“I am not responsible for everyone else’s happiness.”

Her sippy cup landed on the floor. We were in the middle of a complete tantrum. “I want juice!” I tried to rationally explain to her that we didn’t have any juice and that we don’t throw a fit when we don’t get our way. There was no consoling her. She and I both knew that I wasn’t going to be able to manufacture any juice, nor was I going take her to the store to buy some.

While there are requests made of us as wives, mommies, and women that we can meet, ultimately, we are not responsible for making sure that everyone is happy all of the time.  When we free ourselves from having to please everyone, we can step out from the burden of carrying the weight of everyone else’s happiness. There are some moments when contentment is the most important lesson, and the word “no” is perfectly acceptable.

“I am not responsible for everyone else’s happiness.”

“I am enough.”

There are days when I feel like a lousy mom. If only I had prioritized and was able to spend more quality time with my kids, or had searched online for healthier meals, or hadn’t let them watch so much TV. There are days I feel like a crummy wife. If only I was able to spend a little more time with my husband, or hadn’t been so short with him, or had listened more intently as he shared about his day. If only I could keep my house clean… be a better friend… lose a little weight… take care of myself a little more.

If only I was more…

We spend so much of our time trying to become a super version of ourselves that we are left feeling defeated when we cannot meet our own unrealistic expectations. We need to fight with all that we are to accept the grace needed to say and believe, “I am enough.

“It won’t always be this way.”

There have been times in my life when I was convinced that nothing would ever change. I was convinced that the relationship would always be difficult. The problem would never be resolved. The day to day grind wouldn’t become any easier. The burden would never be lifted. The stress would last forever.

We forget that God can change everything in an instant. We forget that things rarely stay the same forever. We forget that just as seasons change continually, seasons in our lives will undoubtedly shift as well. When we set ourselves free from the fear of “being stuck forever,” we can live in the promise of a new and better tomorrow.

Go on. Say it. “It won’t always be this way.”

“God delights in my presence, not in my performance.”

My daughter loves to dance and twirl and put on very short little performances for her daddy. “Look daddy!” She will shout as she shows us her best 3 year old moves. It’s precious. We love the passion of her heart, but more than that… we love her. She is our daughter, and we don’t need her to perform to win our affections. She is loved based on her position as our daughter alone.

Jesus is far less interested in what you checked off of your “to do” list today than the amount of time you invested in your relationship with Him. Deep breath. You don’t have to be more or do more before God will love you.

“God delights in my presence, not in my performance.”

“Grace doesn’t require an application.”

Sometimes, I mess up. I totally blow it. I get it wrong. I speak in anger. I act too quickly. I am not patient. When I recognize these behaviors, and I repent in my heart, I will make the unnecessary case for grace. “Lord, I know that you love me, and I don’t really deserve it, but here is why I hope that you will help me put down the guilt of my actions and replace them with forgiveness.”

We forget that His grace is free. It never runs out. It doesn’t have to be rationed. It doesn’t require an application process or list of qualifications that show why we deserve it. We cannot. We could never. It could only ever be a gift.

Choosing to accept his grace doesn’t mean that we are inadequate in our own abilities. It means that we are willing to admit the sufficiency of His.

Good news. “Grace doesn’t require an application.”

Let’s start with these truths today, friends. Let’s start confessing them out loud over our own lives. The more we say them, the deeper we will plant them into our hearts. Lord, help us to remember that you love us, you are for us, and you are enough. In Jesus’ name.

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