Tag Archives: expectations

… expecting to receive…

Acts 3:5 NKJV — So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

This lame man had asked for alms.

He’d begged for his livelihood all his days.

Acts 3:2 NKJV — And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple;

So, it wasn’t a specific request to Peter and John out of understanding who they were and who they knew.

It was a plea he’d thrown out daily, to everyone, because his life depended upon what others would supply.

Acts 3:3 NKJV — who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.

He hadn’t even been looking at them.

Acts 3:4 NKJV — And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.”

Acts 3:5 NKJV — So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

I’m sure he was expecting money.

But God had a far greater blessing instead.

Acts 3:6 NKJV — Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

He received life changing truth.

Acts 3:7-8 NKJV — And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.

Not everyone gets those things they expect.

Sometimes, it’s due to a wrong motive.

James 4:3 NKJV — You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Sometimes, it’s just that God has something far better.

That was this man’s story.

When he woke that morning, he was a lame man, just concerned with getting enough to supply his need.

By bedtime, changed forever by the name of Jesus, he was a man full of praise and joy.

Acts 3:9 NKJV — And all the people saw him walking and praising God.

We all have expectations.

We can apply this man’s story to them.

Let us focus upon the Lord, and surrender our expectations before Him, realizing His gifts are far beyond what we can imagine.

Our view is from the dirt of sin and the helplessness of the lost, only through Jesus Christ can we be raised up and saved.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for this story. Thank You for saving us. Thank You for giving us far beyond our expectations. Only in You can we find life eternal. Only in You do we have peace for our souls. Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. You sustain us daily. Thank You! May all the earth be filled with the knowledge of Your glory. Amen.

Once upon a summer

Many things we have as traditions in our family have grown from a single circumstance.

Years ago, when we only had one very small girl, my mom and I went to the coast.

We wanted to visit a garden that originally was private property, but now belongs to the state.

As well as do a little shopping.

The garden has it’s own private beach and is a beautiful place to visit.

After that time, I tried to take the kids to the same place every summer.

Sometimes, my Mom would go too.

Sometimes, my husband would.

A few years some of our close friends (we call them our UK family) went with us.

The first year Tim joined the family, he came with us.

Of course there were a few years we missed our annual trip.

Last year was one of those.

Since our move, I’ve been wondering what God would have me do about our summer day trip.

We could travel down there, but the time would be much less at the garden and much more on driving.

So, taking into account many current factors, I’ve simply prayed and let go of my expectations.

The last two years we’ve added a New Year’s tradition to our family.

We head for the Aquarium and stay in a hotel on the beach with an indoor swimming pool.

We always eat at my favorite seafood restaurant.

It’s a trip we talk about all year.

Honestly, I thought we would simply trade one tradition for another.

But God answered me differently.

After church Sis looked at me and asked, “Do you guys want to come with us? We are going to the beach.”

I was so surprised.

I prayed and felt this was the answer to my prayers, at least for this summer.

We packed our sun screen and towels.

Made sandwiches and fruit salad.

It was such a blessing.

Our granddaughter learned how to dig in the sand with a spoon.

Anne, Jase, and Tim all played in the surf.

They built a sand castle.

It was all lovely.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to go to the beach.

But I’m holding it lightly.

I know that sometimes we will continue to follow our family traditions and other times we won’t.

Every year is different and that is how it should be.

I love it when we get to do some of our favorite things, but I’m alright with letting them go.

Because God’s plans are best and when one door shuts, He always leads me to another which is open.

And the journey from one to another is really precious.

It’s where I learn how to let Him lead.

Stubborn refusal to relinquish my past to Him is waiting at a closed door trying to force it open on my own.

It never works.

So, I’d rather walk with my hand in His, and enjoy the journey.

It’s a two fold blessing.

I get to bring my memories along while experiencing healthy change.

Most importantly, I learn how to walk with Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for past traditions and new memories. Thank You that You are doing something new today. Although it is not easy to let go of expectation, please continue to help me surrender all my wants and desires into Your perfect will. I know Your ways are far better. They are life eternal. Thank You for saving my soul. Lord, as I step forward into today, I’m reaching up my hand. Please take it and lead me. Thank You. Amen.

