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Keeping up with The Cantelmo's: A guest post from Heather

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A guest post from Heather


I am so excited to introduce you to Heather. She has an encouraging blog called Finding Beauty in the Ordinary. My sister in law introduced me to Heather's blog and I am so glad she did! Heather has a great way of telling a story, being encouraging and finding beauty in  everything! Take the time to read what Heather has to share with us today because it is SO good. As I was reading it I kept thinking, "this is so me, this is what I struggle with." Heather really spoke to my heart today. I guarantee you will be blessed!




[ Expectations and Feelings ]


Last night, Joshua and I went on a date night. It was the first time in weeks that we've been able to spend time together outside of the house, without family or friends, without Hartley, without talking about life decisions, and without distractions. Those times are sacred. Dinner was great.

As we left, I noticed my heart started to feel agitated. My husband was yawning (already, seriously?) I started worrying about the dog and what he might be getting in to back at the house, the people walking in front of us on the sidewalk were smoking, it was a little warmer than I would have liked for the time of day, and then my husband yawned again. Then I started thinking about "what was next" on our date, and allowed my mind to wander off to daydream about all of the romantic evenings he had planned back when we were dating. Mid-yawn, he asked what I "wanted to do next," and I wanted to explode. 

Expectations.
They were high.
And I was peeved, because mine weren't being met.
felt let down.

I suggested we drive to the highest peak in the city.
It had a designated road that wound up to the top. It was a place we'd never been before. I hoped to see a pink and purple, beautiful Arizona sunset. I expected colors that lit up the sky and left me breathless.

And then we came to the top.
And the sky was foggy.
And it was really windy.
And it was kind of crowded and we were barely able to find a place to park the car.
And there was no beautiful, colorful sunset emblazoning the sky.

Expectations.
They were high.
And I was peeved, because mine weren't being met, again.
felt disappointed.

Joshua finally asked me what my problem was and I just started letting it all out. At that point, specifically that we were at the top of this gorgeous peak and I couldn't help but compare it to our favorite place to overlook the city back at home. He told me to stop comparing, to look at the positives, to look at what we love about our new home, to take in the moment together, and to just be still and find beauty in the moment. To thank God for it. That life itself is a gift. That I shouldn't expect it to go the way I want it to all the time. That I should feel thankfulness for God's grace & faithfulness in our life. That I should feel grateful for the trials, and for the changes, that bring growth in me.

I love how he is so positive about life and how he approaches life so thankfully. Thankful to just be alive, to breathe, to have life; to have me, to have our family and friends, to have Jesus, and to have eternal life. I rarely hear him complain. His expectations are simple, if any.

And he was right.

I came home to see these words on my refrigerator. I had written them down one day while listening to an audio tape while cleaning:

"God gave us the gift of feelings, and feelings are good. But feelings should simply be indicators-- but never dictators-- of how we react to our situations."
-- Lysa Turkeurst

How many times have I let my feelings be indicators of how I respond to my husband, to friends, to family, to co-workers, to the little kids in the neighborhood?

How many times have I not shown love simply because of how I've felt I've been treated by others? 

How many times have I rejected my husband because of how I feel after unrealistic expectations have not been met? 

How do I feel when I do an act of kindness, show love, or do a friend a favor and I don't get the response I expected

There will always be bad days.
There will always be... the menstrual cycle. When we feel gross.
There will always be... bad hair days, zit days, and bloated days. When we feel ugly.
There will always be... that car that decides to cut us off on the freeway. When we feel aggressively angry.
There will always be... a whiny, teething baby. When we feel like we're going to rip our hair out.
There will always be... the prettier woman. When we feel jealous.
There will always be... the cleaner house. When we feel inadequate.
There will always be... the house with the perfect white fence. When we feel envious.
There will always be... lack of sleep. When we feel grouchy.
There will always be... uncertainty about our future. When we feel anxious. 
There will always be... the next thing.
[credit]
When we let our feelings become an excuse for responding in an unGodly way, we sin. When we let our expectations rob us of the beauty of today, we miss out.

I was humbled tonight. I was letting my feelings rob me of my joy. I let unattainable expectations rob me of a beautiful evening with my husband, who was exhausted from a hard day at work and who had graciously taken me to dinner despite it. I excused myself to my sin because I was "premenstrual" and "overwhelmed with an incredible amount of change." I allowed myself to enter the self-pity pit. I allowed it all to rule.

Do you struggle with letting your feelings rule? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you have unmet expectations that are not of God? Do you have unrealistic expectations for your husband, for your family, for your friends? 

"Love never gives up. 
   Love cares more for others than for self. 
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. 
   Love doesn't strut, 
   Doesn't have a swelled head, 
   Doesn't force itself on others, 
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Always looks for the best." 
   
 1 Cor 13, the MSG

May we give the desires and expectations that lay in our hearts over to Jesus who is truly the only person who can fufill us. May our feelings simply be indicators, not dictators, of how we respond and react to situations that come our way today. 

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4 Comments:

At January 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM , Blogger Abbie said...

Great post, Heather! Too true! Expectations are hard to let go of, but it's soooo freeing when you do!

 
At January 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM , Blogger mistergandme said...

Wow! I needed to read this!

Thanks :)

 
At January 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM , Blogger April said...

Love this. I really struggle with letting my feelings rule too. I know it is a problem, but it's SO HARD to ignore them.

 
At January 16, 2012 at 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I often struggle with feeling frustrated and disappointed when my expectations are not met. Your post really puts things into a better perspective for me. Thanks so much.

 

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