Posts tagged not enough

The Quiet Series: Too Weak 

“… They were all trying to frighten us, thinking,

“Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed,

Now strengthen my hands.”

Nehemiah 6v9

Now… strengthen my hands.

God has given me work to do, of that I have no doubt. That work gets me up early every morning, eager to get to it. It is a vocation that I love, but it’s still work. And sometimes the work wears me out.

Yesterday was one of those worn out days.

And so I slept in, drug myself sluggishly to my cabin in the back where most of my work is done, dinked around, wasted time. I started things, then abandoned them at the slightest hint of resistance, leaving a trail of messes along the path of my day.

It happens to me sometimes. More often than it should.

Yesterday’s malaise had nothing to do with my work… and everything to do with me. Sure, I was tired. I didn’t feel good, hadn’t slept well, needed a bit of rest.

More than anything else, I just lost steam… why is that? 

And so I got up this morning, asking my Father. I came to Him needing to hear, wanting to know so that this day would be different. I asked timidly, like a naughty school-girl expecting a finger in my face.

Instead of reprimand, I heard compassion, grace. I sensed His heart, so much nicer towards me than my own heart is.

I heard Him say… that He knows how that thick wall of opposition sometimes slows us down… to a crawl.

While I was lambasting myself for being lazy… He was seeing the unseen.

He knows what I didn’t even notice— those enemies of my soul, disguised and hidden— who, behind a smokescreen of silence— threaten, defeat, frighten, and discourage me.

And you.

Nehemiah knew them as strength stealers. Paul knew them as conflict conspirators.

Sometimes, as in Nehemiah’s story, the strength-stealers come in the form of a letter… and e-mail… a phone call.

At other times, those joy-zappers come wrapped in guilt. Or comparison. The fiery darts that defeat us before we even begin.

Mamas know those enemies too. The ones that keep you up at night, wrapped in worry.

The voices that scream inadequate! with every mistake you make.

But here’s what woke up my morning: all Nehemiah did, when he realized what was really going on was this—He prayed a simple prayer, with simple words:

Now, strengthen my hands. 

And so as this new day beckons with new lists, new worries, new challenges, I bring these simple words to the Father.

Now, strengthen my hands.

And then I come again and bring these words for you, all the wearied ones, the ones I know and love, whose work sometimes wears them out:

Now, Father, right now, will you strengthen her hands?

From my heart,


P.S. May I pray for you? If you will let me know in the comments, it would be my honor to bring this simple prayer to the Father who hears.

P.S.S.  Read Nehemiah’s story in Nehemiah 6, and Paul’s story in Acts 9:19-29 because what He did for these men, He offers to you— and me.


(Image by Abi Porter)


A wisp of cloud brushes the bluff towering imposingly above the silent valley; a filter softening rough edges, like the Spirit softening me. Barely there, gentle, a  cool mist rising. Whispers in the wind. I hear Him here, in this quiet place, His voice as gentle as that cloud. Not telling, not even really saying— just soothing, stilling.


The tightness in my chest loosens. I breathe deep the crisp fragrance of winter’s chill.

I remember.


In the stillness I hear words— His words, from His Word. He paints a picture for me to see.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

And carries them close to his heart;

He gently leads…

Isaiah 40v10,11

And I do see! I see Him here, walking hills He Himself formed beneath cliffs carved of His own hands—

tending, gathering, carrying, leading… me.


I see myself too: that wayward, wandering, worry-filled one. The one who rolls in wrong places, wants the wrong things, the one who woke up in the early hours, fretful, fear prone, fussing.

That I am not enough, that I cannot be enough, that my not-enoughness will sink my hopes, my plans, my year ahead.

Because it’s too much and I know it. And I am too little, I know that too.  And all these things I hope to do won’t be done because I cannot and I know it and so does He.

Failure looms and I am, down deep where no one knows, afraid.

That’s when I hear the whispers; words misting, cloud like, calling…

Come, climb up here, follow Me to these heights. See what I see. There is beauty here.

But those cliffs are far away, too far. I don’t know how, don’t have time, cannot go alone.

I am not enough.

And the light dawns, my mind sees, that Spirit seeing, knowing, speaking sureness.

I cannot do, but He can. I dare not try, but He does. I am not enough, but He is.

He can accomplish what concerns me.

