Am I Enough: A thought on Mom's Night Out the movie, Enough, Expectations, Relationship, Uncategorized

Am I Enough: A Thought on Mom’s Night Out the movie

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By Jeanne Takenaka

A couple friends and I saw the movie, Mom’s Night Out.  I came away uplifted by the story. My still-a-little-sore right side ached from all the times I laughed.

Along with great humor, beautiful messages shine through the story line. One thing that resonated with me was when the main character is in her darkest moment. She’s talking with an unlikely truth speaker. She’s certain she’s a failure at everything (Because really, what woman hasn’t felt this at one time or another?). And she says, “I’m not enough.”

The truth speaker asks her, “Enough for who?”

She rattles off the list of people she believes she’s failed. And the other character asks, “Or is it you?”

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Wow.

That stopped me hard. How many times have I felt like I wasn’t enough? I never stopped to ask the rest of that question, “What/Who am I not enough for?”

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My struggle with feeling “not enough” is ongoing. I fall short as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a . . . the list goes on.

Is it really that I’m not enough for others? Or is it that I have set the bar so high that I am not enough to meet it, much less jump over it? I want to live a life of integrity, of honor. To be a good example for my children.

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This is what a godly wife should look like. This is how a godly mother should act.

The thing about having unattainable expectations of myself is that it steals the joy from living. It blinds me to seeing joy-moments I can share with my family.

Those expectations shove me onward, only to leave me flat on my face when I can’t meet them.

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God made me to be . . . me. He’s given me an amazing family, and the opportunity to grow in my relationship with them.

He’s given me eyes to see those around me who are hurting. So I can do more than rush past in pursuit of meeting my own expectations, my goals, of seeking my own affirmation.

I don’t need to prove that I’m enough to anyone. God made me to be me—a woman who makes mistakes, who lives life messy most days. A woman who whole-heartedly loves Him, and loves the family He’s gifted her with.

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My love for them doesn’t have to be executed perfectly. It needs to be genuine. Some days this won’t look so pretty. Some days I’ll raise my voice at the boys, and have to ask their forgiveness later.

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Sometimes, I let my husband down. When I do, I have to work through the disappointment and purpose to do better in that area of our marriage.

It’s time to realize I am enough because God made me to be me. Not some perfect super-woman who’s pushing all day every day toward an unrealistic standard. It’s time to realize I am enough because of God.

His presence in me. . .

His love for me. . .

His delight in me.

I don’t have to be more than He intends me to be.

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It’s enough to love well and to live well each day.

There’s contentment in that. And peace. 

And rest.

What about you? How do you get a handle on the expectations in your life? Do you place expectations on yourself? How do you keep them realistic?

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30 thoughts on “Am I Enough: A Thought on Mom’s Night Out the movie”

  1. Oh, wow. Beautiful post, Jeanne!

    It really speaks to me. In the past few years I lost much of what I felt defined me, and felt a failure in almost every aspect of life. And, by any impartial accounting – I AM a failure. There’s no sugarcoating that.

    And so what?

    I’ve done my best. I failed. Things didn’t work out, partially because I wasn’t good enough, and partially due to bad luck.

    And so what?

    Either our failures here are all-important, or they’re trivial, evanescent things that loom large only because we’re not yet endowed with the perspective that Heaven will give us. There isn’t a middle ground.

    I’ll keep doing my best, because it’s the right thing to do. But if I fail, or suceed…at the end of the day I’m still going Home, and I bet God won’t even have been keeping score.

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    1. I love your thoughts, Andrew. It kind of reminds me of the question, what defines failure? And will I let it define me?

      Your perspective is a good one. We don’t always see the full picture of our life here until we get to heaven. Things we may perceive as failures may look beautiful somehow, in God’s eyes. And I’ll bet you’re right: I don’t think God’s keeping score either. 🙂

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  2. Love the honesty of this post, Jeanne. And yes, it’s nice to know that your kitchen counters look like mine. Whew! I love the “Enough” bracelet too. Where did you find it?

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    1. Thank you, Beth. And yes, my kitchen counters are downright scary some days. 🙂 I special ordered the Enough bracelet. My reminder of my word this year.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love this, Jeanne! I always need a good talk like this! I am easier on myself today than yesterday, for sure. But the world is so demanding, isn’t it? … no matter how relaxed/undemanding we become on ourselves, there is always someone/something cracking the whip on us! We MUST keep that focus on God! His burden is so light.

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    1. The world IS demanding. It tires me out some days. I’m slowly learning to not yield my back for others to crack the whip on. 🙂 It’s okay to say No. It’s okay to not live up to others’ expectations. It’s okay to fall short of my own, especially if I expect more of me than God does.

