Great expectations

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be let down when you're expectations are too high?  I have.  I have learned that I expect things that are at time unreasonable.  Take marriage for instance... when Matt and I first got married I expected things.  I thought things would go a certain way and when they did not I felt slighted, miffed, annoyed, and even angry.  How is it that Matt did not take decorating the Christmas tree as seriously as I did?  How come he chewed with his mouth open?  Didn't he know that I was going to do everything the way I was raised??  How come his parents didn't do things the way my mom did?  I had expectations in my head that I expected him to follow.  These expectations were never expressed to him, or if they were, not in the right way; but I thought that he should know them, because I did, and he should do them!  

Then we had Wesley and I expected a whole new series of things.  I expected my little bundle snuggle for hours on end, to be achieving all his mile stones according to the books that I read, to enjoy peas, and listen.  I was confident that all these things would be accomplished because that is what I expected. 

I expect things that are not vital to the survival of our relationships.  These things will not make or break a relationship if you don't let them.  At times, I was letting them.  I could not for the life of me understand why Matt did not do the things that I thought would be such a great idea.  My expectations and preferences are not the only way to do something!  Whoa, did I just say that out loud?!  Did I admit that it is ok to do something a different way then the way that I think is best? 

You know what I mean right?  Like the expectation that a pastor has to wear a suit and tie; does that really make him preach better, or make his sermons more Bibical?   If you put butter on your corn with a knife, straight off the stick, or from a slice of bread, does it taste any different?  If you choose to wear skirts instead of jeans, does it make you a better Christain?   If you co-sleep with your baby does that make you a bad mom?  If you don't allow your children to do the same things I allow mine to do, does that make me better?  If you eat white bread instead of wheat, does that mean you care more about your children's health then if they ate wheat bread?  NO!  It makes us different.

Learning to embrace these differences and realize that my expectations are simply not the only way to do things has been such a blessing.  I can now enjoy my husband and most of his different ways (chewing with his mouth open, still bugs me), cherish Wesley for the unsnuggly, fast moving, pea hating character that he is, and not worry about Felicity when she is not doing some things that Wesley did at her age.  I realize that a sermon is a sermon in jeans or a suit.  That all moms and babies do not have to do things the same way and that really is ok.  

I had to learn that just because something was done a certain way or a way that I preferred, did not mean it was the only way or the best way.  Let me tell you friends, it is so relaxing, so colorful, when you stop fighting for the way you want things to be and start enjoying the differences all around you.   Don't expect everyone to be little you's, let them me themselves.  Now I'm not saying let your children go to school naked because that's what they would love to do, there are certain things, like dressing, obeying the laws and core Biblical beliefs, that I will expect my family to uphold but there is so much room for expression in so many other ways.   

All of this has really been on my heart lately and I just wanted to share, because when I thought everyone around me was being unreasonable, it was really me who was.  I just want to encourage everyone to try to love those around them for who they are, look at our different preferences and not feel the need to change them or make them see our way, or do things the way we would.  Let's love each other as Christ loves us,  He gave us free will, why can't we let each other use it, without thinking poorly of them for doing so?


Life with Kaishon said...

What a good post. This is something to really think about. I appreciate that you shared it. LOVE the pictures of your family in the sidebar! How sweet are they?

Photo Freak said...

wow. SOmething to think about. BLess you!

Heather said...

Great post, Linds! I really need to remind myself of this....over and over... :)

Maura said...

love this!!

Victoria said...

O what a wonderful post - I needed this. I love your honesty, thank you.

Christina said...

Great post! I completely get where you are coming from. It's great to change your perspective every now and then. :)

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Holly said...

Great post!!

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