Tag Archives: expectations

Keep Doing You

There have been times in my life that I wanted to be who someone needed and wanted me to be.  I tried very hard not to disappoint but ultimately, my “real self” surfaced and I felt I had failed miserably as a human being.  When I love someone I want to be everything they want me to be and want to be the perfect image they have created in their mind and heart of who they would like for me to be.

Truth is, I can’t be.  I can only be myself.

Why did I say “only” in that last sentence?  Why are we never satisfied with ourselves and accepting of our own limitations just as much as we accept the shortcomings of those whom we love?  Why are we endless critics, always expecting ourselves to meet perfection standards we would never place on anyone else?

There’s a deep human need to be loved and accepted.  Some of us will literally do anything to have people love us.  While the need is normal, the lengths to which we sometimes go are not.

I drive a car, but I’m not a mechanic.  Does that make me someone who shouldn’t drive?  I love to cook, garden, work out in the yard…but I’m not a master chef nor a seasoned landscaper.  Should I stop doing those things?

Remember who created you…just like you are.  You’re a unique individual, designed and crafted by God Himself.  He knows what we’re good at, what we enjoy and even what we have to do.  I tend to believe He instilled those things in us.  Why can’t we be okay with who we are and our own limitations?  Why can’t we express our true selves, who after all is who we were intended to be!?

The other side of that coin is to not place expectations on those around us.  We may have a picture in our minds of what we think someone should do and how they should act and perform (for lack of a better word). Is that love?  We sometimes justify our demands on others by saying we want the best for them, we want to help them be better people.  Do we really, or do we want them to be what we think they should be?

Learn to be comfortable in your own skin.  Be thankful you can do what you do.  You have your own custom-designed, unique ability to touch your world and those around you in a way that only you can.  God designed you to love Him and show His love to others, and I think a big part of that is having the faith and confidence in Him to do just that.  You keep doing you.  Love Him back and display His love to others being the wonderful masterpiece you are.  That’s your purpose!

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Never Stop

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Unconventional blessing!

We have our ideas, even plans, of what we think our lives will be like, what should happen and when, then when things don’t go as we expect, we think we’re cursed, wrong and finished.

We think God has let us down, allowing us to be disappointed, heartbroken and discouraged. We may even think He’s failed us. What if the opposite were true?

What if He wants to surprise you? What if those often quoted words in scripture, Isaiah 55:9 (For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts) are true to the extreme?

We expect God to act like we would and when He doesn’t it blows us away.  What if He’s busy in a way you can’t even fathom? If you don’t see Him or feel Him, don’t stop expecting Him or anticipating seeing Him work on your behalf. Why is it we allow disappointment and disbelief to so easily invade us?

Our Father-God is creative beyond what we can imagine.  If we will simply believe even when everything we see and feel says to do otherwise, He will come through. It may not be the way we think He should.  Sometimes I think He wants to see the element of surprise on our faces – sometimes it takes a “higher way” so we can know without a doubt that only God can pull it off!

The picture above is a picture of an old car.  I had car trouble a while back and was fretting and praying about how I was going to get us to work, we needed a car and I knew God knew that.  Just climbing back from a devastating year when my income plummeted, I just had enough to pay the bills.  Daily, many times a day, I would “cast my anxiety upon the Lord” because I believed He cared for me and would provide the transportation we needed.  I tried to keep walking absolutely believing in Him and that He would provide.  We took the city bus, and my wonderful employer adjusted my schedule so I could work during their operating hours.  I was good with that, God provided.  Then seemingly out of nowhere, some friends called and said the Lord had laid it on their hearts to GIVE me this car.  I was astounded.  Didn’t see that coming! It’s not a pretty car, and it doesn’t look like a blessing but through my friends, God provided what we NEEDED.  “higher than your ways…” –

Yes Sir.  Much higher.  Blessings often don’t look like blessings at all, but if you’re looking for God in EVERYTHING (to provide your NEEDS) we will always see Him and He and His blessings may not look like the God we have in our conventional box.  Even when you’re disappointed and discouraged, never ever stop believing He is right there with you, and in HIS TIME you will see Him.  Never stop looking!

Don’t Stop

It’s mighty cold outside so morning walks with Sampson aren’t looked forward to.  Regardless, I layer up and take him out.  While moving, it’s not that bad at all but when I stop the reality of the situation becomes very clear:  it’s dangerously cold. That’s a word for us Christians! The circumstances are extreme and paralyzing.  We find ourselves stuck in reality asking questions like why, what will I do, how will I survive this. The fear consumes us and we see no way things will change. We cry and mull it over and over.  We can’t see beyond what we’re stuck in and sometimes a lot of time and energy is wasted thinking, sorting and trying to figure out what often has no explanation.

Sometimes there’s nothing reasonable to make us believe, other than God’s word and unfortunately because of our human condition, that’s not enough.  It appears there’s no reason to believe things will ever be any different than they are right now but something happens inside of us that won’t let us stop.  Before we can move, however, we must decide not to stop.  The thought of it is intimidating.  Why would we want to expose ourselves to unknown, sometimes dangerous elements? Why would we expect anything to get any better after it’s been the way it has for so long?  Nothing’s changed, there’s no real reason to believe any effort on our part will change things.  What will we do?

Walking any distance in cold weather is a risk.  The fact that it’s cold and uncomfortable, not to mention the what if’s involved (what if we fall, get sick after exposing ourselves, etc…) are reasons enough to stay in our comfortable zone, but still, the dog has to be walked so what do we do? Walk the dog!

The same is true in life. We have to do something; we have to choose to believe. We often don’t get to pick the end of a trial, a death, or when many circumstances of our lives will end.  Only God knows; only He sees the beginning, the end of a thing and every detail in between.  All we can do is trustingly walk through it seeking His direction and holding onto Him as tightly as we can.  Other than Him, there are no guarantees – no clear cut “walk this way” path.  Sometimes we have to just put one foot in front of the other, believing God has a greater purpose than we can see and go forward. If we stop the elements become harder, fear and doubt invade and we turn back to our comfortable places (however uncomfortable), often wishing we hadn’t!

Clearly, things aren’t easy and sometimes we become discouraged.  Don’t stop! Keep on walking.  Keep believing and soon, the walk will be over and we’ll be finished with the peace in knowing God’s in control and we did what we could.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4 KJV