Today’s Guest Post is by Lauren Elkins, who is surrounded by computer programmers by day and two handsome men (her son and husband) by nights and weekends. She writes on her personal blog, The Sciolist, so that her Mother-in-law in Texas can keep up with their lives in Salt Lake City.
When you hear that phrase, what do you think of?
“He’s not good enough for her”?
“I’m not good enough at my job”?
“My dirty house isn’t good enough”?
My friend, Megan, shared a link to an article on Facebook the other day: Blessed in weakness: a good enough mother.
This phrase, this good enough, is something I have used often. It all started when I was in a singles ward and the Bishop rounded us up for a Relief Society lesson on dating. Those are the best, right? The nice Bishop, who’s been married since he was 21 and has 9 kids, all happily married, corrals all of the awkward single women in his ward in their regular meeting place to tell them how important marriage is and how amazing his wife is.
Turns out, this Bishop was different.
This Bishop did an excellent job. It stuck. At least with me, it did. The heart of his message was to be looking for good enough. I guess he’d sat down with enough young women who couldn’t find Mr. Right, or were turning down dates with Mr. Not-Right-Enough. Their lists were too long, too demanding, and too unrealistic.
My Bishop told us to focus on three things for dating, and in this order: does your date treat women and children well, does he work hard, and does he honor his priesthood? That, he said, was GOOD ENOUGH.
It’s a message that we can and should apply to more than just dating. It’s helped me at work, with my sense of personal worth, with setting realistic expectations, and now I am using it as I learn how to be a mother.
The phrase, “good enough” is often associated with negativity. We could add even more to the list we started with: “Her gift wasn’t good enough;” “His effort wasn’t good enough;” “Your assignment isn’t good enough.”
But now I try to search a little further and find the positive GOOD ENOUGHS.
I try to remember at work that things are good enough; I don’t need to stress. I try to remember with laundry, that we are doing good enough. That with helping my toddler to be a happy boy, I am doing good enough. That with all of the different focuses (work, my son, my husband, home, soccer, friends, family), it’s good enough. The ding in the bumper of the car when somebody didn’t leave a note doesn’t matter because everything else with the car is good enough. The crying that my son does when he doesn’t want his diaper changed is okay because he’s happy more often than not, and that is good enough. The silly things that I get frustrated about with my spouse are simply that, silly, because he’s handsome, a great cook, so gentle with our son, driven in school and work, and a good little church goer–all VERY good enough. I have zits, but my body can do so much, and that is good enough. I am afraid of having another child, but I will get the courage again one day, and that is good enough. I am terrible at getting out of bed in the mornings, but eventually I do, and that is good enough.
Nothing here is profound. But that is good enough.
In the creation, “God saw that it was good.”
And in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior said, “Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come”.
Do you feel like you are good enough? Are you looking for good enough? Is that the right thing to focus on?