Monday, March 29, 2010

Low Expectations

Those two words have been on my mind a lot lately.

A friend of mine, Lynn, who has been a mom with cancer, offered this advice before I was going on our Minneapolis trip.

She mentioned that when she was sick it helped her to keep her expectations low for what she would be able to accomplish. Then if you couldn't accomplish much, you at least weren't too disappointed. And if you could do more than your expectations, well wonderful!

I've chewed on it, managed to understand the concept, and think it is wonderful advice.

What I am struggling with is applying it to my life.

While I've never been that super talented overachiever, I do strive to have high expectations for my little slice of this life.

My expectations looked a little like this.

House always clean.

Meals hot and ready for hubby, no matter what hour.

Laundry done, folded, put away.

Kids always in cute clothes that match, clean faces, hands, hair brushed.

Teach kids to read at an early age, have them memorizing verses, some musical instrument.

Me always showered, dressed (not in sweats), face done, and ready for the day.

Every single one of those expectations came crashing down around me these past 2-3 years.

I am not naive enough to not realize that this would have happened anyway to some extent, but it might have been 20/80 or even 50/50. Or maybe not all at once.

Now it is like 2/98.

The worst part, or maybe it is the best, is that my expectations are my own fault.

I have a husband, a mom and dad, in-laws, sisters, even my own kids that have the expectations for me that I should be having - realistic ones.

Instead, I often find myself in a inner turmoil because what I think should be happening isn't. This turmoil produces anger and frustration- directed at myself- but spills out on everyone around me.

The days where I'm not in a lot of physical pain, but just tired, are the worst. It kills me to just sit like a bump on a log and not do anything to help take care of my house and kids.

That is what today is like.

God reminded me yesterday in Psalms 37, I believe, "Do not fret, it only causes harm."

My high expectations and not being able to accomplish them are a form of fretting.

Fretting that my house is clean, being quite relaxed with that word, just unorganized and toys everywhere. And yes, in need of a thorough spring cleaning.

Fretting about not being able to cook the meals I would like to.

Fretting that my kids go out the door in non matching outfits, uncombed hair, jam on their face and possibly without hats or mittens on below zero days. Possibly, I say. :-)

Fretting that I'm not getting better fast enough. I mean, my goodness, I've been on this diet for a whole 28 days. The tumor should be gone!

My expectations for the above need to be low right now. Low for sanity sake, and low for my family's sake, so they can enjoy me.

God knows my desires. He reminded me to Delight in Him and He would give me the desires of my heart.

I need to focus on just that. What He gives me may not be quite what I'm expecting, but I'll be more prepared for it if my focus is on Him.

For now my expectations will have to be low in what I accomplish, but when it comes to getting better they are SKY HIGH!!!


Amy@My Front Porch said...

I can't say I know exactly how you feel...but I think I got maybe just a TEENY TINY taste of it when I was super sick two weeks ago. All I could do was lay in bed, even after I started to feel better, if I overexerted myself, my fever would rocket up again, and I felt SO FRUSTRATED about not being able to just DO the things I wanted to do. It made me so super thankful for my health. I can't imagine what it would be like to feel that way continually -- I'm praying for you!! And let me know if there's anything I can do to help you!

MommaMindy said...

You are reduced to the absolute equation of true parenting - loving your children and speaking to them about the Lord Jesus Christ. When all look back, nobody will grieve over jelly faces and unmatched clothes. In fact, you will laugh. You will never regret just snuggling when you are tired - reading, singing, or just listening when you are even too tired to speak.

You have the power as a wonderful, beautiful, godly mother, to still impact them, even when they're running around looking neglected (in your mind), they're not acting like it! Your love and godly parenting still shines through.

As for the rest of the work, the saints love serving. It is their joy and blessing to have a real need. Some have to be givers, some have to be takers. You can't have only one group of people. For now, your ministry is to allow the saints to serve you. Please don't let satan make you feel you are not accomplishing anything. You are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to be doing.

I love you!

Praying those mighty beans flush the tumors down the bile river. Did I get that right? :)

Yellow Daisy Momma said...

AMEN Momma Mindy!!

Chad said...

Very wise advice. Low expectations can be a good thing. I know our society doesn't say that but it is good. Be who you are, a wonderful, godly, loving, patient mother and wife and you will be blessed for it. :) Still praying for you every day.

Chad said...

Did you ever get that tooth pulled?

beccarankin said...

The tooth is getting looked at on April 21st. First appointment available with this particular dentist! I'll keep you updated!