Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why we're not enough to fix the church (but God is)

The page lies open large and white as the snowy landscape outside the window.  I sit, waiting for words to come, wondering if there is anything left to say.  There's so much noise already, the background sounds of Panera, and the loud cell phone conversation of the mom arguing with her son over a phone bill.  Perhaps such a conversation would be more helpful (and less ironic) in person.

I write to process my feelings, and yet the numbness defies words.  I'm grieving the loss of the familiar and fearing changes that will come as our church adjusts and fills the hole of our resigning pastor.  It leaves me struggling again to find my place in the church and brings back former hurts.  My last blog post on leaving the church seemed to hit a chord with so many people, and I understand that church has been a cause of so many scars.  And yet, I still believe in it (Lord, I believe...help my unbelief).  I believe in the power of church when I see how my children connect with other adults like a second family.  I believe in the way we carry one another's burdens, checking up on those who are sick and taking meals to those who are down.  I believe in the way we can share our deepest sorrows and joys and have the freedom to be authentic and vulnerable.

I know that it's not always this way, of course.  We lose our focus on the community and seek out our own needs.  We feel hurt, betrayed, or ignored when we don't receive what we think we deserve.  We get tired of always being the one who says "yes" and resent the ones who say "no".  We forget the message of Jesus who was willing to die so that we might understand God's promise of love and life.  We neglect to offer that love to everyone and think we can be the judge of who is deserving (and who is not).

Sometimes I get sucked in by the lie of "not enough".  I'm not strong enough to hang on; I'm not skilled enough to make a difference.  I believe the church doesn't have enough to fix all that is broken.  And I guess that's true.  It's been proven time and time again through failure.  But my big mistake is believing that it's all about me, that it's all about anyone except for God.  As hard as I try, I'm not enough in myself.  As much potential as it has, our church is not enough with just the members.  As she is quick to remind us, a pastor (even one as fabulous as our departing one) cannot save a church.  It is only through God that we are enough; that we were created in God's image with gifts, passions, and love to use in healing a broken system and a fallen world.  It is only because of Jesus' sacrifice that we understand the sacrificial love that is necessary to die to ourselves and find our higher purpose in serving others.  It is only through the presence of the Spirit that we are reminded, again and again, that God is in this place with us, creating holy ground right beneath our feet.

I'm reminded that we don't have to be enough, because God is.  In fact, his very name that he shared with Moses was "I AM".  I was reading Rob Bell's Tumblr series about the Bible yesterday and he was sharing about the covenant that God makes with Abraham in Genesis 15.  Covenants were common in that period, and were signified by an animal sacrifice with the two parties walking through the animal that had been cut in two.  But in this covenant, God is the one who walks through, showing that God pledges to uphold the covenant, regardless of what Abraham does.  We see this again and again in the Bible: God reaches out to God's people and they obediently follow for a while, but inevitably fail and turn away from God.  But God reaches out over and over, giving them a new chance.  That is love, and that love is grace enough for us hang onto as we continue to make our messy way through life.

When we feel like we're not enough, when we believe that the church is not enough, it's okay.  We don't have to be, because God is, and with God dwelling within us, we are enough, too.  In fact, we become the very church that God calls us to be.

See the third part of this series here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why I Left the Church...and Why I Returned

photo credit: Tru Stevens Photography
It seems that for every happy, churchgoing Christian, there is another who has a painful story of how they've been wounded by the church.  As a college chaplain, I encounter more reasons for why my students don't go to church than reasons why they do.  Of the 58% of our students who self-profess the Christian faith, only a small percentage go to church regularly.  This seems to mirror a growing trend as many articles and studies point out, and it's not just among young people.  I received a message from someone who had left the church and found life to be surprisingly comfortable without the Sunday commitment.  She asked me, "Why do we need to go to church when it seems that churches only hurt people?"

