Never Good Enough and the WIP Wednesday Link-Up

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Never Good Enough

Hang in with me. This post might be all over the place.

I don’t know where I picked it up, but somewhere along the way I picked up the tendency to believe that no matter what I do or accomplish–it’s never good enough.

It wasn’t enough to get A’s in school, I wanted 100s.
It wasn’t enough to be on the cheerleading squad, I wanted to be head cheerleader.
It wasn’t enough to have a great job as a 2nd grade teacher, I wanted to be new teacher of the year.
It isn’t enough to get two Master’s degrees, I want a doctorate.
It isn’t enough that 60 people participate in my link-up, I want 100.

This “never good enough” mindset puts me in a constant state of striving to get one notch better. One step higher on the ladder. But once I get there, it’s still not good enough to satisfy me.

I only look at my blog stats once a week. That day is Tuesday. I looked at them yesterday morning, and they were down. I was frustrated. I was confused about why I even spend so much time working on this blog if only that many people are going to look at it. Then a bloggy friend graciously pointed out a blessing and told me of how I had encouraged her.

Later that morning, I was working on my BSF lesson going through passages listed and identifying the ways the Holy Spirit worked in those passages. All the while I’m praying, Lord, what do you want me to get out of this?

The passages reminded me that the Holy Spirit works through me. Specifically, He works through my words here on the blog. John 3:8 reminded me that the Spirit blows wherever He pleases…like the wind. He chooses to use this blog however He desires.

For me to say that my blog is not good enough is me telling the Holy Spirit that His work isn’t good enough.


Immediate confession and repentance and acknowledgment of the lies I was believing.

First, I believed that I created, built, whatever you want to call it, this blog on my own. In my own strength. So. not. true. It’s only in the Lord’s strength and by His wisdom I have anything to offer here.

Second, I believed that the blog had to achieve some certain level to be “good enough” (which we know by now still wouldn’t be good enough for me if I even got there…). Again–not true. Any work done in the power of the Holy Spirit is more than enough. <–Believe it?, Tweet it!

BSF lessons always conclude with a “based on what you have learned, how can you apply this lesson…” sort of question. I concluded my lesson with this statement (Our study was mostly focused on Genesis 1 with a sidetrack on the Holy Spirit):

Everything God willed to be was. His desire for my ministry and our family will come to pass. Then I added…If I don’t get in the way?!

That’s where I’m stuck. In creation, God said, let it be, and it was. How does my free will influence/affect His will in my life?

So I warned you that I was all over the place today!

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Work In Progress Wednesday

 It’s time for the WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday Link-Up! 

This week’s featured post: I promised a double feature since I didn’t have one last week!
First up, you absolutely MUST check out the series Mandy is doing over at her place: Hearts Undaunted. You will be encouraged!
Second, I just love this strategy from Erin: Stop. Breathe. Pray. How many times a day do I need to do this?!

What is God doing in your life? Link up a post below or let’s chat in the comments! Please make sure you link back to! This helps promote the community and allows everyone’s posts to be shared. :) If you aren’t sure how to do that, e-mail me! I’ll be glad to help!

Link Up Rules:

  • Please link to the post’s permalink so that it will go directly to the post you want us to read.
  • In the “Name” space, put the title of your post.
  • Limit 3 Links per week.
  • Please take time to visit the blogger before you and encourage them in their comments.
  • Use Hashtag #WIPwed when you tweet about your post!
  • One Post will be featured each week from the previous week’s Linky!
  • Please link back to so your readers know where to find us! (Grab the button on the sidebar!)

This post is linked with thanks to:

Works for Me Wednesday
Women in the Word Wednesday
Living Well Wednesday
Unwrapping His Promises

God Bumps and God-Incidences
Whatever Wednesday
Encourage One Another Wednesday
Walk with Him Wednesday 

Photo Credit: thebarrowboy


  1. Oh, that being-good-enough curse is so, so, so…. CURSE-Y! Hahahah…I know that is not a word but sometimes the frustrations in the cycle of proving yourself feels like a never ending marathon of pushing and striving and longing yet never truly achieving. I know this ALL TOO WELL!

