News Flash: You are NOT Enough

I don’t remember a lot of lack growing up. My parents worked hard to provide for us. We weren’t wealthy, but we had what we needed with some extras, with the exception of socks. I remember having a lack of socks. I regularly, and with no small amount of chagrin, annoyedimg_0320 my sister, stealing her socks, because my sock drawer always seemed to be bare. I don’t remember asking my mother for socks. I’m sure she’d have coughed up the socks, if I’d have expressed my need to her. To this day, I can’t get enough socks and if I had a wad of cash, I’d be spending it on gobs of unique socks.

Lately, I’ve been hearing the phrase, “You are enough” being put forward, especially by women. Of course, I had to think about what I thought it might mean.

When one has enough, one is sustained and satisfied. There are things that are a must to have enough of; enough of the basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter, enough money toimg_0322 pay bills and then some, enough love, enough validation, enough of what we want to achieve and own. When we don’t have enough of what we need or want, we tend to expend ourselves in the pursuit of what we lack. As a species, we’re insatiable. We collect. We heap. It’s a wonder we haven’t been buried alive by all of our more than enough.

Apparently, it’s not enough for us to have enough, we now wish to be enough, but enough for what? According to the meme at the top of the page, we’re good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and strong enough. Let’s unpack this, in reverse order, shall we?

Are we strong enough? Strong enough for what? To do a chin up, run a marathon, or pull a locomotive with with our teeth? There are those of us who are physically strong and capable of performing all kinds of incredible feats. I can’t even do a proper push up. I’m not strong enough to lift my bulk in that way, but I am strong enough to hike up a mountain and when I share my pictures, I’ve had numerous people say to me they could never do it. Unless a person has a physical job like a dancer, a professional athlete, a personal trainer, or a firefighter, most of us aren’t going to get strong doing what we do to make a living. I have to train to be strong. Maybe Thema is referring more to fortitude here rather than physical strength. I’veimg_0333 been short on fortitude in my past, much to my shame. My parents weren’t quitters, but I would classify myself as one for much of my life. I established a pattern of quitting things that were hard or painful early on. In grade one, I remember my parents asking me after a year of piano lessons, if I wanted to quit. They must have been tired of fighting with me. Of course, as a child watching my brother go outside to play while I sat plunking away at the piano was distasteful, but how I wish they would’ve pushed me! By the time I was in high school, I was a master quitter. I blew off tests and dropped classes. In my first year at college, I handed in my research notes for a paper rather than the paper itself and earned a well-deserved 0, because I wasn’t willing to do the work of writing an outline, sifting through all that material, selecting the appropriate quotes, and putting things into my own words. I quit jobs, three of them, after one day of work. I broke a myriad of promises, too many to recount. I figured it was my prerogative to change my mind, but, in truth, I was weak and afraid, running from challenges rather than facing them. I became someone who wasn’t to be trusted, unreliable. After meeting my husband, someone whose word you could take to the bank and receive what was promised with interest, I saw my shortcomings plainly, but I had become a habitual quitter. Though, I have matured somewhat in this area, I haven’t always been strong enough and I’m not naive enough, there’s that word again, to believe there won’t come a day in my future when my inner strength will not equal the task.