I found myself an unlikely advocate for the church.  I've have my share of scars from churches behaving badly.  My beloved home church that I grew up in does not support women in ministry, and instead of celebrating my call to ministry, denied it.  My first church internship was in a "purpose-driven" church that seemed to be more about stage lights, catchy music, and attendance numbers than authentic faith (although, to be fair, I met wonderful people there that are still part of my life, and the church has grown to create some wonderful outreach ministries for the community).  I watched my fiancĂ© (now husband) get battered by one church, then another, and the bitterness still rises whenever I see those self-righteous committee members that declared him unworthy, while the staff stood by silently, continuing to pat themselves on the back and rake in their big paychecks.  After 5 years of being in a much better place in terms of our careers, finances, family, and church, I still struggle with anger over how we were treated, and how common our painful experience really is.  

It took a lot of searching and a lot of healing (still in progress, obviously) to find a safe place for us to return to church, and that was only with the understanding that we would just be pew-sitters for a while.  The community of faith that we found was not what we expected.  From the surface, they looked like a dying congregation, their numbers decimated and aging in a large and mostly empty sanctuary that reflected better days.  There were few programs, and no Sunday School class for us; our kids and the pastor's children were almost the entirety of the children's department.  It did not look promising, but, oh, how they reached out to welcome us.  Against our initial impressions, we felt like we had found a home.  We knew things weren't perfect, but we were able to let our guard down.  As the first year wound down, we felt ready to get involved again.  When the cracks began to show, we were already committed.  Our kids had been dedicated, one had been baptized, and we had made friends as more young families began to join.  Our pastor was a wonderful preacher, a compassionate leader, and a friend and mentor to me.  We spoke up in strained business meetings, we stepped up to fill leadership roles, and we prayed that the ugliness of the past would not repeat itself.  At least this time, we weren't in paid staff positions.

But now, the brokenness is undeniable, and I wonder if it's irreparable.  We are saying goodbye to our beloved pastor who is resigning after doing her best to hold things together for the past 18 years.  There is grief with all its stages: sadness, denial, anger, bargaining...I want to run away one minute and fight the next.  So the question, posed the day before the straw that broke the camel's back, becomes even more relevant and personal: "Why do we need to go to church when it seems that church only hurts people?"

My answer would be a little more hesitant and uncertain than it was just a few days ago, but deep in my heart I believe in the power of a church community.  We are there to support, encourage, and keep one another accountable.  We join together to seek God's vision as a group so that it doesn't just become all about "me".  We are stronger together, so that we can reach beyond the church walls and minister to our hurting community as the Body of Christ, a real and tangible reminder of God's presence, concern, and love with us.  Just like the first disciples, we won't always "get it".  We will hurt each other, intentionally or not, and we will betray the very Jesus we claim to follow.  We will get more wrapped up in business than ministry.  We will point fingers of blame and give in to fear instead of faith.  But, with God's help, we will heal together and learn to trust God and each other again.  We will fight the temptation to isolate ourselves and will do the hard work of breaking down our walls of protection, softening ourselves to the risks and rewards of authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability.  We will share our stories with one another and learn that even those that seem so different are connected to us by the bonds of family.

We will take our inspiration from the bread we break, remembering the body of Christ, broken as we are, and yet is the source of healing and hope for us all.

Read my follow-up post on "Why We're Not Enough to Fix the Church (but God is)" here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Other Side of the Fence

"You're not LISTENING to me" is one of the more frequent complaints in our house.  Whether it's us parents frustrated with our kids' disinclination to follow instructions, or the kids complaining that we are not understanding their side of the argument, the phrase is lobbied around often.  Sometimes the issue is that I don't distinguish between "listening" and "obeying" and simply ask Brady and Maryn to listen to me (when I really mean I want them to do what I tell them to do).  Consequently, they accuse me of not listening to them when they don't get their way.

I'm feeling stuck in this conversation loop in other areas of my life lately.  I've been frustrated by polarized conversations that pit one side against another, with both parties claiming that one side can't understand how the other feels.  I'm tired of all the articles posted that seem to create two opposing sides.  I buy into it, too, though, reading articles that claim to give expectant parents advice, but is instead a warning about how their lives are about to go downhill.  I can laugh from the "other side", having experienced the torture of years of sleepless nights and the shock of having your life upended.  I know that this "advice" does nothing for parents-to-be, but gives those "in the trenches" an opportunity to commiserate, laugh in recognition, and find a little solidarity.  I have a different response when I read something that comes from a different "side" or experience, such as how I can't understand a single person's perspective as I'm married.  While there is some truth in this (although I haven't always been married), it stings, just as I know the sides I take may be hurtful to others.

