Monday, December 15, 2014

Giving Up "Enough"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Was the ninth or tenth time she asked? I don't know for sure, I lost count after the thirteenth time, or wait... three-year-olds are exhausting. I was just awake, pouring my coffee and she toddled in, "Play wifth me mommy? In da yiving yewm? Play wifth me?" I considered breakfast as I took a sip and then looked down at her huge blue eyes. I sighed to myself. Another day of giving all you've got to three kids under the age of five. I skipped breakfast and played pretend horses, plastic puppies, and markers. Yes, we play markers. They can be a family when you are three. They even talk to each other. About fruit snacks. At least, in my house they do. 

Lunch was rolling around at this point. I decided I was starving and so over playing plastic ponies. I got up and went into the kitchen and this is what I saw.

Yeah, 'cause I really want to make lunch in all of that. Inside of me was overwhelmed because I was proud, at first. Hey, I just invested three hours into my toddler. We had meaningless horse conversation of fruit snacks, monsters attacking the barn, fake sister fighting, and "Oh, no! Here come the mean plastic doggies! Hide!" I am enough as a mom, my house is secondary to my kids, after all. What is the slogan? "Excuse the mess my kids are making memories!"

We can't have a clean house AND happy kids so I have read.

I also am a bandwagon jumper on the whole idea of not competing with the Jones'. I don't have to have a perfect house because if I place up a few witty signs, when people pop in they will read them and realize I really am a terrific mom. I don't need to make bento boxes for my toddler's lunch and I certainly will not sacrifice my time to...

"Mommy play wifth me?"

I swirled around and looked at my little mini me of whom I just played with for three hours. Could she really be serious right now? She was. She handed up a Little People princess and blinked. At least, she might have blinked. My eye on the other hand did whatever that squirrel on Ice Age who constantly loses his nut does.

I looked up at my kitchen and said, "Nope, it is mommy's turn to clean the house." My girl fell to pieces on the kitchen floor. She acted as though I have abandoned her and then she crossed her arms, frowned, stuck out her big red lips and angrily said, "You are being mean ta me!"

*Insert my deep breath here.*

It was at that particular moment I decided I was done with being "enough." I was done with raising a white flag and making my kids the center of attention. They need to hear a little more "no" and my house obviously needed a little more "yes." Not because I don't love my kids. I love, love, love them. But something I want my kids to learn is I also love my house and want to be a good steward to it. I respect my husband who works to pay the mortgage on this house and I want him to feel that by cleaning it. Being a mom and finding a balance is hard but that doesn't mean I want to skimp by with complacency.

I don't want to apologize to people when they come over. Proverbs 6:6-8 says, " Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.  Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread  in summer and gathers her food in harvest."  As a S@HM, I don't have a boss who pays me and gives me a bonus for doing something well but I do have a Lord I want to please. I do want to work as hard as I can to be the Proverbs 31 woman that works before people are awake, after they are asleep, and so forth. I want to do my work for the Lord, not the Jones' and I think this is where we need to examine our hearts. Yes, let us not go above and beyond for the neighbor or the mom who looks at you crooked when you are in public. Let us work hard to please God instead, it is there where we find the reason to work harder.

The woman who says, "I am enough" stops trying. She makes reasons to not be better. She's had three kids so of course her body isn't perfect. No need to try to maintain it. I am enough. She has three kids and she puts them first. No need to stress over a clean house or sticky free windows. I am enough. She doesn't serve others because her life is enough to take care of. You can't please everyone. I am enough. She absolutely refuses to make creative lunches and snacks. She never got them as a kid and she is fine. She is enough. She doesn't need to make home made meals, she worked hard today, she is enough. If I am 100% honest, she is me.

A God's girl realizes that even though she is enough without working hard, that work done unto the Lord should be done even when people are not watching (Col 3:23). She realizes that she should cook, clean, stay healthy, serve, and be creative, just as if people were coming over but do it for God.Wait, what? Yes. God says we are enough. His gentle grace whispers, "Don't stay there."

I have quickly realized I want to please God with my hard work. My girls can still be first but they don't need to be first all of the time. I need to balance my play time with my work time. I need to maintain my home, strive for physical health, and put forth effort to surprise my kids with a fun lunch or craft. Again, not all of the time, but once and a while.

Today, my toddler and I read her Highlights magazine. We played Doc McStuffins. I taught her to pinky promise. We read Christmas themed books. It was a glorious few hours. But she knows that after that, it is mom's turn to be a steward to what God has given our family and even learns to help be a steward, too.

Moms, we set the tone in our homes even down to the attitude of what it takes to maintain it. There is still dust on some furniture, a few dirty dishes, and laundry to be done, but it's not going to stay that way. I pick one room a day and clean it like Jesus is coming to visit because it glorifies God to push just a little harder to be glorifying to him. When we are in a daily walk with Jesus' grace, we are indeed enough!

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