Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Importance of Choosing What’s Enough in Our Lives

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

If we were sitting together in my living room discussing our lives right now … well, I would have vacuumed my house and made coffee.

But I digress.

Of course, we’d ignore my lack of vacuuming. Instead, we’d talk over coffee about what we’re doing. Things we tackle day in and day out, like writing a blog post or a newsletter or managing social media or balancing our real lives with our writer lives. 

Conversation would flow so that we’d talk about what things we have to do in the future. Projects we’ve planned into our regularly scheduled days like a virtual writers workshop or a weekend getaway with our family.

Given time, perhaps we’d be honest about the things we struggle to get done. Finishing – or maybe starting – a manuscript. Sending off a requested book proposal. Trying, one more time, to work on a complicated relationship. (Raise your hand if you don’t have one of those in your life.)

One question lurks behind all our doings and have-to-do’s and need-to-get-done’s: Have I done enough?

We wake up and start each day by making some kind of list – mental, virtual, or physical – of what we want to accomplish by the time we brush our teeth and crawl under the covers again. 

Often, we end the day with some of our tasks left undone. Odds are, even if we’ve checked off everything on our list, we’re dissatisfied with our efforts. (Hello, perfectionism!)

As we close our eyes and drift off to sleep, the question, “Have I done enough?” taunts us. Sometimes I’ve tossed back the covers, gone back downstairs, and worked on a project while the rest of my family slept. 

The question “Have I done enough?” is an unrelenting task master.

Here’s our reality check for today: We will never satisfy the elusive standard of “enough.” But how can we begin to control the demands of “enough,” rather than allowing it to control us?

1. Realize “enough” has a hidden agenda. Enough often means you need to do more – and more is defined by someone else’s standard. You’ve been obeying this internal voice of authority for so long you don’t even realize this person has defined what is enough in your life. If all your doing is based on someone else’s standard, stop. Pray. Seek counsel. Develop your own definition of enough.

2. Put a time limit on “enough.” At the end of the day, when you hear the whisper “Have I done enough?” answer the question this way: “Yes, I’ve done enough for today.” You’re acknowledging there’s more to do, but you’re allocating it to another time frame, which allows you to rest. And rest is an important part of your day – and night – so that you’re energized for tomorrow.

3. Ask yourself “Have I given myself enough grace?” If there’s one thing we don’t give ourselves enough of, it’s the much-needed commodity of grace. We are too often harsh with ourselves, and rarely kind enough. Today, I encourage you to offer yourself more grace … because we can never have too much of that.


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored nine contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, releasers May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at


  1. Beth,

    What a thoughtful topic--enough. I love the concept of giving ourselves grace. The reality of the writing life is there is always more to do. One of my constant prayers is that God will use my days and time wisely. As I live with God's wisdom and guidance, then I am able to sleep at night knowing I've done enough and redeemed the time. Each of us have the same amount of time but we need to use it wisely.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Hi, Terry: Thank you for the reminder to pray over our days. If we do so then, as you say, we can sleep at night knowing we have redeemed the time given us with wisdom.

  2. Wise words. Thank you Beth. Have a blessed day! :-)

  3. At one time this was such a problem...well it still could be, but I got sick and even though I know in my heart I never really get that elusive 'enough' done it is still moving and hopefully moving in the right direction. This is a very good piece, thank you, Beth. Donevy

    1. I understand how illness can change our perspective. Back in 2007, I experienced a life-threatening illness that altered my life and changed my One Word for year (Simplify) to Survive. I'm still learning lessons from that year -- and I'm grateful to God for all he's teaching me.

    2. My word was just survive and now it's simplify. My son told me the other day 'there are three great powers for our lives, Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Love. I don't have it phrased just right, maybe it he called it forces... but when I think of God, He embodies all three. Donevy

    3. Thank you for sharing that insight with us.

  4. All of this is great, but my favorite line is, "Yes, I have done enough for today!"
    I will be using that sentence more often! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Crystal: I'm thankful that helps you -- it changes your perspective, doesn't it?

  5. Thank you, Beth, for writing about this topic of never being sure when we've done enough. I, too, love that sentence, "yes, I have done enough for today!"