When is Enough Enough?

Lake Murray at sunset
Enough: adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire.

Is it ever enough?
Me and Michael's dog, Idgie, enjoying a boat ride

Sam and I walk four 2-3 miles four times a week and I play tennis, is it enough exercise?On Michael's boat with Mom and sisters Annie and Jane

I do my best to cut out sugar, drink lots of water and add more fruits and veggies to my diet, but is it enough?Enjoying the cool marsh breeze at my sister Sue's house

I read and study my bible daily and pray fervently throughout the day, but is it enough? Lunch by the beach with Annie (photographer), Sue and Mom

I open my house on Wednesday nights for a ladies bible study. I make things to sell for various missions. I volunteer time, skills and money for the poor. But is it enough?
Waves crashing over us at Fernadina Beach

I've struggled this summer with feelings inadequacy, that I'm just not enough. No matter what I try to do it just never feels enough. I go around and around with feelings that tie my gut into knots. I've been walking on a very thin tightrope, always on the edge of falling over into the depths of crying my heart out.Ahhh the cool ocean

I've actually sat in church and compared myself to the women sitting around me. I've asked myself "Why can't I be as skinny as her?" …"Why can't I dress as nice as her?" …"Mary, why don't you give more of yourself like her?" …"Why can't your marriage be like theirs?"And the biggest lie I tell myself is "If you were a better Christian, you wouldn't be having all these crazy thoughts to begin with!"

Oh sweet Jesus, save me! And He does. Getting my hammock on at Folly Beach

He comes to me in the quiet moments when I cry out to him. He reminds me that I am enough.Big beach umbrellas and low chairs on the beach with some of my favorite people

He tells me he thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am. Sipping and rocking on the big front porch of our house the beach

God doesn't judge my curves, cellulite and aging skin, but looks at my heart. He sees me trying to love, share and serve. He thinks that is enough.God made me in his image, not as an exact copy. He knows I am flawed, emotional, ditsy, dented, forgetful, self-centered. He knows my mistakes, my thoughts and my desires. And he loves me so much just the same.
God speaks to me through that friend who grabs my hand as tears are flowing and calls out to Jesus for me. He speaks in that quiet moment of the day when I least expect it. He speaks to me through the pages of my bible. And every time he says "You are enough for me."Oyster shells outside Bowen's Landing

I know I'm not alone in having these feelings. We are bombarded with ideas that we should have bodies that look like this; we should think like this; we should accept this and but not that; we should strive for more; we should pack more in our days; we should eat this, but not that; we should act like this and more "shoulds" than should ever be allowed. It can make a person crazy. It has me. You?
Honestly? The only "should" that should be in our life is to give our lives to God. That's it. Completely and totally give our lives over to him, because that is enough.

I have enough. I have more than enough. I have family, friends and purpose. Even when my circumstances are more painful than perfect, I have enough. I have all that I need. I have Jesus. I have a hope for the future. I have a power greater than me, that is in control. I have another day. I have everlasting life. And that is more than enough.

Thanks for dropping by!

My 2017 Word of the Year: Words

For the past couple of years I’ve chosen a word to guide me through the year. In 2014 I used the word Simple, in 2015 Listen, and then last year Create. In the few years that I have done this, I have seen a tremendous change in myself. 

Since choosing the word “simple”, I have become more mindful of my time, money, space, relationships and things. I came to realize that with this one life I’ve been given, I need to be more aware of how I spend my days and who and what I surround myself with. 

To concentrate on the word “listen”,  I became a better friend, wife, and mother. I’ve learned to really listen. I change the station when music or a tv show comes on that my soul knows I shouldn’t hear. I stop those voices in my head that are telling me lies. I spend time listening for God’s voice.

Last year I truly embraced the gift God gave me to create. I made bags, dolls, aprons, and lovies to sell in order to give all the proceeds to missional organizations. I honed my craft to become a better artisan. I went on an artist retreat and spent a week with others who are like me. Instead of being embarrassed about this need to create, I’ve embraced it and am using it to bring joy to others. 

This year I prayed about my word. I had no idea what it should be. Then with this election year, I realized how damaging words can be. Receiving a sweet card from a friend, I know the power of encouragement from the written word. Reading the Bible I kept coming across verses about being careful with our words, the power of words to build up and to destroy. My word of 2017 is “Words”. It isn’t very pin worthy, but it does keep me focused on what I believe is important for me this year.

I’ve been known to speak before thinking and this usually has me in a state of pulling my foot out of my mouth afterwards. What if I were to T.H.I.N.K. before speaking? What if I asked myself…Is it true, is it helpful, is it inspirational, is it needed and is it kind?
In order for me to be encouraging and truthful, I need to have my heart filled with what is true and right and filled with love. Have you ever noticed how the topics of conversation depend on who you are with. When you are with Connie Complainer, do you agree with her negative thoughts and fuel her negativity? What about your conversations with Gabby the Gossip? Or Sally Sludge-Mouth? It is so easy to fall into ugly conversations when we are around people who don’t have happy hearts. On my own devices, I fall right in there with the judging, gossipy, ugly speech. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1   The Word is active and living. Jesus said that she who abides in Him will have life. To have my heart filled with love, I must pour into my heart the only true, unfailing, everlasting love which can only come from Jesus. I plan to drink up the words in my bible.I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk? Here are some actions I’d like to practice:
*Fill my heart, soul and mind with things of God by reading the Word of God.

*Increase my prayer time, my conversations with God.

*Practice the habit of pausing before speaking and T.H.I.N.K.

*Stop complaining. 

*With eyes that can see the good in everyone, compliment others.

*Write cards of encouragement.

*Continue to write a blog that finds joy in the ordinary, messy, beautiful thing called life.

In a world that is saturated with hate, judgements, lies, corruption, and self importance, it isn’t easy to stay joyful. In a nation that is split in two, protesting, looting and killing, I’m more and more convinced that our words mean something. I can’t change the world, but I can do my part to show people the love of God through laughter, notes, cards, sweet conversations and even through this blog. 

Do you have a word of the year? I’d love to hear about it! Let’s encourage one another to stay on track. Thank you for stopping by!