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  • Inadequacy

    I have several posts ready for you this morning, but felt a nudge on my heart to lay my words at your feet.
    Just two days after I wrote this post, I took Samantha to her sweet little soccer game. I was feeling a bit frazzled as I was rushing to get the kids to their practices, when selfishly I wanted to stay curled up in my warm sheets. As I was getting out of the car, I whispered to God, “Lord, I’m depleted. I need your encouragement and energy. I feel so inadequate. Why am I supposed to be here today?”

    As I was setting up my chair, a dear friend hugged me and said, “I hope you don’t mind me telling you this but you were on my mind all day yesterday. I got your email about your two new blog posts”… and that’s when the lump in her throat became obvious. “Well, I just love it when you are real, raw, and well, just you. You see, a while back I had to stop reading your blog because it made me feel inadequate. You seemed to have it all together and doing all these things while working and having four kids.” And that’s when the lump in my throat formed and the tears started flowing.

    Later that day in the grocery store, a kind lady holding the most beautiful 6 month old baby in a sling, reached for a can of green beans, accidently dropped it, and it went rolling down the aisle. Samantha went running after it and handed it to the obvious frazzled mom. Her response, “Thank you sweetheart. You are such a nice helper.” She then looked at me with tears through her sleep deprived, puffy eyes and stated, “I just can’t seem to get it together. I feel helpless at times. Just inadequate. Is she your only child?”

    I replied, “I have 4 crazy, energetic kids. But I believe God gives us children to remind us how much we need Him when we feel inadequate. Hang in there, you are also just sleep deprived.” We both laughed and went back to our shopping.

    About 5 aisles later, as I was walking I saw HIM. You remember him from the coffee shop? If you don’t, please read this post. As I continued down the aisle, I tried to not look up, but then it happened. Our eyes met. And yes, he remembered me. Undoubtedly, he remembered me.

    Inevitably, that beautiful mom with her precious child turned the corner and addressed Mr. Coffee Man. She said to him, “This is the lady that I just told you about. Thank God some other moms aren’t judgmental when you don’t have it all together,” and she laughed. He nervously laughed and looked as if he was going to have a coronary attack. I was breathless and nervously grinned at her, our eyes met, and both of us looked away as quickly as possible.

    When I got into the car I let my heart rate go back down below 150 and that is when the conviction set in. He looked at me with shame, embarrassment, and inadequacy. I then felt my heart change. His look is the same look or feeling that I have when I have screwed up and I come bearing my shortcomings to my Father. Shame. Inadequacy. Defeat.

    The difference though is that I am not the Father. I have no right to judge him or any other person for that matter.

    I often struggle with inadequacy especially when I compare myself to that wife or mom who seems to have it all together. You know, that myth of a creature that truly doesn’t exist! We all agree that she doesn’t exist, yet we continue to raise people up in those positions of make believe power. Then we compare our inadequacies to her (or him) and then our self doubting heaps shame and contempt upon ourselves and the lie whispers to us, “You will never be enough.”

    Here’s the truth. I have wrinkles. I have cellulite. I have greasy hair that needs to be colored and I need to find a wardrobe that doesn’t consist of black yoga pants. But, in all that I am enough. Sometimes, I am on the ball scrapbooking, baking, and marking off my life list. And other times, I am rushing to take my kids to school in my pajamas.

    I too struggle with comparing myself to other bloggers. The blogger who crafts like a machine, the blogger with words that are so eloquently written, and even another Christian blogger who I falsely believe must have a direct phone line to God because she seems to have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him than I do. All lies.

    So if my blog or anything on the internet makes you feel inadequate, here’s my advice. Don’t buy into that myth, close your computer, and have an amazing day. You are more than adequate. You are more than enough, flaws and all.

    And to Mr. Coffee Man… I am sorry for judging you. We all fall short with our own struggles and inadequacies. Please love on that sweet wife and baby of yours. Here’s to a fresh start, for both of us.

    Blessings sweet friends,



    Miriam Prantner

    Wow! I so remember that post…here is to new beginnings….maybe a reminder was just what he needed too….

    15 November 2012 at 8:49 am Reply

    WOW. Jenny, I sure do miss you and your realness. Keep up the great blogging. I don’t have time to read often, but when I do I am always blown away!
    Love you

    15 November 2012 at 8:53 am Reply
    Sherry Carr-Smith

    Didn’t you want to ask him who he hired?

    15 November 2012 at 9:04 am Reply
    Jen Kinkade

    I remember that post ;)
    I don’t really feel like you were judging him.
    We all need to be humbled, reminded.
    You could have gone beyond that but you didn’t.
    I know God used that situation as much for you as he did Mr. Coffee.
    That being said, I am sitting here in my all too comfy yoga pants, wild & all together too oily hair, no make-up, wrinkles and scars reading this. The real, raw me. And I wonder if you saw me right now if you would hug me or go screaming the other way!!! ;) hee!
    love you!!

    15 November 2012 at 9:04 am Reply

    What a day! Love your realness!

    15 November 2012 at 10:21 am Reply
    Mikki McGehee

    You blog always brings a smile to my face and today, it made me laugh out loud.

