Never enough…

I get asked this one question all the time… How do you do it all?  Working three part-time jobs… homeschooling my kids a couple days a week… trying to care for a house that seems to always have some issue that needs fixing (that I usually don’t know how to fix)… trying to be physically and emotionally healthy myself… and most importantly – making sure my kids are well taken care of, nurtured, and loved.  And I’m not going to lie.  It’s a lot.  It was never God’s original design for this to be a one parent job, and it sure runs more smoothly and beautifully with two loving parents working together as a team.  But then sin entered the world, of course, and with it, sickness and death – and here I am.  Flying solo.  And most days, in all honesty, “flying” is way too lively of a word.  (Who came up with that phrase anyway?) Maybe “walking”, perhaps?  Or even “plodding”?

But the truth is, I don’t do it all.  I state that with emphasis all the time when asked, and I’m saying it here and now to anyone and everyone out in cyberspace who might care to stumble across this blog post.   Because, quite honestly, there is no earthly way I could do it all.  I am just one person, and as I tell my kids at times, I’m not an octopus and I can’t be omnipresent.  I only have two arms and two legs, and I can only juggle so much.

That’s why this time of the year gets pretty rough.  School starts up and the kids’ fall schedules come in, and every year as they get older, it gets more challenging trying to figure out how to get them all where they need to go.   It truly takes a village.  I’ve had a few overwhelming days this week where I’ve tried to figure it all out, and in the end, I just decided not to think about it yet.  I told the kids that these are their unique passions and giftings that God has placed on their hearts, and if they want to keep pursuing them, they need to pray, along with me, that the Lord will provide the resources.  He knows them best, and He is also well aware that He created me with the inability to be in more than one place at a time.

The phrase “You are enough” is quite the current trendy statement right now, and is so often said in a well-meaning way as an encouragement to mamas out there.   But the truth is, when we all stop and think about what this really means, none of us are ever truly enough.  And no one should know that better than you mamas out there who juggle many hats on any given day.   Instead, the beautiful, life saving truth of the Gospel changes our understanding that we will never ever be enough on our own – but Jesus always will be.


Brooke McGlothlin’s new book Gospel Centered Mom drove that truth home for me recently more than any other book I’ve read in a while.  This whole concept of doing enough and being enough is so easy to get sucked into due to our addiction to social media, where it’s easy to compare our lives with others and try to measure up to everyone else we follow.   We fall prey to what McGlothlin calls the “ME Gospel,” where God exists for us instead of Him, and Bible verses are even taken out of context so that we can apply them to our earthly happiness rather than His eternal holiness.   We want our children to obey because we care more about what their obedience says about us than we do about discipling their hearts.

As Gospel centered moms, we have to step back from that ever-increasing mindset, and remind ourselves of the truth.

-I will never ever be enough, no matter how hard I try.  But God is always enough in my desperate lack.  (Philippians 4:19)

-I don’t need to act like I have everything together, because God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

-Humility pushes me out of the way, even when I don’t want it to, and allows me to do what’s best for someone else instead. (Philippians 2:3)

-God may not give me everything I want, but if I delight myself in Him, He will change my desires to match His desires. (Psalm 37:4)


There is nothing that has made me see my weakness and frailty more than trying to parent these precious children on my own.  It constantly brings me to my knees, and honestly, often to tears.  But God, in His tender loving care for me, sweeps me up and strengthens me for the tasks the lie ahead, helping me all the while to remember that it is HIM doing all this, and not me.  Sometimes I can’t even explain how, but He always makes a way for us.  These are His kids, and He is writing His story.  He will continue to work His plan in their lives, and in mine, in spite of our mess and my frequent inability to trust Him fully.  And as I choose to arm myself with truth from His Word each day instead of spending time scrolling social media, I remember that motherhood is not about perfection, but about pursuit.


If you need these same reminders, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Gospel Centered Mom.   This book brings home this powerful message that every mom needs to be reminded of and offers practical ways to live it out every day of this motherhood journey…

You are not enough.  But that’s ok.  Because He always is.  



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Adopting… or not adopting…

The date passed once again recently… July 20th.  The date we once celebrated as a family because our adoption dossier was now officially in Ethiopia and on file with the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs.  The date we knew would bring us one step closer to the little girl we’d dreamed about and had a special place for in our hearts, even though we had yet to know her name or see her face.


Some would say that is silly.  But no one would tell a pregnant woman that.  Just because a child hasn’t been seen or named yet doesn’t mean they haven’t grown in your heart –  already seeming like yours.  Belonging.  And adoption is no different.  It is a long painstakingly arduous process of money and time.  By the time a dossier is submitted, many long hours on paperwork and many thousands of dollars have impregnated a mother with the fiercest love, making that child so dear in her heart that she doesn’t have to know their name or see their face yet.  That child is altogether precious and loved, and seems so meant to be a part of that particular family.

