Apr 122016
 

Well, those unfulfilled expectations snuck up and bit me in the booty.  Again.  And here’s some more transparency for you.  It was a morning of self pity.  And I couldn’t seem to shake it.  It was a morning of the nasty word “defeat”.  And it resonated all too well.   It was a morning of where my word for the month “hope” was no where in sight.  And I needed.  to.  hear.  good.  words.  from.  God.

After tries and tries of marketing my book in various ways I recognized I hadn’t talked with God about how He would desire for me to “get the book out there”.  I felt a nudge from the Spirit a couple months ago to go about marketing in quite a strange, seemingly not productive way.  When I asked the Lord what He would have me do with this stack of books that had been sitting for a year in my closet, I heard the phrase “One book at a time”.  Hmmm….and after making sure the Lord knew how non grand scale of reach this would have, I obeyed.  And I have been relying on Him.  Each week.  Asking Him, “Who this week, Lord?”  And He has been faithful every week to bring a name to mind.  And the Lord has been asking me to cook up His recipe; excluding my own “logic ingredients” and including many cups of “courage, humble, listen and obey ingredients”.  And I have been absolutely amazed at how He is strengthening my faith and allowing me to “taste and see that the Lord is good” with these mini miracle cakes which come out of the oven each week.

So why am I in a state of self pity when from the paragraph above it would seem all is well?  And I am glad you asked because I will tell you.  One of the names I believed I was to send a book to was a famous female Christian author and speaker who I have followed and adored for years.  Even though I peed my pants a little when I felt this nudge of the Spirit, I pushed through the fear.  I wrote a lengthy letter to her and sent off the book.  (This was even more of an accomplishment if you know me because you have never and probably will never receive anything from me if it is getting there by the post office.)  There was hope, though, in sending this off.  I thought to myself, “Yes, this is going to be the “one book at a time” person who will read my book, love it, respond to my letter to ask if I would come speak with her at her next venture.  Good thinkin Lord!”

And so I got a letter in the mail today.  With the return address of the above author’s ministry name listed.  I literally held my breath as I opened it.  But as soon as my breath was held, it was let out quickly with a breath of defeat. It was written by her “correspondence team”.  A form letter.  Lifeless words filled my heart as my eyes took it all in.  And the “D words” settled down deep.  Devastated.  Defeated.  Done.

I cried a little.  Then looked to my God to support me in my self pity state.  He was good to me.  My devotional for the day talked about how self pity is not walking in trust in God.  And if we feel self pity the thing to combat it is to give Jesus praise and thanks because we can’t have self pity at the same time as when we are thanking God.  So I decided to do this.  (Although it was more than hard.)  And then I flipped the scriptures and said, “Lord, I need a word from you to give me hope and comfort.”  And praise.  God.  Wouldn’t you know He was so good to have me flip open to the very scripture He gave me to send and write to the author I had just been so disappointed by.  It was as if He was saying, “You heard me right, you are on the right track, be patient, I still have plans for you.”  And then He went one step further-the Spirit highlighted the words “learned to acclaim you” in the scripture.  I looked up the word “acclaim” in the dictionary and it means “to praise”.      He said to my heart, “You are blessed today because you are learning to praise Me even when it’s hard-you just did that.  The scripture doesn’t say “blessed are those who acclaim” but “blessed are those who LEARN to acclaim”.   I am teaching you how to praise Me.”

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence  Psalm 89:15

God continued to speak love into me as He as I flipped open to this verse:

Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1

And if that wasn’t enough goodness of God to fill me with encouragement and hope, I put on a new work out DVD and had to smile as the instructor said, “Let’s punch out defeat this morning!  Don’t quit.  Finish the race strong!!”

So whatever you find yourself disappointed by, discouraged by, defeated by this morning, get off of the self pity train and jump on the thank and praise God train.  Let’s finish the race strong because we KNOW His timing is perfect and His plans are BIG.  Continue on in patience and perseverance the race with Jesus my friends and we WONT be disappointed in the end!

What can you thank and praise God for today as you “learn to acclaim/praise” Him?

What unanswered decision, defeat, disappointment, or unfulfilled expectation do you need to trust Jesus and fix your eyes on Him as you “run with patience”?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 122015
 

Do you ever want to throw the Proverbs 31 mending, cleaning, encouraging, perfecting everything woman expectations right in the trash?  Have you ever been or are currently in a season of waiting, neediness, helplessness, or unproductivity, pain, or trial?  Does this verse- “I am weary God, but I can prevail…” -resonate most accurately with your now?  If so, I am right with you my friend.    It is in this verse, the Proverb directly before Proverbs 31, that I camped out this Mother’s Day.