    You SO hit the nail on the head too! The work of the Holy Spirit in us and through us is enough. It is complete in each moment. That is some great revelation and wisdom right there!

  2. So true sis! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I’m not doing enough”. I struggle with that daily, and I go to bed exhausted and wake up the same way. Ugh. Praying for you sis! (((hugs)))

  3. Your transparency is beautiful here Mary Beth. I didn’t think you were all over the place for one minute!

    Here’s the line that made me say “whoa!” at this hour: “He chooses to use this blog however He desires. For me to say that my blog is not good enough is me telling the Holy Spirit that His work isn’t good enough.” Very insightful! Praying that you would always be sensitive to hear the Spirit’s prompting so that you’re not rushing to meet a goal or one up yourself. Many are blessed by your posts but, if it was only one life that was challenged, encouraged or refreshed by your words I pray that you would count her life worth the amount of work it takes to put a post together. PS I am one who is consistently blessed, encouraged and refreshed by you every week! Praying for you this week.

  4. No profound theological thoughts but wanted to give you a hug for encouragement. Discourage,ent is just the worst. Much love xx

  5. I love the way you have touched all of our hearts through this post, Mary Beth. Moment to moment I am reminded that I have a choice of who I will serve; myself {my ego} or God and when I choose God, O’ the peace that passeth all understanding! Thank you for reminding each One of this Peace available right now and for making the choice to allow God’s perfect expression to radiate through you!!

  6. “How does my free will influence/affect His will in my life?” I’ve been stuck here for a while. Maybe I’m just supposed to let it go and accept that I’ll never really ‘get it’? Thanks for your honesty Mary Beth!

  7. And this is why 1 Corinthians 15:58 is my favorite verse- “Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you KNOW that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”. If God spoke through stats, you might have something to be concerned about. Thankfully for all of us, He doesn’t! :) Great post, Mary Beth. And remember that blog stats are fickle things. But our God NEVER changes. Much love to you!

  8. messymarriage says:

    I think all of us from time to time struggle with trusting that God is working in the unseen spiritual realm with our efforts in blogging. You’re not alone, Mary Beth. Thanks for your authenticity and for hosting as well!

  9. I am incredibly competitive. I find it really hard because my daughter is not. It is a constant balance for me to know when to push her and when to back off. I love this reminder today. Oh course God loves me for me just as he loves my daughter exactly how she is. Fantastic post!

  10. I’m with Nikki as your post made complete sense to me. I felt the move of the Holy Spirit on you as you followed His lead…great post, Mary Beth :) May you know how He is using you to bless others beyond the outward numbers. Thanks for sharing and hosting :)

  11. My mind must work so well with all over the place, because that was completely linear to me!

    And oh I have struggled with this, too. A few months back in fact.

    One day He hit me in the head with a 2×4 and told me flat out. “I haven’t asked you to reach a multitude. I’m worried about the one I’ve lost.” and He assured me this is all worth it if we just reach one. Just one. Because that one was worth dying for.

    That’s when I stopped paying attention to stats and started digging into the souls of those I know stop by…I’m on a mission to find the one. And if it turns out to be more than one, to God be the glory.

    And who knows what He has in store for your place here, Mary Beth. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s big things. Because you are in fact more than enough.

    Hugs to you! (I’m not linking up this week because I don’t have the time to stop by a bunch of others that link up and I’ll feel guilty about that!) :) I’m a nut…a Cruchy Christian ;)

    • Nikki. Thank you for this reminder from Scripture. That really puts things into perspective.

      I totally understand about linking up! It nags me when I don’t get around to commenting as much as I want! Praying for you as you prepare for Friday (I think that’s the day…). Hugs right back!

  12. Jessica Chenoweth says:

    I too have felt this way and still do at times. My blog is almost a year old and I still don’t have the numbers or stats I would like. God has reminded me this is HIs ministry not mine. One person is important to Him and even if only one person is getting anything from the things He lays on my heart…that is enough. Thanks for this post! It is nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with this.