It gives me something to think about.  Why must we choose sides?  Why must we think our way is the only way?  Why do we allow our hurts and different experiences to divide us?  Why must "our side" win, or, alternately, why do we believe that the grass would be greener on the other side?  As my friend Linda Moore recently wrote on her blog, "Why can't we all sit at the same table?"  While my experience as a wife and mother is unique in some ways, the hurt and joys I experience are somewhat universal.  Although I'm extremely grateful for my family, there was nothing magical in our coming together that granted us universal and eternal happiness.  It's hard work every day to work through our conflicts and become the people we want to be.  We all came into being with detrimental traits and baggage, part of the experience of being human, and living together only amplifies that and challenges us to work that much harder for healing and growth.  I understand that some of my single friends may long for those relationships of support in which to work through struggles together.  I know that I can't understand all of their experiences just as they can't understand mine.  We only see the surface level and can't truly know all of what someone is carrying.  I appreciate the saying I've seen quoted by multiple sources, "The reason we're insecure is because we compare our behind-the-scenes footage with everyone else's highlight reel."  Facebook and Instagram make this all too easy to do.

But here's a thought: instead of assuming that someone else can't understand where we're coming from, why can't we share our perspective in a kind, loving, and open way?  Why can't we reach out and ask someone else about their own experiences instead of just being stuck in our own?  Instead of feeling like a victim of all the blows of life, can we open our eyes to the community around us and find a way to reach out in service and love?  Perhaps it's not all about us and what we need or can gain, but what we have to give and offer.  It's a paradox, I know, but I have always felt more fulfilled when I have given of myself instead of seeking what I need.  I guess that's where the whole "It's better to give than to receive" comes from.  What would our world and our lives look like if, instead of isolating ourselves because of our pain, we opened our lives up to the beautiful mess of community?  Yes, it's risky; and yes, it can be painful.  I know so many people that have left the church because of something painful that has happened.  I certainly understand it as I've been there too many times.  And yet, something keeps drawing me back.  There will never be a perfect church as there aren't any perfect people (other than the Savior we imperfectly attempt to follow), and more than once I've had to bite my tongue (or not) at a contentious church business meeting.  But then there are the times when we come together as a community in support of a person or cause, and it truly feels that we are the Body of Christ, becoming stronger than any of us could be on our own.  It is a place where I can be authentic and vulnerable and hear others say "me too", reminding me that I'm not alone (nor should I be).  We were all created for community, not isolation or division.  We were not created to take sides, but were ALL (Republican/Democrat, gay/straight, married/single, male/female, Christian/non-Christian) created in the image of God who loves us and calls us to love others...ALL others.

 "For there is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are now one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

What would it take for us to truly believe and live this?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Who told you that you weren't enough?

Not long ago, I was watching the movie "Stuart Little" with the kids.  Maryn was talking about how the mom in the movie (Geena Davis) is so pretty.  She asked, "Mommy, do you wish you were that pretty?"  A little stunned, I answered, "No, I'm happy the way I am."  She responded, "Well, I wish you were."  Kids...their honesty can be brutal.  I knew I had to balance with another statement she had made that day.  When I asked her was her favorite thing was, she answered, "You".

It has me wondering, though, when was the first time I began to compare myself to others and found myself lacking?  Was it the magazines I read in my preteen years, loving the glossy photos, but internalizing subconscious messages about image?

Was it in the awkwardness of middle school and the taunting over how I looked, and feeling like I never fit in?

Was it in my reasoning that if I were a "good girl" and followed the rules, performed well in school, earned all the gold stars in Sunday School, then I would find acceptance?  Was it when I learned that this was untrue?

