How to Have Enough When We Don’t Have Enough

The fear of the unknowns as a single parent, being unsure of how we will provide for our kids, with so many things changing, can leave us wondering if we will ever have enough. It’s uncomfortable being in a position where you feel like you don’t have enough, physically, or emotionally and to wonder if you ever will.
The life of a solo parent often feels like it could be summed up in that one phrase – we don’t have enough. We don’t have enough time, we don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough “me”. There never seems to be enough.
So, how can we have enough when we don’t have ‘enough’?
Single mom, Marissa Lee shares how she has struggled with never feeling like she has enough or is enough while raising her boys alone. And it’s something she’s afraid they may struggle with too. And as a single parent, especially if you struggled in your marriage or past relationships, we even feel like we aren’t “good enough” as a person. We just don’t feel like we measure up. It’s common to feel like this, so, how do we deal with that? How do we find stability and a sense of having enough?
Kim shares that the only way she found her way through was with “a whole lotta prayer and relying on Jesus”. She was raised in a home where she watched her parents pray and trust God her whole life but then, as a single mom, it was her turn. She was faced with a crossroad. She didn’t know how or why things would work out, but she had to trust God when things were crazy and uncertain. She prayed for milk, gas for her car and for money for rent. And God came through.
Robert shares that he couldn’t give his daughters everything they wanted after his divorce. At the time, he felt like he was lacking because he couldn’t provide the way he once had. Now, though, years later, one of his daughters told him she’s glad they didn’t get everything they wanted as kids. She now sees she is better off than friends who had things handed to them.
Kim said she and her kids look back at the time they spent in one of their tiniest apartment as one of the best times in their lives. Financially, Kim felt like she was failing. The kids wanted iPads and she couldn’t buy them. Instead, her kids saved for over a year to purchase them. They became prized possessions they carried with pride because they worked hard to get them. That lesson was priceless and has stuck with them into adulthood. What felt like a season of lack became a time with some of the richest memories.
There will be many times like this, as single parents, when we feel like we just don’t have “enough” but these seasons can become some of the richest experiences we have with our kids. Sometimes our new financial reality is very different from our old lifestyle and our kids are aware of that. Teaching them that they can get a job and earn money for extras is a valuable lesson. It shows them they have something to contribute and to give.
We can also teach them that giving doesn’t have to be about money. We can give others our time and prayers. We can encourage them with our love and our presence.  Marissa recently took her sons to a nursing home to visit the residents. It was awkward for them at first but later they recognized how thankful they are to be young and able-minded. It made their whole family aware of the needs around them. It reminded them they have something to offer, even in a time where it feels like they may not have enough, they still have something they can give. Serving and giving reminds us of our purpose. It changes us. Generosity is good for our souls.
Not having enough money is a real struggle but we can be honest about that. We can also let our kids understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. We can teach them to pray and to ask God if it’s in His plan for us to have certain things or not. It’s good for our kids to gain a new perspective on finances and learn they can look to God for their needs to be met.
In 2nd Kings 18, a king of Judah is being attacked. The enemy comes to the king and asks where the king’s confidence comes from in going into battle. This enemy mocks them and tells them their god will not help them. But God’s people said nothing in reply. The king had commanded them not to answer. In the same way, when the voice of lack comes against us as single parents, we don’t have to answer either. We can ignore the voice  of the enemy and walk away. The moment we start to entertain that voice it can turn from a whisper to a scream. Instead, we have to be careful about how we define enough. We need to be aware of what we are telling ourselves about what is enough and who are we relying on. We don’t need to listen to the enemy’s voice. We can instead say, “Our God is enough.” We can declare that with confidence . And these aren’t trite words. This is truth.