  13. Mary Beth, I can relate so much! I’m still working on a post about numbers and writing for an audience of one. I’ve been working on it ( in my head) for months now but haven’t quite got there. It’s definitely a daily struggle for me. I need to only check my stats once a week. Instead, I’m in the back end of my blog doing *something* every day so I check my stats while I’m there. And, for me as well, it comes from a desire to be “good enough.” I’ve struggled with that my entire life, unfortunately. Plus, look at all your comments…you are building a community in ways that the “numbers” on your stat page don’t show.

    • Thanks for your encouragement. I am definitely meeting some amazing people through this experience. I look forward to reading your thoughts when you get that blog post out on the screen!

  14. Mary Beth,
    I just can’t get enough of you. :) So often I find you write the posts I wish I had written, but then I recognize you did a far better job with it! This one included. There are so many lies wrapped up in our desire to acheive the best with our efforts, and there are so many ways this kind of thinking can lead us down paths God does not want us to go down. Bringing it into the light is such an admirable and obedient step to take, and I pray that God blesses you through this time of growth. My struggle in this area almost always comes down to my desire to please people to the best of my ability and be viewed by others as “likeable.” While there’s insecurity there, this thought pattern is also filled with pride, greed, self-righteousness, fear of man, and even addiction to the pleasure we get from our acheivements. I hate how familiar I am with this struggle. I can find myself in thought battles where the only victory I find is in repeating truth to myself with scripture or singing truth filled songs to myself. The final answer tends to always be, “More of you, less of me, Lord.” I would love to hear more about how your doing with this and pray for you! An update post in a month maybe? :)

    • Tyanne,

      This idea gets thrown around a lot…but I really think we may be kindred. I read your posts and seriously think the same thing!

      I feel like this struggle specifically stems from my decision to stay home….like this blog is some way to “prove” myself. That I can stay home full time and still do something “valuable”–as if staying home with Thomas isn’t enough. I know that’s just a lie–again with the “good enough”. Which, as you said, is filled with pride, greed, etc. I especially relate to the pleasure we receive from our own achievements. Who doesn’t like to have their horn tooted? But that’s setting myself up as an idol rather than turning the glory to God.

      Okay, so I’m rambling now. I would love to do an update…I’m making you my accountability partner! If you don’t see something by the end of October, ask me!


  15. Such a good word for anyone who struggles with that word, “enough” and it’s cousin “more.” … You speak great truth here, about the Holy Spirit working where and when He chooses. And be assured: He is working through YOU, my friend! Keep it up. Press on. You shine for the Lord!

  16. Meghan Carver says:

    Mary Beth, I followed your writing just fine because I have every single one of those worries myself! I hate that about myself, the constant stress to be “perfect” – whatever that is. Your statement about the Holy Spirit — I believe it, and I tweeted it.

    • It’s crazy why we put such pressure on ourselves!? I tell my mom all the time when she is stressing about her work that it’s stress she puts on herself–her boss would never be angry with her over the things she gets upset about. But isn’t that exactly what I do? All this raising the bar and never being satisfied is stress I put on myself!

  17. I think that’s a lesson every blogger needs to learn! Thanks for sharing. You ARE a blessing.

  18. I followed you, so not too “all over the place”. :) A beautiful post, Mary Beth, and I’m praising God for what He’s doing in you–both blog wise and soul wise. Thanks for the pingback–now I actually now what that is, LOL.

  19. I love this post. You have such a gift. I really enjoy reading everything you write. Thank you so much for featuring my post Stop.Breathe.Pray on your blog. I am so honored and blessed! God has been doing great things in my life. I wish you many blessings on this lovely day!

  20. I struggle with this desire as well, dear friend. Love your heart and desire to be satisfied in God. You are a blessing to me. :)

  21. Thanks for your transparency, and your thoughts here – ones which I definitely identify with. These are things that I continually need to bring before God, as well. I always appreciate your transparency and your insight here in this place – and thanks so much for the opportunity to link up and share our hearts, as well.