All I know I'm learning from my kindergartener, my mini-me without a filter.  It starts so early.  She looks in the mirror and asks, "Am I pretty?"  And I say, "Yes...and smart and creative and funny and artistic and strong and helpful."  I tell her about the importance of being pretty on the inside, sharing beauty by loving others, standing up for what is right, and living as a child of God.  God created her with such beauty, and her gift is to share that with the world.

Her brother normally has no problem with confidence.

But there are moments when I see how comments and biases have worked their way into his mind and heart.  "That's a girl color" he cries at every sighting of pink, and defends himself by following the gender normative status quo: Beyblads, Star Wars, swords, "boy colors", and asking to get his hair cut when someone told him he looked like a girl.  The slightest correction is met with the response, "You don't like me.  You don't love me."  And I tell him I like him and love him, no matter what; even when I don't like what he is doing.  I say he's handsome and smart and sweet and kind.  I tell him that I admire how hard he works at what he loves.  I remind him that he doesn't have to be like anyone else, that he is wonderful as he is, just as God created him.  I encourage him to keep growing into who God has made him to be and to use the gifts he's been given to make a difference in the world.

I was moved by a blog post on Stuff Christians Like.  Jon Acuff is talking about his daughter who doesn't want to wear a band-aid on her injury, fearing she will look silly.  He asks her, "Who told you that you were silly?" which mirrors the question God asks Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, "Who told you that you were naked?"  It spurs other questions:

Who told you that you weren't pretty?

Who told you what it means to be a boy/girl?

Who told you that you'll never accomplish that?

Who told you that you weren't enough?

I pray that the affirmations and reminders will sink in for him, for her, and for me, and that one day we will know and live like we are enough, just as we are.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow days: a parent's perspective

School was cancelled today for cold.  No, there was no ice or snow, just temperatures in the single digits.  It beat the time we had a snow day...without any actual snow or bad weather of any sort.  Now back in my day, we used to walk five miles uphill to school and back in the snow.  Well, not exactly, but we didn't have air conditioning, and when were melting in our desks in June, I don't remember anyone saying it was too hot for us to be there. Someone stopped me in my whining tracks, though, by pointing out that schools had to cancel as some families can't afford warm clothing to dress their children in on such a day.  Even after being sufficiently scolded, I selfishly dreaded what this meant for me as we were a mere two days back into the regular school routine after a LONG Christmas break.  I'm not one of those parents who imagines a cozy day inside snuggling with my kids over hot chocolate and movies.  I'm the realist that knows a full day inside will involve all sorts of petty fights, yelling, boredom, and chaos.  There's always the potential that one of us won't make it out alive.  Therefore, I'm the parent praying for school instead of a snow day.

I did the best I could to come up with a plan.  Usually, I scour Pinterest for a day's worth of craft projects and recipes...and the kids blow through them in 15 minutes and ask what's next.  This time, we fared a little better, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peek into our day:

We woke up to icy designs on the windows, and even though the heat was blasting, our wood floors and the lesser insulated rooms of our old house were frigid.  It was a blessing not to have to stand outside at the bus stop, and we stayed in our pajamas all day.

The dog had to be forced to go outside and spent most of the day chasing patches of sunlight around the inside of the house, trying to find a cozy nap spot.  Brady took pity on him  tonight (even though he sleeps in our mudroom that has baseboard heaters) and invited Max to sleep on the mattress under his loft bed.  Max didn't have to be told twice (for once).

The kids took the initiative to do some coloring (Maryn would spend the entire day doing this if she could), and they drew Lego Harry Potter figures, which led to Lego building. 

All was going well until I had the audacity to take a shower.  Then the screaming began.  A less experienced mom might have been concerned, but I just waited for someone to fling open the bathroom door and start ratting out the guilty party.  Mission accomplished.  It was obviously time for second breakfast.  My kids tend to eat like Hobbits when they're not in school.  In fact, they ate so many meals and snacks that I'm not sure how they make it through a regular school day with only lunch and a snack.  I bought $70 of groceries yesterday (you know, one of those trips where I just ran in to pick up a few things), and I may have to go back tomorrow.  I couldn't go 15 minutes without Maryn saying, "I'm HUNGRY", and it was usually right after I had fed her.  She's catching up on lost meals (literally) after being sick last week.

