If there is something I should have learned by now, after almost 10 months in Haiti, it’s that it’s better not to have any of my own expectations. Let me tell you, having any expectations about anything is killing me! Yet I keep having them. And then am extremely disappointed when they aren’t met. It’s a lesson I just can’t seem to get. Guess that’s why God keeps working on me in this area.
Take this past weekend for example. We had a plan and my expectations were that this plan would come to fruition. We were to meet the team from our former church in Linwood, NJ at the Retreat Center, spend Friday night and Saturday morning as a family with them and then the afternoon and Sunday with a little down time enjoying the beach and time with each other. Our plan was to leave Sunday afternoon. We’ve all had a chest cold this past week, but were feeling well enough to go. We did have a really nice walk on the beach Friday right before sundown with the kids. The team arrived later than originally planned. Unfortunately, Rob woke up Saturday morning with an additional sickness that has kept him in bed or in the bathroom all weekend. Not quite what I had planned and hoped for. He went to the beach Saturday morning and slept and in the afternoon, he and Braden slept while I took Drew and Tessa to the beach. That night, right before the kids bedtime, a belt on the generator broke so we had no power the entire evening. I read a little by flashlight, but again, not the fun night of playing take-one and Sequence with Rob after the kids went to bed that I had hoped for. I think the kicker for me was waking up in the morning and not being able to make coffee because we had no power. That sure didn’t change my grouchy attitude! We ended up leaving right after breakfast and Rob pretty much slept the entire day. I didn’t expect Sunday to be a solo day at home with the kids and nothing to do.
My problem is that when my expectations aren’t met, I get grouchy or down, and end up with a “woe-is-me” attitude. Each time it happens, I tell myself I’ll just lower my expectations next time and be more flexible. I do live in a place where I have little control over anything that happens. I like to think I’m pretty flexible with ministry and my time in general. I admit, I’m not so good at giving up control in those personal areas of my life… like marriage and family.
I guess it’s about control… and learning to give it up. The key word here is MY expectations… it needs to be so much less about me. I know this is an area the Lord is working on in my heart right now. Unfortunately for me, I think that learning this lesson is coming very slowly. The Lord is chip, chip, chipping away at my heart, making it more like His. I hope! Maybe next time my attitude will be more joyful when my expectations aren’t met. I pray those expectations aren’t more important to me that the godly person he wants me make me.