Expectations. We all have them. We all have them imposed upon us.
Webster says that an expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Yep… my life has been full of expectations.
My biggest expectations come around the holidays. I tend to have a little Norman Rockwell in me and I imagine perfect family gatherings… like the ones you see on TV commercials and in the movies. Fabulous food (all hot at the same time!) around a beautifully set table (that fits everyone) and conversation that is bright and cheery, reminiscing days gone by.
Like I said… expectations… and this does not happen in my world.
Nine times out of ten I’m disappointed when all is said and done, along with exhausted from trying to make it happen.
My rose colored glasses have gotten in the way of expectations in marriage. In gaining a family after getting married.
Christmas is the most difficult for unmet expectations. Every year I say I’m not going to get my hopes up and every year I have feelings of disappointment. I imagined starting some Christmas traditions which never materialized. Some of the expectations I have are not worth sharing, as they are a bit shallow. They have actually been an expectation since I was a child and they have wandered their way into my adult life. Every year I promise myself I won’t let them get me down.
As I read Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift one morning recently, I came across these words…
Expectations can come steal the gifts.
I’ve come to realize that I set an agenda for God each Christmas. Ann Voskamp says that when we have an agenda for God, we can’t see the gifts from Him. I am missing out on so much because I have MY idea of what I want to happen. As I’ve pondered this truth this past week, I’m praying that I can finally shake my years of expectations and settle in to all that God has in store for me and for my family. This year I’m open to receive His gifts and leave my expectations at the door. Oh the anticipation!
I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope. -Elyse M. Fitzpatrick