Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Not Expected...But Accepted

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I suffer from this condition called INSANITY. 

Not really. But you know, whenever I keep expecting things to turn out according to my "expectation meter" and I continually keep being disappointed time after time again because sometimes it just never happens...maybe it's time for me to re-evaluate my expectations. (I say "my" because I'm sure you don't have a problem with this same issue.) The truth is, sometimes it does happen. It's reality. It's life.

There are times when it's only logical to sit down and look at what season of life we're in and what's reasonable and what is not. For example, I cannot expect to enjoy sunny afternoons basking in the hot, summer sun beside the pool if it is winter time, right? I know that's quite an insane example but often we put ourselves in similarly ridiculous modes of expectation. For instance, I cannot expect to have a perfectly set and decorated dinner table (like the ones you see on Pinterest or FB), complete with a delicious gourmet meal, set out for my family every night of the week if I work a full-time job. On the other hand, if I am unemployed or retired, that very ideal might be an easy and a real possibility if that's what I desire.

Case-in-point from my own life: Almost every mother dreams of having their family close to home, kind of like the Waltons back in the day, you know. That doesn't always happen though in the modernized world we live in. My precious grands live miles and states away. (Most days I'm alright with that fact, some days I'm on meltdown because of it. The truth will set you free!)
My 2 Lovely Grands
The fact is, that's just life. We have to learn to deal with a new normal. Will I be there to see every milestone, to celebrate every holiday...probably not. I can choose to fall into the pit of despair (thankfully I have people in my life who help me out when I go there on occasion) and continually be disappointed or I can re-evaluate the situation. Re-evaluating for me means being satisfied using Skype to have face-to-face time with the little munchkins, it means saving a text that little princess wants Noni to come over and have a tea party with her, it means treasuring pictures and videos sent by family members of the little ones doing ordinary every-day things (like their rendition of a barking dog) and even looking forward to a 5-hour drive to meet half-way for a few hours or overnight. (Did I tell you I hate traveling?!) It's not what I expected, but its what I am accepting.

What is it that continually causes you to be "let down" over and over again? Are there relationships, situations, dreams that you've had for a long time that just aren't working out the way you'd anticipated? Do health issues or a disability keep you bogged-down? Are you unable to travel now that you're retired? Does the death of a loved one keep you from following through with the plans you had made together for this part of your life? I'm sure we can all relate in one area of another. But the Bible says, "to everything there is a season", this season might just look a little different. We can still find joy when we realize the old hopes and dreams are weighing us down and we learn to do it differently. Don't suffer from the insanity of it all, re-evaluate and learn to enjoy this season God has given you. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed for having to re-evaluate if you find you're having to be pulled out of the pit! After all, He knew just what your life would be during this season. It didn't catch Him off guard and He's a very present help. Remember, it's not what I (or you) expected, but it's what I am accepting. Be encouraged~