I made a conscious decision as I nestled among my pillows on Saturday night that Easter morning would not be stressful. We would hatch together, explore the treats the creepy bunny had left, eat breakfast and get ready for church. But then Sunday morning happened, and focused on my plan, we were relaxed… Too relaxed. We didn’t start getting ready until 40 minutes before we needed to walk out the door. As we rushed to get beautify, I became more and more anxious. I did not want to miss the opener and, DAMMIT, I refused to be stressed. We didn’t have time to snap any pictures before we rushed out the door, which stabbed my heart a bit, because NB was gorgeous. As we flew out of the driveway, my sugar girl began asking me for her paci (“pass”) and most treasured lovey (“wallee”). But we’d left them behind and were already 10 minutes behind schedule. As she became increasingly frantic and D dug through the bag, my stress levels reached their entirely manic threshold. I was failing. Trying to pull the shrapnels together as I raced down the road, I patted D’s leg and told him he looked nice while NB wailed behind me. I looked over at my husband questioning why he wasn’t engaging my pleasant chit chat. “Please look at the road,” he mustered. “I’m scared to death.”
The Lord helped us out by providing an impossibly under-the-limit driver in front of us for the next half of our drive. We sped into the church parking lot, grabbed the kid, forgot the lipstick, managed “we really are this precious” smiles to the volunteers and staff members, dumped a tearful toddler in the nursery “Mama? Daddy? Hi Daddy!” and Olympic sped walked to get a seat. Except the doors were closed. We were locked out and had missed the opener. Minutes later as we shuffled into the seats my mom had snagged us, I shrugged off the hugs and affirmations of my husband and mother and let the tears fall down my face. That’s it. I failed Easter. Through 3 worship songs I stayed planted in my failure, stuck on a hamster wheel of disappointment with myself for not executing the morning better and disappointment in myself for not shaking it off better, allowing it to infect the very moment I should be celebrating a risen King. Finally, I mentally and physically shook myself into being and declared: ENOUGH. Enough of this indentured servitude to my agonizing expectations for myself. Enough of the weight that has been dragging me down for weeks… No, months… No, years. Enough. Enough. Enough.
But then we filed out of the worship experience renewed and refreshed only to learn that *gasp* the nursery had lost NB’s new bow. The one we hadn’t gotten a picture of yet. The one that if I weren’t the mother of a 15 month old girl, I would be force feeding myself a Xanax and reality check over. But it tipped me over the breaking point. I talked about it the entire ride home, “The Bow,” I bemoaned to an all-too-tolerant husband, while the beautiful girl behind me cried because nary a paci nor lovey had appeared while we were in church, and she needed them to self-soothe her overtired self for a nap.
My rallying cries of “Enough! Enough!” were lost among the pounding adrenaline that necessitated a stop at home for bow options before Easter lunch, then a stop into CVS just to see if they had others, and an “oh shit, I forgot the Goldfish for the Easter egg hunt she won’t even understand, and I am out of control and failing and cannot stop. I’m not doing Easter well enough.”
I can’t help but laugh looking back and reading this, because, #effingfirstworldproblems, you melodramatic wannabe-Real Housewife. But that’s where the spiral starts for me. It starts with feeling out of control, becomes guilt that I’m caring so much in relation to real problems, and ends with an “I am never good enough” dismal hangover I try to feed with a greasy meal of trite platitudes.
“Enough” is a silent chokehold on both sides of its trappings. We can unknowingly amputate our very existence when we wrap ourselves in the cozy duvet of “well, I guess this is good enough,” or we can knowingly toss ourselves into the vortex of a twister, maniacally surging forward to do-do-do because “I am not, cannot, could not, will not, ever be enough.” we slowly tighten the noose around our necks each time we recite “enough,” in these contexts. We deprive oxygen to the potential and the power and the capacity and the identity that was custom fitted for us.
And until we come to the point where I we have truly and really had ENOUGH of the treadmill of self-doubt, self-loathing and self-dissatisfaction, our love for the One who created us will be anemic. Because He tells me, beseechingly wills me to hear Him telling me, that I am ENOUGH. Because He was ENOUGH. One extraordinarily ordinary life was MORE than enough to atone for the mistakes made by generations of, literally, billions. It may read like Charlie Brown’s mom, but until I can grasp it… Touch my fingers together around the weight, truth and validity of that reality, I will always fall prey to the prowling beast of “not enough.”
On the flip side, if I settle deep into the quicksand of belief that “this is good enough” and never seek beyond myself or grapple for more, then I am selling short the truth that the SAME POWER that conquered the grave is in me. I am admitting that I have never called a mountain to move, so even faith the size of a mustard seed is too big for me. “You did marginally okay with me, God.” We are doubting the potential the Almighty has to do great works through and for His miraculous children.
And when no measure of achievement is satisfactory to me, I am wagging a finger in the face of the Most High and announcing, “You could do better.” What a dangerous seesaw to balance. The enemy loves the game of enough, because he loves to tip it violently, never allowing us a moment to regain an equilibrium. But it’s a game the Lord doesn’t need to play… Like a mom with Candyland… I AM QUEEN FROSTING, Kids, and I win round after round after round. Because I MADE you, and I declare that you are enough because you are my image, my chosen ones. And if we would dare to jump off the teeter-totter in mid-imbalance and believe that we will land steadily and surely into His satisfaction and love, we would win too.
There is nothing that Nora Beth could do that would not be enough for me. She breathes and calls me “Mama,” and that is beauty and perfection to me. My Father is beckoning me to breathe Him in and call to Him.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll find Nora Beth’s lost shoes, or wash the floor, or stop freebasing chocolate chips, or get ahead on work, or make my husband feel treasured, or spend time painting my nails, or cuddle my dogs… And maybe I won’t. But it will be enough.