Beauty and expectation

Apple blossoms.

They hold both attraction to the eye as well as a function.

Those blossoms, hopefully, will turn into juice apples come Fall.

I love how creative God is.

He didn’t just make the apple tree produce fruit after it’s own kind, He choose to use beautiful white and pink flowers to do it.

Just adjacent to the apple trees is a flower bed.

Right now it is a lovely fresh turned brown.

Showing the effort of our children who carefully dug out all the weeds.

It’s with expectancy that we water the soil.

It’s all been seeded and hopefully will bring beautiful flowers.

Both the tree and the bed require patience.

We wait expectantly for God to bring the fruit from our labors.

The same is true in life.

Although the every day tasks of raising our children do not seem like planting seeds, it really is.

Those times when one or both of us have to stop and direct a heart or help a mind see the truth.

When we take time to listen to their hearts, to learn their joys and sorrows, we are feeding their relationship with us as well as with Jesus.

There are many other ways we plant seeds into our lives.

Simply choosing to live daily for Christ is planting seeds.

Of course the opposite is true.

We can plant horrible things by choosing to live for ourselves or by spreading discord, strife, and complaining.

Galatians 6:7 NKJV — Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Therefore it is imperative to be purposeful with our actions and attitudes.

What kind of things do we want in our future?

What kind of seed are we spreading today?

Sunday’s surprise

It was early, but not too early.

I had been awake for awhile when my phone began ringing.

To my surprise and delight it was Bell.

Where they currently are they have to find a cafe to use WIFI so I’d not expected to hear from them.

Yet there they sat, in a cafe, video chatting.

Then I received several beautiful pictures.

A number of which brought tears to my eyes because I recognized the areas.

It was such a pleasure to hear from our daughter and to see where they were.

Later the same morning I thought it would be nice to video chat our other daughter.

Since I had heard she was alone due to my husband being called into work.

To my surprise and joy she answered and behind her stood my husband.

He had already returned from work and they were both able to chat.

As the morning wore on I got ready for church and made sure Jase was ready.

We all piled into the car and arrived at church.

We walked in and took up a short row.

The pastor began announcements and I was surprised.

My chest had tightened and was giving me all the wrong signals.

I got up and went to the Ladies’ Room in hopes of getting some relief.

After taking my rescue inhaler twice I impatiently waited for relief.

It didn’t come.

The sound of women’s heal clicks alerted me to the presence of some one else, which frankly caused me some stress.

I’ve learned the average person has no idea what an asthma attack looks like nor what to do.

Instead they get worried or embarrassed.

To my relief it was our oldest daughter checking on me.

It didn’t take long to decide she should drive me back to the house.

Jase came too, as he was concerned.

Sis dropped us off to return to church with Tim and their sweet baby.

As we went inside I patted Jase.

“Don’t worry, we will have church at home with Jesus.”

He got a snack and I found a sermon on YouTube and we listened to Alister Begg.

It was titled Anxiety.

I thought it was extremely fitting.

When the sermon closed my heart was surprised again at the warmth of comfort and the growth of peace.

My day had been full of surprise, some good and others less than appealing.

Yet through each I could clearly see the Lord’s care and guidance.

None of these things surprised Him.

And although I have no idea what is next, I can walk forward free from anxiety.

Sunday’s surprises taught me that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your constant and continued love for me and all of mankind. I am astonished by how You work everything together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Thank You for the reminder to shun stress and live without anxiety. How great are Your ways. How much higher and better than anything I am able to truly comprehend.

High expectations

In prayer I was seeking the Lord for my husband.

My request was for his response to an unfair circumstance.

And the petition seemed so natural: Please help him walk through this with humility and grace, not defending himself or seeking restitution.

I even asked, “Lord, please help him to be able to see this circumstance not for the unfairness of it, but as You allowing something to teach him Your will.”

Did you?

It almost felt as if I’d been struck.

The memories of a similar circumstance rushed in and with them all my reactions to it.

Infact I remember my husband more than once trying to comfort me and my response was refusal.

I was being treated unfairly and I was angry at everyone, including God.

It took months for the Lord to break through my stiff-necked views and to guide me from bitterness to repentance and forgiveness.

