.)

  2. Felicity says:

    Well said. In our family folklore is a statement from my great-grandfather the circuit-driving country preacher, “There is grace sufficient for every day.” Not always easy to believe, but an excellent encouragement when I can.

    • michaboyett says:

      I love that you had a circuit driving country preacher for a great grandfather! Yes, I need “grace sufficient” cross-stitched on a pillow in my house.

  3. Janice says:

    Oh Micha, I am right there with you with every word of this! I’ve been toying with a word for the year (except, let’s face it, I can NOT balance three little ones, homeschool, housekeeping AND blogging regularly enough to even post a One Word post in the beginning of January…so kudos to you for doing it!) and I love yours. I admit that when I read the title I wasn’t instantly grabbed by the word. It had a bit of a “settling for things” sort of feel. But after reading your post I agree whole-heartedly. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many things I DON’T fit into the day. How many things we’re all late for and how often I use my stressed voice to complain to my kids. I need to learn to relax into the fact that there is Enough. And I need to remember that there is one who is enough also.

    So thank you for this post. I may end up with a little constellation of Words for the year. Yes, I know, not as simple as One Word, but there are a couple things I need to remember. And Enough is definitely one of them.

    Thank you for your transparency and honesty.

    • michaboyett says:

      Janice, if you end up with a constellation of words, will you share them with us? I’d love to see what they are!

  4. I can’t imagine there is a woman alive who can’t relate to your words. I was nodding my head on most of what you said. And its been a long walk home to that word Enough, and its feeling good. Glad to find your blog, its something I’m doing as I start the New Year, finding new ones to read.

    • michaboyett says:

      Welcome, Shelly! I’m so glad you found your way here. And thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Sarah Bessey says:

    This was my word a few years ago, and let me tell you: God broke some serious depression off in my life during that year. (It wasn’t the clinical kind but still. Big changes in my soul that spilled out and has changed everything in my life since.) So excited for what this year will be for you!

    • michaboyett says:

      Ms Sarah Bessey, if only you’d written a book about “Enough” back then! Then I could just read all that you learned so I don’t have to learn anything hard this year. In fact, why don’t you make that book number 3, okay? :)

      So happy to know it was a big deal for you. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

  6. Alece says:

    i’m journeying with you and this word ENOUGH this year…

    • michaboyett says:

      Alece, I’m clicking over now to read what you have to say. So excited to share this with you…

  7. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for writing this. I sat down at the computer to write my own “obtainable goals” because I tend to push away from the word “resolution”, but I decided to check in and read your blog first, and well, thank you. It’s a great reminder to each one of us, especially those with kids. We need to remember that God hasn’t set these rigorous schedules and time constraints – we have – and who are we to make our goals more important than His.

    • michaboyett says:

      You’re welcome, Rebecca. I like your word: “obtainable goals.” I’m still thinking about a few goals for myself this year. Maybe I’ll post them on Monday.

  8. This was my word last year so it made me smile to see you’ve chosen it this year. Reflecting on the year, and thus the word, with friends, I had someone ask me how I did. I had to laugh, because for me, part of choosing this word was letting go of the yardstick by which we measure ourselves, so to take stock on the past year and see “how I did” didn’t really jive :) God really spoke to me through the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 – the idea of what I have in my hands, this little lunch of bread and fish, being enough to do big things once it is handed over to Him. Everywhere became my altar, then, and enough became a verb, too. Can’t wait to read about your walk with “enough.”

    • michaboyett says:

      Ha! I’m so glad to know I don’t have to measure myself and say how I did with this! :) Campbell, I love that this was your word last year. And I love that reminder of Jesus feeding the 5,000–just what I have in my hands. That’s all that’s require. so good to be reminded…

  9. Jeannie says:

    Beautiful and encouraging. I really appreciated this.

  10. HopefulLeigh says:

    Beautiful reflection, Micha. I look forward to seeing where “Enough” takes you this year. May it sink down deep into your soul these coming months and may it give you peace.

  11. Amy says:

    “The Benedictines,” Kathleen Norris wrote, “have always believed there’s enough time in each day for work and study and rest and prayer.”

    Mmm, but the Benedictines never had children, did they? I may not have enough time for work and study and rest and prayer every day, but Jesus is enough, and his strength is made perfect in my weakness, right?

    Good reminder, Micha. Thanks.

  12. Jenny Svetec says:

    When I am sitting here reading instead of cleaning, as the kids graze on Alvin and the Chipmunks instead of me reading books or prepping them for school tomorrow, when all I want to do is sit closer to the heater at my feet, but know I must get that bedroom in order, the kitchen readied and make up with that muttering man of mine, along comes the grace of your words. I want to shout great big THANKS to the One who speaks so sweetly through you. May all of us journey from Much-Afraid to More-than- Enough this year, as we meet Lord of Abundance and trust His open hands a wee bit more.

  13. Haley says:

    Just the words I needed today, as I am 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant and feeling like an utter failure because I can’t do anything: can’t wrangle my three boys, can’t carry the laundry upstairs, can’t help bursting into tears every 5 minutes, can’t have this baby already… Enough. There is enough. Thank you.

  14. So, so, so true!! Oh, if my heart could only embrace the truth of this the way my head knows that it needs to, especially in my daily mothering!!! I wrote a post earlier this week about “letting go of ideal” and a friend commented with the link to your post here and said I needed to read it…I did…and it gripped my heart….your words echo the feelings of my heart as a momma this week.

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