Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What to expect when you're expecting...

Nope. Not a pregnancy post. Sorry if you were expecting one based on the title.
Are you disappointed? Let down? Full of frustration?
Well, this is what happens when you have unfulfilled expectations.
Sucks, doesn't it.

I always think I don't have expectations of people. Then I am let down because I find that, in fact, I do.
Without too much conscience thought (because that is how I roll ) I find myself disappointed in people I know. Or am related to.

(FYI: If you are suddenly concerned that I could possibly be talking about you, then, yes.
Yes, I am talking about you. Please do whatever you think is necessary to work your way back into my good graces. I like Starbuck's gift cards, a heartfelt note, (even better if it is poetry), or cash.)

I think at Christmas many times we are disappointed with family and/or friends.Maybe our expectations are higher at Christmas because it seems like a magical time of year when anything is possible. (Darn those twinkling lights that raise our hopes!)

But then....

You didn't get a Christmas card.
You didn't get a "hello there"  or an "eye hug" at church.
So-and-so didn't comment on your really great blog post.
You didn't get invited to a party that almost everyone else did.
A sister isn't raising her children the way you think she should.
You didn't get the acknowledgement /raise/promotion at work that you thought you deserved.
Your children aren't making the choices you think they should. (because you know best, of course)
Your friends or family didn't pitch in and help when you needed it, even though you always help them.

Your husband left his dirty clothes on the side of the bed. Again. (and his initials are ROD)
A friend didn't stop by for a visit when she was in the area.
Your wife made that yucky Turkey Curry again,
Your family doesn't celebrate Christmas in a way that is meaningful to you.
Nobody liked your latest Facebook status.
Nobody noticed. Nobody asked. Nobody called. Nobody listened. Nobody said thanks.

And I'm not gonna lie. It hurts.
But the truth of it is, we live in a broken world with messy relationships.

When I am disappointed because I expected you to call me, why didn't you call me??!!  something that didn't occur (I'm sure you were just busy), one thing I (try) to do is to remember the good things.
The calls that did happen.
The visits.
The emails.
The laughs.
The times they've helped.
The times they've been there.

You know what I mean. And then I will move into the times(and they have been many) that I have let YOU down.
I have and I know it. Please don't email me and remind me.

But even more important than trying turn that frown upside down by my own power of common sense and recollection, is to consider the expectations I can have for God; the One who never lets me down.

Such as these truths:

-God to be your refuge (Psalm 7 v 1)
-God to sustain you (Psalm 3 v 5)
-God's unfailing love to be trustworthy (Psalm 13 v 5)
-To be filled with joy in His presence (Psalm 16 v 11)
-For Him to be your strength (Psalm 18 v 1)
-To fear no evil (Psalm 23 v 4)
-God to guide you (Psalm 23 v 3)
-For all the ways of the Lord to be loving and faithful (Psalm 25 v 10)
-Peace to guard your hearts and minds (Philippians 4 v 7)
-That love will never fail (1 Corinthians 13 v 8)
-That the battle is the Lord's, not yours (2 Chronicles 20 v 15)
-That the mind controlled by the Spirit produces life and peace (Romans 8 v 6)

That list is obviously not all inclusive, but, honestly, how can I stay mad or disappointed when I spend time pondering and being so thankful for these truths about God? Can you?

I don't have to rely on my own strength.
I am cared for.
I can be filled with JOY.
I am L.O.V.E.D.

Peace floods my heart.
 Joy returns.
 Priorities rearrange themselves.
 Love prevails.
So, this season, when we look around and see occasions of unfulfilled expectations, (because it WILL happen) you have a choice and so do I.
Choose joy.
Love anyway.

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