Oct 8, 2014

one foot in front of the other

Some days the world comes crashing in. Some days I feel like I am not a good enough mom. I am not a good enough wife. I am not a good enough student. I feel overwhelmed. My house is a mess. The baby is crying. Tripp is clinging. Davy is independently playing but staring at me with big "don't you have time for me" eyes. The dog, who has been potty trained for YEARS, pooped on the floor again. My dissertation defense got delayed*. You have the perfect blog post ready to go and forget to hit publish. The baby cries again and since I'm already holding two babies I can't go to him. Nap time is cut short when the dog barks at the UPS man. I realize I forgot to defrost the meat for dinner (or worse I prepped everything and forgot to turn to the crock pot on!).

Some days it is a struggle to just put one foot in front of the other to get through the day.

It's all about the feet. Just put one in front of the other. Or is there more?

Then add in all the pressure from outside sources. That foot should be adorned in a perfect seasonally appropriate bootie. Your kids should be dressed to the nine from head to foot. (I can help with that though. Enter to win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins here).You need to have the perfect scrapbook with fancy fonts and the exact dates of every milestone recorded. Society says you should be back to your bikini body immediately after delivery. Each week you should do a Pinterest inspired handprint craft so you never forget just how small they were. The barrage of information on perfect sleep training needs read and implemented in your home because you are failing if your kids don't sleep all night and you are cruel if you let them cry. We need to keep on top of it all!

The internet tells me that by 8AM I should have my overnight oats ready to eat, my freezer meal from my once monthly cooking day thawing for dinner, the days craft prepped and sitting out, and our bags all packed for a zoo adventure complete with animal letter printables.

Well mamas, it's 8AM and I've made myself a cup of tea, spent time with God, and worked on this blog post. My kids will have a bagel and sausage for breakfast because I don't have overnight oats. In fact, I've never made overnight oats. I haven't started a scrapbook and the twins are 20 months. Ijust hope I can find all the scraps of paper where I marked down dates of first steps and first teeth when the time comes to make one! We are going to Florida in November and this post partum body won't be bikini ready. (At this point, fingers crossed for tankini ready!) I have one copy of the twins handprints. My sister made it not me. I'm hoping she makes a handprint for James too because I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Am I failing these people?

I have these grand plans of mothering and ideas of how everything should be. But at the end of many most days I feel like what I have done isn’t enough. And it isn’t. I feel like I have on so many hats that nothing gets done. I struggle to get through the motions of the day. I struggle to just put one foot in front of the other. Naptime can't come soon enough. And then it's over and bedtime feels light-years away. I don't have enough. The reality is that I can't do it all. I can't be everything to everyone. And if I try, I will feel defeated. I will feel like I'm failing.

I am not enough.

I can’t raise these three boys on my own. I can’t finish my dissertation on my own. I can’t be the kind of wife I want to be on my own. I can’t foster the home environment I want on my own. But, God chose me to be mama to my three boys. God chose me, despite my failings and inadequacies. God chose me, even though I don’t even know a recipe for overnight oats. God chose me! Just like He chose you for the role he placed you in. Whether that role is wife, or mother, or employee, or daughter, or student, or even if you aren’t sure what your role is right now. I know that God chose you for it.

I am not enough. But God is.

God’s grace chose us mamas. God’s grace is why we are where we are. And no matter what we do, God will never unchoose us. No matter! Every day we could reflect on what we “should” have done and what Pinterest says we should be doing with our babies, but instead we should be measuring ourselves against what God created us to accomplish. God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). And through His grace “God will generously provide all that[we] need.” In fact, He makes sure we “have everything [we] need and plenty left over to share with others” (2Cor 9:8). We serve a God who is not just enough, He is more than enough. And that God chose us.

I am not enough. But God is more than enough.

I'm not Superman.
But 3 month old James is.

This morning in my quiet time I was reading the story about Jesus feeding the five thousand and it really struck me. Jesus told his disciples to go and see what food was available. He said “Bring me what you have.” Just as it is. Bring Jesus what you have. A little boy brought Jesus his five loaves and his two fish. It wasn’t enough. But it was what he had. And Jesus made it enough! Just like Jesus made one small lunch feed the five thousand, He makes you enough. God gave you the tools of your trade. He provided you the personality, the experiences, the desires, and the spiritual gifts that make you who you are. He gave you the tools to accomplish His plans in your life. But sometimes it feels like those tools aren’t enough, but when you feel that way, God makes it enough. God makes it more than enough.

