I'm the type of mom that looks back at yesterday and feels like time is moving too fast. It's not that I don't take the time to savor it all, but for someone whose love language is quality time, it's almost as if I never have enough of it. And on top of that, I now have a toddler and a baby who are going through some pretty big developmental growth spurts at the same time, leaving a little piece of baby behind each day. Eighteen months between our girls is both a blessing and a curse on the heart. I love this season of growth for my girls. I love this season of growth for me as a wife and mom. And I love this season for our family. Life is sweet and innocent. But reality is also harsh, and there are days when I notice that my once chunky, rolls-on-rolls baby doesn't have rolls on her legs anymore. The day has come in which she can say, "No, I do it myself", crossing her arms as she walks away. My baby-baby can now stand and cruise furniture. She's eating real people food, and our next well visit isn't until after her FIRST birthday. Then I'll have two toddlers. Cue all the tears.
In the midst of wishing for more time, I also worry if I am teaching them enough in the time we have. We read everyday, and Star has even memorized a few books and "read" them back to us, but we don't color or paint near enough. I don't have special teaching tools, and we don't take trips to the library and museums. Our day isn't set by a timed schedule. If we're all fed a healthy homemade meal, all healthy and dressed, and the house is straight I consider it a good day. But I still tend to wonder if that is enough?
As I have been pondering the word "enough" for the past few weeks, it's become increasingly clear that "enough" doesn't exist in my own strength. Because I am human, I fail everyday, and because it is assured I will fail, then it is assured that I am not enough on my own. However, with Christ I am more than enough. I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8). I am capable of doing all things through His strength (Philippians 4) . And at the end of the day, as long as I have done my best for His glory, then nothing I do is ever in vain.
That is my definition of success- giving my best for His glory. So with that new mindset, I have started greeting each day with the question, "how can I be successful today?"
Some days, success is getting the clothes in the dryer, reading the devotional of the day, drinking at least one water bottle, and brushing my teeth. Other days, success is getting up early to write Scripture, spending an hour at the gym, taking my daughters on a special outing, cleaning out the flower beds, and wearing something special for my husband. The success of the day isn't based on what I accomplished the day before or how perfect things may appear. It is based on giving my best in spite of the night spent holding a teething baby in my arms. It is based on my attitude to wake up and spend time with my Savior. It is based on how I speak to my children, and the time I give them, even on the busiest of days. It is based on the way I greet my husband as he walks through the door. It is based on being a consistent source of comfort and love for the precious souls entrusted to my care. And with that mindset, Satan cannot poison my head with the question of enough.
Last Saturday, I was putting my powder on while sitting in our living room to be close to my family. We were getting ready to go to the zoo and my sweet Star, my girly-girl, and lately my greatest imitator, sat close, watching me glide the sponge over my face. Out of the blue, I hear her sweet voice say, "You're beautiful, mommy!" And she scooted closer to hug my neck and kiss my cheek. And then, she said it again, and again. I tried tell her thank you but the words were stuck behind my tears, and she quickly ran off to do her own thing. But I sat there glowing, tears streaming down my face.
In that moment, as the war continued to wage in my head between being enough and success, my daughter looked at me and spoke the words I say to her everyday, ending the battle, and filling my heart with such radiance that couldn't be contained. The words, "you're beautiful", had nothing really to do with my outward appearance. They went deeper, and slashed through the question of whether I am or have done enough.
No one told her to say those words. She had never spoken them before, and she hasn't since. But those words, coming from her mouth, were the culmination of everyday successes. The culmination of giving my best- speaking my best, encouraging, gentle, loving words, choosing to take the time to speak worth and value into her life even when I worry about being late, teaching through the words I say and the actions I take everyday- all in an effort to raise girls who are confident and understand their worth to their Creator. I recognize everyday the time I have is limited with these girls. I don't want to waste is worrying whether I am enough or whether I do enough. I want to spend it giving my Savior all the glory, giving my husband the best of myself, and loving my girls so much that they love themselves.
So to the woman who constantly compares herself to the illusion of enough- You are your children's greatest teacher, not because of the flash cards and curriculum, but because of your actions and words everyday. You are your husband's greatest support, inspiring him to keep dreaming and creating. And for all the nights to go to bed exhausted from the day, know that God didn't send His son to die for you because you were enough. He died for you knowing you weren't enough and wouldn't be enough, yet, you are still His treasure. Your success is not defined by the titles you hold, the perfection of your home, or the way your children act in public. Your success is defined by your choice to wake up, serve Him, and give the best you can give. You are a success, not just enough. And you, my friend, are a beauty to behold.