Are we beautiful enough? Hahahahahaha!!!!!! Beautiful enough for what? To look in the mirror and not have it shatter, to take home top prize in a beauty contest, or to be “the face that launched a thousand ships”(Christopher Marlowe)? North Americans have a specific beauty ideal for men and women. Pleasing symmetry of features, young, unblemished, hairless skin, and long, lean, toned bodies are favoured. According to these standards, I’m not beautiful enough. I have crinkles at the corners of my eyes and lines crisscrossing my forehead. I have marble-sized lumps of fat popping up in various locations on my body called lipomas and my fingers, on their own, scout out a new one on a regular basis (so helpful). I have a girdle ofimg_0332 stretch-marked flab swathing my middle that I’m unable to shed probably because I eat more chocolate than broccoli. I’m short. I can’t even sit comfortably on most chairs, because my feet don’t touch the ground, my legs are so stumpy. I feel like a kid, swinging my legs back and forth. Top this off with a couple of hideous skin tags I’ve allowed to exist. (They’re kind of like my pets now). At this rate, in less than 10 years, I’ll be a shrunken, wrinkled, conglomeration of lumpy fat riddled with floppy, skin tags. I’ll have to wear a paper grocery bag over my head and a sign that says, “Look Away!” when I go out in public. Ok. Ok. I’m exaggerating, a little. We all know that physical beauty is hardly the only measure of beauty. We all know someone whose physical beauty is marred by their ugly behaviour. We also know that physical beauty peaks and wains like brain power, but soul beauty will see us to the end. Those who are loving, kind, cheerful, positive, generous, faithful, patient, strong, courageous–these are qualities that make a person beautiful. Both physical and soul beauty require cultivation, even for those who’re naturally gifted.

Are we smart enough? Smart enough for what? To learn a new skill like a language or an instrument, to pass the bar exam, or win at Jeopardy? Let’s face it, we’re as dumb as a stuffed bunny the day we’re born and it takes us a couple of decades for our brains to fully develop. I moved in the middle of my grade one year from Canada to the US and I remember being bewildered in that class. I didn’t understand the material, especially the math. I was made to repeat my grade one year, because I wasn’t at the same level as my peers. I hadn’t learned what I needed to know to progress to the next grade. I wasn’t smart enough. This was no great hardship other than the fact that I was kept with the same teacher, Mrs. Peitz, a crabby woman with chicken soupy hair and a bulbous nose, who wore a generous layer of greasy, orangeimg_0335 foundation on her sour face and garish blue eyeshadow. She once put tape over my mouth for talking too much, but I intentionally digress for the fun of it. After that year, I recall excelling in school until I hit junior high. My first C was a revelation. I was confounded. Apparently, my natural giftedness was no longer enough to maintain my previous level of success. I would have to study and study I did. This is life. We’re not always smart enough. We don’t always know what we need to know to do what we need to do. We may have the smarts to access the resources and comprehend a body of knowledge and we may not. We may be keen in one area and confused in another. There are geniuses among us, but most have average smarts and gravitate towards certain fields of study. I’ve always been better with words than numbers and my calculator is my friend. According to this article, our various mental capacities peak at certain ages and then begin to decline. Our smarts can even come and go depending on our current state of health and how well we take care of ourselves. The truly intelligent are those who’re curious and teachable, humble enough to admit they don’t know much, eager to learn and share what they’ve learned with gentleness and gratitude. Procuring smarts should be a life-long goal we never fully attain.

Are we good enough? Good enough for what? To sing a solo, participate as an athlete in the Olympics, or write a best-selling book? Or, is she referring to the virtuous kind of good? Many in the world believe they’re inherently good in this way and they believe their children are, as well. I have three children and looked after other people’s children for eight years when my own were young. I know kids. My two-year-old son greeted his newborn sister for the first time by bonking her on the head and that wasn’t good! Fortunately, heimg_0339 didn’t hurt her, but violence is not good, even when meted out by an ineffectual two-year-old. Jesus, when called a “good teacher” by someone said, “Why do you call me good? No one is good—except God alone.” (Luke 18:19) We’ve all lied, talked behind someone’s back, put someone down, or treated someone with disrespect and many of us have done worse, just watch the news for a host of heinous examples, which is why we need laws governing our behaviour. A person might say, “I’m mostly good”. Are you sure? Are you sure you’re good enough? Who sets the standard, you? Are you good enough to get into heaven or just to stay out of jail? Jesus came for those who were humble enough to admit they weren’t good enough, to admit they needed saving.

