The butterhorns were rich.
The cheese-laden spinach and artichoke dip was rich.
Best of all the beauty of laughter and the release of shared burdens and ideas and encouragement were so, so rich.
There were many themes that came up last night as a lovely group of moms who share similar journeys came together to encourage one another. Quickly we became a safe place where we could say "sometimes this is hard" and then leave that thought to pursue goodness and encouragement and joy. To remember that we can choose our responses and try new things, no matter where we are in our journey. To be together and build community and a sense that we are not alone!
We talked about many things. And a theme that kept being brought up was one of struggling to believe that we were enough. The constant drain of trying to prove ourselves to others, to our inner critic seemed so strong.
How often do we listen to the voice that with it's velvety deceit whisper to our hearts 'You really should have more to show for your life" "You need to do this alone to prove you are capable" "To ask for help is to admit weakness." "If you rest, you are lazy" "Receiving help makes you a burden to others." "The only worthy woman is a weary woman."
Each and every one of them lies. You know where lies come from, right?
How many lies do we tell ourselves and others that start with "I'll be fine." When what we really need is to rally the troops, our community, our safe-place people and say - "I can do this, but I can't do this alone!"
Lets start with grace. Grace first for ourselves and then for others. Grace to be different. Grace to try something the same. Grace that is strong and fearless without being homogeneous and bland. Grace that admits to weakness but doesn't believe it defines us. Grace that looks in the face of the Accuser and says with growing confidence: I'm not going to listen. I'm going to make space for rest. I'm going to try new things, because I can do anything, ANYTHING God wants me to. I'm going to ask for help. I'm going to be a help. I'm going to encourage. I'm going to embrace my weaknesses, and admit to having them because God's strength is PERFECT...not just okay, in my weakness. I'm going to listen to the small, still voice of God. The one that isn't joking when He says...I love you. I will give you rest. Rest for your weary, scattered, tired and lonely souls.
The small still voice. I'm learning that if I am always doing, and always trying to top myself with what I can accomplish I drown out that still small voice.
So make time for stillness. Because God is there. It's not wasted or pointless to rest. It's absolutely vital to the growth of joy and confidence.
And take that lie that you are alone and helpless, and kick it to the curb. Be brave and reach out.
There is strength in community.
Strength in being vulnerable.
Strength in being different.
Strength in being truly you.
You. Are. Enough.