On Lowering Expectations


These two words have preyed upon my thoughts lately and I’ve been weighing the pros and cons.

It is said that lowering one’s expectations leads to more happiness and compassion. But for whom? For the one whose expectations are lowered or the one who does not live up to someone’s expectations…or even their own? One online expert said, “We’re happier to accept other people’s difficult behaviors when we expect less from them.” Hmmm, I’m not so sure.

What actually is an expectation? One dictionary’s interpretation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. For me it was adding the word wonderful to that something.

I have lived my life with this premise and nearly always had my expectations met, making it difficult to lower my expectations of anything or anyone. It would be like giving up hope.

The pros for lessening expectations seem to dictate that if you don’t expect the best from people or life you won’t be disappointed when the best fails to materialize.

On the other hand, the cons, at least for me, would be giving in to the feeling of apathy that accompanies losing hope and I can’t do that.

In many cases in my life, it was someone else’s high expectation of me that brought me through eighty-one years of fairly successful living.

When we were children, we expected our parents would always be there for us; we expected hugs when we needed them and scoldings when they were needed as well. We expected to be fed, clothed, counseled, nurtured, and sent out into the world to in turn, one day expect to do these things for others. As life goes on expectations change…not because they are lowered, but perhaps because we fail to see what is expected of us.

So, I think instead of lowering my expectations I will instead extend the time frame of what I expect to when I expect it.

That way I still have hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Little Stories


Don’t you love when something unexpected comes your way? While pondering my next daily blog, this email came my way to save the day. I love when that happens!

“SIX LITTLE STORIES” – well worth the 30 seconds to read!

{1}  Once all villagers decided to pray for rain.  On the day of prayer all the people gathered,  but only one boy came with an umbrella.  That’s FAITH. 
 

{2}  When you throw babies in the air,  they laugh because they know you will catch them.  That’s TRUST. 
 
{3}  Every night we go to bed  without any assurance of being alive the next morning,  but still we set the alarms to wake up.  That’s HOPE.
 
(4}  We plan big things for tomorrow  in spite of zero knowledge of the future.  That’s CONFIDENCE. 
 
{5}  We see the world suffering,  but still we get married and have children.  That’s LOVE.
 
{6}  On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence  ‘I am not 82 years old;  I am sweet 16 with 66 years of experience.’  That’s ATTITUDE.
Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.
When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.

 

The Week that Was – The Burial


The deed was done. Jesus was dead. No one knew what was to come.

Luke 23:50-56 New International Version (NIV)

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

The Entombment of Christ, Carl Bloch

Hymn of Promise


Sometimes we just cannot help sharing something that touches us in a profound way. That’s how I feel about this hymn. The words are truly so promising and deserve to be pondered as well as sung.

Hymn Of Promise

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

What a beautiful promise!

 

 

 

Let’s Give Christ Back to Christmas


The reason…and there are many of them…that we celebrate Christmas on December 25th is secondary. Celebrating the birthday of Jesus every year is really what Christmas is all about. It is remembering that he was born, lived an exemplary life, for approximately thirty-three years, and died an agonizing death. It is remembering not that he lived and died, but that he died and lives…lives in the hearts of those of us who believe, lives to reach out to those who do not believe, and lives to give real meaning to the event that is the most widely celebrated on our planet…Christmas. Let me share a poem I wrote in 1995 while pondering the idea that Santa Claus seemed to be the the reason for the season in many minds.

THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS

The wonder of Christmas,

The birth of a Child,

The angels are singing His praises,

The people rejoice

At the sound of His voice

Echoing down through the ages.

Hope, love and laughter,

Peace and goodwill,

The message resounds loud and clear,

The birth of God’s Son,

His gift to us all,

This is the wonder of Christmas.

©1995

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.

Help My Unbelief


You know what? I’m no theologian, clergy person, or Bible scholar, but I am a strong believer with an abundance of faith, and tend to take God’s promises seriously. However, I am not naive enough to expect that even though my motto is “All Things Are Possible” that all things are going to be possible. There are some limitations to human expectations and experiences.

It’s wonderful to pray for and with people who, despite limitations being a possibility, still hope enough to entertain the possibility that their prayers can and will be answered. Believing is a huge part of experiencing answered prayers.

There are those of us who pray that our belief and faith will trump the doubt on the recipient’s part, and so go ahead and pray for miracles. Some will say that this gives false hope. False or not, all hope is conducive to positive feelings which help people expect the best outcome for their situation…come what may.

Alexander Pope wrote in An Essay on Man, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”…

Mark tells the story of the healing of a boy with an evil spirit since childhood. The boy’s father begged Jesus, “…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” The boy’s father responded, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus then relieved the boy of the evil spirit. (Mark 9:14-29)

Help my unbelief…what a pleading, positive and powerful prayer.

Sunday Event


A couple of weeks ago the idea of posting short scriptures each Sunday occurred to me. Lo and behold, one of the recent suggestions from Blogging 101 was just that idea with an added bit about why a particular verse is meaningful to me.

Here is today’s feature:

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Psalm 22: 9,10

This is a psalm of David, and I love it because it is exactly the way I feel about God. His presence has been with me since day one which leads me to another scripture:

“…you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you…” Isaiah 46: 3,4

Another Sunday event today is a baby shower for Laura, the mother-to-be of my seventh great-grandchild.

countblessings