Friday, April 24, 2009

E is for Expectation

I hated Great Expectations.  I just needed to say that before I get going.
A wise friend is always quick to remind me that when expectations and reality don't meet up, all that's left is disappointment.
And it's amazing how much truth is found in that simple statement.  My happiness on any given day can greatly be affected by the expectations I set out for that day.  And birthdays are the worst.  I cannot tell you how many birthdays go down as some of the least favorite days of my entire life.
When my 27th birthday came around in January it began with a text from my newly tech savvy mother and a call from my punctual father.  I had prepared myself the previous night for lowered expectations in general.  No one wants to enter the day hoping for a surprise party and end up crying in a bathtub at 11:00pm listening to Josh Groban.  (Not this year, but this did happen.)
So here's my dilemma.  Lowering expectations can allow for pleasant surprises, but it can also deplete the ability to dream or even hope for great things.  I'm starting to wonder if all expectations derive from selfish motivations or if I need to look at the entire idea in a different light.  Rather than allowing my mood to be dictated by the hoped-for actions of others, I must ground my hope in something more stable than the human condition.  I cannot demand that the entire world read my mind and behave in the manner I deem acceptable.  That's just not going to work.  
My mantra for the year is on loan from my dear friend Becca.  I'm 27 and acting like I'm 11.  Sounds fair enough to me.  I feel as though I am both 27 and 11 at the exact same moment... wanting to be treated as an adult while at the same time riding around on the back of shopping carts through the grocery store.
As my favorite Anne with an e says:  "There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”(Lucy Maud Montgomery)
I do not have multiple Annes in me... as that would be a real cause for concern.  But I do posses so many different hopes, dreams, and desires that are all angling to become priorities in the world.  My prayer is to live year 27 with hands open and expectations high.  I want to live trusting the one who will make good on his promises.  This was a giant mess of a post, but all I really know is that I am clinging to Psalm 62:5,  My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:16-22


Anonymous said...

Amen and amen. :) -m

Austin and Ashley Evans said...

have i told you before how much i adore you? we are too much alike in our thought process - and our take on birthdays :)