Enough, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Identity

Try: What’s Your Motivation?

Hand Fenced Off copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—TRY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


How much of my life have I spent trying . . .

. . . to measure up to others’ expectations

. . . to be accepted

. . . to be good enough at something or other?

More years than I’ll ever admit to.

Most of my life, I’ve felt like if I just tried a little harder to be likable, or a better singer, or a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter-in-law . . .

. . . maybe all my efforts would be enough. That I would get . . . .? What?

Being accepted has been the motivation that’s driven me to try so hard for perfection most of my life. That sense of belonging in a group somewhere. Somehow, I might be considered worthy to have some sort of acclaim, or recognition. That I would be enough . . .

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What I’ve come to realize over the past few years is that I don’t have to keep trying to be enough for everyone else to think that I’m worthy.

I just need to live each day in the way God’s directing me.

He’s already accepted me, called me His own. He sees me (and each of us who call Him Savior) as precious. He loves us. He is the One who goes before us.

Jesus is the one who makes me worthy. It doesn’t come from something I can do “good enough,” or something that is in me that is considered laudable.

I don’t have to try to measure up to human expectations, because God’s already called me accepted, beloved, His own.

This truth, as it sinks deep into my spirit, brings such peace. I do need to try to be the best Me I can be. The woman God’s designed me to be.

Good-bye to trying to achieve other’s expectations. To trying to measure up to human standards, which always change anyway.

Bougamvillea you are precious


Hello to accepting that I am exactly who God intends me to be. Growing in the grace and knowledge of Him, hopefully reflecting Him a little more clearly each day.

What about you? What’s one lesson you’ve learned as you’ve grown older? How have you come to a place where you understand your worthiness?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—TRY

24 thoughts on “Try: What’s Your Motivation?”

  1. You are so right about the futility of trying to measure up to others’ ever-changing standards. As a “people-pleaser” myself, I’ve struggled trying to carry that burden more than I’d like to admit. I love how you said He has already called us beloved. We don’t have to strive for His approval. Isn’t that awesome?


    1. Yes, Elizabeth, I am forever in awe that God calls us beloved. 🙂 It’s such a comforting name. And to know I don’ have to strive to maintain that status in His eyes? Priceless. 🙂


  2. Hmmm…interesting. While I’m not a people-pleaser, I did spend much of my time meeting others’ expectations. From my appearance and demeanour, they thought I would be suicidally reckless, willing to try anything because it looked like it might be ‘cool’…and they were usually right.

    Like building a fifty-foot-tall scaffold tower and going ‘scaffold surfing’ before tying it off to the structure for which it was to provide work platforms, another bloke and I started doing a hula on top, getting the whole thing to sway a few feet back and forth, creaking in protest.

    Safety harnesses? That would have spoiled the fun. and ruined the intended effect.

    Which was to make people stop, point, and then cover their eyes.


    1. Oh . . . my. I can picture the swaying a not-so-gentle hula might produce. 🙂 Thankfully, my boys have not thought of anything this creative (read: terrifying for a mom to watch!) yet. How was the surfing ride? What did you ride down the tower? When I read your comment, it made me think, “Yet another difference between the way mea and women think.” It made me smile . . . in a way. 🙂


  3. Being the best us, we can be – there is freedom in letting go of all those expectations and giving them over to God. And let’s face it – without His grace and forgiveness it’s impossible to be even the best version of ourselves. Here’s to deep breaths and letting go. 🙂


    1. SO true, Tiffany. There is freedom in letting go of the expectations. And handing them over to God is the perfect place to leave them. You’re right. Without His grace and forgiveness we can only be a shadow of who He intended us to be. Breathing deep with you!


    1. Marie, I’m so sorry you didn’t sleep well. I’ve been through seasons where insomnia lasted for years. It’s a tough road. Saying a prayer for you today, my friend.


  4. Jeanne,
    me too! Me too! Me too! Oh that perfection thing…God’s design in us so we’d unfold into HIS beautiful creation instead of our own crayon scribbled mess. 🙂 Walking with you (and now with a skip in my step). Let’s continue to remind each other of His worth in us!!
    And thanks as always for visiting me too!
    Tammy (#4 this week)


    1. I love your word picture—our crayon-scribbled mess vs God’s design in us. Ummmm, I’ll take the latter, please. 🙂 Yes, let’s be those gentle voices of truth for each other, Tammy. 🙂


  5. Another good post Jeanne,
    I guess a part of growing older and maybe even wiser is that we learn to distinguish between the realistic expectations of Christ as opposed to fanciful demands from ourselves and other people.


    1. Good point, Gene. We need to learn how to tell the difference between Jesus’ realistic expectations and humans’ demands. Yeah, I needed to see that differentiation. Too often, I still get caught up in peoples’ demands rather than bringing them before the Lord to see what His thoughts are. Slowly, I’m learning how to do this. 🙂


  6. These are lessons I am learning now as I see just how much of my life is based on striving and proving rather than resting in who I am in Christ. It’s literally dismantling and rewiring this 37 yr old brain to understand that I am perfectly enough in Christ!


    1. Amy, it seems like, in this culture, we are told we need to strive and prove ourselves rather than be comfortable with who Christ has already said we are. If it makes you feel better, it’s becoming easier to do in my forties. 🙂 Yes, we must hang onto the truth that we are perfectly enough in Jesus. Well said!


  7. So happy you discovered the passionate love of God for each of us. Moving on in that love creates a life with the freedom to be me; I love Him too, you see; so I choose to live for Him, following His ways, obeying His advice. He leads me in ways everlasting. He makes me smile and sometimes laugh out loud!


    1. Thank goodness God loves us perfectly. Even when we fall short. When we obey Him, and trust Him to lead us in His ways, we’re loving Him back. When we just rest before and lean into Him, we’re connecting on a love-level. Thanks for sharing today!


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