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We Are Enough

“I am just a lunch lady.”

The words glared at me from my phone screen as I read the pain of another mother who felt rejected. She had been sitting by herself for her daughter’s whole gymnastics class longing for connection and acceptance, and feeling all alone. The other mothers were career women, and she figured that they were ignoring her, because in her words, “I am just a lunch lady”. 

Now you may be thinking she was just being insecure. Who knows why they ignored her? She was just reading into things. And you may be right, yet as I processed that statement I became angry. Enraged for this woman who felt less than because of her job. Like it determined her value and her place in the world. I began to write a comment, and then I just paused and sat there, sad.

I realized how much I resonated with that statement. Not as a lunch lady, but as a mom. How many times I had felt less than, because I am just a mom. 

Just a mother. 

Not enough. 

Less than. 

Unworthy. 

I too have fallen for the lie. 

You can’t measure my intelligence, because I never finished college. You can’t measure my hard work and ambition, because I never chose a career. You can’t measure my value, because I’ve never cashed in a big paycheque. Never. Those are the markers of success in this world and I don’t have any of them. 

This is why we insert the “just”. The subliminal “not enough”. Because when you add it all up, mothers like me, women like me, fall short. On the surface we don’t seem to measure up, because the method for calculating our worth is flawed. 

I AM ENOUGH. I am not “just”. 

And so are you. 

We are enough just as we are, because God made us. He determined our worth when He called us His own. And all of the rest doesn’t determine anything. 

If you have the degree, career, and pay check, well done! You go girl! I’m proud of you. However, there is no hierarchy. No pyramid of worth and stature. How you choose to fill your days and pay your bills has no bearing on your value. And thank goodness for that, because that is a ton of pressure! 

We are all so much more than our titles and roles. And to believe any different is shallow. 

Our value is spoken for by God, but there are still a few things that matter. Measurements that truly count. Character and integrity. Like when you put your all into making those kids lunches and serve them kindness as they come through the line to pick up their food. Like both of us as we get to raise up tiny humans and we do our best to model respect and humility each day. We get to teach them what counts. What an amazing privilege we have, because those are the things of substance. The things that matter.

So you are not just a lunch lady and I am not just a mom. And we shouldn’t even feel the need to say that, because “just” has no place in who we are. 

You are a lunch lady. I am a mom. We are enough. 

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Choose to Celebrate Your Spouse

Yesterday I read a long post where a woman was ranting about her husband. Other wives joined in adding their marital grievances. It was as though they were all forming an unofficial angry wives club. 

I understand that some people are in bad marriages with abusive spouses or cheaters, but this was different. This husband certainly didn’t sound like a peach, but for the most part, it just seemed like he was being annoying. Like maybe this man had some growing up to do. 

As I read through the rant and comments, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Sad for this woman who didn’t feel comfortable talking with her husband about her frustrations. Mostly I felt sad for what rants like this do. They cause us to look for the bad in our marriages and feed our dissatisfaction. Simply put, rants like this are a trap. 

One piece of advice I was given early on in marriage is to be wary of airing your dirty laundry. It’s not that you can’t talk to anyone when you need support or wisdom (that would be some bad advice), but you must be careful. If you’re struggling with your marriage and you must talk to someone, choose a mentor. Talk to a friend. If it’s serious, choose a counsellor. Carefully choose someone with some wisdom and discernment. Someone who values your marriage and respects your spouse. Above all please choose a friend who doesn’t always have your back. Confusing? Maybe, but I mean a friend who will be unbiased for your benefit. One who loves you enough that they are willing to challenge you and call you out if (Shocker!) the problem is you. Choose the friend who if need be can talk you down from your high horse and give you some perspective. 

Don’t only choose that friend, be that friend!

And here’s the thing, choose to celebrate your spouse. See if I’m not careful, even on our best days I can find something to pick at. I can easily join the angry wives club and find my husbands flaws. I can hold a grudge and keep my list of grievances like the best of them, but the truth is I’ve got a good one. 

Does he drive me crazy at times? He sure does, but he manages to make me laugh even when I’m mad at him. He volunteers to make dinner and always cooks it with flair. Though he’s not always about romance, when he is, he does it right and makes it memorable. The man never fails to amaze me as a dad. He volunteers at our kids school, prioritizes family dinners nearly every night, and sometimes he plays his guitar and sings at bedtime. When it comes to the house he washes dishes, folds laundry, and once Marie Kondo’d my whole wardrobe because I was in desperate need of some organizational help. I think I’ll keep him!

I can choose to nit pick all of the things that drive me crazy about him and keep a mental pro/con list, or I can make a choice to focus on the things that make him wonderful. Nit picking will send us down a dangerous path of anger and resentment. Celebrating him will help me to appreciate him more and make him feel more valued in our relationship. It’s a choice of how we choose to see and speak about our spouse and it really impacts the health of our marriage. 

I realize some of you may not be so lucky. Some of you may be in abusive relationships or have a spouse that has been unfaithful. Maybe your marriage has some serious issues that need addressing and if that’s the case, do what you must and please get help. 

Chances are though that most of you have got a good one. Or a pretty good one at least, and I’m tired of watching dissatisfaction in marriage increase as we gather our silly pet peeves and treat them as deal breakers. Marriage is so much more valuable than our need to be right. 

So, when your all fired up with your righteous indignation, choose your words carefully. Talk to your spouse. If you must talk to a friend. Talk to someone who will offer you wisdom and an unbiased perspective. And for the love of well … LOVE, choose to celebrate your spouse!