Enough already! Enough!


I live in a house where many of the shelves go up to the ceiling. The rest of my family is tall and they put things away in places that don’t seem that high to them but they really are. I feel like I’m always reaching. It’s tiring to always be reaching.

I feel like that in life, too.

I remember when my kids were younger and my son asked me what I wanted most for Mother’s Day. I told him I would like anything he made for me but that wasn’t really what I wanted most. The real desire of my heart was to hear that day that I had done and been enough.

Does anyone else ever feel like that?

My family doesn’t put this pressure on me but I put it on myself. There are many days when I don’t feel like I can do enough in all the areas of life that require my attention. Did I teach my children enough? Have I loved my husband enough? Is my house clean enough? Have I worked hard enough at my part-time job? Have I written enough? Have I exercised enough? Eaten enough of the right foods? Been vigilant enough with my teens? Spent enough time with my parents and friends? Reached out enough to neighbors? Am I informed enough? Am I healthy enough? Have I loved enough?

It gets worse on Sundays.

I’ve heard a sermon nearly every Sunday for 48 years. That’s approximately 2496 sermons plus all the ones I heard at convocations in Christian college. You know those stamps they put on your hand or arm at theme parks to allow you to come and go? If my body bore a stamp for every sermon I heard, I would be covered with things like this. Pray more. Read the Bible more. Witness more. Submit more. Worship More. Give more. Reach out more. Reach out further away. Teach your kids. Teach others. Love your husband. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Love the person in the next pew. Serve more. Resist Satan more. Be more active at church. Be more active in the community. Be more active in the world. Trust more. Have more faith. Confess more. Forgive more. Be more joyful. Be more repentant. Study more. Share more. See more. Be more.

Enough already!

This idea that I am never enough, that I must constantly do more, give more, be more – this doesn’t come from God. Much of it comes from living in a consumerist society where MORE is the message of the media and the motto of every company. It also comes from within my own sinful, fearful heart that places me at the center of my world and somehow believes that everything and everyone depends on me. It comes from others around me who have, themselves, fallen prey to this haunting drumbeat rhythm of “never enough, do more, do more, never enough, do more, do more.” When we do it to ourselves, we are likely to pass it on like a virus to those around us. And it comes from the evil one who wants to undermine the work of God within us.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV). The Psalmist says, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat, for He grants sleep to those He loves.” Psalm 127:2 And God saw fit to insist that we labor only six days a week and spend one day “resting from our labors”. I believe it was His way of saying, “Enough. You’ve done enough for one week. You’re only human and it doesn’t all depend on you, it all depends on Me. Spend a day remembering who I am.”

We are to work and to do what the Lord puts before us on a daily basis but I don’t believe He means for us to strive or fret or to labor under the constant accusation that we are never enough. And, weekly, we are to rest from our labors – not just physically, but mentally as well.

Give someone in your life a gift this week and tell them “You have done enough, today.” “You have loved me enough.” “You have been wife/husband/child/friend/mother/father/worker enough for me.”

Give yourself a rest this Sunday and really take a rest. Go to Jesus and say, “Enough. I’m done striving. I’m done beating myself up. You run the world, not me. I choose to rest in you today. Quiet my mind and free me from the pressure of ‘more’.”

When you worship God this week, worship Him with the words “You are enough for me.”

And if you’re tired of always reaching, remember it was God who reached out for us. Jesus is the arm of the Lord who is revealed to us and who knew our reach would be too short so He reached out to bridge the gap. Rest in those arms this week. Rest and know that He is enough.

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Eileen says:

    Wish there was a check box for encouraging 🙂
    Thanks for these words, they have been enough to bring some peace to my heart today.

  2. Kay says:

    It is wonder to know that we can go to God and He will give us rest.

  3. Isn’t it good to know that we serve a God who is content?! He’s not restless or striving. Thank you both for your words of encouragement.

  4. Joe Crowley says:

    And all this time I thought it was Rob humming “Put Another Log On The Fire”. Thank you for saving me that conversation. And Guys, Lori could use a step stool for Mothers Day. You still have time to make one!!!

  5. Just what I needed to hear today. I always wonder why I find it so hard to hand the burdens over! The human mind is sometimes a very strange place. 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    I can completely relate. Especially in the area of church service. I always feel like if I’m not stretched beyond my limit, I’m not doing enough for God. “If Jesus can die on the cross,” I’ll think, “certainly I can do 50 different things today.” But your blog made me realize, if I’m not quieting myself and allowing God to penetrate, who am I really doing it all for? It’s not about how much we do, but where our hearts are when we are doing what we do. Are we loving God in the process, or just staying busy.

  7. Thanks for giving my family the gift idea, Joe!

    Jen, I know exactly what you mean but it’s often the whirring in my mind that really takes a toll.

    Thank you for dropping by, Karen. I’ll be praying today that you can find peace this week-end and the sense that you have done enough. I try to remember how I feel when my husband goes around being busy on my behalf but doesn’t stop to take a moment to pay attention to me – all his busy-ness amounts to very little in feeding my heart if what I want is HIM! Jesus died for you – not for what you could do for Him. Thank you for sharing your story!

  8. Tamara says:

    Lori, this was a great post and the timing was perfect. I have been considering whether I should apply for a higher up position in my department and reading this post has helped me to clarify my own thoughts on it. Thanks for writing this!

  9. jodi marze kass says:

    Lori,

    We are on the same page with the striving to be enough and I always feel like I fell miserably short. I get defensive with myself to compensate- “I did my best”… that sort of thing. But there are many days when I have to honestly say “I did just enough” so that I could run to save some other area that was about to come crashing down.

    Thank you for the gift of “You are enough”!

    Love Jodi

  10. Tamara, I pray that God will lead you clearly! I once gave up a brilliant job with great money because doing it meant I was never enough in any area of life! Now I have a brilliant part-time job with less pay but don’t suffer as much from always striving!

    Jodi, your comment touched me and I pray that today will be a day you feel you are and have done “enough”. God bless.