enough.

This summer was a little crazy for us, and we weren’t able to take a “family vacation.”  But this past weekend, we were able to escape to the ocean for a bit. I adore this quote:

Sometimes, an overdue escape can give you a fresh perspective on things.

With the sun in my eyes, and the wet sand in my toes, I watched our children on the beach. And realized that for the first time in a long time, I was fully present.

Just like they always are. They were completely happy. And so was I.

It truly is a gift, to be present. It’s something I crave and I’m working on it. For all of the time.

On that day, the sun, sand and water, in it’s magnificent simplicity…they were happy. It was enough.

But my children are always present. They always know that they are enough.

And then I started wondering, at what point do we begin the obsession? At what point do we stop being present? At what point do we start believing the little lies that start to hiss and seep in as quickly as air out of a leaky float?

Sometimes, I get the question, ‘how do I do it?’ It’s meant to be a compliment, but I’m not sure it needs to be. It doesn’t mean I’m good at anything. And then the stream of consciousness…that little voice from deep inside has been on the prowl and it attacks. I’m not a good enough mother. I’m not a good enough wife. I don’t do enough. I don’t cherish enough. I don’t cook enough. I don’t clean enough. I don’t enjoy enough. My house isn’t nice enough. I don’t spend enough quality time with my beautiful children. I’m not skinny enough. I’m not thoughtful enough. I’m not even prayerful enough.

I’m not enough. Ever.

How many times a day do we have these thoughts? How many times a day do we listen?

They’re lies. All of them. From the master of lies, himself.

And I’m not listening anymore.

Jamin and I want our children to be a real light in this world. We want them to follow their dreams and develop their God-given talents. We can’t wait to see where they go and what they do. They are our ultimate inspiration. They are blessings and we love them more than life itself. Being a parent is beyond difficult. Most of you totally know that. And if there’s one thing I want to pass down to my children, it’s this:

Did you hear me?

Because we’re all enough. Every single one of us. We’re pretty, talented, good, kind, sweet, hard working, thoughtful, smart, insertwhateveryoustrugglewithhere…precious in His sight, made in His image,

Enough.

I was chatting on the phone with my friend Erin yesterday, and we were talking about how much we love Angela’s beautiful home. One of our mutual faves, The Nester, inspired us with a home tour recently. I was too enamored by the art, and the pretty stuff and I had kind of forgotten about this quote until Erin reminded me. It offers an entirely fresh perspective:

A great quote by Marianne Williamson. With an impeccable timing for me, personally.

So what if we actually believed this? What if we believed that we are enough, and stopped letting the thoughts of not being so, inhibit us?

What if we stopped handicapping ourselves with guilt, dissatisfaction, worry…and replaced that with a new and enamored capability to fulfill our own God given talents and calling? To enjoy each moment as it is? To realize that this moment, in itself, is perfect just the way it is? Just the way our ultimate Creator intended it to be?

We are enough, in this moment, just the way we are.

You are precious. You are enough.

And you are deeply loved.

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69 Responses to enough.

  1. beautiful photos, beautiful family! sigh, I love the beach!

  2. Andrea S says:

    Thank you so much for this reflection. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today! It’s all too easy to get caught up in not feeling good enough, and I really appreciate you being vulnerable with us.

    Also, I absolutely love your website. Even though I haven’t commented before, I visit almost every day. You’ve definitely inspired me to be more creative! Thank you!

  3. April says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I think this “being enough” is harder for women. We have so many roles to fill and it’s impossible to fulfill every one of them successfully in one single day. But yet that is what we expect of ourselves. Maybe it’s the perfect homes we see on TV and blogs, maybe it’s the commercials where the family always eats around the table, maybe it’s just our own idealized version of ourselves. I get is and I go to that “not feeling like I’m enough” place every week. You are so right that feeling is a product of the devil and we must flee from it!

  4. Kat says:

    Great post and great reminder. We truly do need to shine like the stars God has created us to be! Thanks for the quotes!

  5. Jodi M says:

    Awesome post!! Thank you!

  6. laura says:

    I love everything about this post! In the world we live in, it is so easy to make yourself fall into that trap of feeling like you are never enough. Moms are hard on each other and women tend to compare with other women (at least I know I do!!) – you can easily fall into the slippery slope of never feeling like enough…..this post was a great reminder of that! Love the quote by Williamson – how can we not be brilliant, fabulous, etc?? – we are created in HIS image!!!!
    Great post – love your blog and style :)

  7. Debbie P. says:

    I think I love you! This is a perfect post for me today. I’m at a new beginning in my life where a lot of possibilities are open and I can finally be in the present. I was just praying/thanking God for giving me this chance not 30 min ago and then I see this post. I need a craft or something where I can hang the “You are enough” message in my house. I would love for my daughter to grow up with that thought.

