Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Misplaced Expectations

Good morning, Dear Friends and Prayer Partners! This is the first day of September and the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it! When I stepped outside this morning, there seemed to be a hint of fall in the air. It was just a little cooler and i see acorns falling all over already. Venus was dim in the east but I saw another star in the south. God is good!

My first radiation on my nose went well yesterday, and was easier than I had thought. I rewarded myself with one of their Dove chocolates on the way out . On the way home, I saw beauty on busy 62nd Ave. In the ditch by the road were two roseate spoonbills... beautiful spots of pink in a highly industrial area! God is everywhere!

The park had lots of people enjoying the cooler weather. I did not see the gopher tortoise, but saw the usual anhinga drying the wings and the great white heron fishing. Always movement and life all around.

From the book Quiet Moments with God for Teachers:

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thess. 5:18

Most of us at some time indulge in the endless chase for perfection in our lives: perfect home, perfect job, no conflicts. And most of us discover quickly the futility of such expectations.

Every year Dear Abby prints a familiar story written by Emily Kingsley called, "Welcome to Holland". Emily, a writer, lecturer, and talented mother of an adult child with Down syndrome, knows about expectations. Others have asked her what it is like raising a child with disabilities. In her story, Emily uses a metaphor. She compares the expectations of a child's birth to planning a vacation trip to Italy. She mentions the joy of deciding on tourist spots to visit and the anticipation of all the sights you would see upon your arrival.

She then describes the scenario upon landing in your vacation spot. Surely a mistake has been made, because the stewardess on your plane welcomes you not to Italy, but to Holland. You argue, but nothing changes . You are in Holland, and there you will stay.

Anyone who has ever been to Holland knows that tulips, windmills, and Rembrandts make Holland a beautiful place. Emily points out that it's just not what you expected. You planned on going to Italy.

In her poignant illustration, Kingsley challenges the reader to focus not on unmet expectations (Italy), but on the beauty of where you are (Holland).

When life doesn't turn out perfectly---the way we planned--we have a choice. Whether it's as minor as a holiday gone awry or as major as a prince charming that turned into an ugly frog, God wants us to celebrate that "very special, very lovely thing" about our circumstances.

Nothing with God can be accidental.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I always give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers with thanksgiving, joy and love!

Love and hugs,