When are we enough?


This post is a quite a bit different from most you will read from me.  You might not get a lesson idea for next week or suggestion for my favorite make-up, but I hope your teacher heart gets a little something from this post.

I guess I should start by saying I'm starting over in my fitness journey.  I know that sounds horrible, like why did I ever stop and honestly I can't tell you why.  I will tell you it's depressing to think about how hard I worked to only gain back everything I lost. But enough, woe is me. I know it's time to get my behind in gear.  So I'm working really hard on my nutrition and starting to work out again. And this brings me to this post. As I started out tonight on a walk, I thought about how I used to run 3 miles and be home within 30 minutes, feeling strong and proud and then I'd go to the gym and lift. Tonight I was walking, jogging a bit and walking some more.  As I would pass the runners on the trail in my neighborhood, I really wanted to stop them and let them know I used to be like them. I couldn't help but wonder if they thought of me as some overweight, weak girl.  Did they judge me for running and having to stop halfway up the hill? Did they know that I'm really trying to get back to that girl who could sprint up those hills and not miss a beat?

On that very same walk, alone with my thoughts, I had to wonder.  Why do I care so much? I know that many of us, especially teachers, love affirmation. We love to do it all, and have others wonder how we fit it all in. We try to make sure we have the cutest classrooms, most exciting lessons, adorable anchor charts and still find time to make 25 + rainbow cupcakes for that special theme lesson.  Now, I do these things because I love to make learning fun, I honestly enjoy doing these things most of the time, but sometimes I just do too much.  I load things on my plate, because I want to please others, I want to be the PERFECT teacher.  For example, I pride myself on keeping my parents overly informed. I post pictures of their kiddos weekly, they receive a homework sheet on Monday, reminder emails throughout the week, and a newsletter on Friday.  I get lots of thank you's for making sure they don't miss a thing.  Then one day, I forgot to send home the math homework. Now math goes home every Tuesday night like clockwork and I forgot.  And darn it, if I didn't kick myself.  I mean, now I wasn't perfect anymore.  What would the parents think? Now, as I write this, I know it seems insane.  No one is perfect. I know I'm not perfect. I know that there are days when my teaching is downright mediocre, but I don't show you that on this blog.  Just like not many people post pictures of themselves on Facebook looking at hot mess.  Why? Because we all want to please. We want the approval of others.  

I also started to think about all the other ways I felt pressure in my life to be the best. Soon after starting my blog, I became a seller on TpT.  Now this was back in the stone ages when teacher blogs were as scarce as the sellers on TpT. The good old days when I often saw my name in the newsletter, as well as the top 10 best sellers list.  Do I see my name there anymore...not so much.  Does that bother me? A little.  Does this mean my products are no longer good enough? Does it mean I'm not good enough? Y'all, I know it doesn't. I've found amazing products from teachers that are nowhere near the top 10. Teachers that are totally deserving of recognition for lessons that would benefit every child. And still I worry. 

And then there's being a mommy and wife.  Gosh darn, the pressure! The pressure to make sure my boys are given every opportunity, that they have everything they need, that I let them know how much I love them, that their homework is correct, their clothes are nice and clean and that they do not behave like hooligans.  I have spent countless evenings making elaborate treats for snack day, cutting out what seems like thousands of pieces of felt for the perfect First Communion Banner and making sure their teachers and coaches feel appreciated by giving creative little gifts. And I love to do these things, but there are times when I just felt spread way too thin.  

And so, the point of this post.  Today, a very good friend shared an excerpt from her bible study and I couldn't help but think of it tonight on my run, as well. 

"Until our hearts find complete security and significance in God's unconditional love, we will never be satisfied. Those of us who struggle with insecurity and find ourselves in the shadow of doubt often get there because we are seeking our validation in people's opinions, our worth in accomplishments, and our identity in excessive commitments.Until God's love is enough, nothing else will be. We were made for love that isn't measured by our latest accomplishment, but marked by God's measureless grace. "

I don't believe in coincidences when it comes to the Lord. He always provides us with what we need at just the right time.  And this would be the perfect time for me. As I feel pulled in a million directions at the end of the school year, I need to realize that I am enough. My efforts, no matter how big or small, are enough.  You ALL are enough.  We aren't measured by a list on a website, or the beauty of an anchor chart.   We are all enough in his eyes.  God doesn't make mistakes y'all, his love for us is unconditional and that needs to be enough.  




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40 comments

  1. I appreciate your heartfelt post. I feel the same way. I don't want to let myself down as much as I don't want to let anyone else down and it's exhausting!
    KaSandra
    Http://memoriesmadeinfirst.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Right back at ya!!!

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    2. This was so revealing and touching! Its comforting in knowing how much as teachers that we deal with the same struggles and life lessons day in and day out. It reminds me to simply.................let go and let God! Thank you for the uplifting post!

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    3. Thank you for the revealing and inspirational post! It is comforting in knowing that we as teachers face the same struggles day in and day out! It reminds me to simply............Let go and let God!

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  3. Preach it! Love this post and YOU!

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  4. You are enough. We all are. Love you and this post. ❤️

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    1. Thank you Abby! Love you right back!

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  5. Just what I needed to read! This is perfect! <3

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  6. Love this. Feel you. Big hugs. You (we all) are sooo enough.