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  9. courtney says:

    amen. enough. yes maam. exactly. word up. oh yeah. love ya. keep it comin. loved it. :)

  10. Nesbi Maret- Hernandez says:

    Thank you!

  11. Thank you.

    I’ve been feeling defeated this week, not sure why, but
    it’s like something is eating away at me. Why do we do this to ourselves? I feel overwhelmed because my expectations are out of this world and unrealistic. I am enough, in fact, we’re more than enough. :)

    Big hug. Thank you thank you thank you!

  12. Brittany says:

    Thank you so much for this Ashley! It seems like this has been a topic that has been heavy on my heart lately and I’ve spotted in online in a couple of places too. I have such a hard time with this feeling and I actually just broke down and wrote about it the other night too. We see Pinterest, television, and beautiful blogs like yours and we think that these other people have it all together and that we’re just flat-out failing. Thank you so much. You are SUCH an encouragement.

    • I totally appreciate and understand what you’re saying, Brittany. I also want to address this: It is my deepest hope that anyone who comes here to read what we share, knows that we in no way have anything together. We want this to be a place of encouragement, and inspiration…of ideas and love for family…never a place to make others feel bad. We’re just like everyone else…fumbling our way through this crazy life. So we may we well do it together. ;} And that is why we do what we do.

  13. Tiffany says:

    Amen! So much of this has been going around in my head recently, too. (Evidence: http://tiffanynorris.blogspot.com/2012/08/overachieving-on-internet.html)

  14. Laura G. says:

    Oh my word, Ashley, these are beautiful thoughts. And something I so need to hear, and often. I think all women probably struggle with this, and probably most men too, if they’d admit it. ;-) Thank you for sharing; I probably need to read this once a week!

  15. Laura G. says:

    P.S. Emerson is looking more & more like YOU every day! :-)

  16. Maybe I need that in my house on a canvas somewhere! You are enough. Brilliance.

    Love your post & thanks for the awesome chat. I was all smiles yesterday!

  17. Emelyn says:

    Thank you for that! Glad you had a great day with your family at the beach!

  18. Maryanne says:

    Thank you. My hubby and I just had a long, detailed conversation about where God is leading us in ministry. Then I sat down at my desk and read your blog. How inspirational and your words (and that marvelous quote which I immediately printed out and hung on my bulletin board!) were just what I needed as I ponder what is next. Thank you for letting God speak through you to all of us today!
    Love your other posts, too, btw! You are an inspiration!

  19. Patti says:

    Thank you!!!!

  20. Tracey says:

    I needed to read this so much today. Thank you!!! I have been working hard on being present. And actually last week had come across the Williamson quote and cut and pasted into a document I can keep open on my computer as a reminder. Besides the much-needed message/reminder your post today was, the photos were also just breathtakingly beautiful!
    Thanks

  21. Melissa Marshall says:

    I never comment on these things but I wanted to let you know I needed this. Today, yesterday, the past few months – the months to come. I’m a brand new mommy of 3+ months and am struggling with am I enough for my son? Am I enough for my husband? How do I balance life outside of work and family, and find time for friends? When do I find time? Where do I fit in in this world? This brought it home to me that I am enough at where I am now and if more is to come and more is to follow I will be enough then too. Tears were a flowing, for who knows what reason, but thank you, it’s a nice, gentle reminder that others have these thoughts too and I’m not alone (or crazy, because I feel a little of that too ;-) ) so thank you! I love reading your blog and get my creative (well – I used to be until I became knee-deep in poopy diapers) juices flowing!

    • Hey Melissa! I cried when I wrote it…it was kinda hard for me to admit those things. I, and so many other women were where you are not but a short time ago. Having a baby will make you question everything. It changes everything. I had a little bout of depression with each baby. Trust me…I understand. You are where you are supposed to be, and you’re a blessing! Hang in there + congratulations!

  22. Linda says:

    Tears are flowing ~ what a beautiful post. Thank you, as always, for your insight and honesty. About to put our house on the market and move eight hours away with four kiddos (two who are less than thrilled to leave their friends) for a new job for my husband. I have been questioning constantly our decision, my parenting skills, am I ruining my children with this move, etc. Your post came at a wonderful time and I wish I knew you enough to pick up the phone and chat. :) Thank you.

  23. Gilit says:

    What a wonderful, meaningful post. You actually made me tear (granted, hormones may have played a part, but it really touched me)

  24. I’ve been thinking about this since I came across this pin the other day

    http://pinterest.com/pin/72831718945021876/

    (look at it, really it’s good!) For some reason our society doesn’t focus on lifting us up, but the opposite really. And you’re right about where it comes from- the father of lies.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share that pin with you and thank you for reminding me that I’m enough. You are too. Absolutely.