      Thanks for the reminder to keep my focus on God. I’m so glad His burden is light!

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  4. I fought and lost the battle to impress others. To MAKE them want to hang out with me. To sound smart. To be the friend they all wanted.

    About 5 years ago I had an epiphany.

    If they didn’t want to be with me, be with those who did, and if those who didn’t care AT ALL about me missed out on what I had to offer.

    Pbbbbt on them!!

    I am happier, MUCH more content, and truly at peace with ME. .

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    1. Being comfortable with who we are leads to much greater peace than trying to impress/get others to like us. That’s a great epiphany, Jennifer! For what it’s worth, I love hanging out with you, when we get the chance! 🙂

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  5. Love the pictures and the thoughts. The truth.
    This is an area I still struggle with. I set the bar too high maybe.
    But I’m trying to be nicer to myself. 🙂

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    1. I think the “being nicer to myself” is the tricky thing. I can give grace to others, but give it to myself when I fall short of my self-set expectations? Yah, not so good at that. I guess it’s a process we each have to work through, huh? Thanks for stopping by, Cathy!

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  6. Jeanne, it was like you were writing about me. I love the elegance and honesty of your post. I feel this way a lot, but thank you for the perspective. I need to remember this and not miss out on the joy. My husband would say… “I tried to say the same thing to you”… I think he thinks I don’t listen to him. I do, it’s just hard to see it for yourself and believe it, when somehow we have gotten tangled up in the lie and can’t find our way out. Even though you’ve reminded me of the Heavenly perspective (and Andrew’s comment) and my own self-inflicted bar-setting tendencies… I’ll probably still slip back into old habits.. they are hard to eradicate. It’s kind of nice to know we are not alone in the mire… and that God doesn’t leave us there. Bless you my dear friend… I shall remind myself “I am enough.”

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    1. Melissa, I slip back into the tendencies too. God’s grace is always there to remind us and to help us make changes in our thinking. You. Are. Not. Alone. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. I struggle with this so very, very much. I know God offers that peace and contentment, but I always seem to forget and fall back away. A constant battle. Thank you for this encouragement. I have heard good things about the movie too 🙂

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    1. I’m so glad God offers us His peace and contentment. I’m also grateful for His grace and gentle reminders that His bar is one of rest, not striving. Thank goodness He never gives up on us. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Lisa!

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  8. Well, my friend…as you know, my ability to actually even MEET expectations has been sadly tested over the past couple of years. Not to even mention the ability to exceed them.

    However, and not that I would have wished all of this on anyone, in my inability to meet those expectation has come a measure of peace. Not all the time, of course. But in moments when God points it out to me and helps me to notice. When I can’t do those things? God’s love for me, and even my family’s love….neither of these changes.

    I really wonder at times, Jeanne, if I would have learned those things without these trials.

    Love all you shared, dear one. I’m grateful for you!

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    1. Great thoughts here, my friend. Sometimes, we’re forced to relinquish our expectations. There can be freedom in that, because that’s when we depend on God to 1) accomplish what we can’t, and 2) to remind us of how much He values us, loves us. Some lessons are hard learned, but much valued, huh?

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. Lovely, encouraging thoughts. I heard the phrase ‘complete in Christ’ as I looked at your enough bracelet. That is definitely enough!

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  10. Older now, I should be wiser,but I still struggle with this negative message of “not enough”. I love the word picture of setting the bar so high I can’t reach it. You made me giggle a bit with taking it a step farther and I mentally watched myself try to not only reach it but also jump over it! Having the experience in college of trying to jump over the tennis net after a game and getting my foot caught, I am going to remember the pain that comes from such foolishness. Your thoughts, words, and pictures make it a pleasure to read your post this morning!

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    1. Pat, thanks for your kind words. I’m so sorry you tripped over the tennis net! Definite pain comes from that, on many levels. I think a lot of people struggle with the life of being “not enough.” May we both grow in believing the truth, that we are enough with God. 🙂

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  11. such a great reminder that life was never meant to be lived in our own strength, we will never find satisfaction, only in Him. He. is. enough.

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    1. Great truths, Teresa. Our satisfaction truly comes only from Jesus, not from anything we do in our own strength. Thank goodness He is enough! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. Jeanne, I loved reading this. It’s so true that we sometimes expect too much from ourselves. I loved this: “The thing about having unattainable expectations of myself is that it steals the joy from living. It blinds me to seeing joy-moments I can share with my family.” and this : “It’s time to realize I am enough because God made me to be me. Not some perfect super-woman who’s pushing all day every day toward an unrealistic standard. It’s time to realize I am enough because of God.” Thank you so much for this reminder 🙂

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