Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When You're Just Not Good Enough

Finishing ANYTHING has never been easy for me.

I'm easily distracted, I fly by the seat of my pants, I'm a professional procrastinator, I'll get to it sometime is my life-long motto. Oh, and I LOVE naps.

If it weren't for grace, I'd say I'm a quitter.

But, Sarah. You have five children. Nope. I've been this way since I was a little girl.

I have this distinct childhood memory of my sister and I staring at the disaster that was our bedroom after being told we had to clean it up or we'd get no supper. We both flopped on our side-by-side twin beds and plotted for an hour (or hours - who was counting? We weren't.) about how we might go about it.

We wrote out our plan on little wooden chalkboards. Erased it. Then wrote a new plan when we realized Plan A would mean we'd have to get up and actually do something.

Then we were so worn out from all the planning that we sat down on the floor amidst the mess and created a lavish Barbie wedding with a roll of toilet paper.

I'm sure hours passed before either of us ever gave a thought to the fact that all the planning, the chalkboard lists, and the really, really good intentions would mean the eminent banishment to our bedroom for the rest of our lives.

Sometimes I think I was just never taught. I didn't have organized parents. I didn't grow up in an organized house. When my mother said, "Clean under your bed", I threw everything in the closet. When she said, "Clean out your closet" - (worst scenario EVER for a kid who was told last week to clean under the bed), I shoved everything under the bed.

I'm thirty {ahem} years-old now. But, wow - I am still that eight year-old shoving messes from one place to another. When I clean out my closet - now, as a grown-up, a mother of FIVE children - I put everything in my bedroom. If I need to clean my bedroom, everything goes back in the closet.

Mess shuffler? Does that sound right?

Sometimes I feel like I'm a prisoner of what I can't be, don't know how to be, wasn't taught to be. You may see me as Sarah - she sings, she cooks, she blogs, she mothers.

But listen: It's easy to share successes. Take pic, edit, filter, post. Repeat. Repeat, again.

But, I am full of doubt about who I am - every day. I'm scared and overwhelmed by all that I'm not. I look around and see what is unfinished and all that is unworthy and unwelcome in this Pinterest world we live in. I see the secret closets and the drawers full of yesterday, yestermonth, yesteryear. A mess of stuff I shuffle around in my head - things I want to do, to be, to actually complete.

And, the mess that sits upstairs in my bedroom AND in my closet is so catastrophic that even if the spirit of transparency hit me like never before in my life, there is no way in tarnation I would let you see a photo of it.

But, more than ANY of that, I know the secret places in my heart. The places that are dirtier, messier, and more unlovely than any bedroom, any closet, any drawer.

But, can I tell you why my soul is not discouraged? Deep down - in the places that define me?

Because when God looks at me, He doesn't see all that I am not. God sees who He is making me.

Because while He is making me new, He has enough grace for me. For ALL OF THIS.

When I feel like a quitter who just. can't. get. it. together, I cling to this grace-filled message of hope that God gave to us because He knew we would need it - and I preach it to myself:

And I am sure of this, that he who began
a good work in you will bring it to completion
at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

YES. I'm easily distracted.
I fly by the seat of my pants.
I'm a professional procrastinator.
I'll get to it sometime is my life-long motto.
And, YES, I love naps.

But, I have THIS promise:

God is not a quitter. He carried His own cross up a hill and died for me in the most glorious finish in history. My life is His work. He doesn't give up.

He isn't giving up on me. He isn't giving up on you.

I may not be organized. My bedroom might be messy. And, the drawers and closets and secret places in my heart that I don't want anyone to see scream out "You are not good enough, Sar."

But, I have God's promise - that He began something marvelous in me when He made me His, and until I fly through the ribbon at the end of my life and finish this race, I will cling to the grace and promise of knowing that I am His project, His plan, His girl.

And, He's not finished with me yet.

So, today. THIS promise:

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

Grace for secret closets.
Grace for messy hearts.
Grace for naps.
Grace for little girls with chalkboard plans.
Grace for their little boys with sticky fingers and muddy shoes.


While He's doing His great work in me.

While He's doing His great work in you.


  1. Oh Sarah your heart is precious! I needed these words once again! You are such a blessing my friend!

  2. Sarah, your blog is such a blessing! I have four children of my own, triplet three-year-old daughters and a two-month-old son. And my husband was recently in an accident which has left him completely dependent on me until he heals. It's a messy place right now at our house! And it's revealed so many messy places in my heart. How sweet God's grace is to me just now!

  3. oh girl, this is GOOD for my soul! Thank you for posting. What a gift you have in being able to put into words things I wrestle with but can't quite define. Amen and amen to the wonderful savior, sustainer, and sanctifier we have in Jesus!!!!! - Sarah Welch

  4. This is wonderful. Thank you! I plan to share on the facebook page for my blog later today.