Yesterday I ran to the library with my boys for the 10 am library music program. Because I love my time with a sweet friend and watching our boys play is special. But getting them out of the house and there in time to “get a ticket” can be stressful. Mindful of that dreaded “momma I’m hungry” while still needing to run errands after the program, I strapped them back in the car and drove like Mario Andretti to Home Depot. I had heard the hubby say he almost bought himself a small electric blower and I frankly had no idea what to get him for his birthday and it actually was his birthday. I then drove the kiddos home and made them lunch. And while they were eating I set out to construct a happy birthday banner from the kid’s old artwork pages. I hadn’t been able to find anything birthday-related in our attic and honestly, taking two boys to another store for birthday decor would have put me past my breaking point.
And even as I cut out those mishappen H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y letters, I heard that voice in my head say…”this isn’t enough”.
So several tantrums and whining spells later, both boys were quietly tucked away for their naps and I sat down, just wanting to zone out by watching a show. So I did for a little while, but then I heard it again…”you haven’t done enough.”
I hadn’t made dinner. Hadn’t made a birthday treat for my hubby. Hadn’t finished editing a blog post. Hadn’t looked through the ever-increasing stack of magazines. Hadn’t emailed back clients. Hadn’t sat still long enough to do much of anything.
I ended my day in bed, laying there until early in the morning wondering what “enough” would look like and why I couldn’t reach it. I went through my whole day trying to live up to some standard God knows who put inside of my head. And I felt like crappers when I failed this standard I had inflicted on myself. Clearly my hubby has never made me feel this way, at least not on purpose. My kids didn’t come with an instruction manual that said if I don’t enroll them in preschool / fill their days with fun programs then I was failing. Blogging is my outlet and fun, it didn’t set out to give me a standard to which I couldn’t live up to. Oh no. None of these things were bad but somehow my heart ached all night.
So I sat down a bit ago to hash this all out. These nudgings in my soul are usually a pretty good indication to me that I need to sit down and type my heart out.
And my mind wandered back to a few months ago. At MomCon in Kansas City, Mo with my sweet friend. To a happening that left my heart so full it could burst, I’ll never forget it. That post-it. Stuck there on a door with words that changed my life. We had sat there in the opening session listening to beautiful music and insightful encouragement. And the speaker asked us to write on a square piece of paper what we were holding so deep inside that we needed prayers for. She said it was private and no one but one or two would see them to pray for them.
So I sat there and really there were a trillion things that flashed across my mind. My mom, cancer, strength to raise up my boys, expanding our family, Isis, our country, friends battling all sorts of illnesses and general life struggles. Oh my, if we each sat and thought about it, the burdens are quite astounding. I thought about everyone else but couldn’t shake this nudging that this time it needed to be about me and my heart.
At the time I had been struggling with confusion, unsure of where to take Finding Lovely. I love to write from my heart and speak truth and find lovely everywhere. I love home decor and client projects and crafts. And I just didn’t know how to mesh it all together. Was I embarking on something that was much too much stress and a burden for our family? Could I surrender something that brought such happiness to my heart? Did I have anything valuable to even contribute to a blog-saturated society? What is Cade’s story suppose to look like and does a home tour take away from some of the brilliance of his journey? Oh questions. Always questions. So I wrote that nudging down.
“Am I suppose to be doing this? Am I worthy of you doing something great through?”
That was it. I folded it up, passed it down and forgot about it because let’s be honest. It was lunch time and I had no kids to feed and that meant I truly was free as a bird and well, I love food.
But I think what my heart was crying out for was deeper than blogging but rather a this deep feeling we all have in our souls, every now and then, where we simply question our worth. Am I worthy of BLANK. You fill it in. We often act like we are entitled to much but when you get alone with your heart, those insecurities are there. Just lurking. Waiting for a poorly timed, ill-thought out birthday celebration to take you down.
