Thursday, December 27, 2012

The thing about EXPECTATIONS!

So... I didn't think I had expectations for Christmas break. I tried to put aside any thought of what 'should be' and embrace what came our way.  The fact that I had made plans & lists; that I had ordered and reordered over and over didn't mean that thought it had to be that way.  It just meant that I was prepared to 'flex', right?  Well, that's what I told myself.  

It worked for our trip down -except I was so tired before it began.
It worked for the meal I was responsible for- until my family (who were going to help me) were late getting back from seeing the other grandparents.  I knew it would happen cause that's just how it is when you are on vacation visiting family you hardly ever get to see.  My gang helped so much once they got back. Thanks Mom for helping me get it together before that! 

It worked the next morning when my Dad wanted to do something meaningful at our family Christmas gift exchange. Within minutes, Cyndy & I dreamed up the "best Christmas Pageant Ever".  Costumes were gathered, parts were assigned and pictures were taken. Ooooh! They are goodies! (I'll post them separately.)  Thanks Dad for being the narrator!

It worked as we hosted a gift exchange and laughed till we cried. Gifts were exchanged, even a baby gift that wasn't supposed to be in the mix.  But so were the memories. 

It worked as we visited with different ones in the afternoon.  Some people took walks, some took naps, some (like me) talked as much as I could with as many as I could.  Time is so short. 

It worked as we changed plans and had the Burrus Christmas, Ren's family,  that evening instead of the next afternoon because of the weather concerns.  We got to see Ren's dad sitting up looking bright, instead of nearly lifeless in his bed as he had in the past.  Oh it was a good thing!  And we are so grateful!  Grandy, thanks for encouraging us to get together early.

But it started not working so good Christmas morning,  when I woke up to the words, "Honey, it's supposed to get bad before we get back.  I think we should head home early."  No. Then it didn't work so well.  My heart was sick.  We had one more day!  We only had three to begin with and now we were cutting it one day short.  

I started wanting to put my foot down, and voicing all my complaints that we can't leave now.  

But as I felt all those emotions filling up and my resentment growing, I took a deep breath.  I remembered my desire to live with expectancy  not expectations.  The thought that came to me was from a verse I have been pondering for 6 years now.

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Message version of the verse says, "May the God of GREEN HOPE fill you up..."

Yes Lord!  Fill me up!  Plans change. Lists are lost. Expectations destroyed.  
But You Lord, you fill me up!

We had a great trip back.  We got to have some of our own Christmas with our kids.  It is so fun to have them all together.  Quarters were close in that van, but for the most part, we had giggles & talk, food & more food.  How grateful we are for Cait & Brie!  For their love, their support, their challenge.  We are grateful for their guys and all that they bring to the family.  We were grateful for the effort they all made to be together.

My heart is full ...of joy and peace... it is overflowing with hope for an amazing new year!

Ok Lord!  Hands are open! Help me live with expectancy.  Help me let go of the expectations!
Fill me up for new year and all that comes with it!

Dear reader, How about you?  How are you feeling about the new year? 
What is God using to speak to you in this ending of one year and beginning of something new?

Will you join me in taking time to notice?
I'd love to hear from you!

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