If an individual is enough, it would stand to reason that one need not grow, that no additions to who one is are necessary. This kind of thinking is wrong. People who never grow up, who never change and mature, who never refine their thinking, upgrade their character, or develop their giftedness are not people to be praised. There’s always room for improvement and we should want to become more than we are for ourselves and for the betterment of the world. img_0340The bible is clear on the issue of whether we’re enough or not. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. It couldn’t be more blatant. We, in our sin, don’t cut it and it isn’t glorious, folks, but, believe it or not, this is good news! God said enough is enough, lifting the burden of our failing to be enough from our shoulders, when He sent Jesus, the one who is more than enough to bear our sins, shore up our weakness, and give us all we lack. What a mind-blowing concept it is that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and draw near to God, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, growing the life-giving fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our lives. We can stop pretending! We can be ugly, ignorant, hungry, thirsty, tired, sick, unmotivated, confused, overwhelmed, afraid, grief-stricken, angry and, even, sinful and collapse into the love, forgiveness, comfort, and strength of our Heavenly Father. We’re enough in Christ. We’re enough when we are so immersed in Him that He eclipses us, that we exude His character and reflect His glory. May we lay down our need to be enough and accept the all sufficiency of Jesus. Amen and amen.

Feature Pic from Live Life Happy. All other pics from Pixabay. Double exposures and footer edits by me. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com, my clothing design page on Le Galeriste, or my fiverr page. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 🙂

Mountains are for Climbing

Many of you know, if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, that I struggle with an eating disorder. You can read more about that here. Lately, with the ongoing threat of Covid and the increased patient load at my workplace (you can read about what I do here), I’ve been succumbing to the urge to rapidly consume the contents of my cupboards, healthy or otherwise. I recently took the important step of booking an appointment to see a professional about my problem. I’ve always been a self-helper. Whenever my behaviours resulted in too many unpleasant outcomes, I would read widely on my issues and adopt new coping strategies. Often, this would produce small, lasting changes, but I’m finally ready to admit that I’ve done what I can and I need another’s perspective and guidance. Continue reading “Mountains are for Climbing”

The Mountain Climber’s Mantra

Step up

Step up

Watch those roots

Hold your toots

Someone’s boot is

Clipping your heels

Breathe, breathe, step up, step up

Branch in your face, WHAP, tighten up that strap

Take a big ole swig o’ water, breathe, breathe, step up, step up, over that boulder, hug that shoulder

Don’t get slower, be a good soldier, pick up speed, breathe, breathe, step up, step out

Onto a plateau, can’t I sit a spell, inhale a protein bar, still got a ways to go, tackle that scree, breathe, breathe, one step up, two steps back, I might have a heart attack, why did I pack so much gear, SWEAR

Step up, trip up, fall down, get up, dust yourself off, just keep pushing, wind is rushing, nose is running, lungs are busting, sun is beating, sweat is gushing, NO RETREATING, breathe, breathe

step up, step up, when will this stop, can they send a helicopter, NO, for wimps they don’t bother, pretty, snotty PLEASE, WHEEZE, WHEEZE, step up, give up, DON’T STOP, look up

HOLY SMOKES, I’M AT THE TOP

Well, 

That was easy 😀

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Embrace the Chaos

After fashioning

A messy bun

One stray tendril

Lithely slithered down

And curled about my neck

I smiled

And left it 

For I am learning

Not to be afraid

Of disorder

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Feature pic and border by Pixabay . Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

The Golden Hour

There’s something about an evening stroll through a park
Bodies winding down, letting go of today’s complaint
Light receding slowly as we saunter
Glancing off our faces with a gentle glow
The sun slides behind the trees
Smearing trails of pastel pink along the dusky sky
Bidding us a goodnight in the most gracious manner
Sure to foster the sweetest of dreams

img_5443

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Feature pic by me. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Borders from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

 

