Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"great expectations"

I met my husband of now 15 years when I was just 16 years old.  In the next couple of months it will be 19 years since the day we met in my driveway.  For the past two weeks GOD has been working hard on me about transforming this idea of JOY in my mind.  So often I have placed all my "thinking" that my JOY is going to be found in my husband.  

The other night D and I went out to dinner, as we have decided that after 19 years we both have changed so much, and it's time that we get to know one another better.  We began asking each other questions, and began to share our hopes and dreams with one another.  Somewhere in the middle of our conversation my thoughts went to this, " seriously, 19 years and you asked me that?!?  How can you NOT know me by now?"  I was astonished that D failed to understand, still after ALL this time what my expectations are for him in our marriage.

Oh, not following me, well let me break it down for you.  D is to be my loving husband, who loves and supports me ALWAYS.  Who is to NEVER question me, and to know that my intentions are always the BEST.  He is supposed to build me up with songs of praise, and speak highly of me to EVERYONE he meets.  He is to write all over social media just HOW blessed he is, so that anyone and EVERYONE that reads his words will instantly be filled with jealousy.  He is to be home on time every night, and rush through the door and capturing me in his embrace, and tell me how much he missed me, has counted the minutes we were apart,  and how much adores me.  He is to buy me things just because, and EVERY holiday, birthday, special day he is to make all of these grand romantic gestures.  Oh and speaking of romance, he is to write me love letters, and poems, and recite his love, daily, as well I am just that special. If ever there is a time where he questions whether or not I am worth it, he is to remember ALL that I have been through and know that I am worth it, and that I deserve it.

Just reading this, makes me want to gag, well that and hide my face from embarassment.  HE is wanting me to know today that by having me write my "great expectations" down was NOT HIS intention to emmbarass me, but to show me that my "great expectations" are getting in the way of HIS JOY for my life.  HE is wanting me to see that I forget that D is human too, with his own problems and who is on his own journey of choosing JOY through HIM.

HE is wanting me to know that my "great expectations" not only lie with my husband but also with my children. So often I expect them to just know that they OWE me, after all I gave birth to them, and have raised them from day one.  I have sacrificed so much for them, and I give up so many of my wants so that theirs can be fulfilled.  They should be singing songs of praise to me, and bragging about how awesome their mom is.  They should be going on social media as well and tell how great I am, and how blessed they are, as I truly am a great mom to them, and I deserve ALL of their praise.

Ok, so I'm cringing at these words, as I am thinking, "am I really that self centered?"  HE is wanting me to know that NO amount of chocolate, t.v., friendships, praise, love will EVER be enough.  HE is wanting me to know that the "more" I crave, the thirstiness I have can only be quenched through HIM.  HE is telling me that in order to fully understand what HE can, will, and does for me is by letting go of my "great expectations" and look to HIM to fulfill ALL of my needs.

Today HE is teaching me that my children are just like me, in their neediness.  They too need HIS JOY, and when I place my "great expectations" on them, well then why wouldn't they do the same to me and to other people? 

"Our children are not here to meet our need for appreciation."  Kay Warren "Choose JOY"

A few years ago I came to the realization that my children are needy little people.  Little people who need, and who take, and who take, and take and take. When I feel as if though I have NOTHING left to give, they take some more.  Their job is NOT to praise me, so if I am looking for praise, I need to look to some where else for praise.

HE is wanting me to know that my "great expectations"  make it difficult for my children to relate to me, as I alienate them when I place things on them that they could possibly meet.  The same goes for my marriage to my husband.  When I expect things from him, that he can't possibly meet, when my demands are so outrageous it is a fail right from the start.  

HIS Daily Teachings today is to show me how my "great expectations" are filled with false JOY, and how I miss out on HIS JOY when I fail to see that.  HE is wanting me to know that not only do I have "great expectations" with my husband and my children, but I do so also with my friends.

When I think back on some of the most difficult friendships I have ever had, I remember feeling so drained, as the person simply took what they needed, and left me high and dry.  So often whenever I am telling a friend about my hardships, or vice versa,  when either I or they fail to see and understand what is really going on, I know that I tend to walk away saying to myself, "well they couldn't possibly understand where I am coming from, as they haven't lived my life."  My attitude is revolved around building myself up to believe my "great expectations" that well, they should just know.  

"We're expecting the people in our lives to meet needs they cannot meet.  They were never supposed to."  Kay Warren "Choose JOY"

HE is wanting me to know that the "great expectations" that I have placed in others, can and will only be met through HIM.  HE is telling me that I must choose to stop looking to other people, places, and things which are all false JOY to fill me up.  I must choose to seek HIM and when I do I know that I will find HIS JOY. I must understand that it is through the calm and the storms of my life, HIS JOY is there to be found.  I must choose HIS JOY, so that when the storms rage, and the waters rise, it is HIS JOY that will sustain me, and it is then that I will be able to speak of HIS JOY, and that my faith will become contagious.  

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

HE is wanting me to know that the things that I expect from my family and friends, I must seek through HIM.  I am learning that rather than whining and complaining about how unfairly I am being treated, I must praise HIM, as when I am struggling, and waiting for my expectations to be met, it is then that my character will be formed, and my faith in HIM will be stretched, and my "true colors" will be revealed as to WHO I am because of WHOSE I am.  I now more than ever understand that importance of being WHOSE I am, in every situation and circumstance that happens in my life.  I am thankful to serve such a loving GOD who will continue to remind me that every single moment of my journey with HIM.  I am thankful for the opportunities to get it right, and know that when I fail, as I do daily, HE is there, ready, and waiting to pick me up, place me back on me feet, and is waiting patiently for me to say, "LORD JESUS I need YOU, please teach, lead, and guide me throughout my day today.  Show me your ways.  Transform and renew my heart to be just like yours.  Help me understand that the only "great expectations" I should have will be those that bring ALL honor, glory, and praise to YOUR name." 

I pray today that HE will reveal to you what your "great expectations" are that are keeping you from HIS JOY.  I pray that you will understand that the "more" you are looking for can only be found in HIM.  I pray that you will know that HE is there, and HE is waiting to supply all of your needs.


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