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You are enough. I’ve seen this phrase printed on t-shirts and coffee mugs, and painted on barn wood home decor. Just check out Etsy for decorative items emblazoned with this phrase. If you google it you will find blog posts, articles, books, TED Talks, a couple of movements, and plenty of Pinterest images. And for a fleeting moment the phrase makes us feel good. It is the message we want to hear.

But Dear Mom, you are not enough.

You are not enough, but…

We are imperfect people living in a broken world. We spend so much time striving. Trying to reach some illusive point in our lives where we feel we have it all together. But we don’t need to strive, we need to abide.

Jesus says,

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

And just maybe we should be thankful for our imperfection. If we are enough, the focus is on us, not Him. Pride creeps into our lives. And we can begin to believe we don’t need God.

Consider Paul. He struggled with what he called a thorn in the flesh—sent from God to keep him from becoming conceited. We don’t know what it was, but it was something he definitely didn’t like. He asked God to take it away three different times. But God had a different plan for Paul. He said

‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’

And Paul responded,

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9b–10)

It is in our imperfections that His strength shines through. In our weakness. In our need.

Dear Mom, you are not enough. But He is.

Related: You Don’t Have to Enjoy Every Minute of Motherhood to be a Great Mom

God is enough, and that should make us happy.

The simple truth is this: He is God, and we are not. And isn’t that a relief to you, Sweet Mama? You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to know everything, and you certainly don’t have to teach your children everything there is to learn. We have a God that is big enough for us and them.

1. His understanding goes beyond our own.

You’ve heard the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” We can get so caught up in the details of day-to-day life that we miss the big picture. God sees and understands the complete picture. Unbounded by time and place. Psalm 147 says,

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;

his understanding is beyond measure. (Psalm 147:5)

And in Isaiah,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8–9)

So I can go to Him for the answers, I can ask Him for wisdom. He sees the whole picture, while my view is limited. And He will give us His wisdom when we ask.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

2. He is our refuge.

I love the definition of refuge from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. “That which shelters or protects from danger, distress or calamity; a strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place inaccessible to an enemy.”

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to God Most High,

to God who fulfills his purpose for me. (Psalm 57:1–2)

God is our strong hold. Our protector, our family’s protector. And He will guard our hearts and theirs. He places us under his wings—a refuge when we feel beaten down and exhausted.

Related: How to Stay Connected to God Through His Word

3. He is good, and faithful, and his steadfast love endures forever.

For the LORD is good;

his steadfast love endures forever,

and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)

He is good. Sometimes when we look at difficult circumstances or the evil in this world, we may begin to question God’s goodness. But we live in a broken world because of sin, not because of God. And His goodness does not depend on our circumstance.

If you ever question if He is good, look at his faithfulness. His steadfast love. And when you can’t see anything else know God proved His goodness by sending His one and only Son to die for our sins that we might live with Him forever.

Yes, the unwavering love for us that sacrificed His son endures forever. He loves you, today, as you are.

God’s Word encourages us in a way no message on a t-shirt or coffee mug or sign ever can. I want to give you a chance to meditate on the truth, of who you are in Christ. You can download a Free Scripture writing prayer and journal: Who I Am in Christ.

4. He cares for us.

Life exhausts us sometimes. All the responsibility, the fear and anxiety that comes with it. Hard circumstances, difficult relationships, our own sin overwhelms and threatens to take over our joy. But do not forget, you are not alone. Jesus said,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

Meditate on these words. Come to me. Rest. Not the kind of rest solved with a quick nap or good night’s sleep, but a soul-settledness. One available to us no matter what is going on in this world.

Related: Dear Mom, Are You Tired?

5. He provides all we need.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, emphasis added)

He provides all we need. To live, to parent, to educate our children. To be the wife and mother, daughter and friend God has called us to be. All we need.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3, emphasis added)

6. He gives us strength.

Do you feel weary sometimes, Sweet Mama? Overwhelmed by circumstance?

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11–13, emphasis added)

But are you willing to receive that which he has for you? To do what you are required? To humble yourself and realize “I am not enough. Praise God, I am not enough! But He is!”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7)

Related: The Fear of Not Doing Enough

More Than Enough

When we constantly tell ourselves that we are enough, we are actually settling for so much less. We are human, therefore we will always have limitations. But He is the Almighty God—infinite, powerful, righteous, holy, and just. He is God and we are not, yet David says…

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet. (Psalm 8:4-6)

Do you know how valued you are by God?

Dear Mom, you are not enough. But the truth is even better. 

God’s Word encourages us in a way no message on a t-shirt or coffee mug or sign ever can. I want to give you a chance to meditate on the truth, of who you are in Christ. You can download a Free Scripture writing prayer and journal: Who I Am in Christ.

So Dear Mom,

  • When you are exhausted
  • When your circumstances are overwhelming
  • When you have no idea how to help you child, your husband, or friend
  • When you are afraid or feel lost or ignored
  • When you are tempted to think “I’m just a mom.”
  • When you feel unfulfilled

Say it to yourself over and over again. Meditate upon this truth: He is enough. And because He is, I don’t have to be.

How beautiful that the God of the universe grants us access to Him—that He wants us to come to Him! He understands and invites us to His throne:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14–16)

Let the God who loves you strengthen you. And don’t worry about being enough. Praise the one who is.

Related: Having Mary’s Heart in Martha’s Homeschool World
Related: 10 Ways to Fill Your Cup: A Guide to Self Care for Homeschooling Moms

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.