    • I’m thankful and humbled that God would give me the opportunity and strength to share honestly in this space. It’s a comfort to know that others identify and we can work through it together. Encouraging each other as we grow!

  22. thanks for being honest here…oh that curse of never measuring up…whatever that up is in our own minds. My daughter was complaining about her “shortcomings”…and right in the middle her speech…she stops and stays…I bet that makes God feel bad…it is like tell Him He did a bad job…I was so thankful…yes…because I spent way too many years of my life tell God He did a bad job in me…Grace and peace as you find more freedom…abiding in His Love for you~

  23. I have struggled with this more in the last year than ever before. I hear your heart on this, and so appreciate your honesty. Thank you Mary Beth.

    • I think this has been a lifetime issue for me that I’m just now realizing. I’m struggling to find the difference between doing things in excellence to honor the Lord and putting unrealistic expectations on what “excellent” is…

  24. StephanieGlidden says:

    Well I wrote about cookies today, so that won’t work linking up with WIP today, BUT I want you to know that you have encouraged me as well, and your sweet spirit really shines through in your writing. Remember, Jesus mainly hung with 12, and He would leave them all to go after 1. :) That always helps me keep this blogging thing in perspective!!

    • Thanks for that reminder! I just finished chapter 1 of Radical which talks a lot about Jesus hanging out with only 12 and actually avoiding the masses at points.

      I appreciate you stopping by even thought you didn’t link up! Cookies sound awesome right now though…

  25. Oh Mary Beth, I know the competitive spirit of which you speak and I feel like I wrestle it continually. The Lord continues to graciously (ptl) deal with it, but it’s a weed that keeps springing up and threatening to choke out the good.

    For the record – you have a VERY encouraging blog. As much as I get frustrated with some churches obsessions with “the numbers,” I find I’m just as guilty with looking at my stats. OUCH

    I know that “all over the place” feeling. It’ll be bouncing around on my blog soon :)

    • Those are such great comparisons: the weeds and the church stats. I’m guilty of saying just the same things about churches and look at me. Thanks for sharing here! I look forward to reading what “bounces” out of your head and onto the blog!

  26. I love your transparency in this post, Mary Beth!
    I totally understand the “never good enough” mindset. I too was always an over-achiever…I remember in high school, arguing with a teacher over bonus points. I already had a 100% on the test, but was angry because I felt I’d been cheated out of the bonus points question.
    Then life put me in a few situations where my best was absolutely not good enough…where no amount of effort on my part could improve the situation…where my faith, prayer and tears yielded no changes…
    And I discovered something wonderful. When the worst thing I could think of happened…when I was found helpless and insufficient…God remained faithful! Not faithful to meeting my expectations, but faithful to loving and caring for me through all of life’s troubles. Not faithful to fulfilling my plans…but faithful to fulfilling His plans in my life.
    And, I discovered that God is not dependent on my being good enough.
    All He asks, from me, is a willing heart, coming to Him each day, asking Him to mold me into who He has predestined me to be…asking Him to conform my heart to His image…
    Blessings to you, sister!

    • Ahh Joseph I’ve been there arguing over bonus points too. Or being mad because a graduate professor gave me a 99 just because “no one can be perfect” even though I met every requirement! crazy, right?!

      I appreciate that reminder…God doesn’t need me to be “good enough” He uses me just as I am.

  27. says:

    I often get in the way of His work. Especially when it doesn’t seem like He’s doing anything. But I have to remember that His ways are not my ways. He knows the end from the beginning and His plan is for my good and His glory. Great post and I appreciate you sharing your heart with transparency. Blessings!

  28. I love BSF! And the lessons sure started out with a bang this year. You have to apply it. No sloughing.
    I was struck by the Holy Spirit being the one who conforms us to the image of Christ as we spend time in God’s presence. (2 Corinthians 3:18) That is what my post is about.


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