By Jeanne Takenaka
A couple friends and I saw the movie, Mom’s Night Out. I came away uplifted by the story. My still-a-little-sore right side ached from all the times I laughed.
Along with great humor, beautiful messages shine through the story line. One thing that resonated with me was when the main character is in her darkest moment. She’s talking with an unlikely truth speaker. She’s certain she’s a failure at everything (Because really, what woman hasn’t felt this at one time or another?). And she says, “I’m not enough.”
The truth speaker asks her, “Enough for who?”
She rattles off the list of people she believes she’s failed. And the other character asks, “Or is it you?”
That stopped me hard. How many times have I felt like I wasn’t enough? I never stopped to ask the rest of that question, “What/Who am I not enough for?”
My struggle with feeling “not enough” is ongoing. I fall short as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a . . . the list goes on.
Is it really that I’m not enough for others? Or is it that I have set the bar so high that I am not enough to meet it, much less jump over it? I want to live a life of integrity, of honor. To be a good example for my children.
This is what a godly wife should look like. This is how a godly mother should act.
The thing about having unattainable expectations of myself is that it steals the joy from living. It blinds me to seeing joy-moments I can share with my family.
Those expectations shove me onward, only to leave me flat on my face when I can’t meet them.
God made me to be . . . me. He’s given me an amazing family, and the opportunity to grow in my relationship with them.
He’s given me eyes to see those around me who are hurting. So I can do more than rush past in pursuit of meeting my own expectations, my goals, of seeking my own affirmation.
I don’t need to prove that I’m enough to anyone. God made me to be me—a woman who makes mistakes, who lives life messy most days. A woman who whole-heartedly loves Him, and loves the family He’s gifted her with.
My love for them doesn’t have to be executed perfectly. It needs to be genuine. Some days this won’t look so pretty. Some days I’ll raise my voice at the boys, and have to ask their forgiveness later.
Sometimes, I let my husband down. When I do, I have to work through the disappointment and purpose to do better in that area of our marriage.
It’s time to realize I am enough because God made me to be me. Not some perfect super-woman who’s pushing all day every day toward an unrealistic standard. It’s time to realize I am enough because of God.
His presence in me. . .
His love for me. . .
His delight in me.
I don’t have to be more than He intends me to be.
It’s enough to love well and to live well each day.
There’s contentment in that. And peace.
What about you? How do you get a handle on the expectations in your life? Do you place expectations on yourself? How do you keep them realistic?