    I agree with Jen, I think Mr. Coffee learned just as much as you did that day.

    15 November 2012 at 11:42 am Reply

    Beautifully written and so very true….thank you for sharing and giving the much needed reminder ;)

    15 November 2012 at 1:37 pm Reply
    staki mama

    I couldn’t sleep last night, I was too busy beating myself up about the horrible time that is bedtime in our house, bedtime has gone from bad to me wanting to institutionalize mysef..I can’t remember the last time I read nmy 3 daughters a story…now I just yell & scream at them to go to sleep & let me be. I had been at a friend’s house when she was putting her daughter’s to bed & I was comparing…and feeling inadequate…why do we do that to ourselves? I know if I want bedtime to change I need to make the changes but I need to do it my way & not try to recreate the quiet restful bedtime my girlfriend had with her girls.
    Online comparisons suck…we compare people’s highlights with our reality.

    15 November 2012 at 3:17 pm Reply

    I’d forgotten about Mr. Coffee Man! You were spot on the first time you encountered him and again today. Your honesty inspires me, I was that I was brave enough to share more on my blog. Maybe one day.

    Thank you for your honesty, and the much needed reminder.

    15 November 2012 at 3:38 pm Reply

    Jenny, I heart you!

    15 November 2012 at 5:37 pm Reply

    WOW! How true it is that we want to be approved by everyone. That they think we are functioning in the most appropriate manner. Well, I find myself at times in this same situation where I question my judgement and decisions. Am I doing it right, will my child look back on her life and say, “I wish my mom had not done that”. And, then I realize that I am writing this novel. It is a fantastic novel because I was taught great moral values and I want the best for everyone alike. You, Miss Jenny, have been dealt a hand of cards like no other person I know. You are playing this hand, 1 day at a time and doing a great job. Your posts are inspiring to read in that they always give us another perspective. If everyone were to share their stories and feelings and not feel embarrassed or ashamed, Each of us would learn another way to achieve our goals. Thank you

    15 November 2012 at 8:23 pm Reply

    I so needed to read your blog today. Your prayer and the recognition of the “why” is inspiring. I think sometimes we ask God for things and then wonder why we haven’t received an answer. He does answer, not always straight away, but we need to be open to those answers. I applaud your courage in the way you face your challenges and then share what you can with us.♥

    15 November 2012 at 9:10 pm Reply

    Wow! And thank you. I am so grateful you are back…

    15 November 2012 at 10:45 pm Reply

    Thank you, you wonderful, kind, sweet person who has the ability to pick someone up when they are down (new mom), and has the courage to let someone know when they are wrong. You have the courage of your convictions and I envy and admire that. No one is perfect. So why do we all strive so hard to be that way? I know that I’m not being the absolute best Mom I can be right now. But I also know that I’m simply trying to make it from day to day. This deployment is kicking me in the teeth. I’ve done this four times before. WHY does it feel that this time it’s so much harder? What is up with that? I’ve spent DAYS in my pajamas, not showering, not leaving the house, not even moving from the couch, taking endless naps, piecing together dinner from whatever I can find, literally getting dressed five minutes before the school bus drops my child off just so he won’t worry about me. But what I am doing right … the part of my “mom job” that I am proud of right now … is spending every afternoon helping him with homework and studying, talking about school, keeping him engaged. He just brought home straight A’s on his first report card from high school. If nothing else goes right during this deployment, THAT is going right and that is something I can be proud of. My point is, find that thing that you know you are doing right and be proud of it. And don’t worry about all that other stuff.

    16 November 2012 at 6:35 am Reply

    Wow, you must either live in a small town, or you pay better attention than I do. You have shared some amazing coincidences.

    I follow a lot of blogs, but I want you to know that your writing touches me more than almost anything I read. You are truly gifted, Jenny, and your writing is such a blessing to me. I’m putting this post in my Project Life album, along with the original coffee shop story. Thanks so much!

    16 November 2012 at 6:55 am Reply
    Marilyn Johnson

    I remember that post well Jenny! I can’t believe that you ran into him again. Honestly sometimes I think there are real angels among us and sometimes GOD uses us and others to be angels. Obviously that was what he was using you for! I wonder if your paths will ever cross again. Very neat and FUNNY story! You asked GOD what he was needed from you today and he showed you! Love that about you! YOU are such an inspiration girlfriend!

    16 November 2012 at 7:20 am Reply
    Lynn Lynn

    Amen! Beautifully written! :)

    17 November 2012 at 8:49 pm Reply

    As always, raw and truthful. That’s why I love reading your posts – they don’t sugarcoat reality.

    I applaud you for speaking up to Mr. Coffee. All too often we hold back when bad behavior needs to be acknowledged. I’ll bet he has given some serious thought to his priorities as of late! ;)

    I think all of us, at one time or another, read about people’s lives and feel “the grass is always greener on the other side.” But, the reality is that we all have our own battles and challenges. NONE of us is perfect and none of us has a perfect life. Some are just more willing to let the less-than-perfect aspects be shown. You are such a person, and I thank you for that.

    Keep on keepin’ on, sistas!

    18 November 2012 at 1:41 pm Reply

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