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  7. I just love this post so much! I feel like you wrote it for me! The last couple of years have been hard for me because I gained back all the weight that I lost (and it was A LOT), dealt with same family health issues and then got married 6 months ago (so sad that I wasn't at my skinniest) all while trying to be an amazing teacher, wife and full time step-mother. I've been trying to psych myself up to exercise and eat better because I felt fantastic when I did. Your post is that extra push I needed! I love the message that God's love needs to be enough. Thank you so much for this post! You go girl! :-)

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    1. Good luck with your fitness and thanks for the kind words!

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    2. I had saved this blog on my laptop since last summer. I was going to look for things for the upcoming school year. I know that's crazy since THIS school year just ended! :) lol!
      I ordered one of those amazing organizers, and then I had just read your post. I was so touched and its comforting in knowing that we teachers face the same trials and struggles and we tend to forget to simply....................Let Go and Let God! Thank you for the inspirational message!!

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  8. Well said! There is so much self-inflicted pressure these days! I say, 'Don't sweat the small stuff!' Enjoy life and your family and take care of yourself! You only get to do it once!

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  9. Thank you for saying this out loud. May we all focus on ourselves a bit more - no matter what - and praise God for all the gifts He gives us daily! Hugs!

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  10. Thank you so much! This year has been especially tough and I can really relate...love the self-talk while exercising - I'm doing the exact same thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you :) Jen

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  11. Oh girl, you have no idea how much I needed to read that today! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, God's heart. Thank you!

    Erin
    <a href="http://www.learningtobeawesome.blogspot.com>Learning to be awesome</a>

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  12. I so needed this post this morning. I too stumbled in my fitness journey and am getting back on it but it is so hard to continually stack more and more on my plate! Thanks for the reminder that we are enough and sharing this truly honest post! :)
    Jessica
    www.rowintolearning.blogspot.com

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  13. This post really spoke to me. Beautifully and honestly written!

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  14. Great post! Thank you for being honest. I know all teachers feel this way. With our evaluation system and assessments being held over our heads, it always seems like your never good enough. It's easy to let that seep into your everyday thoughts. Love that Bible study passage!

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  15. Amen sister! and as a former successful and unsuccessful dieter, you will be fine! You will find your "happy place" and be fine...I loved hearing about your running; I have bad knees so that seems like a luxury to me! Keep working for yourself! Look at all you've accomplished! A publisher! A teacher and I am sure many more things! Thanks for the blog! Keep on keepin on!! (did I just say that? lol I am dating my self!) Have a great day! Amy

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  16. I don't think I could love this post any more than I do! As bloggers, we really put ourselves out in the open, and people begin to have higher expectations for us. We are real people, and we cannot do it all! You are amazing, my friend...and a rock star!

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  17. Thanks for putting this out there and keeping it real- I think we all need to hear it, especially this time of year.

    -Maria

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  18. Michelle, I just love you so much!! So many of the things you said really hit home for me. Thanks for being a wonderful inspiration!

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  19. I am not a very seasoned teacher (my first year as a classroom teacher begins in August) but this post came at the right time. As excited as I am to begin this journey, I am equally as terrified. I want all those things you want as well. I don't know what is worse, wanting to be perfect, or knowing that I won't be.

    I hope that your heart and mind relaxes as the end of this school year draws near. You are an inspiration to a lot of people, most of which you don't even realize. Keep on doin' your thing! :-)

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  20. I had a similar post scheduled to publish in a few hours and woke up with full intent to delete it and never let the world know. And then, I came to find the last two paragraphs of your post and they hit my heart. I've quoted them at the end of my post, and if that's a problem please let me know. I just wanted to say that this affected my heart, and I hope you find success in a way that makes you happy.

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  21. Thank you. I struggle with this quite a bit.

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  22. You're amazing! Thank you for sharing! For what it's worth to me you're the #1 tpt seller. Love your heart and your passion.

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  23. You are enough! We are all right there with you. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. When something does not go right we blame ourselves. I have always thought if I were prettier and had a perfect body, I would not be single. It is a horrible way to think. BREAK THE THOUGHT PATTERN! Love you Michelle!

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    1. Love you too girl! You are beautiful! Don't forget that.

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  24. Absolutely agree with and love everything about this post! Thanks for being open and taking the time to write it!

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  25. This post hits home in so many ways! I'm climbing back on the fitness re-wagon too. Also, the pressure to achieve this fictional level of perfection in all things. You expressed it all beautifully. And yes sweet girl, you are enough!! Love ya!

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  26. You are enough...just the way you are! God has delivered you on my doorstep in my time of need a few times:) Thanks for a much needed reminder to keep the focus on what is really important during this difficult time of the year. Love you!

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  27. I loved this post! I think teachers are over-achievers by nature. I know I create a lot of anxiety by trying to be better, stronger, happier, more prepared, (etc...) than the day before. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us...it's nice to not feel so alone in this thinking! :)

    Janet
    Mrs. D's Firsties

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  28. This post resonated with me so very much! I just ended this school year on Monday and I am exhausted! I am the first grade lead teacher, ILT representative, designated teacher that works well with "discipline issues" and ELL's. I am also a mom, wife, and person with my own hobbies and interest. It is just too much! This year has been awful! I won't even get started on my nutrition and exercise routine. I completely understand that feeling of being overwhelmed. I'll pray for you and hope you do the same for me!

    Victoria
    Educar con una Sonrisa

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