Notice a theme lately? Weariness. Yeah...about that... It's confession time. They say confession is good for the soul. So, maybe this is good for me...and maybe I am not the only one who needs this confession. This confession of "I am not enough". Maybe you need this too?
Ever feel that you are so very inadequate for this great job of parenthood? The job that God has so graciously, and sweetly given you. How can I be so deeply grateful for something, and so deeply weary from it? Shall I be truly honest? There are moments that I fight resentment. Oh, please understand, it's not resentment of my children or the things they cause me to miss out on. I have certainly faced that, and learned my lessons through it.
I resent the feeling of inadequacy it brings. I resent the insecurity I face as a result of unmet expectations. Do you know those unmet expectations? I believe it doesn't matter whether your child is an adult, a teen, a child, or a baby. They have these expectations that you will never be able to fulfill. And, really, it makes you feel so inadequate.
Today, this season, is one where I regularly do not meet the expectations of three precious little ones. They look at me with those sweet, big eyes - needing something from me that I feel I cannot give. For my 5 year old, it is 24/7 companionship and conversation. For my almost 2 year old, it is the ability to soothe and understand all of his ever changing moods. For my my 4 month old, it is understanding what she needs every moment...those moments when she is screaming with big eyes, and single tear squeezes out. And, I feel so small, so...not enough. Ever feel that way, parents?
So, here are a few confessions for three of my greatest God given gifts:
1. I will love you now and through eternity. I will give my life for you. However, I cannot make you the only important part of my world. To do so, would subtract from what I can give your daddy, other people, and important things. And, most importantly, will take from what I can give to my Heavenly Father. I must share my heart, which means I must share my time. No one thing in this world can become my everything, only God can fill that place.
2. I love to spend my time and energy seeing you laugh, hearing you talk, and watching you play. However, somedays, I do not want to play superheroes or play baseball outside. I do not have energy to read another book, or teach you something new. And, somedays I watch the clock waiting for nap time simply because I need the quiet and rest. Not because I do not love being with you, just simply because everyone needs a little rest and solitude.
3. Sometimes I wonder if what I am teaching you will ever make a difference. Deep down I know it to be true, but there are days where it just doesn't seem to be enough.
4. I would not trade these days and these moments for any other day or moment. I cherish them. I hold tightly to them, wishing you could stay little forever, so I would never lose you.
5. I wonder if I am doing enough to keep you physically healthy. Do we eat too much take out? Do I not cook healthy enough meals? How can I get you to eat more veggies and fruit, when I do not eat them myself?
6. I love to hold you. I would stop the world most days to snuggle you forever. Yet, there are some moments or days where I just want to be by myself. I want to think uninterrupted. I want to talk uninterrupted. I want to work uninterrupted.
7. You bring a life and joy to my world that is incomparable to anything else this world can give.
8. There are times where I do not feel I can handle another story or another question. I have ran out of patience and answers, and I need peace and quiet.
9. There are moments when your cries are too much for me to handle, because I simply cannot give you what makes you happy. Or I simply do not know what will make you happy. And, because of this, I speak in frustration and even raise my voice. I am sorry for that.
10. I love being at home with you. I am blessed, and so grateful that I can stay at home with you. However, I am also grateful to be able to work. I am grateful that God still uses the other talents and gifts He has given me. I am thankful He gives me the grace to do both, and that He is fulfilling that desire. Yes, I love days with you. But, I also look forward to that one day a week when I go into an office and interact with adults, fulfilling another ministry that God has allowed me to have. I hope this teaches you to do what God has called you to do, whatever that is. Do it, and do it well. Never let others expectations or your own self imposed expectations keep you from fulfilling those God given purposes.
11. As much as I love those beautiful princess kisses and snuggles at any time of day, there are nights where I want to let you cry yourself back to sleep. There are nights where I dread you waking me from much needed sleep.
12. I need, I want you to understand that you do not need me to be your constant playmate or companion to grow into a healthy, independent person. The only problem is that, some days, I do not understand or believe that myself. This creates feelings of inadequacy, which causes me to display stress and tension rather than strength and confidence.
13. I read too much about what others (so called experts - ie. mom blogs and pediatricians) say you need. Instead of following the counsel of God's Word, and other wise counsel He has placed in my life. I am so sorry for this, because this is what ultimately creates the frustration that I project onto you. I need to walk in confidence as a parent in the grace He gives me, and I will be able to lead you in joy even when I disappoint you.
14. Most days I have the grace to go beyond my own selfish desires and inadequacies to offer you something beautiful. But there will be days, that I simply did not act in grace. Days where I put my own desires before yours. Days or seasons where I did not keep myself healthy, and you experience the result of my burnout. Just know that I will always do my best to give you my best.
15. I want to teach you to do what is right. To be well mannered. I want you to be a kind, giving, and compassionate. I want you to be confident and bold. I want you to love others and love God. In these desires, I sometimes expect too much from you. I am sorry. In trying to accomplish this, I sometimes push too hard. Sometimes I don't push hard enough. I do not want to disappoint you. I hate to frustrate you. I will do my best to operate in grace, while disciplining and training you - following our heavenly Father's example.
16. I am imperfect. Oh, how I desire to be perfect for you - to meet all of your expectations, wishes, and desires. But, I will not. Not in the past, not in the present, and not in the future. There is only One that is perfect. There is only one with true, perfect, and unconditional love. That is your Heavenly Father. Look to Him. Please do not look to me. I fail you, regularly. I will not measure up. But, He will. He will always be EVERYTHING that you need. If I can do one thing right, it will be to show you that He is ENOUGH. It will be to teach you that His love and grace supersede anything I could give or offer you. Do not look to me, to your dad, to others to fulfill in you what only He can.
So many confessions...could never pen enough. So many inadequacies, yet many strengths. The inadequacy makes me weary. My children do not make me weary. Thank God that He hasn't called me to be EVERYTHING for my child. Thank God that my child's well being is not solely dependent on imperfect me. Thank God for His grace. Grace that drowns out the insecurities and inadequacies. Wisdom that leads and counsels me. Courage that gives me confidence and boldness.
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Mom, Dad - be encouraged today. Maybe it is not learning the art of being adequate or being enough for your children. Maybe it is really accepting that we are so inadequate, and that is okay. Because there is only One that was meant to be adequate and enough for each of us.
I am already feeling a little more encouraged, knowing that through my weaknesses God's power works best.