So when an adoption is interrupted or unable to be finalized due to various circumstances, it hurts.  Badly.  I’ve heard it compared to a miscarriage, and having had one of those as well, I fully believe it.  Both losses to grieve.  Both losses due to unpreventable circumstances.  Both children who had a piece of your heart.  Children that had been oh, so celebrated and longed for – who seemed like they belonged right in your family.   Now gone.  With only a few numbers of a date left to remember them that now brings pain and tearful memories of unfulfilled dreams.

It’s been years, and I still sometimes count my children while we are out and think for a moment that one is missing.  My daughter still longs for a little sister and wonders why God hasn’t answered that prayer.  Precious pieces of Africa and little reminders of our adoption process are still in various places around our home.


I don’t know why God allowed us to pass through the many obstacles in the adoption process if it wasn’t meant to be.  He could have easily halted it through a medical issue or financial setback.  Just like many other questions about things that have happened in this life, I may not ever have the answers.  But I do know that He broke my heart for orphans in the process, and I’ll never be the same.  There will always be a special place there in my heart, whether or not I ever get the blessing of actually adopting a child.  And there are so many ways to support and care for orphans without adopting – be it sponsoring children, giving to ministries that are on the ground, practically helping widows and orphans (have you heard about Man Up and Go yet?), or encouraging and being a help to other families who are adopting or are in the midst of an adjustment process after adopting.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your current circumstances limit you from serving in some capacity.  This applies to adoption as well.   As the body of Christ, we hurt and rejoice with others in their stories – not just in the midst of our own.  I wrote this years ago when we were on the waiting list to get a referral for a child, and it still applies today.

Do I know what will happen tomorrow, or next year, or any time following, regarding our adoption? No, but I know Who holds tomorrow, and He can erase any fear and allow us to just say “yes” to opportunities to be a light today – without having to know all the future details. That may be just lending someone a hand, sitting down to read a book with one of my children when I have a hundred other things to do, or sending out an encouraging note. We aren’t all called to adopt, and those of us who are called to adopt still may not have that opportunity for awhile.

But we are all called to love.

So let’s do it, people.  Let’s love.  And if that love brings you to adopt, then you are in for an incredible ride.  But if not, that’s ok too.  Loving is quite a ride in and of itself, and a beautiful one at that.

Just do something.




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To the Single Mama on Mother’s Day…

I know you’re out there, sweet single mama.  In fact, according to current research by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are almost 10 million of you out there just in the United States alone.  You may feel unseen, unknown, or forgotten by those around you, but you are not.  And Mother’s Day is a great time to remind you of that. For some of you, Mother’s Day may serve as a painful reminder of what you … {…Read More}

The beauty of the slow brew…

I will never forget the way our house used to smell each morning after I brewed a pot of coffee. It wasn’t just any old brand of coffee, either. This was coffee made of rich Ethiopian beans that we would get through a company supporting fair trade and small business opportunities in developing countries. And, as an extra bonus, five dollars of every bag bought went to help fund our pending adoption. B never really enjoyed … {…Read More}

When birthdays become life lessons…

Calling all the mamas out there today… Yes, you, with the child you feel like you are constantly disciplining for the same old reason.  The one who wears you out with the way you have to stay on top of them with a balance of discipline and love, wishing you could just love without the discipline for just one day.  Isn’t disciplining so exhausting?  It wears me out and makes me long for a day … {…Read More}

Why honesty {to ourselves} is the best policy…

I think sometimes, the hardest person to be honest with is myself.  Anyone with me? I would consider myself a pretty honest person.   I guess you could say I’ve been blessed with a pretty strong conscience that sends flares off to the rest of me if something’s not right.  I desire peace with the people around me at almost any cost, which isn’t always a good thing for my own well being.  But it does … {…Read More}

When loneliness becomes a gift…

I’m back.  But it feels like I should write that as, I’m baaaaaaack.  Because it seems like forever since I’ve written a blog post.  I’ve missed it, not because anyone out there really needs to read what I have to say, but because I feel like I need to write.  It’s this push in my heart, but there are seasons and breaks and busyness and things that get in the way. For us, it was … {…Read More}

A call to gratitude (and a book review)

My least favorite time of year, when it comes to parenting my kids, is when the toy catalogs come out.  Right around when the holiday decorations start being seen around town, our mailbox starts overflowing with its own décor – catalogs galore.  And not just any catalogs, but catalogs that appeal to little people with big eyes.  Eyes that are prone to see all that they don’t have, that their friends do. We are blessed … {…Read More}

When it’s the heart of the matter…

Parenting sure can humble us sometimes, can’t it?  These little people that need so much direction and guidance, yet love so freely with such patience and forgiveness… well, they sure know how to bring out some truths I need to learn without their even realizing it.  If you are a parent, I’m sure you can relate. We had one of those moments yesterday when I took my kiddos to a local fun place filled with … {…Read More}

Dear Single Mom…

Dear Sweet Beloved Single Mom, I know it feels sometimes like you are the only one out there in your current situation, but you aren’t. There are many women in similar situations as yours right now, whatever and wherever that is. They are women with similar hopes and shattered dreams, similar fears, and similar hurts. Yes, the reason for those hurts may be different, but hurt is hurt… and pain is pain. You are definitely not … {…Read More}