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! 🙂

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?”

I Have a Dream

My Prayer for 2021:

Cleanse me.

Heal me.

Help me.

Change me.

I believe it was March 2019, Pre-Covid. It’s all rather fuzzy. The moments are piling up and describing them in regards to when they happened is becoming more difficult, trying to extricate them from the pile is too arduous a task. Maybe it doesn’t matter. It happened regardless of when. I was staying with my sister. She had planned a get together for the young ladies of her community and had her daughter invite her friends and spread the word. She gathered poster boards, magazines, coloured papers, felts and pencils pencils-2238959_1920of every hue, stickers, jewels, glitter, and glue. She encouraged the girls in attendance to think about who they wanted to become and what their future might look like and make a visual representation. I live 10 hours from my sister and usually fly there. I  wasn’t interested in carting an unwieldy poster board onto the plane, but I still wanted to participate in the exercise. A scaled-down version would have to do. At the beginning, my sister handed out a small, sturdy card to be used to record our thoughts and it was just what I needed. Brevity is a good thing. Something I’m not known for. 😀 When one has an excess of goals, one often doesn’t reach any of them. We must hone in on our heart’s desires and leave the periphery lie. Continue reading “I Have a Dream”

Move it and Lose it: A Former Fatty on Going Lean

The word fat has been in my vocabulary since I was a child. I’m sure there was a time when I was small in size, but I don’t remember it. I was never a wisp of a girl, it’s not how I’m built. When I see pictures of myself in preadolescence, the first word that comes to mind is stocky. I’m reminded of an impish boy pointing at me on the playground, hismoveithotdog eyes flashing, as he sang, off key, the popular, Ball Park Frank’s jingle, “They plump when you cook ’em”. He wasn’t inaccurate. Plump. That’s me, for most of my life anyway. Continue reading “Move it and Lose it: A Former Fatty on Going Lean”

Lessons from the Valley and the Mountaintop

Take control of me, Jesus. The current management is woefully incompetent.

Almost 6 years ago, I went back to school to change my career. To say I went back to school is incorrect, because I’ve been in school now for 52 years. The school of life is always in session. Life lessons are a moment by moment occurrence. If we’re aware, we’ll acknowledge the lesson, learn from it, and be changed for the better. If we go through life on autopilot, never recognizing what life is trying to teach us, we may IMG_8308someday regret our inattentiveness. Just as in school, there are some lessons we want to learn. We lap them up, like a parched dog slurping noisily at a water dish. We apply ourselves with every ounce of our time, concentration, and giftedness. Other lessons, we must push ourselves to learn. I have a friend who received a grade of 62% in one of his high school courses. Worried that this low mark would affect his chances of getting into university, he went to the trouble of taking the course again only to end up with 63%. I do find this humorous, but also baffling, because I get it. It’s true, some things we can only learn the hard way. Continue reading “Lessons from the Valley and the Mountaintop”

Unearth the Bowl

We bought a bowl once. It’s a shiny gold with vibrant splashes of red, green, blue and orange and we thought it would make a striking centerpiece for our table. We did not, at the time, consider what, if anything, we would put in it. Nor did we consider how much an empty bowl might beckon us to fill it. I’m ashamed to say this beautiful bowl has become a bowl for bills; piles of important papers now cascade from it completely blotting out the original reason for which it was purchased. Now instead of looking at the beautiful bowl and experiencing joy, I look at a bowl of bills and feel frustrated, worried, and depressed.
Continue reading “Unearth the Bowl”

Out of the Blind Side

Those of you who’ve been following my blog know that I’ve been running to improve my fitness level. The city I live in has two sides divided by a river and coulees or, if you’re not familiar with that term, ravines. I live a few blocks from the trails on top of the lightroad-815297_12802coulees, a pleasant place to exercise with a beautiful view of the river valley. Yesterday, I awoke at 5 am to get my run in, because I had to be somewhere to volunteer at 6:45. I know, an ungodly hour, but I work in healthcare. A 5 am start to the day isn’t unusual for me. What was unusual about this particular run is it was in the dark. I still opted to go out on top of the coulees, because running on trails is gentler on the body than smacking the pavement, but I didn’t consider how challenging it would be to run without being able to see. Continue reading “Out of the Blind Side”

With Rest Like This

I recently had a visit from the relatives. I don’t know how it’s for you, but I find it exhausting. It was fun, but it’s like eating too much–after awhile you start to feel sick. They left on Monday. It’s Thursday and I’m still recovering. There’s something wrong when a person has to recover from a holiday. We took our kids to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo this year. We did it in seven days. It was busy. All along the way, we were dazzled by creativity and enchanted by the magic of rest2make believe. We made some happy memories and I’m glad we took the trip, but I noticed the attractions begin to repel quickly. The noise-level, flashing lights, bright colors, and crowds of sweaty tourists are over-stimulating and that’s an understatement. There’s a lot of standing in line, straining to see, listening to whining and crying (I couldn’t help myself), interspersed with snippets of glee, spontaneous “oohs” and “ahhs”, and a year’s supply of french fries. We waited two hours to find Nemo and my daughter said when she found him, she would slap him. The cheery attendant standing nearby was horrified. Three days at the Magic Kingdom and we were sprinting for the drawbridge. We started using it as a disciplinary tool.

“I told you to stop it. Don’t make me take you back there.”
Continue reading “With Rest Like This”

In Your Face

Your story needs to be told and you’re the only one capable. Speak up!

Adolescence was a predominantly unhappy time for me. I existed a number of years in a fog of depression which I was convinced could be remedied by ingesting copious crookedteeth-3348516_12802amounts of chocolate. I was pudgy, Pudgy Polly. My ability to smile and laugh without self-consciousness was hampered by my protruding front teeth. I had a number of peers ask me why I always looked like I was preparing to blow a bubble. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t easy for me to close my mouth. I had to stretch my lips down over those sandwich boards.  I spent my teenage years hiding behind my hands. (See pictures of me as a teenager here.) On top of all this, my family moved regularly. I was often the new kid. Being teased became a way of life and I was bullied a couple of times. I usually had one friend, but I was a serious loner.

I loved to ride my bike. I rode around for hours at a time. It was my way of feeling good.
Continue reading “In Your Face”

Nobody Cares

Be bold enough to do more than just leave the house.

I’m remembering a visit to the dermatologist. I had a nasty mole that kept burrowing up through the skin on the tip of my nose, a place, in my estimation, a mole should never be moleallowed to surface. I had it removed previously, but it’s stubborn and wants to be seen. What I didn’t realize until I sat down in the examination room was that the fee for removal had doubled. Unfortunately, at that moment, I had more mole than money and I sat there agonizing over whether or not I should go through with the procedure. When the Doctor came in, I shared my misgivings with him. What he told me has never left me. He basically said, “Nobody cares”. He went on to explain that people are so focused on themselves and their moles that my mole would have to be the size of the Eiffel Tower for anyone to take notice. He graciously allowed me and my mole to leave the office, free of charge, relieved and a little less self-conscious.

Continue reading “Nobody Cares”