Monday, June 13, 2005

Expectations

For the past few weeks, God has been bringing me back to this idea of Expectations....specifically, how my expectations of how things should go or what will happen in a day or event or vacation or mission trip can get in the way of what God wants to do.

We got a call from Matt and Tad before they left the country, and one of them mentioned how difficult it was to be there and not know what was going to happen from hour to hour or day to day....they were there for orientation, but weren't given a schedule or agenda....

We HATE not being in control, don't we? It drives us crazy when we don't know what to expect....so I think our brains almost automatically start forming scenarios of what will be happening, how people will respond, how I will respond......and then when it doesn't happen that way, we're often frustrated or disappointed.

When we first started celebrating Mother's Day around our house, I decided that all I wanted every year was an afternoon where the whole family buys some flowers for the yard and then spends the day planting them together - sounds very sweet, doesn't it?

Well, my husband is a gift-giver....he loves to buy gifts and is very generous...and now also very forgetful! So for the last 4 or 5 years, instead of getting flowers and spending the day planting them, I get some lovely, usually too expensive, gifts. At first, I was so frustrated...and disappointed. Then a wise friend gave me some great advice: "Always make Mother's Day about YOUR mother or mother-in-law. Then anything that happens for you is a wonderful surprise." You know what? Mother's Day is alot more fun when I'm making it about someone else instead of all about ME!

As Christians, we need to make our schedule for the morning/day/week/vacation/mission trip all about someone else....it's all about what God has in mind. That means putting aside my own expectations and just being ready for whatever He brings my way. God started getting me focused on this before we left for Florida, the first morning of our vacation when we looked at the weather channel, I just had to laugh at God - - It predicted rain and thunderstorms for every single day of our "Sunny Florida" vacation! My expectations had been blue skies, laying by the pool, playing tennis, and lots of sun. Luckily for us, God knew better.....had it not been for the overcast skies and occasional rains, our family would have come home red and peeling and missing several good naps! We had an amazing vacation - not like I had expected, but exactly what God planned!

3 comments:

Michael Tosh said...

Funny info...I lived in florida for one year when I was a little kid...it was the first time in 10 years it snowed! I was from just outside of boston mass. and all the florida people where so excited by a little flurry...I was so confused.

God has a way of surprising us doesn't he? This summer has been nothing like I expected, but it has been a good experience and a great reminder of why I went to college. It sounds like we are having a similar God experience this summer. I am starting to stop trying to control the whole thing and just holding on and enjoying the ride.

God Bless and welcome back!

Nanette said...

Gretchen!!!!! :) I'm BAAAAAACK ;)


lol...sorry. I had to.


Lunch sometime?

gretchen lee said...

Nanette -- welcome back from Jolly Old England!! There was a family staying near our condo in florida from Manchester....Sophia walked right up to this kid (after hearing him talk to his brother) and said, "Are you from London?" How in the world did she guess that??
I'm up for lunch just about any time...IM me!!