I am not enough. But God is more than enough. And through Jesus Christ we become enough too.

So stop comparing. Stop wondering if you measure up. Admit that on your own you aren’t enough. And know that with God and through Christ you are more than enough! You are good enough. You are strong enough. You are deserving. No matter what shape your bikini body is. No matter how clean your house is. No matter what crafts your kids did last week. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Through Christ, I am where I need to be.
Through Christ, I am enough.


Through Christ we are enough mamas!

But if you have an awesome (dairy free) overnight oats recipe you should send it to me.




* A number of y'all saw my posts on my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts yesterday about my dissertation. My defense is no longer scheduled for October 17th. There was a clerical error with some paperwork (which I won't get into on my blog. I still need to graduate!) and the 17th will no longer work. I am in the process of finding another date my committee members are all available and I am hopeful something will work prior to the 11/17 defense deadline and I will still be able to graduate this semester. Needless to say, dealing with all of this yesterday was rough. Really rough. This morning I feel renewed by His spirit and confident this will all work out. Thank you for the sweet messages, tweets, and texts last night, I needed them!


56 comments:

  1. It really is so important to not compare!

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    1. I love the quote "comparison is the thief of joy"

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  2. I can really relate to your post today, I'm feeling so overwhelmed and feel like the worst mother, I just needed my partners help today but he was working and in college. Days can be tough when it's just you and your little ones x

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    1. Oh it really can be!!! Solo parenting is SUCH hard work. I know that solo parenting temporarily when my husband travels for work (or yours is in school) is so so hard. It just sucks all of the energy out of you.

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  3. I can't even imagine having 3 babies that young. You are doing amazing. The fact that you can even sit down and have concessive thoughts is incredible. When I nannied, most moms couldn't do that by 8am or sometimes at all. It's a crazy hard job. The internet will tell you a million different things. Do you.

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    1. I'm not so sure my thoughts are very insightful many mornings -- but I try!

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  4. Pinterest and other prestigious bloggers often lead me to believe I will have to be a do-it-all mama... but I don't think I will be. It just seems so unrealistic! Just do you xo

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    1. I sometimes wonder how those mommy bloggers do it all. I know I can't. I can't even imagine doing it all most days!

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  5. I hate to hear that your dissertation defense is up in the air like that--fingers crossed that everything will work out so you can graduate! Also, know that I struggle with the balance of work/ personal time/ looking decent/ being a mama EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I'm 16 months into this gig and it never gets easier. You are definitely enough, and you're an awesome Mama! :)

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    1. Thank you Natalie! Even 21 months in, I have to say this mama gig is the hardest (and best!) job I've ever had!

      And thankfully my dissertation defense is rescheduled! Still a few more snafus to work through due to the rescheduling but it is going to happen on time for me to graduate this semester (assuming I pass!)

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  6. You know what, you are awesomely amazing and that is more than enough my friend. Yes, that word I just made up is in fact a word! I needed to read this today, this week has been chaos. Thank you for sharing this post with me, You are amazing and you will always be enough!! XoXo The Trendy Mama

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    1. I'm so glad this was able to help you. That's why I blog!

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  7. You can only do what YOU can do. And by the end of the day that is enough! <3

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    1. I have to hope and pray everyday that is true. Because I can only do what I can do!

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  8. Sometimes you need to take time out for yourself to keep your cool and calm. I sometimes overwhelm myself to the brink of madness, but then I have to stop and slow down, and that usually helps! Know you are enough! <3

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    1. I am HORRIBLE at this. I need to be better at self care. I know that the weeks I take an hour or two for myself, I am a better wife and mom and yet I still struggle to leave the house and take that time.

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  9. This is such a sweet post (and a great glimpse at your sweet family and personality). The real two-edged sword of blogging is that you get to "meet" and see so many other moms, other wives, but sometimes it seems like they all have it SO much more together than I do! So thanks for your reminder about not needing to be enough. Good luck with your dissertation and with everything else!

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    1. I often wonder if other moms have it more together than I do or if they just take a better picture and filter better. I don't know.

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  10. Doing the best you can every day makes you the perfect mama! One day at a time! :)

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  11. Girl I know just what you mean. I do sometimes have to sit down, take a breath, pray and get my thoughts strait. Thank you for sharing such a good post and being honest about it.

