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For the Mom Striving to be Good Enough

Every Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. my phone lights up with the soft ding of a recurring reminder.

It’s not an appointment reminder. It’s not a reminder for something I need to do or somewhere I need to be. It’s a reminder of the person I should be and whom I want my children to see me becoming.

“My children don’t need me to be the perfection of Christ. They need  to see me in pursuit of Christ.”

For ten months, or approximately 40 Friday mornings, this beautiful quote from Jeannie Cunnion’s “Mom Set Free” Bible study pops up on my phone. And every week, I am so thankful for this reminder because many days (too many days) I feel like a mom fail. I often feel like my boys’ happiness and my husband’s happiness falls on me.

I feel overwhelmed.

Perhaps if I do more, if I make a home-cooked dinner, if have a clean home, if talk more about Jesus with my kids, if the laundry pile reaches ground zero and we conquer the day without any major sibling squabbles… then everything will be perfect. Mission accomplished.

But that’s just not how it works.

It is so easy to become saddled with the unrealistic expectations of what society constitutes as being a “good mom”. We allow ourselves to sit in the shame of our shortcomings and soon we find ourselves struggling with the lies…

  • I’m not the mom I thought I would be.
  • I am not as loving and grace-filled as I should be.
  • I have failed… again.
  • I’m just not good enough.

But friend, that is just not a burden you or I were intended to carry.

The good news is that everything doesn’t depend on us. God created us to thrive in the promise of His unconditional love!

You and I don’t have to be perfect because God already is! He is sovereign. Or as a friend once said, “He’s large and in charge!”

However, when we try to control situations around us, when we strive for perfection, when our focus goes awry and being “good enough” is our desire, we miss the opportunity to allow God to be God. We are denying him the ability to teach us, to work in our heart, to move us in a different direction, to bless us and to reveal his strength.

One of my favorite scriptures, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, is a perfect setup for God to show up in power even when we mess up.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Basically, God’s telling us, Girl, I’ve got this. You’re gonna mess up and I already know it. Stop trying to control it all. Stop trying to be something you weren’t meant to be and surrender to me. Follow me. Pursue me daily. You don’t have to be enough because I am.

Oh, the peace and freedom my soul basks in knowing I don’t have to live up to the world’s standards of being “good enough.” I know I will never be perfect. I may not always react appropriately. I may be “the worst mom ever” as told to me by my six-year-old when I denied him candy at lunch today. I admit that I am flawed and broken.

But that’s okay because I am loved. I am covered in grace. And I am running full speed ahead in pursuit of Christ who is more than enough for me and my family.

And momma, the same goes for you. When you’re in hot pursuit of our Savior, you don’t need to try and become some unrealistic idea of a “good enough” mom because you are exactly what you are supposed to be—fully dependent and leaning into the God who is graceful, perfect, sovereign, loving, and more than good enough.

Alisha Carlson,

Get more encouragement for moms on Alisha’s blog, Makeovers & Motherhood.

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