Saturday, January 17, 2009

Expectations, expectations, expectations

Learning to chill...

I think sometimes when we expect too much from others, we also then expect too much from ourselves, and vice versa. We are under this heavy yoke because our expectations about a particular thing have become our god. We put too much on others to do for us or perform in such a way, and then we also feel guilty pressure for not doing enough ourselves...It just goes hand in hand. Gosh, I know this so well... Often, we expect from others what we ourselves would do (or think we would do ) and forget entirely that other people are different from us, have different personalities, temperaments, strengths, weaknesses and experiences, not to mention things that they are dealing with... They may be in a totally different season than us or called to something totally different... Can't we respect where they're at...? Isn't that what love is all about.
I'm not saying I've conquered this, but Dad (God) has helped me relax so much in this whole expectation area ( and I still have a ways to go... perfectionism is my long time foe and had me by the throat for so long) Letting go is not that easy. It takes trust-- trust that God has got our back and if things don't go as we'd like, or even as they perhaps "ought to", it's really gonna be okay. And Dad is also patient as we are learning to trust him, he doesn't demand trust.... he earns it in time. He wins us over one bit at a time.
I think we learn to "let go" through disappointment after disappointment and heartache. Then we realize we just can't control people nor the outcome of much... in fact the less we demand our way, the better it will fare for all, I do believe.
This all may sound so strange in a way... I mean are all expectations bad? Shouldn't we have some expectations? What about expectations of our children or our very close friends? I think maybe the issue becomes a problem when what we hope for becomes a demand, and we withhold love from others if they don't meet our demands.... or our whole world comes crumbling down because what we thought should have happened, didn't. I see it now. These expectations are demands and gods, idols-- our very peace and happiness depends on them. They always do fail ( as all idols do) so we end up miserable, and so we learn we've placed all our hope in the wrong place... And that's where freedom begins-- in learning to place all our hope on the One who will not disappoint-- because he is love (and that's what we all really need). And in so doing, we will love better too.

I got to thinking of all this while reading Wayne and Clay Jacobsen's Authentic Relationships, a great book, by the way...
They have a great section on expectations, on page 50... I loved this:

"Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. We sabotage many of our relationships by imposing expectations on others or trying to meet theirs. It can not be done. People who live with expectations will never be satisfied. Of course we can still love those who impose their expectations on us, but we will also have to find peace in knowing that we may never be able to love them in the way they demand it."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Doing better, etc

A friend who reads my blog called worried about how I was doing, since I hadn't posted since my last post....
So I wanted to let y'all know I'm fine and felt better shortly after I started antibiotics... thank Goodness. It looks like I'm gonna make it after all (haha) and my kidneys are in the clear...whew

So, totally unrelated, let me post about something I'm pondering in my heart, I wanted to bring up the topic of gossip... My computer dictionary defines it as-- casual and unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true
I really liked this definition. It put it in perspective. I liked how it said it is "unconstrained" so I looked it up and it was defined as-- abandoned, dissipated, dissolute, fast, gay, incontinent, licentious, profligate, rakish, unbridled, uncontrolled, ungoverned, uninhibited, unrestrained, wanton, wild.
Then I wanted to see how many times "gossip" was in the scriptures, and in the NIV it's in there 10 times.
I was wondering all this because a situation arose not long ago, where I was around someone who was pretty drunk (and I wasn't aware at the time that they were) and saying some stuff they shouldn't have said and I got confused and disgruntled about about some things they were revealing, and it caused me to question a friend... and so it got me thinking about gossip and how it just stinks. I know everyone has done it, at one time or another, but it's still so destructive. I think the damage of it is in the carelessness of it...
I don't think this person who said too much is all that bad, I think the alcohol did it...
But how often does gossip go around, damaging people's reputation and causing all kinds of suspicion. I feel sorry for celebrities and all they have to contend with. I guess they just get used to it. I mean, who believes the National Inquirer anyway?!
But lies about folks can run rampant, when people betray confidences or flat out make up stuff about another person, with no proof and no good intent in it...

Proverbs 16:28
... a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 26:20
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bring it in, 2009 ( seriously, I never know what to to title these things. Why do you need a title every time? )

The last several days I've been pretty sick, physically speaking, so I've been extra active in blogland since I haven't much felt like going anywhere. I missed blogging the few days we were in Chicago. I really did. I tried to pretend I didn't need you all, but that was a sham. So I guess I've been trying to catch up. People who criticize blogging, I think, are clearly NOT bloggers, that's all I have to say to that. It really can and does lead to deep and meaningful relationships and conversations because people will open up more through this realm sometimes. Many have been so burned that it feels a bit safer to let a lot hang out here, so you get to see some of the good and also bloody insides of people a lot....And I think that is good. Maybe sometimes we only want to display the pretty, but there is no real community in that is there now? Where's the fun in that?

Last night, yes New Years Eve, I ended up at an urgent care, because there was blood in my urine. It totally freaked me out because of a House episode I watched on TV.
I thought for sure I was dying of kidney failure. I wept in the bathroom ( my nature is on the highly dramatic side : ) But the Spirit snapped me out of it quickly and I felt pretty hopeful by the time I left the bathroom : ) My husband was a trooper. He prayed and took charge like never before. And we ended up in a decent Urgent Care place. Although the medics were pretty anxious to get out of there to celebrate New Years, they were very friendly to me. So it seems I have a urinary track infection which is pretty common in women. It's new to me. I've been wiped out. One of the medicines they gave me turns your pee bright orange--WHOA, but it was a pretty festive way to pee on New Years Eve!
Still feel crumby and battling thoughts of the infection spreading to my kidneys. We had an invite to watch some football game with some friends today, but no go.
So here I am...
Anyhoo, my lovely Maggie and hus-man made a beautiful pic for me I thought I'd share.
My daughter is an aspiring artist. The second piece she made all on her own a few days ago... She's pretty sure that is her future profession so these may be worth a lot someday. But they're worth millions to me now : )