Maryn helped me to make pretzels for about ten minutes before declaring it "fun" and "too hard" and then leaving me to finish them.  She, of course, took the credit for them after they were done, and they were delicious.

I also managed to make a dinner that Brady ate and said it was the "best thing ever".  It was eggs with spinach.  Go figure. 

We played Twister, and was a big hit.  Maryn enjoyed making up her own instructions like "Wave your right foot in the air.  Now lift your left foot!  Hop on one foot on blue!  Put your left hand on the third green."

After the name calling started again, I was inspired to bring out a lesson on "Put Ups and Put Downs" which I had been saving for such a time as this.  It worked amazingly well.  For ten entire minutes after the lesson was completed, they were engaged in writing "put ups" (positive statements and compliments about one another) to put in a jar on our table.  But lest you think this is too good to be true, you're right, my friend.  Less than an hour later, we were all yelling at one another (fortunately, I have no pictures of that).  It all started with the trivial (to me) accusation by Brady that I "don't even like Beyblades!"  I must have (foolishly) agreed, which unleashed a flood of tears, screaming, and threats.   It took a lot of cooling down, apologizes, cuddles, and many put ups to restore calm. And food.  In our family, irrational and emotional behavior is often tied to hunger (which we will deny to the point of starvation).   After that, it seemed providential that these popped up in my Facebook feed:


Huffington Post's: The Part of Parenting We're Too Scared to Talk About (rage)

The day had already gone about 37 hour long, but we still fit in time to play more Twister, have many epic Beyblade battles, watch TV, and do a little computer time.  Brady played a math game recommended by his teacher while Maryn watched and explained the game to me ("It's about this girl that's kind of like a leprechaun, but not really, but she has this hat. And there's this old grandpa man that tries to catch her, and if he does, he squeezes her and they get married.")  She's quite an imaginative storyteller, so I admired her creative (if odd) explanation.  But as I stopped to watch the game, I think she kind of nailed it.

There were more snacks and more games, and my introvert self was about to implode.  Brady, the extrovert, can never have enough attention, enough noise and talking, and enough people to play with.  As I was getting ready to give Maryn a bath, he was upset that I wouldn't do a sword fight with him instead.  I calmly explained that we had played together all day and it was time to get ready for bed.  He kept barging into the bathroom, so I finally closed and locked the door.  After banging for a while, he stopped for a moment to think and then started singing the song "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" from the movie "Frozen", in which Anna is outside her sister Elsa's door begging her to come out and play:

Do you wanna build a snowman?
C'mon out let's go and play
I never see you anymore
Come out the door
It's like you've gone away
We used to be best buddies
And now we're not
I wish you would tell me why
Do you wanna build a snowman?
It doesn't have to be a snowman
(Go away, Anna)
Okay, bye

Well played, Brady.

We also watched this gem a few times:

We survived.  And tomorrow is back to school with a two hour delay.  Whew!  I already admired and appreciated my stay-at-home working hubby, but this takes it to a new level!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Just another day in "paradise"

The anticipation of Christmas is over.  The wrapping paper mess has been trashed, and the toys are either strewn about the house in various stages of play or abandoned with disinterest.  The tree is still up, but we spend less time laying around looking up at the lights and remembering the meaning and memories of the ornaments.  We've survived lots of travel and family get-togethers.  We long for rest, but instead spend our days breaking up the inevitable fights and making those dreaded Rainbow Loom bracelets (let's face it, no matter how well you make them, they are still ugly rubber band junk).  A long week lies between us and the return of our regular schedules.  They call it "winter break", but those with children understand that there is no real break for the parents.  I've found myself muttering the question, "Jesus was born for this?" a couple of times.