He does dare use me— this less-than, unable, worry-prone me— to do my “assigned task” (Mark 13v34)

He is enough, and so am I when I go to Him, listen to Him, hide in Him, abide. (John 15v5)

And now I hear. I know. I pull out that pad of lined paper- yellow because somehow it’s supposed to help me remember. New- because this is a new day, a new year, a new plan.

I ask:

Lord— Abba— Shepherd of this worried one, please—

Plan this year for me.

Write my list.

Assign my tasks.

Fill this record of my days with Your faithfulness.

Not my will— please, never that!

Just Yours.

I’m ready now— not to plan, not to project, not to pretend I can do more than I am able, but to follow.

Like His sheep: gathered close, carried, led. 



Do you feel inadequate for the task you’ve been assigned?

  • Babies that keep you up at night and tired all day?
  • A job in a place that sinks you?
  • School too hard?
  • Relationships you can’t figure out?

Have you heard His whispers? We gather hope by knowing…

(image by Bethany Small)


Dear girls, Many years ago, God did a deep carving in my heart. He met me in a place of soul-churning anger and ugliness and despair. I was loosing my hearing and terrified of what my future might look like.

Just a few months before the real trial began, I had prayed earnestly that He would lead me to a place of satisfaction. I was a mom with 3 small children, a godly husband, a beautiful home— everything I’d ever wanted— and I wasn’t happy.

I didn’t know then what I know now— that rest and peace and real happiness are not found in a way of life. That only when I live curled up close to the Father’s heart, hid deep in Him, lost in the wonder of who He is and how He loves even me— only then am I satisfied.

In this series we’ve called He’s Not Your Prince Charming, I’ve been trying to paint a picture of a life of letting go of the things you think will make you happy— namely, that man who is supposed to ride into your life on a white steed and sweep you off your feet so that you will be happy forever— and grasp hold of the One who will.

And you’ve been listening, longing for more of Him.

I hear it in your comments and cries over relationships that aren’t what you wish them to be. In your uncomfortable attempts to settle into a skin that doesn’t fit.

I read the wonder as you begin to understand, to hold on tight to your real Lover.

For months now, my daughter, Elizabeth, and I have been talking about her own  uncomfortableness. I’ve rambled on and on and prayed and listened and hoped… because words from mom are not enough to settle the longing inside.

My story is mine and her story is hers and sometimes I can’t say what I mean in a way even my own girl can understand… you know what I mean?

But He can. The One who calls Himself the Word, He spoke words to my daughter’s unrest a few mornings ago and she sent those words to me. And she’s so filled with hope and joy at what He said that she’s allowed me to pass it on to you.

May the One who is your Prince Charming speak to you through Elizabeth today…


Dissatisfied— the emotion that has made it’s way deep into my life and is pulsing through my veins.

I am slowly dying, drowning in a sea of not enough, not good enough, not perfect enough. Grasping at every quick fix possible to fill my lungs with one more breath.

A clean home… only to be marked by toddler fingers and little boy shoes.

A new outfit to make me feel pretty… only until I venture out again and my eyes see something better.

An experience… only be found empty when it doesn’t fill my lack.

Joy comes and goes like the morning fog; thick for a moment, then quickly lifted and replaced by rain.

How do I move from this running wheel of ups and downs? This silent killer of not enough?

I don’t.

My efforts are temporary at best but my Father’s are forever; for the now and not yet.

He said He is the vine. To grow and thrive and produce fruit, all I have to do is stay connected to the vine. To Him.

Nothing can sever me from that life-giving vine.

No wind.

No rain.

No heat.


No bad day.

No messy house.

No un-answered dream.

The two become one… the vine and the branch. The striving ceases and God’s design is set into motion.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Then the miracle of real life begins.

There is rest.

There is growth.

There is joy.

Joy that is not made by me… like a wind that touches my skin one moment and is gone the next.

Joy that is concrete. Unwavering in the big storms… and the small.

“These things I have spoken to you so that MY joy may be in you, and that YOUR joy may be made full” John 15:11

My joy. That thing I grasp at the clouds for until my fists can clench no more. That feeling I try to manufacture with all the tools I know… and am still found lacking.

It can be made FULL!

His joy in me makes my joy full.

No more searching. No more self helps. No more band-aids of temporary relief.

The real thing.




I choose His way today. And tomorrow and the next.

My joy is no longer missing— He has been found.

From a joy filled heart,