Expectations! We all have them. When our expectations collide with our reality, it is what I call “expectality”. Sometimes it can be good—better than we expected—but very often it’s an explosion in our lives. Our expectations can become a trap imprisoning us—robbing our joy and peace, and ruining relationships. How do we get out of this expectation trap? Some suggest we should just not have any expectations and then we won’t be disappointed. I think that tends to be a bit fatalistic and an attitude that can stunt growth in our life. God has purpose even the hard places of our lives, even in our disappointed longings and expectations. God has wired us with a sense of expectancy.
I’d like to share some practical steps we can take to GET OUT of the “expectation trap” so our expectations are not ruling our lives, robbing us of joy and ruining our relationships.
We can choose how we will respond to our unfulfilled and disappointed longings! Continue reading “Get OUT of the Expectation Trap!”
Do you have dreams, desires, and expectations that have yet to be fulfilled? Are there disappointed longings in your life? Is there a specific request you have been waiting patiently for God to answer? Is there something you are groaning and yearning for? Do you feel like a plane in a holding pattern…circling…waiting to land? Have your unfulfilled expectations and waiting bred the dreaded 3 D’s? Discontentment, Disappointment, and Discouragement.
All too often, our faith tragically fails to flourish because instead of learning to be content regardless of our circumstances, we endlessly strive to rearrange and manipulate the details in our lives, in order to bring about a “temporary joy”― one that never lasts and never fully satisfies. We’re not satisfied with contented dissatisfaction. —Cherie Hill
We’ve all had disappointments in life — circumstances and people have let us down. I’ve certainly had my share. There are things I have struggled with for years, circumstances and relationships that I’d hope would change or improve. So what are we supposed to do with all these disappointed longings? Are they normal? Is there something wrong with us? Continue reading “Get Real! Expectations”
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to be going your way or according to plan? Those moments when a particular person or situation has brought you to the end of your rope? You are frustrated, exasperated and fed up! Perhaps your frustration has led to an outburst of emotion or words that you now wish you could rewind and take back.
Several years ago while reading a biography on the life of Amy Carmichael, I discovered a quote that got my attention! Amy was a missionary to the orphans of India in the 19th century. She faced numerous difficulties, not only on the mission field, but but also a single woman during this time period. Whenever faced with a difficult or unexpected circumstance, Amy would view it as an opportunity to die to self and allow the Lord Jesus to reign in that moment —”see in it a chance to die” she would say. As I contemplated this quote, God brought to mind some verses of Scripture. I copied the quote and those verses and tacked them above my desk in the kitchen. Over the weeks, I added verses as the Lord brought them to mind. Here was the list I tacked above my desk: Continue reading “At the End of My Rope!”
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”
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”