Being a solo parent makes us hyper aware that we don’t have the capacity to do everything like we once did. We become aware of our limits and our humanity. From that place of humility, we may know that we can’t do it on our own, but we can also stand in the truth that God is with us and He can do what we cannot! God is calling us to trust Him.  It’s reasonable to acknowledge you don’t have enough money in the bank, that you are exhausted and that you don’t have enough to give to your kids. It’s important to be honest about your circumstances. But we also cannot entertain the lies of the enemy telling us we are a failure. We can be steadfast in believing what God says about us, about our kids, and about His plans for us. We can trust Him to provide what we need.
What if we acknowledge we aren’t enough? That on our own, we just can’t do “it”. Our humanity and our limits are not the end of the story. God is enough when we are not! God enriches us. In the empty vacuums of our lives, there is great potential for God to show up and He is able. What is impossible for us without Him is entirely possible for Him.  
If we have a jug that is full of water and we continually work to replenish it constantly, for every situation, not only will we be exhausted in our own efforts but there isn’t room in that jug for whatever God wants to pour into it instead. What if He wants to pour fine wine into our empty containers and fill up those spaces with something amazing? Sometimes our frantic efforts to always “have enough” and do enough doesn’t leave room for God to do what only He can do. If we use what we have for the needs around us, we can trust God to fill that jar up to the top again. And He can fill that jar so much better than we can. He can fill it full of fine wine, better than what we had in the first place, and He gets the glory for what He has done. When we come to Him empty with nothing to offer, God has the chance to show us and those around us what only He can do.
Matthew 6:28-29 says, “Consider the lilies of the field. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
The Message says it like this, ““If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:28-34).
This is hard. Trusting God to provide isn’t easy. Relying on Him to give us all we need is something we learn to do as we get to know and trust Him. It’s not like we flip a switch and feel better. This isn’t positive thinking. No, the God of the universe says He is with us in the struggle. He is close to the brokenhearted. We need daily reminders of His goodness and His care. And as we choose to trust Him, we will see Him provide. If God takes care of wildflowers in the field and clothes them in His beauty, we CAN trust Him to take care of us and our kids too.
Not only can we trust Him to provide, we also need to stop comparing. If we want to learn the secret of having “enough” even when we don’t feel like we do, we have to stop comparing. We have to turn off our peripheral vision and stop looking at what others have. There will always be someone who has it better and someone who has it worse than we do. We must stop comparing our lives to other people’s lives and to the life we used to have too. We must look for God amid this brokenness, so we can see Him do miraculous works like filling that jug with fine wine. We must look to Him to create beautiful things out of brokenness.
Instead of comparing, we need to ground ourselves in a new reality of gratitude. We need to look at our circumstances with new eyes and be amazed instead of offended. We must look around and acknowledge what we do have. We can see through new eyes that give thanks for each and everything we do have instead of what we don’t.
There’s a beautiful song by Maverick City Music called “Jireh”. It’s a powerful reminder that God is enough through all of it. Our hearts long for so much but God can fill up our empty places when we let Him flow through our lives. We are already fully loved, and enough, in God’s eyes, because He is enough. Even during times when we feel blessed and when we are in a season of plenty, relationally and financially, God is still our ultimate source of “more than enough”. It is in Him our souls find rest and contentment. It really is Him our hearts long for, in every season. In Him, we can have enough even when we don’t think we do.
Every month we focus on a theme important to single parents and this month our focus is on stability. How do we find stability as single moms and single dads? Each week in our online Solo Parent Society groups, we answer that question and talk further about the topics we share in our podcasts.
Single parents, we invite you to join any one of our groups, meeting 7 days a week, or check out our game nights too for casual fun and a time of sharing afterward exclusively for single moms and single dads. Or join us on Sunday for My Chapel, for everyone, not just single parents.
As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want you to know you are not alone! Solo Parent Society’s mission is to offer encouragement and hope through our weekly groups,  our communities on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety), and our weekly podcast. Subscribe here on AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts. You can access all of this and more using the free Solo Parent app. Don’t miss “Sound Mind Set”, the daily reflection tool we created to connect single parents to God in just ten minutes every day.
We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. We want to help single parents raise healthy kids. To learn more or to donate, go to Questions? Email us at

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