holding two tensions

Last week while sitting in the Kumon waiting room, I picked up a copy of The Magnolia Journal. I’ve read about two or three of them now. I’d forgotten how nice it was to read an article from an actual page, without the eye-strain that usually comes with a phone.

Reflecting on the recent birth of her fifth child, Joanna wrote about her realization that she already possessed everything she needed to do the job she was called to do. She was talking about being equipped to be a mother at the age of 40, in addition to mother to four other children, wife to husband, Chip, and a woman involved in many endeavors.

I didn’t feel particularly inspired by her message, although I wasn’t at all turned off by it either. She got me thinking about the countless mom articles I’ve read online saying things like “YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.”, and the countless others rebelling against the you are enough message to proclaim loud and clear “Actually, you’re NOT enough, but Jesus is!”

Sorry if it makes me laugh. I completely understand what each side is saying, and I wouldn’t even go so far to divide them up into “sides”. Obviously I agree with both.

The you-are-enough people are saying, “Look, quit comparing yourself to Joanna Gaines or so-and-so’s cropped and gorgeous Instagram account. The answers ain’t coming in any store-bought containers of home-jarred marmalade or The Happy Planner stickers you  purchased from Wal-Mart. Be yourself and love that person. Own your mistakes but for God’s sake please don’t let them define you.  Embrace life’s changes, trust your intuition, and go find your own perfect place in the universe.”

The you-are-not-enough-but-Jesus-is people are saying, “A mother’s love is not enough. It’s not enough to save the world you helped create or drive sin out of the family bloodline. Expect great things, like for your flawed and earthly love to break you where the healing light can finally shine. Rejoice in the Lord! and in the glorious work of Jesus Christ on the cross, forgiving your sins, inspiring heavenly love, and reminding us with every step of the way of His promise to make the world perfect again.”

I made my bed again today with no problems.


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