Without a Bear in Sight

This hike started out like most others, except that my hiking friends from Calgary ventured south for warmer, dryer weather. I had already climbed Table Mountain three times because it’s in my area, but I should have known with them along, it would be a whole other hill of rocks. They, of course, decided toimg_4656 take the alternate route, something I was unaware existed. Silly me, I thought that dusty, fairly well-worn trail was the way up, but they had other, more risky plans. After slogging up a field of slippery scree feeling like a drunken elephant, I arrived at a chute, a rocky ladder the others were already shimmying up. Once I had hoisted my perceived elephantness up this irregular ladder, someone bothered to mention to me, with a smirk, that I could’ve avoided the chute, that there was a way to walk up. As is often the case, there was a chimney to greet me coming off the chute. I decided to bypass this chimney in favour of the trail to the right, after watching one of our shorter guys place his leg in a most unnatural position trying to climb it. Continue reading “Without a Bear in Sight”

What Can You Do?

My favorite show on TV is The Voice. I was watching it recently and a contestant, talking about how his dreams were on the verge of coming true, said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” This is an oft repeated phrase in North American culture, meant to motivate people to great heights, but it’s only partially true. Can we do anything hula-162558_1920 (1)we put our minds to? Strictly speaking, no. I can’t touch my nose with my tongue. I can’t wiggle my ears. I purse my lips and blow and no whistle comes forth. EVER. I can’t keep a hula hoop swiveling about my hips and I try every time I come across one, much to the amusement of those around me. I can’t find my missing socks. I can’t command the weather and this is a sore spot for me. I can’t change another person and I’ve learned it’s not advisable to try, because it ends badly. I can’t stop myself from getting old, shriveling up like a pea with freezer burn, and dying. I can’t see with my eyes closed. Now I’m just being ridiculous, but maybe not. Words have power. Why don’t we say what we mean? Why would we want to set people up for failure? Continue reading “What Can You Do?”

When we Don’t Agree

Lord,

I’ve had it with their jabs and diatribes

Their mocking and foot stomping and protesting

I fear I’ll come upon them

And feel the need to spew a few jagged pieces of my mind

If one could actually knock some sense into another

But You’re calling me to be a lover

Not a knocker

And anyway, it seems there’s no such thing as common sense

Only my sense versus theirs

Can we agree to disagree without derision?

I guess it’s up to me

I can only orchestrate my own behaviour

I lift them up to You

And ask for blessing

And a revelation of the truth

Yours

Not mine

And ask that you will fill my heart with love

And shut my mouth

In kindness

Amen

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Pics used within the blog content from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 

A Hand Up

Jesus healed so many when he was on this earth, but there is one story that stands out to me after celebrating Easter. It’s the story of the raising of Jairus’s daughter found in Mark 5:21-43. For those of you who don’t know the story, Jesus was approached in a large crowd by Jairus, a synagogue leader, an important man in the community. This man was so desperate, he threw himself at Jesus’s feet even in this packed setting. The crowd must have parted for such a display. He explained his daughter was gravely ill and begged Jesus to come and heal her, something Jesus was now famous for. Jesus was willing, but the crowd made his leaving slow going. I imagine Him wading through a sea of grabby hands. Everyone wanted a piece of His power. According to the text, He healed a woman in transit, someone with so much faith that she tugged on his cloak and the power left Him, freeing her from 12 years of pain and suffering. Not one to heal and run, Jesus addressed her, but even this brief encounter was too long for Jairus and his daughter. As Jesus finished up with her, others arrived with the sad news that Jairus’s daughter had succumbed to her illness. They urged Jairus not to “bother” the teacher anymore. Jesus, overhearing the conversation, assured Jairus it was no bother and told him not to be afraid, which I find curious. I, of course, looked up the synonyms for the word “afraid”, because I associate this word with being frightened and it didn’t seem to fit this situation. Discouraged, disheartened, disturbed, anxious, upset, were all words one could use in its place. “Don’t be rattled,” Jesus said (my paraphrase). “I’ve got this. I’ve got you.”img_4194

Continue reading “A Hand Up”