Been turning this sentence over and over since I heard it at New Wine.
The best I can do is never ever going to be good enough.
It's not good enough for Little Fish; she wants more of me, she wants me so close that she dribbles on my feet all night when we camp, she wants me so glued fast to her side that I can scarcely get out of her bedroom at home and close the door before a desperate wail calls me back in to tweak a strap or tug a sleeve or inch the duvet up her shoulders.
It's not good enough for Mog, who needs someone to interpret for her all day long, to push her glasses back up her nose and empty her stomach of bubbles and massage away the neck spasms and uncurl her toes and pick her nose and smile at her and stroke her cheek and tickle up her dimple.
It's not good enough for the people who phone, whether friends or loft insulation salesmen (really guys, do your research - ground floor flat!), who get half of me whilst the other half wrestles to silence a small child, or else locks herself away from the screaming child and then wonders what the child is doing out of earshot.
It's not good enough to win me any kind of place in Heaven, if getting there is going to rely on my own efforts, on me achieving any kind of perfection all by myself.
It's not all bad. The best I can do is sometimes quite good really. I can bake a chocolate brownie cheesecake whilst holding a small child and mopping a floor and listening to the radio and holding half a conversation with someone in the next room and keeping an ear out for the school bus and testing the fish tank and doing the washing up and writing a shopping list, and I only end up testing the dishwater for ammonia and sprinkling fish pellets in the brownie mix occasionally. At my very very best, I can even sometimes manage to get all three of us up, dressed, hair brushed and out of the door on time despite our carer not having turned up. And generally only one out of the three of us will be wearing odd socks or strangely stained clothing, and as long as that one is me and not the girls I'll take that as job done.
But it's still not ever going to be quite good enough.
Last term, after a year of trying to sort school transport, I stopped trying. I sat down, wrote a long letter to anyone I thought might be even vaguely interested, telling them exactly why I couldn't do the impossible. And after a year of trying to make it work, fretting over it not working, putting one child's life at risk in order to get the other child to school, we now have a solution. A solution which was out forwards within days of me stopping trying.
And I'm thinking about those days when the alarm doesn't go off, when the carer doesn't show up and the bus is late, when book bags have done a runner and the girls have both woken up with birdsnest hair, when uniforms are in the washing machine when they should have been hung out the night before, and when there's no pen to sign the permission slip and no change in my purse to pay the optional charge. And I wonder, I wonder, what would happen if, instead of me taking a deep breath and leaping into the fray shouting orders and trying to do sixteen things at once, I instead sat down quietly and texted God "I can't do this - help!" And then actually waited for a reply.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Prov 3.5
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4.13