Yet when my spouse is walking through a similar circumstance, my expectations of his responses are high.

Since the Lord pointed out these truths my heart has been repentant.

I’m embarrassed by my past behavior.

I’m humbled by the truth of what I expected from my husband and yet what I allowed my own to be.

Thankfully, I was able to communicate all this to my hubby yesterday and his compassion was so deep.

He’s not judging me upon my high expectations or my hypocrisy.

It’s such a blessing to have both his and the Lord’s mercy.

To look backwards at my own feelings, actions, and attitudes gives me a much clearer understanding of myself.

I’m not as gracious or loving as I often think I am.

It’s easier to see the faults of those around than the ones inside.

It’s easier to reason away poor behavior when the pain of each wrong is stinging your heart.

It’s easier to have high expectations of others when you’re not the one hurting.

And yet God calls us to something so much better.

His expectations are even higher.

Jesus is our example in everything and I am to pattern my own responses after His.

But it doesn’t end there.

He walks with me daily to guide, train, correct, and love me.

He doesn’t just say, “Do this…”

Instead the Bible says:

“…’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’
So we may boldly say:

‘The LORD is my helper;

I will not fear.

What can man do to me?'”

Hebrews 13:5b-6 NKJV

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for leading both my husband and I through difficult circumstances. Thank You for showing me my hypocrisy that I might turn and repent. Lord, please continue to shine Your truth upon my heart that I might walk with You in humility. Keep pride and selfishness far from me. Lord, please, walk with our family every day of our lives.

Beautiful expectation

Yup!

The bump.

That’s our baby’s baby.

Our first born,

preparing to have her first born.

Infact,

I’m the first born.

My mother was the firstborn.

Her mother was the first born.

And her mother was an only child.

I’m definitely looking forward to this firstborn!

It feels surreal.

And I sometimes wish they lived nearby.

But I know God has it all in hand.

And I’m praising Him.

Our son-in-law and daughter will be wonderful parents who make mistakes and messes and wonderful blessings, because they love Jesus more than anything.

They will raise their child to know and love Him too.

It’s been one of the really bright spots when everything else feels grey and worn.

Days when I’ve struggled with my health, I’ve been able to pray for our children and their children.

Infact when I was doing very poorly the thought became words.

My husband softly whispered:

“You can’t die sweetheart, you have to live to be a grandma.”

Of course I don’t choose my next breath nor my number of days, but I can use each one to pray.

It’s not a matter of how much time I have.

It’s a matter of how I use it.

And when it comes to the bump which is our daughter’s baby, I want to be able to stand in prayer for all three.

They are a family.

And I want God’s will for their whole lives.

I know they want Him to be glorified in their family.

What beautiful expectation!

To see how God will be their Journeyguide.

A new normal

image

Just like these new leaves a new year holds much expectation.

With change comes all kinds of things.

Of course, the first thing I normally notice is the discomfort of the new.

Like stiff shoes, yet to be broken in.

At the present the new in this year is some changes in our family schedule.

Trying to get all of my thoughts adjusted to it has caused me some discomfort.

However, the expectations are worth the discomfort.

I’m expecting to see our children benefit from the changes.

Sports is a biggie.

It is a demanding schedule, but the girls learn so much from playing on a team, loving others even when it is difficult,  and sharing Jesus when the opportunities present themselves.

I’m expecting my husband to benefit from the challenge of returning to college.

I’m expecting joy as he achieves his goals and is able to continue to expand his understanding.

There are things I am changing as well.

I’m caring with me my convictions, but I find I’m applying them a bit differently.

The Lord continues to surprise me by the many ways He allows me to experience walking with Him.

One of the changes this year is my position with our school.

I’m finishing up this school year, but I won’t be returning.

There are few words which could crystallize my emotions over this change.

There is discomfort in knowing I’ll be leaving people I love dearly.

Yet, there’s expectation in the reason.

I’m going to be homeschooling my own kids.

I don’t really know all the answers, but I know this is God’s direction.

Life never stays the same.

Each year, each day brings change.

The Bible said it best:
“To everything there is a season…”
Ecc. 3:1a (emphasis added)