I don’t know why, but I always felt like I needed it-
needed permission to enjoy life.
Despite my trying too hard, life never seemed “enough”.
Never good enough.
Never perfect enough.
Never ideal enough.
Never clean enough.
Oh, on the occasional days I could sit back and think,
Yeah I arrived. I finally arrived.
This is IT.
Life is better now, I’m better now, it’s all better now…
And then the bumps would hit again…
The bad hair days.
The hormonal days.
The failures and attitudes.
The financial strains.
The dirty dishes.
The disorganized closets and cabinets.
Something, always something, forbid me to enjoy my day.
And, my dear, if you fail to enjoy too many days
you will find yourself failing to enjoy life.
Because there’s never “enough” of YOU, or HIM, or THEM, or IT, to satisfy the insatiable demands of perfection.
I lived right there for a long time: not enjoying life.
I was waiting, always waiting, for some elusive moment or person to give me permission to think that life was finally “enough”.
But it never happened, and it never was.
Until I learned to give myself permission.
Permission to sleep in or catch a nap every once-in-a-while.
Permission to sit down and cuddle with a child even if the living room isn’t perfectly clean.
Permission to invite people into my less-than-perfect life.
Permission to appreciate what I have even when it doesn’t feel like much.
Permission to reach out when I’m not sure the gesture will be reciprocated.
Permission to share when I know my motives might be misunderstood.
Permission to respect my man even though he hasn’t “arrived” either.
Permission to praise my children even when they’re struggling with attitudes or habits.
Permission to smile even when I don’t feel beautiful, or happy, or appreciated.
Permission to wear perfume and lip gloss even if I’m not stepping out of the house all day.
Permission to drink a second (or third) cup of coffee, just because I like it.
Permission to enjoy the blazing, hot sunshine even though I’m sick of summer.
Permission to cozy up to a cold, rainy day even though I’m sick of winter.
Permission to give freely even though it might be forgotten.
Permission to step out in confidence despite the fact I might fail.
Permission to forgive.
Permission to fail.
Permission to try again.
Permission to laugh. Out loud. Just because!
Permission to enjoy every single day just for what it is:
Just permission to embrace the broken as beautiful,
to see creativity in the chaos,
and to own the imperfect as if it were enough.
Because it is.
Today is enough, because
He is enough.
I am enough, you are enough, because
He is enough.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves,
but our sufficiency is from God,
who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
II Corinthians 3:5 & 6
Do you ever struggle to enjoy life?
Think about today. How has it fallen short of your expectations?
Can you just let go and give yourself permission to embrace joy?
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.