I'm grateful, though, that each year gets a little easier in some ways.  Though each stage and phase has its challenges (and boy, we're having some big ones right now), I'm glad that our kids can tell us what they want and need, and they still are young enough to be drawn into the wonder and joy of the season.  We keep things simple as it's such a busy time, and as a minister, my schedule is pretty hectic.  The gifts are limited (at least at our house), and our traditions include making cookies, filling a shoebox with Christmas gifts for another child, driving around to see the Christmas lights (eating McDonald's food afterward...the kids' favorite part), and participating in our church's Christmas Eve service.  This year we planned well, taking the kids out of school for a week as my crazy semester ended, and went on a week-long Disney Cruise.  It was our second one, and we learned on our previous one two years ago that it's the ideal vacation for us.  It's hard for me to slow down and get in vacation mode, and our kids aren't the best travelers as they demand lots of attention.  Most trips end up being exhausting and frustrating for John and me.  But thanks to Disney's attention to detail and their great children's activities, we were all able to enjoy some fun and rest.

Lest you think it was perfect, however, I have evidence that you can change your surroundings without changing your reality:

Meltdown in the Bahamas (trip 1)

Crying over her cupcakes (trip 2)

Apparently, it's hard to be 5...even on a cruise ship.  My initial response to their meltdowns was anger.  We have spent two years and lots of money preparing for this dream trip, only to have ungrateful responses from our children.  And yet, as I reflect upon it, I often fall into the trap of magical thinking.  Throughout my life, I've often thought, "If only __________ would happen, then I would be happy."  The circumstances have changed (finishing school, getting married, finding a job, having kids), and yet the perfect happiness I imagined never lingered.  There was always a new set of obstacles and a new goal to reach.  I have a picture in my head of how things should be, and instead of being grateful for the way they are, I still compare them to the picture and find what is lacking.  It's no different here at home or on a cruise. While Disney is in the business of creating magical experiences, they can't create miracles.  We will all get tired, hungry, and grumpy and resort to our default behaviors (for me, apparently it's anger when I feel disappointed).

While I become frustrated with my kids' reactions, I see my own childishness reflected back at me.  As much as I harp on gratitude with them, my responses do not teach them the value of contentment.  As I push them to tears on my quest for the perfect family photo, I'm trying to create a false image instead of appreciating the beautiful (and messy) reality in front of me.  I guess that's why I hang onto these meltdown photos (although my kids will hate me for it one day).  On the bad days, they remind me that we've been there before, and on the good days, I can laugh and celebrate how we've made it through (for the time being).  The secret to happiness, I'm finding, is realizing that it is not outside of you (in a certain place, activity, or relationship), but having the eyes to see the beauty in what is right in front of you (and not the picture in your head).  It reminds me of a country song I liked years ago because it spoke truth to our life:

                                        "Just Another Day In Paradise" by Phil Vassar

The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills - overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don't kick it.
I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things

Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Friday, you're late
Guess we'll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we'll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes' pizza in the candle light
Then we'll tippy toe to our room
Make a little love that's overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?

Yeah it's ok. It's so nice.
It's just another day in paradise.
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Well, it's ok. It's so nice.
It's just another day in paradise.
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise

For just another day in paradise
Well, it's the kids screaming. The phone ringing
Just another day
Well, it's Friday. You're late
Oh yeah, it's just another day in paradise

Friday, January 3, 2014

One Word for 2014

I've had enough.  

I had enough of my inability to appreciate the beauty in front of me.  Instead of looking through critical eyes, I will choose gratitude and joy.

I've had enough of my impatience and the way it comes out in childish arguments with my own children.  I will listen empathetically and return their frustration with love and peace.

I've had enough of reminding my kids to "use their words" instead of melting down.  I will take my own advice and ask for what I need instead of being and martyr (and making everyone else suffer for it).

I've had enough of dreaming about things and yet not believing enough to work to make them come true.  I will choose courage over fear and take new opportunities to learn and grow.

I've had enough of thinking I about what I lack, when there is abundance in my life.  I will trust in God's provision and I will carry out my responsbility to share my blessings with those who are in need.

I've had enough of believing I have to work to measure my worth.  I will remember I was lovingly created in the image of God and that I'm worthy and loved because God made me that way.

Instead of worrying that there is not enough (time, joy, patience, skills, money, worth), I will have faith that there is enough.

I have enough.
I am enough.

In this new year, I wish you ENOUGH.