Mama, You are NOT Enough

If there is one thing that I am learning right now, it’s this:

I am NOT enough. 

Great opening for a blog, right?

I know, I know. I honestly wouldn’t blame you if you “clicked x” and found something more cheery to read, more happy and light. Lord knows you could find about a bazillion other things (including a bunch of hilarious memes and adorable animals) that would make you feel a whole lot better than that simple sentence.

I am NOT enough. 

And though that feels incredibly humbling to utter out loud and type on the screen, it’s never been more true. In fact, it’s always been true.

My head knows and my heart believes, but my mama-self finds herself at war with those four, simple words. Often. Too often.

Pushing against the truth and fighting against the reality, I find myself  attempting to prove my enough-ness.

But today, as I sat with my Raisin Bran and Psalm 44, I found myself standing face to face with that same simple sentence again.

I am NOT enough. 

The text reads as follows:

We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drive out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made made our ancestors flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm. and the light of your face, for you loved them…I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory…In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever. Psalm 44:1-8

Who was it who won the battle and planted the ancestors? Who was it who crushed the peoples and made the ancestors flourish?

Who won the battle? Who gave the victory?

Was it by their bow and by their sword? Was it by their hand or their arm?


It was with his hand…

and by His arm…

and through His love. 

Over and over, my eyes raced back and forth over these eight verses. And over and over again, the Lord whispered the very words my mama-heart desperately need to accept but absolutely fight against.

You are NOT enough.

You are not consistent enough.

You are not loving enough.

You are not patient enough.

You are not discerning enough.

You are not balanced enough.

You are NOT enough. 

Speaking right to the heart of my fears, I felt forced to my mama-knees.

The psalmist was right.

I am NOT enough.

I don’t know how to perfectly balance their needs and graciously extend the Gospel in all circumstances. I can’t always keep my cool and point them to Jesus. I can’t always know the best ways to handle their personalities and help them manage their emotions. I don’t always know how to handle the sibling bickering, and I can’t even begin to understand how to address the deepest parts of their sinful souls. I don’t know how to motivate their hearts to desire to “do a job well done” and “put others first.” I don’t always know how to perfectly praise them, patiently push them, and lovingly rebuke them. I don’t always know how to protect them from unnecessary guilt and excessive shame, and I don’t always know when to let them feel the necessary guilt and appropriate shame. I don’t always know how to strike the balance between independence and help, support and dependence, emotion and drama. I don’t always know what to “ignore,” what to “address,” and what to let them watch or not watch on TV. I can’t always know what words they need to hear and what words they don’t. I don’t always know when I’m lowering my standards and when I’m nagging too much, and I don’t know how to make them grateful, assertive, kind, patient, self-motivated children who respect others and clean up their junk. I don’t know how to teach them all the things, and I don’t always know what it is “too fast” and “too slow.” I can’t always discern what is “littleness” and what is “willfulness.” I can’t always protect, and I don’t always love.

I just can’t; I just don’t; I’m just NOT enough. 

And ya know what?

That’s okay.


Because it’s biblical.

Because from the beginning of time, way back to “Grandpa Adam” and “Grandma Eve,” we’ve never been enough.

Noah. Abraham. Moses. Joseph. Esther. Joshua. Ruth. Daniel. Isaiah. Mary. Paul. Peter.

None of them measured up; not one was enough. Every single one of these souls had a deficit, a weak spot, a less-than-favorable attribute. And yet, every single of of them was empowered for the call and equipped for the task.

By what?

By His mighty hand…by His powerful arm…and because of His fierce love.

I am NOT enough.

You are NOT enough.

But HE is and always has been…


way, WAY, way…

more than enough.

So may God be the boast of our mama-hearts and may we praise His name, all day long and forevermore…even in the middle of our NOT enough-ness. 



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