  25. Bethany says:

    I am totally and completely in love with this post! Encouragement that I really needed today. Thanks!

  26. Rebekah Tice says:

    Great pictures! Great insights! Great post! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and mind. I needed this reminder as well!!! Thank you again.

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  28. Carrie says:

    Thanks for this – I needed it. I love you blog – keep up the good work!

  29. Shaunna says:

    Well, friend, you know I couldn’t agree more. Love you and you are more than enough–thank you for the reminder!
    xoxo
    shaunna

  30. Jen says:

    Lovely. I so appreciated your post. I love it when all you lovely ladies are so honest.
    My talent is raising children. I have seven lovely little ones who I homeschool. But because I don’t find time to do much else it’s easy to feel pathetic. I keep telling my husband I want to find a hobby where I can create something that doesn’t get dirty, doesn’t throw tantrums, and can sit and show me that I do accomplish things among the endless cycle of tasks that are never “done.” :) (There are only so many ways to do laundry that make you feel creative. :) Wait, do I know how to do laundry creatively ?) :)
    However, I remind myself to live in the “now” to treasure these moments because they will soon be gone, never to return and although I might have time to do something more then the laundry, I will miss this time of life. I am enough.

  31. a says:

    This just made me cry a little. I’ve been struggling with this quite a bit lately. Thank you for being you and for helping us realize we are not alone!

  32. tara says:

    Ashley…this might be my favorite post ever from you.

    I love a truth teller, and that is exactly what you are.

    I needed this reminder tonight.

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  34. Tennille says:

    Powerful!! Posted to FB so all the wonderful women in my life can be encouraged. And timely as I’m feeling guilty for sitting here reading your blog when I really should be getting dressed and mopping the floor.

  35. ali says:

    My second daughter left for college a few weeks ago. Before she left she thanked my husband and me for a wonderful childhood, for giving her just enough guidance and just enough freedom to be a resourceful and independent adult. She loved our camping trips, our home, her siblings and all our family fun. But since she left that little voice has been telling me constantly that I should have spent more time with her, done more with her, gone on better vacations, made our home nicer, tidier, cleaner, hugged her more……..thank you so much for reminding me that I AM ENOUGH, and that I am not alone in struggling with that. I am pinning that quote and keeping it where I can see it.

  36. Audra says:

    thank you so much for this post! i absolutely loved it! i visit frequently but haven’t commented before and just want to let you know that i think you are fabulous and hilarious and i’m so glad to call you a sister in the faith! this post was well timed for me too.. i can’t wait to put those words up somewhere in my home and teach my children that they are more than enough! I actually stumbled on another great quote on facebook earliear tonight…”The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.” so true!

  37. cara says:

    My MIL forwarded me this — This is amazing, and exactly what I need. Isn’t it nuts how, if so many of us can identify with this, that we somehow still believe there’s some truth to these lies? UGH, this was such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing :)!!

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  40. Tammy says:

    Ashley,
    You can’t imagine all the ways that God is using you. Thank you for your obedience and willingness to listen to His still, small voice :) You are a blessing! This post is exactly what I needed today (and everyday!) Thanks.

  41. Marti C says:

    So uplifting…thank you!

  42. So true, so ON time! I am sharing the link to this message..preach!

  43. Ema says:

    So true. How unfortunate we need to be reminded of this. The joy on the faces of your children brought smiles to my face. I want that joy for myself everyday. Thank you for the reminder.

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  48. Brittany says:

    I found this very encouraging this evening. I’ve had a dark few weeks and I remembered reading this those months ago. Thank you for being a light when there seems to be so much darkness.

    http://prettybittybugs.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-little-bit-dark.html

  49. Lynsey Braggs says:

    How I have not read this post yet. Wow, just wow! I was in tears this morning over this very thing. This was me. Thank you so much for these words!

  50. Claudea says:

    As I sit here, sobbing from a deep sense of enlightenment and truth, I want to thank you for writing such a powerful and profound post. This post seems inspired, it’s so deep and yet so perfectly simple to comprehend. Very moving, very eloquently written. You have such a gift…thank you for sharing it!!!

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  53. Lynn says:

    Great summer pics and a wonderful post.

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  55. Kyla F says:

    I have been feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious lately, one week away from studying graphic design at a new school after a year off from college. Tonight I turned to your blog because it always makes me happy and I knew that I would find things to make me smile. This post was exactly what I needed. I know that I have read it before, but tonight it really touched my heart. Thank you Ashley :)

  56. Nicki Thomas says:

    Whew honey! These printables are too rich in Christ’s love for us not to share. I was in tears. I truly felt the Holy Spirit’s presence. Thank you for being such a blessing to me and others and allowing God to use you.

  57. Debbie says:

    One of the most beautiful and heartfelt posts I’ve ever read about being Enough, thank you.