Expectality in 2014

Expectations.  We all have them.  Often they rule and reign in our lives creating stress, frustration and discontent.  They can ruin relationships.  They can sour our attitudes.  But we all have them.  So what’s a girl to do?  I’ve been mulling this idea over quite a bit in the last year.  It’s not necessarily the expectations that are the problem, but rather “expectality”.  Don’t bother looking it up.  It’s a made up word.  When I find myself stressed, frustrated and discontent because my expectations have been thwarted, dashed or unmet, this is the state known as “expectality”.  It’s when my expectations collide with my reality.  For me (and perhaps you), it’s really a control issue.  I want to control situations and outcomes.  I want to be comfortable, happy and content.  I want my way.  But…that’s not life.  Jesus said it perfectly before He left earth, “…in the world you WILL have trouble…”.  It’s a truth none of us will argue with, to be sure!  The answer to dealing with “expectality” in life lies in the “BUT” statement that follows in this verse.  I think we often overlook and forget this… Continue reading “Expectality in 2014”

Do You See What I See? Christmas from Simeon and Anna’s Perspective


Read: Luke 2:21-38

Christmas Day with all of its excited and anticipation is behind us for the year.  A New Year is just around the corner!  This is usually a time when we are reflecting on our past year and making plans and looking forward to the newness of the coming year.  What will the New Year hold?  What joys, sorrows, blessings and disappointments are in store?  None of us know.  But there is something exciting about new beginnings—we make resolutions, we clean out the clutter and we set new goals.  But if you are like most of us, we are often into the next year just a short time, when our perseverance begins to give out and we tend to give up.  We give up on many of those plans we made and goals we set.  Our passage this week speaks to this very idea of anticipation and perseverance.  Remember, Christmas is not just about one day or season a year, but is a mindset and spirit that should guide our thoughts and actions all throughout the year.

Continue reading “Do You See What I See? Christmas from Simeon and Anna’s Perspective”

Finding Christmas in a Foul Mood Friday

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wake up in a “mood”?  You know, a foul, stinky mood and for no apparent reason.  That’s how my day started on Friday.  Before my feet even hit the floor, I could feel it coming on.  It reminded me of when my children were toddlers and would wake up from a nap whiny, crying and unconsolable with no clue as to the problem.  That was me!  I laid in bed for a moment running through my day and week trying to ascertain why I was in such a state.  Nothing.  So I asked the Lord to just go before me that day.  As I dressed for my day, every little thing got on my very.last.nerve.  This was not getting better.  I snapped at my husband.  I ranted at drivers as I drove to work.  And I realized that I didn’t really want to do anything to improve my mood. I just wanted to be in a bad mood.  Crazy!  But there deep down somewhere was that nagging (irritating) voice telling me I could NOT go through my day with this attitude.  Then the Lord brought to mind what I’d been learning, writing about and teaching to other women lately —having a rejoicing attitude…DESPITE circumstances or feelings (or foul moods).  Ugh!  I really didn’t want this to apply to me today.  And I just couldn’t seem to shake it and didn’t really have the energy to put much effort into it either.  But I knew that something needed to be done.  This attitude was just selfish and not honoring to Jesus at all!  So I went through the list of what I normally do when I’m in a mood or feeling depressed. Mind you, I didn’t “feel” like doing any of this.  But part of rejoicing always is determining with your will even when your feelings aren’t following suit.

I put on the praise music.  I was driving at the time and I keep an NGU Joyful Sound CD in my car at all times.  Having three children who attended North Greenville University and two who were part of the praise ensemble there, I knew their music always lifted my spirit and focused my eyes on things above.  It was beginning to work.  Then I began rehearsing Scripture in my mind and praying for the Lord to infuse it into every fiber of my being.  I mean the Word IS living and active! (Hebrews 4:12).  By the time I reached work, I wasn’t feeling quite as much like punching something or someone.  (I told you, it was a foul mood!).   At lunch I had scheduled a work out session with my husband and our trainer.  Lunch approached and I considered bailing on it. But reluctantly I pulled on my workout clothes and sneakers and headed to the gym.  Cardio, weights, stretching…I was beginning to feel better.  My mood was lifting.  By the time my day ended I had won the battle with those crazy, female hormones that had been wreaking havoc all day! Continue reading “Finding Christmas in a Foul Mood Friday”

Do You See What I See? Christmas from the Shepherds’ Perspective

Read: Luke 2:1-21

When reading this part of the Christmas story, I have to tell you, I can’t help but see the Charlie Brown Christmas special in my mind. I love that Charlie Brown quotes this passage of Scripture almost verbatim. What a great childhood memory for me!  And one we shared with our children as they were growing up. And…I still watch it every year!…

UPDATE: This devotional series is no longer available on the blog. Now available in print and ebook on Amazon

Copyright ©2006, Susan Cady

Do You See What I See? Christmas from Mary’s Perspective

Christmas is upon us! Many of us have already been preparing our homes for Christmas, scheduling our holiday calendar of activities and have probably even done some Christmas shopping. Perhaps you’ve set out at Nativity in your home or yard.

Have you ever wondered what those present during the first Christmas were thinking? Continue reading “Do You See What I See? Christmas from Mary’s Perspective”

A Thanksgiving Attitude

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. How do we live this out when life is hard or things aren’t going our way?
Give Thanks

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in this verse is the word eucharisteo in the original language of Scripture. It means to be thankful; to express one’s gratitude; give thanks.

Give thanks in this verse is a word in the present tense, imperative mood and active voice, which means a continuous, repeated action, a command that the subject accomplishes. In other words: Do it !  Over and over and over again.

Some of the other words for giving thanks and thanksgiving in the New Testament are:

thanksgiving eucharistiagratitude; active, grateful language; thanks to God as an act of worship

be thankful eucharistos(used only in Colossians 3:15)thankful, mindful of favors, grateful

 In the midst of each of these words is the Greek word charis which means graceContinue reading “A Thanksgiving Attitude”