“My car broke down. It won’t start,” son Hunter said. We were on the way home from a beach vacation. He was at least an hour behind us and we had no room in the car. None. No squeezing in.
Everyone has to get back to real life after vacation. No surprise there. Family vacations are full of fun and exhausting at the same time. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Biking, long walks on the beach, playing in the surf with grandkids Great fun! My issue? My expectations. After an jam packed full vacation, I expect to jump right back on the treadmill of real life. In my mind, I have on the cutest athletic wear, neon yellow running shorts, bright Nikes and a coordinating tank top. I see myself jogging along with a smile, everything is under control. My energy level is steady. I have a perfect school plan, meals planned and I fill my schedule with appointments. I bump up the treadmill to high speed.
Real life doesn’t wait until I get home and suited up and fill up my water bottle. He hits hard on the way home when our son’s car breaks down in N.C.. Calls and texts fly back and forth about insurance, towing and finally a hotel to spend the night in. I get a call from our drama director about the Scrooge production I assist with, nothing major or even negative, just another string pulling me back to real life too soon. The nine hour trip on the way home I consider sacred. I have a notebook out to jot down a to-do list. Reality should stay put until I get home. It doesn’t. Texts from daughter at home informing me that the front door is damaged. Puppy scratched it after getting locked out. Not pretty. Not what I want to come home to either.
My expectation for coming home and sailing through the week the way I planned it went down the drain. There were other complications that I won’t heap on you. The point is expectations. What are they?
Expectation-a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future:
“Reality had not lived up to expectations.”
I expected to come home to perfection. I expected to be full of energy. I expected to walk out the schedule that I had ordained. It didn’t happen. Instead, I came home discouraged, tired and overwhelmed. So, gals, where do we go from there. I felt my morning devotions slipping into an abyss of darkness. I couldn’t pray straight. It sounded more like complaining, followed by begging than gratitude and praise.
Guess what. God understands. He didn’t pull out His rod and whack me with it. Instead, he used it to gently nudge me. Every Bible verse fit my circumstance exactly. God knew exactly what I needed. When I was at my lowest and I had cried big crocodile tears to my husband, a friend text me out of the blue, “Hey lady….hope all is good. Thinkin about ya.♥” I texted her a list of prayer requests and she prayed.
The truth is God already knew my heart. He knew ahead of time what the circumstances were and how I would internalize them.
Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous,
But the Lord rescues him from them all.– Ps. 34:19
I often believe that I have to be doing exactly the right thing in order for God to rescue me. I can’t be impatient or stressed or ________. It’s just not true. We aren’t rescued because of our righteousness, but because of His. He makes a way because that is consistent with His character, not ours. He relieves us of our heavy burdens because He is not harsh, hard or pressing, not because we aren’t. Grace and forgiveness are free for the asking. His mercies are new every morning.
I had to cut myself some slack and rearrange my schedule this week. I cancelled a hair appointment, missed a PiYo class, all because I knew I needed rest. My boundaries and my values must line up, so must yours. Some of you reading this may think cancelling things or rearranging schedules because you are stressed and overwhelmed is irresponsible. Your inner dictator may yell that you must always be all things for all people. It isn’t telling you the truth. You must take care of you. You must know your limitations. I’m not talking about sitting on the couch and eating donuts for a week because you have a hang nail. I still homeschooled this week, throwing in an extra day for one missed. I still kept my commitments for Scrooge rehearsals, met the tow truck to get my son’s car towed, managed my home. The problem is ladies, we expect to be super heroes. We are not. We are just humans, living in bodies that need rest. They need a regular infusion of prayer and the Word. These bodies need other sisters praying for us, texting us, supporting us. We are weak and that’s not a bad thing.
but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me– 2 Cor. 12:9
When we are weak, we are insufficient, but His grace is sufficient. It is always available regardless of the situation. I will boast in my weakness. I don’t have it all together. Circumstances throw me a curveball and I don’t duck. They smack me square in the face and my pseudo in control life falls off of its pedestal. It’s okay. His power is being perfected in those moments. Jesus can handle my expectations and my reality.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday. Join us!