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Good enough

July 21, 2017

Jasmine, without Elephant EarsOur 4 year old resident granddaughter is going through an interesting phase: she greets us (after any significant period of absence, such as a night’s sleep or a workday), with an enthusiastic and joyful, “You’re alive!” As though this were remarkable.

In a way, it sort of sets the bar low. I have a pulse. I showed up. I smiled, and she is overjoyed. Maybe it helps that we love her and she loves us back.

As we experience our 4th summer in this new life as parents of grandchildren, I’m learning to embrace “good enough”. I’m setting priorities and balancing attention, juggling activities and striving to keep everything upright, but it’s not possible. So, I’m also learning to accept the inevitable failures and shortfalls. Everything seems harder. And yet, we’re managing to muddle through.

This week, our perky granddaughter and I both have been under the weather. She has remained perky, while I’ve had a harder go of it. I have had to take it easy, something that is foreign to me. I’m glad I was already fully into (at least 7~10 days!) my new practice of meditation: including a 10 minute rest period in my morning routine sets the tone for the day.

On Thursday, our granddaughter woke early, and I missed this respite. Today, both girls woke early, and instead of skipping meditation, I invited them to join me. It was nowhere near as restful, but it was good enough (and better than nothing).

A few weeks ago, I posted about a flower bed that was overgrown with Elephant Ears. Too much of a good thing had overtaken another good thing, my jasmine. Finally, last weekend, as I fought off the onset of illness, I cleared out the Elephant Ears. Not perfect (they’ll inevitably return), but … good enough.

Sometimes I consider the compromises we make, and worry about the trade-offs, and fret about the gap between reality and “ideal”, and I remind myself that, by profession, Paul was a tentmaker. By this trade, he was able to fund mission trips and maintain his livelihood. But, no one talks about how great his tents were. I assume, however, they were good enough.

Because I haven’t been feeling well, I’m tempted to skip posting this week, but … I’m not going to do that. It’s important to show up, to remain faithful. If I trust in the Spirit to guide me, then I can hope that what I share will be good enough.

At the end of the day, at the end of my days, how do I want to be remembered? I pray, with enough practice, I might live (and be remembered) by the fruit of the Spirit, bearing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Bathtub rings, dirty laundry, unpaid bills, unanswered mail…these don’t define me. If I can bear good fruit, that should be good enough.

How about you?

LORD, grant us a daily dose of the fruit of your Spirit, that we might live in you, according to your will and your ways. Amen. 


  1. permalink

    Fran, This post is better than “good enough.” We are not called to be perfect. You and Jim have answered God’s call and you are drastically changing the life’s of three little ones. May God’s peace and strength always be with you. Love, Nancy

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Kelly Ann Timmins permalink

    I just found your blog, somehow. I am so moved by your words. Mostly, above all, just feelings of “I love you” and also amazement at your wisdom and faithfulness.

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