Image credit: Alan Cleaver via Creative Commons
I grew up believing that as long as I tried my best, it would be enough. “Always do your best,” my mom said, and I generally did.
Now that I’m the mother, sometimes even my very best isn’t enough to cover everything that needs covering. I was only born with two hands. Most of the time, I could use twice that many (at least).
It’s already almost 8:30 in the morning. My husband can’t find his keys. My preschooler is demanding more juice and a second bowl of cereal. The twins are crying to be picked up from their cribs, and I know that picking them up will mean changing their diapers, dressing them and bringing them to the kitchen with the rest of us, where the dishes are already piling up and I’m tripping over a basket of unfolded laundry and a pile of matchbox cars and magic markers on the floor. All I want is a cup of coffee, yet I know I’m at least half an hour from being able to sit down and drink it. My son asks again for the juice.
Taking a deep breath, I try my best not to snap at him. “I am trying,” I tell him. “I’m trying really hard this morning. I need you to wait a minute.”
He scowls at me, stamps his foot on the floor. “But I don’t want to wait. I want juice now.”
I try again, speaking as quietly as I can manage. “I am trying as hard as I can. I will be right with you.”
“Mama,” he says calmly, looking up into my face with his little brow furrowed, “trying harder is not working for you, so maybe you should try easier.”
In this moment, I want to shake him (or at least pour the juice and set it down with great force – blam! – on the table, so he knows I’m irritated).
But maybe he has a point?
“My grace is sufficient for you…my power is made perfect in weakness.”
– – 2 Corinthians 12:9
On mornings like this, I’m the definition of weakness…I just want to sit down!
Some moments in motherhood feel about as futile as trying to climb out of a deep hole without a ladder. These are the days when I wake up and already feel behind, when there are more things to do than there is time and energy to accomplish them. These are days when all the effort in the world can’t get me there…when my trying and striving and teeth-gritted stubbornness only makes the hole deeper and the mess bigger.
How is one person supposed to be everything to everyone? How can one woman take care of so many needs? How can one mother respond patiently, kindly, calmly in the midst of a difficult moment with a challenging child on a day that is testing her beyond her limits?
The truth is, she can’t. I can’t. I’m not infinite…and my limited human resources can only stretch so far before they reach their breaking point.
But God’s grace is limitless, and it is sufficient…even for me.
“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
– – 2 Corinthians 12:10
I might never be enough, but God is always enough…and with God, I have what I need.
Taking a deep breath, I carefully pour the juice and set it down, resolving to remind myself as many times as necessary that I’m not actually doing it all on my own, after all.
By Abbey Dupuy, Surviving Our BlessingsLeave a Comment