Expectations are powerful. If you expect more of yourself, you can try harder, work harder and do better. Expectations can build you up. Expectations can also tear you down. When you expect others to behave or act in a certain way, and they do not, you can get angry or frustrated.
I think it is good to set high expectations and aspirations for yourself. And, I think it is good to set high standards for your kids, so they can learn to believe in themselves and discover all the gifts God has given them.
When you start expecting others to behave in a certain way, things can get uncomfortable. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in August. She had brain surgery to remove most of a tumor. For families, this is an emotional and difficult diagnosis to accept. I have come to realize that I cannot have expectations about how others will behave. They are not going to do things the way that I would do them. Many emotions swirl around inside of me and can consume me like a whirlwind.
The only thing that I can count on is God. I cannot control how others handle my mom’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. I had to turn off my expectations and turn to God. I had to let go and pray that God will take care of my mom, keep her safe and comfortable and free from pain. My new expectation is that God will take care of my mom and help me through the process.
I opened the bible to scripture verses from Jeremiah. It says that the way of man is not in himself. We should not direct our own steps. We make plans, and sometimes they fall apart. We need to seek out God’s plans for us and try and do what God wants us to do, willingly, with a smile:). When we make mistakes, pray that God will correct us with justice. If we make God too angry, we could be brought to nothing. We don’t want to go that far. We have to keep praying that God will intervene in our lives, and gently help us reset and get on the right path.
O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
O Lord, correct me, but with justice;
Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
–Jeremiah 10:23-24 (NKJV)
My dad died five years ago on Christmas Eve. He loved Christmas. He and my mom wrapped all the presents. He said that we had to celebrate, even if he was not there. Christmas can be hard when we lose a loved one. I am realizing that we do not know how long we will be on this earth. We need to celebrate life. This is the time to write down all of your reasons to happy. Thank God for each blessing. When you think about each blessing, you feel joy about what you have and that dims out the sorrow for those we lost. Count your blessings and rejoice in the goodness of God. Turn your sorrow into joy.