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    1. The prayer is so important for me. Even a 30 second plea/prayer can help me feel a bit more centered

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  12. Wow! I think just being able to wrangle three kids is amazing! My mom had four and I never knew how she did it. We were NO angels.

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    1. Haha! I have a feeling I'm not raising angels either. They smile sweetly while defiantly saying no. And they aren't even two yet!

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  13. This post totally spoke to me, I feel so many of those same thoughts and I only have one little one! :)

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    1. I'm so glad!! This is why I blog!!!

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  14. Ok, three kids that age is not easy so you're doing amazingly! My mum had four kids under 5 and she struggled a lot (my dad was in the army so posted overseas all the time) she basically had us on her own until my brother was about 2 1/2! You're doing fab lovely :) Big 'virtual' hug!

    Katie <3

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    1. Four under 5?? Wow! I'm both terrified and jealous all at the same time. We tinker with the idea of having one more... but we are going to wait a few years!

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  15. 3 kids is TOUGH, I'm just a nanny to 3 but I could not imagine actually having them 24/7. You are doing great!

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    1. I would NEVER say JUST a nanny. I have a nanny two days a week so I can hide in my office and work on my dissertation and she is seriously an angel. Seriously.

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  16. Thank you this post was so helpful to me! Being a mama is hard work, and I need to remember God is always there to help me! Thank you! Also I couldn't find an email for you, but I have read your struggles with your son and his tummy and have you looked at gluten sensitivity? I know you are already dairy free ( so am I) just a thought. Also I think Harvard at home mom (?) not sure of her exact blog she links to Andrea too, I know her son had a lot of digestive issues and she blogged about them. Possibly she might be helpful for you. So sorry it is hard to have sick littles, hugs to you!!

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    1. http://www.harvardathomemom.com/seasons-of-survival-the-story-of-my-david/

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  17. Sorry I found a link to her story so I added it. Not trying to advertise her blog, but just in case her story can help your sweet boy.

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    1. Thank you so much for the link! We are experimenting with a few different things to try and help baby James. I haven't done a gluten free trial yet, but it is on the list!

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  18. Beautiful :) Thank you for the reminder. You are doing a great job mama!

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  19. I agree that comparison is the thief of joy, but you have to believe in yourself too and your ability to keep your head above water.

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  20. I absolutely do not compare myself to anyone online, or offline. I do my parenting at my style. And since my son isn't anyone else's son and every child is different. I think, I'm the specialist on what works with him. Just like your the specialist about your children and your family!

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    1. I admire your confidence. Would you mind sending a few ounces of that my way?

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  21. Wonderful post! I really need to work on this. Oh, and I love freshly picked!

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  22. I absolutely love your post! Through Christ we are definitely enough!

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  23. Amen! One foot in front of the other is how I roll most days and I'm ok with that.

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  24. pinterest and some bloggers always make me think I need to be a do it all mama, but I'm getting better at not comparing :-)

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    1. I never considered myself insecure until I had kids. And then comparison became so hard!!

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  25. I'm not a mom and honestly I don't know if that is in my future but this hits home because as a woman I think we often feel like we're not enough. I have so many goals and dreams and plans for myself and sometimes like you it's hard to put one foot in front of the other and accomplish them. I feel like with kids it would be that much harder. But you're right, if and when God chooses me for the job he will make me enough and I have to rely on him to get there. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. I think the message applies to all aspects of life. Kids, work, family, job, volunteering. God is always with us and through Him we can accomplish what needs accomplished!

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  26. Wow, this was a GREAT post to read! I totally understand how you feel, and you are right, you are never alone. God has this! But you should know that other women feel exactly like this and I am glad you are brave to put it out there. Awesome.

    Thrifting Diva
    www.thriftingdiva.com

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  27. Just what I needed to hear today, As I go on worrying and stressing about how to pull everything together. Just situations seem so out of my control, in swoops my Oh so Loving Father with answers, solutions with a miracle because he still does that.

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    1. He really does! Especially when I feel like life is spiraling, God is there. In the good times and the bad I know I am not doing this alone.

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  28. Brilliant post! I love the concept of bringing your little and God making it enough :) So encouraging!

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  29. Found your blog through the Hello Nature October's Favorite Post link-up. So glad I found you. I struggle with all of these same feelings. But I am so thankful that Jesus is enough and I can rely on him.

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