How often as moms, wives, friends, daughters, siblings, etc. do we question whether we are enough? Good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, wise enough, healthy enough, loving enough, put-together enough?

If we’re honest, most of us will need a calculator to do the math. And why is that? Often times comparison is the messy trap of doubt. We don’t measure up, whatever “up” is. But what if all we ever had was enough?

I’m honored to have a beautiful soul and friend, Liz Petrone, here today talking about finding Grace in the mishmash of doubts and insecurities. She will stir your mom heart in answering the question on what is enough. Liz  has mastered the art of speaking from the heart with refreshing authenticity and honest vulnerability. She doesn’t shy away from speaking the essence of who she is, right where she’s at in any given situation or season of life. And her humor will win you over every time.

Which is why you’ll see Liz’s name buzzing through the on-line writing world at viral speed. She just broke the ‘this is real life’ bank with her genuine take on the realities of a working mother. What started as a simple Facebook post quickly spiraled into over 14k likes and 3.5k shares, followed by a glowing review on People,  ABCGood Morning America and so many other sites (I stopped counting at 10) I can’t keep up! Click all the links to read what continues to resonate with moms around the globe. Liz has been featured on countless mom blog sites including Scary Mommy, Huff Post, Her View From Home, Mamalode, Parent.co among others, and also writes on her personal blog at LizPetrone.com

And since I warned her  I would brag on her,  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of her signature accomplishments, #BlogHer17 Voices of the Year Honoree, for her post Raising the Revolution. But, at this point, I better get to this post before I send you down a rabbit hole of all things Liz Petrone writings. Everything she writes is worth your time. And I hope you begin your adoration of her with her words below. Enjoy!

What if this is all there ever was? Would it be enough?
by Liz Petrone

I did an interview this week and the interviewer asked me a question I’ve been asked before and always trip over: “what is your ultimate goal?”

I assume he meant writing-wise, since that was the interview subject, but it wasn’t specifically stated and I had to put a hand over my mouth to keep from shouting random goals out into the universe, like financial independence, bigger boobs, a faster split pace when I run, a walk-in closet, children that listen to what I say the first time I say it, the secret to my best friend’s killer lemon bar recipe, or maybe a car from this decade.

Eventually though, after thinking for a second, I said what I’m pretty near certain is the truth: “if it was only ever this, just what I have right now and nothing more, then that would have been more than enough.”

Part of me still struggles to admit this truth though, because of course I have goals and dreams. Just recently I’ve been letting myself whittle away hours of insomnia lying in bed and planning a book launch party attended by the likes of my new bestie Oprah and Glennon where waiters serve from big trays of bacon wrapped everything and I drink just enough from the open bar to have incredible dance moves but not so much that I start pulling people aside and ugly crying about how much I love them.

But that’s just the stuff of silly dreams, and anyway I don’t think having dreams means I can’t also appreciate the forest for the trees. Because if it only ever was me here throwing thoughts onto a page and sharing them with you and you sharing yours back with me, what an incredible and wonderful gift having had that would have been, in the end.

And it’s not just the writing.

It’s everything.

Take my parenting. I mean sure I would love to be better–so much better–at motherhood. I wish I was more patient and played more and served more nutritious meals and had the resources and the energy to take us to interesting and educational places and lessons and to get my daughter to stop wearing that one same stained shirt Every. Single. Day.

But if it was only ever thisif it was only ever me doing my mediocre half-ass best while serving up orange powder macaroni and wearing last night’s pajamas and yesterday morning’s makeup, wouldn’t it still have been the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, hands down? Wouldn’t it still have been full to bursting with incredible moments of breathtaking beauty? Wouldn’t it still have been the truest love?

Or how about my marriage? Good God, there’s an awful lot of room for improvement in my wifing skills. Just ask my husband. Like, I could stay awake past the kids bedtime and spend some actual time with him. Or we could plan outings together where we have idle time for conversation that isn’t 100% about the children we just left and doesn’t take place in stolen ten second interludes in between emergencies.

Except same, because if this was all we ever had, if it never went beyond raising these babies together and being lucky enough to have made a life with someone who loves the same people I love with the same irrational craziness I have then wouldn’t that have been more than enough? Wouldn’t it have been the stuff of romance novels, the epilogue that happens after the drama dies down, the happily-ever-after?

Then there’s my body. What if this was it? What if I never get skinny enough again to fit into the jeans I insist on holding onto even though they have just as much of a chance of being worn again as Oprah does of actually doing the Thriller dance with me? What if this is as perky as my boobs are gonna be, or the smallest my waist is gonna get, or the easiest waking up in the morning is going to be from here on out? Can that be enough? Or will it only ever be enough later, like it is now when I look back on pictures of myself when I was younger and think oh Liz. What an idiot you were to be wasting your time worrying about any of that nonsense when you HAD NO IDEA HOW GOOD YOU HAD IT YOU BIG FAT DUMMY.

The thing about this truth is it works everywhere. My writing, my parenting, my marriage, my health, my career, my hair, my bank accounts, even my house. Sure, I’d love a cleaner and more modern everything where the decor is more shabby chic and less “my kid smeared poop on the wall,” but to look around at a place filled with the beautiful chaos of love and not see it as the gift that it truly is would be as silly as looking around at a life filled with the same and somehow coming up lacking.

Because here’s the real truth: If it was only ever this, only this and nothing more, then that would have been more than enough. It would, in fact, be everything*.

*Except Oprah. Still need her.

This post originally appeared on Liz’s blog

Liz is a writer, blogger, teller of stories, believer in truth, and mama to four. She shares her stories on lizpetrone.com and all over the Internet, and recently finished a sloppy first draft of her first book. She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

A self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado,” Shelby is a wife of 25 years, mom of three 20-something kiddos. She has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling, and most days she muses in rhetorical wonder over what God was thinking when He put her in charge of three humans. Although God’s quick to remind her how capable she is, apparently He sometimes does so while crossing His fingers behind His back. You can read her stories around the web and in print at Guideposts.