Pregnancy from the pit of you know where.  Extreme exhaustion.  And vomiting.  All day.  But a thankfulness to God to be able to muster up a smile and “that is such a beautiful green candle you made for me honey.  You know I love green,” comment to my wide eyed 6 year old.  Laying on the couch.  Or bed.  Were the big changes of scenery my body stammered to.  A beautiful rose boquet was brought to my side.  I forced a smile and “thank you” while the only thought in my head was, “Please move them quickly because my blood hound sense of smell is about to due me in”.  I got some reprieve from the toilet bowl and slept being awoke to a sweet 4 year old with another gift for her sick Mom.  Again thankfulness for weakness turned to strength to respond with a hug and “I see you made this green cross.  It looks like it took a lot of work and I love the color and design you did.”  Cancelled dinner plans with extended family and instead I turned in to bed at 8 am.  This was anything but a Proverbs 31 serving Mother’s Day for me.  But I can’t say the same thing for my Mother.

My mother anticipated all the same fun plans I had for Mother’s Day only to have each of them cancelled.  A lovely dinner out with extended family.  Not so much.  Presents from her daughter.  Not a one.  A relaxing day at the spa.  Nope.  Time to put up her feet.  Not when she was waiting on “sick me” hand and foot.  No, her Mother’s day wasn’t at all what she had envisioned.  But I didn’t hear one complaint.  Not one “poor me” comment.  Instead, she so beat out the Proverbs 31 woman in my mind.  With her self-sacrificial service in cooking.  Cleaning.  Caring for.  Her husband.  daughter.  And grandchildren.  On.  Her.  Special.  Day.  What an example.  Of being Jesus’ hands and feet to other’s.  Even on THE day of the year when all would say it is her hands and feet that should be being pampered.

A Mother’s Day I will never forget.  For three primary reasons.  1-Because my weariness and sickness humbled me so I could recognize I will not always be able to measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  And that’s okay.  We need to receive help and strength from God and other’s in our “unable to” seasons and give thanks to God for His provision and sustaining, loving hands that get.  us.  through.  the.  day.  2-I got to witness a Proverbs 31 woman in action.  And I thanked God for the blessing and example my Mother was to me.  3-I realized unfulfilled expectations though a real bummer can be opportunities to seek out and thank God for the small glimmer’s of joy found amid the clouds.

My prayer for you and I is this:

May we give all our burdens and pain to the loving Father who cares and see’s us.  May we find grace and peace as we allow God to help us in our times of need.  May we embrace God’s provision and thank Him for it as other’s are His hands and feet to us.  May we let go of our own or others’ expectations for us because we know the expectations of our heavenly Father are  never overbearing or burdensome.   May the Lord give us life, freedom, and joy in our titles of mother and/or wife, and daughter of the King.  May we always fix our eyes on Him, finding purpose and hope in this and every season.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

How can you express your gratitude to God for His provision of your needs in this season?

What self imposed or other’s imposed expectations do you need to let go of in order to allow God’s true expectations to reign?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 132013
 

Have you ever looked forward to something? Maybe you planned a birthday party in which you had great ideas. You spent time day dreaming. You planned the details. And sadly, the party did not go according to plan. Were you disappointed and not able to enjoy the activities?

I’ve experienced that kind of disappointment.

Or have you are looked forward to a particular stage of life?  Perhaps marriage or having children. You daydreamed about the wedding day and how perfect it would be. And naturally your marriage would be just as perfect.

You visualize your perfect future well-behaved children.

But reality hits and you realize marriage is hard work. Having children can be a challenge. Perhaps your life isn’t turning out how you expected.

This happened to me.

Coming from a home with a single mom, I had no real life example of what married life should look like. Without even realizing it, I had created an idealized idea of marriage.

I did the same with parenting. I fantasized about going to a coffee shop with my sweet baby who would quietly rest while I read a book and sipped a latte (HA!). My child would obey and never be like “that” noisy child in the grocery store (HA!).

Fast forward and I am 25 years with a colicky, strong-willed baby. I am in a marriage heading down a bumpy road.

Life had not lived up to my expectations. Plain and simple, I was not happy. Life was a lot harder than I had planned.

I feel blessed to say that my marriage is now stronger because of the bumpy road. My strong-willed baby girl has turned into a beautiful, smart, (still 🙂 strong-willed) 11 year-old.

I learned a great deal from the above experiences and how expectations have an impact on life.

Expectations greatly influence:

  • our perceptions
  • our feelings and emotions
  • our state of mind

Sometimes without even realizing it, we set high expectations for an event, another person or a particular stage of life. Often reality does not live up to our expectations.  If our expectations are not met, disappointment, frustration, sadness, and/or anger can ensue.

The bummer is we miss out on what could have been a blessing.

Our expectations can rob us of joy, if we allow them to. If the party doesn’t go as planned, if a friend disappoints us, or if our life stages are different than anticipated.

Having expectations is not inherently bad. However, it is important to learn to be flexible and not allow them to control our feelings and emotions.

Learning to keep your expectations in check:

1) When you find yourself frustrated or disappointed, ask yourself, “What were my expectations in this situation, relationship or life stage?”

2) Learn to be flexible. Go ahead with the daydreaming about life but be willing to accept change. If something changes or goes wrong, go with it and enjoy the moment.

3) Be fair to yourself and others. Do not set your expectations so high that no one (including you) can live up to them.

How have your expectations been influencing your peace of mind? 

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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