i’m not the craftiest mom.

i don’t cook with my children enough.

i don’t let them get messy and creative and spontaneous the way i always thought i would.

we don’t eat organic, i don’t bake my own bread, and we eat halloween candy till christmas, christmas candy till valentines day, and so on.

i sometimes half-listen.

i skip the weights at the gym more than i should.  there aren’t enough classic books in my house.  there aren’t enough bedtime stories read at night.  most times, i rush through tuck-ins.  i don’t always shop the sales, i’ve completely abandoned the use of coupons.  i spend too much on birthday presents.  i am afraid of credit scores and interest rates and most things money.  i don’t hug enough.   i need to mop far more than i do.  i keep starting to teach a foreign language to my kids, and dropping it after two months.  i don’t call my grandparents as often as i should.   I won’t commit the time to writing that I said I would.

this is just the tip of the iceberg.  i’m not telling you this so you can make me feel better about it- you don’t have to tell me i’m a good mom or a good friend or a good person.  this goes beyond what a pat on the back can do, you know?

these are weights around me, guilt that I constantly lug around, no matter what anybody else says.  some are legitimate.  some are just stupid.  but i lay in bed at night, tallying up my failures for the day, imagined and real.  it is cumulative.  i just add it to the lifetime pile of self disappointment.

discouraged, i say, i will be better tomorrow. i will fix it all.

but, that’s not the answer.

because when one guilt leaves, another arrives.  no matter what i do, it’s not enough.

i can’t do it.  and my heart sinks.  it is so heavy,  it drags the floor.  i am overwhelmed and weary and scared.  i am so afraid that i am screwing life up.  that i’m blowing it, big time.

but, He doesn’t leave me there.

He doesn’t leave me blocked in on all sides by shame and failure.  He sees my struggles, and He does what He does best.

He rescues.

He does this by reminding me that i am looking at the wrong thing.  i am looking too much at myself, at my condition, at my position.  i am looking at the crashing waves around me, and not at the Man Standing On the Water.

when I look away from me, when i behold His perfection, His light, i can’t think of anything else.  I forget about pitiful me.  He chases away gloom and sorrow, and fills me with joy and wonder.  i am overwhelmed with HIS goodness, HIS rightness, HIS sufficiency and perfection and ability.  i look at Him, and then back at me, and i can’t understand it.  i can’t see WHY He chose me, but I know He did.  i can’t be worthy of it.  i can’t do enough to earn it, to make Him feel like it was a good choice.   all i can do is just throw myself before Him and thank Him.  that’s what He wants.  not my endless cycles of guilt and self-hatred.  He didn’t ask for that.

this is not about seeing ME, but seeing HIM.

this is about giving what i can, but knowing that it’s all gonna be okay because of HIM and not me.

He knows i can’t do it. that’s why He did.

so today, if you rolled out of bed with yesterday’s failures and deficiencies and guilts- if your steps are heavy because you’re dragging around the burden of unworthiness and imperfection… look to Him.

if your eyes are there, you don’t have to worry.  He’ll keep you above the water.