I don’t know why I do this to myself! I read the chapter and watched the video but didn’t have time to write up my thoughts that day, so I put it off for a day.
Next thing I know, it’s been three weeks, argh!!
I WILL FINISH THIS BOOK!! only two chapters left . . . I can do it right?
page 167 ~~
“How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it.” G K Chesterton
“The joy of small that makes life large.” Ann
Yet we, I, try to escape the smallness of life to get to the bigger and better, the grass-is-always-greener pastures. How many of my lovely, wonder-filled moments are due to being small? When I have the beautiful realization, understanding of my smallness and His bigness?
Lots of them.
page 169 ~~
“Expectations kill relationships.” Ann’s mama
“Expectations are pre-meditated resentments.” unknown, quoted by Angie Smith
Boy howdy!! Yes, indeed! It’s like a contract that will be broken.
I see this in myself–as a friend, as a wife, as a mother. When I don’t get what I want, what I expect, I am not very fun to be around. (Sorry to you, my dear Mr. The Bull!)
What is it that scares me about new situations? I don’t know what to expect.
And when these expectations are on the LORD, how much harder is it? Faith is hard, especially when He doesn’t meet our expectations or what we have been taught to expect. I cringe when I remember the church that taught, maybe not in so many words, that all we need to do is have faith and He will do this, whatever it is that we want. (There’s that contract I mentioned!) And if we don’t get from Him what we expect, want. . . well, it’s our fault.
Well I guess it is, really, but not really. (How do I explain this?) Our fault is in expecting things He’s never promised. Our fault is not in our not fulfilling our end of the “deal.” That’s not how He works, usually.
This is what I mean: I’ve heard that if we pray enough, or have enough faith, He will heal our sick loved ones. If we sing the proper songs, He will fix our broken relationships. The cure for a broken heart? The key to getting what we want in life, whether it be a job or a car or a baby? It’s almost like ending a prayer with “in Jesus’ name, amen” is another way of saying “Abracadabra.”
But when we have a time like Ann’s with her son in the hospital, it puts our lives and expectations into perspective. I remember one day of scrubbing the tiled bathtub wall and thinking another Ann thought: “Smile, you don’t know if you’ll be this way again.” Within weeks, my life changed and I wished that I could go back to that lovely tiled bathtub wall.
I guess the key is to take all of life as a surprise. If we expect nothing, everything is a surprise!!
Of course, it’s very well and good to think these lovely thoughts.
breaks . . .
And then what? Where are all my non-expectations now? They are still right here. To use Ann’s example, I expect that whoever opens the glass door would shut it when they are done. I expect that the kids won’t run in the house, I expect that the door would swing out of the way and not shatter. I expect that nobody would get hurt if the glass did break. I expect that the children would help clean and not instead point fingers of blame to one another.
For me, personally? I expect that the paycheck will be on time, that the gas bill will be manageable, that the child’s cough will subside quickly. That when I spend hours to plan and prepare the school day the children will happily, gratefully sit and do their work without whining, fussing, complaining. That the hours I spend on fixing meals will be met with something more than “I don’t like this!”
And again, when my expectations are not met. . . watch out!
page 177 ~~
“A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” Henry Ward Beecher.
Good thing I’m not a man.
It is interesting, this idea of thanking the LORD for all he gives, even the yucky stuff. I don’t think I deserve the yucky stuff, really. A very wise man said (Job 2:10) “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Gulp.
And like Ann, I know that it is best in the situation where I don’t get what I want to keep my mouth shut. Otherwise what spews from it is moaning, groaning, complaining–the very opposite of thanksgiving. And that helps nobody.
I need to, like Ann says page 178, let go of my expectations. I need to accept what He gives me in life and accept that it is given because He loves me, even if it seems bad at the time.
It is hard for me to give up what I want for what He gives. But I need to do this. . . first off, I can’t make life happen the way I want. Secondly, do I really know what is best for me?
I like the idea of praying with hands open, palms up. i have a friend who’s done this for years, for this very idea. I’ve always thought her weird. I understand this better now.