Hello Expectations, Have We Met?

I’ll go first.

I expected:

my parents to stay together 

we’d have more than one grandchild 

retirement would be an easy adjustment 

my close friend wouldn’t die of cancer before she was 50 

Mama wouldn’t get dementia

my voice would always be heard and acknowledged

I’d start this new blog and always have something to share

I’d keep my weight in control

I wouldn’t slow down

Hello, expectations, I don’t believe we’ve met.

The thing with expectations is you don’t always know you have them until they aren’t met. It’s a hindsight kind of learning.

We expect our families to be safe. We expect good health, a roof over our heads and a car in our driveway. We expect our cupboards to be full and our jobs secure.

We’ve never expected the best of the best. We bought a used washer and dryer for our new-old home when we retired. Our cars are both used but we are comfortable. That’s what we expect, isn’t it? Comfort? Safety? Security?

That’s indeed what we lost the past year. We miss the comfort of gathering with family and friends. We miss seeing the smiles and giving the hugs. We miss a time that seemed better…normal.

Restrictions are starting to ease and arguments continue on when and how. 

Our comfort of living isn’t the same. No amount of money can change it. 

I think of how this would have been much harder for us, personally, had we not been retired. Our world had already shrunk. 

We attended an outdoor band concert at our granddaughter’s middle school. It was the first concert they’d held since the fall of 2019. Somehow, those students played their instruments while being masked. The directors spoke clearly from behind their masks as they introduced the songs. Families brought lawn chairs and sat in groups distanced. We were masked until given permission to remove them if with others in our family “pod” and distanced. It felt very close to normal. 

Yet our expectations are still in a state of confusion. Will these steps forward be met by giant steps backward?

When we retired I discovered more expectations I didn’t know I had. Life as we had lived for 30+ years was different. Having breakfast together was nice – for the first month. We had never been around each other ALL day in our married life. I’d forgotten how different we are!

There is always an expectation waiting to met. 

The sooner we recognize them the better. It’s also best to make friends with them. We might never be besties but being enemies or denying them is often to our detriment.

Hello expectations. May I introduce you to the Serenity Prayer?

God, grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change…

Courage to change the things I can,

And Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen.

Reinhold Neibuhr

6 thoughts on “Hello Expectations, Have We Met?

  1. Debbie, I never realized there was more to the serenity prayer until just now. Expectations are such a funny thing. We anticipate them, and yet never expect that they may not be met in the way we are hoping. It is in releasing our expectations to the Lord that we make peace with them. Your words were most needed and appreciated today. Blessings!

    1. I didn’t realize that about the Serenity Prayer until we started working in ministry with men with addictions. Even though we said that prayer often, it takes daily work and one I fail at often. I believe community is so important in this. Thank you for your kind words and may God bless and heal the tender place in you.

  2. Beautiful Debby! I’m so excited you are sharing more of your brilliance with the world. We need more encouragers like you. Your words really meant a lot to me today – thank you for sharing with such authenticity and love.

    1. Thank you, Cara. I’m so glad you’ve added your voice to the blogging community. Your blog is one I always read.

  3. So good, Debby! My expectations can really get me in trouble. My husband is on the countdown to retirement. I have both some good and some bad expectations from it (keeping it real! ha). But I need to repeat the serenity prayer more often and let the Lord’s presence be my guide, not my expectations.

    1. Hi Lisa, yes, retirement has been more of an adjustment for me than for him. Most of us learn as we go and it sure helps to remember God is with us and even goes before us. Bless you xx.

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