Monday, June 1, 2015

Dirty Windows.

Motherhood is overwhelming sometimes. 
It catches me in the night sometimes. In the form of a whisper that says,
You don't play with them enough.
You don't read to them enough.
Their rooms aren't clean enough. 
You aren't home and focused on them enough. 
Their dinner wasn't healthy enough. 

Not enough. Not enough. Not enough. 

It's a lie. 
 I know it's a lie. 
I preach that it's a lie. 

But sometimes in the night, when I wake up for a late night feeding and cannot find sleep again, I lie in bed and hear that whisper. 
And sometimes I believe it. 

I believe in doing life out loud. 
I believe in presenting the real truth as truth and then standing by it. 

And because of this, when I take photos of my cute kid playing with play-do in front of a smeared and smudged window, even though I am very tempted to clean said window and take said photos again...I don't. 

Because I am a woman with messy windows. 
And other women with messy windows need to see that they aren't the only ones. 

The kid with the play-do matters. 
The mom lying in bed at night listening to lies matters. 

And that's why I'm writing this. To show you my windows and tell you.
I am enough. 

You are enough, too. 

Why don't we tell this to each other more?
Why don't we exhort each other more?

Why are mothers behaving like this motherhood thing is a competition? 
Like we need to put on our best face to get in the ring and go at each other. 

Why aren't we in each others corner?
Why do we believe the late night lie?
Because we hear it all the time. From more than just a whisper in the night.  

That voice wants us to worry. And so does the world. So does our society.
It wants us to believe the lie that a mother anxious and stressed about pleasing her children is a good mother. 
It wants us to believe that a woman that won't loosen her grasp on her babies is the only kind of good mother.
It wants us to scrutinize the working mom for not being home and scrutinize the stay at home mom for not getting out of the house.
It wants us to be whatever we are not. 
It wants us to buy in to the idea that we have to give every single iota of our identity to motherhood or else we fail. 
It wants us to believe that we are measured in parenting by what we do, by the crafts we make for birthday parties or the rigerous homeschool curriculum we pieced together from scratch. 
It wants someone to ask us who we are and us to respond, right off the bat, "I'm a mom."

It wants us to feel like we aren't enough. 
And we, mothers, partner with this mindset instead of fighting it. 

Because fighting means saying I have dirty windows. 
And my three-year-old wouldn't potty train so I bribed him with gummy worms and he ate a whole pound or two before he stopped pooping his pants. 
Fighting means saying sometimes I don't put my kids in bed until way too late. 
Sometimes they watch too much TV. And I suck at birthday parties. And once, when my son was away to his dad's for the week, I completely forgot to care for his guinea pig and she died. 
I killed my kid's guinea pig. Like, Actually. 
Even writing this now, I wanted to say that she got sick. I wanted to give reason to why I forgot. 
But I believe in life out loud. 
So I will tell you the truth. 
I made a mistake and killed my kid's guinea pig and I hated myself for it. 

Fighting means admitting the reason why I fall for the voice of the night-whisperer, why it gets in my head and I listen instead of calling it a liar is because sometimes
It tells the truth. 

How can I admit these things and still say I am enough? 
Are you judging me now? Or are you remembering your failures?
Are you remembering the messes you hide with creative angles in your instagram photos?
Do you feel the ache of those old wounds, those times when you failed them and you hated the mother that you were?
Or maybe you are tired. Because you keep giving and keep doing and you are so dried up and empty, you just run off the fear of burning out. Of not being enough. 

Why can I say, on the same page, "I am a failure," and "I am enough."

Because I am both. 
And it's ok. 

I am human. And I believe in grace. 

When I try to be infallible in the eyes of my children, I run the risk of screwing up Jesus for them.
Wait, what? Screwing up Jesus?
Yeah, I don't want to mess up how they view Him. 

I don't want them to be like so many people I know and love who struggle with faith because of a person they idolized who was too paralyzed by the night whisperer to say "I am a failure and it's ok because JESUS is enough." 
If they spend their childhood viewing me under the guise as a savior, and I introduce them to Him under the same title, what will it do to them when I fail them? Will I be setting them up to expect it of Him too?

I won't do it. 
I won't let my love be justified by my worry. 
No person has ever been driven to a better place because of fear. 
Instead I will shut up the tormenter and trust God for their protection. 

I won't pretend like crafts and dinners and curriculum are an accurate way to measure my love. 
They aren't. 
I will do what I can out of love for my kids. 
Because I want them to have every good thing. 
But when I fall short, and I will fall short, I will point them to their good, good Father who gives all good gifts to His children.

 And when I make mistakes, the kind that are as permanent as death or the ones that are fleeting, I won't try to hide it.
I will justify their hurt by saying "I was wrong."
And I will teach them to forgive by asking for their forgiveness.

And when someone asks me WHO I AM, I will not respond, "I am a mother."
I will respond, "I am a daughter of the ONE TRUE KING."
Because it's only when my identity is firmly placed in Him that I am enough to do anything. 

Then when the night-whisperer comes and convinces me I am losing, 
I will cling to the promise of the cross. 
I will ask Him to fill in my gaps. 
I will ask His Spirit to lead me in this motherhood thing, in this everything.

I will strive, everyday, to love my children the way God loves me. 
And when I can't do it, because I'm human, I'll lean into the perfection of Jesus. 

And I'll wake up and post photos of my dirty windows. 
I'll fight the worldly standard of motherhood that is destroying the hearts of women. 

I will say boldly that I am a failure. 


  1. Thank you. I needed this tonight. I knew it and, like you, will preach it ALL DAY to other moms, but that doesn't make me immune to the night-whispers. And tonight those whispers were really nagging at me. Thank you for being the sweet vessel the Holy Spirit used to calm my soul tonight...for the reminder that I may be a failure, BUT I AM ENOUGH. <3 ~Amy

  2. This was completely Holy Spirit inspired. Thank you for your honesty and humility. Here's to honesty and trusting in the Lord that when we give our very best to what He's called us to, He'll provide the rest. God is great!

  3. Funny, when I saw the first picture of your son, I never saw the dirty windows. I just saw a child...happy and exploring a totally fun toy. When I read about the dirty windows, I had to scroll back up to see what you were talking about! I guess it all depends on what you want to focus on...the adorable kiddo or dirty windows...which one matters more? To me, it's all about the bundle of love - what else has lasting value? And remember, YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.

  4. Oh....I remember. blessings, marlene

  5. I am a mom of 2 little ones and it is always refreshing to read your blog. I am so glad I decided to follow you. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I am a mom of 2 little ones and it is always refreshing to read your blog. I am so glad I decided to follow you. Thank you for sharing!