So fast forward two days to the end of the last session of MomCon 2017. Sweet friend and I are all filled up having worshiped our hearts out and heard from amazing speakers from Ann Voskamp to my college professor, Bob Goff. Oh it was rich fellowship indeed. And I hadn’t thought twice about that initial request scribbled on a piece of paper until the speaker at the last session let us know that they had each…all 3000+ deepest cries of the heart, been folded into origami birds and strung above the stage. Lifted up high above us and off our shoulders. A beautiful visual to prayer and Christian faith. But I didn’t really think much of it other than a “oh that’s cool. Very anthropologie decor-like.” I know I know. Decor-minded momma’s unite.
And just like that it was over and my sweet friend and I stopped at the bathroom and chatted mindlessly over where we would get dinner. It was the last night of freedom and there were so many women everywhere–a slow moving exodus. It was a huge conference center with exits everywhere and people were going in every which direction. We decided to go out a different set of doors then we had been using as it was closer to the hotel and we needed to stop and drop off our bags. My sweet friend was in front of me and I was following her as we exited. It was one of those gimongous exits with about 10 different sets of doors from the roundabout doors to automatic sliders to regular push doors. She chose the roundabout door and walked ahead of me. Being the nature of a small roundabout door, I waited until she walked forward and then got in my own little section. I had been looking down to push it but at that moment of exiting I looked up and saw it. That pink post-it. And it said, “YOU ARE WORTHY.”
It knocked the wind out of my lungs and I staggered out like I had been hit by a truck. She looked at me a bit oddly. Baffled and innately skeptical, I looked around immediately. Who put that there? There were no other post-its anywhere else. Not on any other door but that one section of that one round about door. So I fumbled out my words, “did you put that there.” Poor friend. She had no idea what I was talking about as my eyes welled up with tears. YOU ARE WORTHY. Are you kidding me? When we talk about God working in mysterious ways this is what we mean. Those unexplained beacons of truth that flood your heart and give you a smack upside the head. The little wonders that send you to your knees because there’s just no possible way that it isn’t anything but a heavenly light meant to teach us something about our Maker.
Even if it was put there by the one person that read my deep heart cry and wrote the answer I had most needed on a pink post-it, there’s just no way they would know which door I, as one of 3000+ women was going to walk out of. There’s no way. No human way. Oh but it was like soul food the instant my eyes saw it. YOU ARE WORTHY.
Are you to feeling like you just aren’t enough? Like you need to do more to find yourself acceptable? That your family, friends, spouse would be better off if you actually had your game together? Oh friend. I get it. I so do. I needed to write this all out for my heart to understand that he has given me what I absolutely need so that I might know on all my days that I AM WORTHY. Because HE is worthiest of all. Oh may you feel in your soul your deep worth–your worth as a parent, as a single lad or lass, your worth as a friend, coworker. You are worthy of knowing YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I know that this Christmas season is that inevitable time of the year where we feel like we need to do something. All the time. Something. And we can heap guilt on our heads when we don’t do what we’ve decided we need to do.
Gosh even the advent calender has become something that WE NEED TO DO. Because some genius put on Pinterest that we need to make an advent calendar and then fill it with activities for us to do with our kids. The problem is I can barely keep doing the stuff I’m already suppose to be doing and now I have to tack on a gingerbread house or trip to the fire station to drop off cookies. Excuse me while I rock in the corner and eat ALL the fireman’s cookies. Oh my gosh please don’t mishear me. These are good things. They are. But what I’m realizing about myself is there is a clear limit of stuff that I am able to do, and I am quickly reaching a limit where adding on good things makes them no longer good things to my heart.
And it is here that I look around at what others are able to do, with your turkey platter size plates of to-dos and it makes me ache a bit. AM I WORTHY of this parent card if I can’t get my act together to do anything but put out the advent calendar?
Here’s the heart of the matter. Even the advent calendar has become something that WE do. At it’s very definition the advent calendar is meant to lead us in anticipation to the birth of Christ. It’s meant to lead us heart first into reclaiming that deep reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth of our Savior that takes on all these “am I enough” heart cries and firmly puts a post-it on it. And HE says…I have already done enough. YOU are worthy of rest. Rest in me knowing I have tackled it all. I have seen deep waters and walked weary roads. I have held those hurts you feel in your heart. Let me hold you. Oh that we might feel deeply our worth and know we are enough this holiday season.