Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Did You Expect?


This morning, I took my kiddos to school per usual.  I was planning to make a stop in the classrooms to see if I might be of some assistance, but made a pit*stop at the restroom first.  I wasn't in there 30 seconds before I heard one of MY kids outside the door...

"Get away from the door!", I snarled.

REALLY????  I can't even get a minute's privacy in a public restroom either????  Geeeezzz Louise!!!!


We all have them.  Some are realistic, and some are off*the*charts*ridiculous. 


Think: someday I'll be Mrs. Justin Bieber Michael Buble & he'll sing softly in my ear every night as I drift off to sleep. 

Yeah.  No.  Not realistic.  At. All.

Having a neat, orderly home at all times in the midst of raising teens toddlers.  Not realistic.

Never being late for church & yet still having well-dressed & perfectly behaved children.  Not totally realistic, either...but I'm working on it.

Having a well-balanced meal on the table each, that's more like it.

Sometimes, we set our goals for ourselves pretty high....and, sometimes, that's a good thing.  I think that having something to work for & look forward to is healthy & gives life purpose.  However, I also believe that the goals we set for ourselves should be set through prayer & even consulting with our spouse. 

I know I have been guilty of consulting with my latest issue of Homeschooling Family or Better Homes & Gardens, and setting my expectations based on the fabulous things that I see there.  Then, when I fail to live up to my goals, I feel like a failure. 

Whaaaat??  I can't get my 8 kids to behave perfectly in public, while all lined up in age/height order according to eye color & shoe size????  If Michelle Duggar can do it with 32 kids, I can do it with 8!!!!  I'm such a loser!

I am overweight, my hair is dull, & don't look just like Julia Roberts???  She is older than me!  I am such a slob!

Ugh....I can't make my dinner, curtains & tablescapes all coordinate with my blouse like Sandra Lee????  I can never have company again!

These are all silly examples, but I'm guessing you're a smart enough person to understand my point.

First of all, I would like to point out that real life is messy.  Kids play.  Food gets dropped.  Puke gets spewed. Dishes get stacked.  Laundry overflows.  Schedules get altered (or forgotten).  Weight gets gained.  Life happens.

What we should expect is the grace to be able to take each percieved setback & see it for what it is.  Ask yourself this question: If I am upset about this situation, what should I be doing differently?  In other words, analyze WHY you feel frustrated/angry when things don't go your way go as expected. 

Are you throwing a fit?
Are you being realistic in your expectations for yourself, your kids, your spouse, your friends/family?
Will life suddenly end if you have to change your thinking?
Are you being selfish?

Yes, this is a pop quiz.
Yes, these are trick questions. 

God is good about throwing curves in our way when we have mapped out a perfectly straight path for ourselves.  That is a necessary ingredient in making life more interesting.  More importantly, how we handle these curves determines whether or not we are growing up & maturing or if we are still spoiled little kids throwing a tantrum because we didn't get our way.

Say, you have all of your self expectations within normal range, you handle life's curves with suave & finesse.  In other words: you got it goin' on.

Let me ask you this:  What are your expectations of others?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

...On Turning 40.

So, yesterday, I turned the big 4-0. 

Very quietly.

Without fanfare.

I have had an entire year to ponder the implications of turning 40 & how people react to that number, and I have come up with some thoughts. 

Wanna know what they are? (if not, find something else to do...)

First of all, growing older does not bother me in the least.  I don't care about my age...for reals.

Know why?

I'm happy.  Ecstatically, blissfully, thoroughly happy.  True story.

No lies, though, my life is far from a Norman Rockwell-esque portrait.  It's crazy, organized chaos that causes me fits & frustrations, and, frequently, tears.  I am not a perfect wife, mom, friend....person.  But....I am right where I am supposed to be & I can feel that in my gut.  I am content.

Oh, sure, there are things that I would have done differently had I been the one in charge of my destiny, but then...the question begs to be asked...would I have been as fulfilled?  An inkling in my mind says no.  So often, we think we have it all covered...but, there is so much down the road that we cannot see. 

When I was growing up, I never thought I would have 8 kiddos to raise. 

I didn't even like kids. 
However, if I hadn't given life to each one of these people that call me Mom...would I be the same person I am today?  Would I be as fulfilled?  Little voice is saying, no.
There are things about my life that are exactly as I had planned out, though. 
I am in a wonderful church, serving God with most of my ability (there's ALWAYS room for improvement there).  He is faithful to me, even when I have been otherwise distracted and ungrateful.
We are blessed to travel often.  I love making memories with my kids & husband.  We have made choices in our 20 years together, that have facilitated this in our lives. 
We don't use credit. 
Top of the list of best decisions we've ever made.(Disclaimer:  this does not include house & car payments.) 
We chose to live in a double-wide manufactured home (yep, we're trailer trash) rather than take out a $250,000 loan to build our "dream" home that we had designed ourselves.  Memories of experiences rather than crown mouldings were more important to us.  
These decisions have brought me great peace.
You know, I have gray hairs.  It's ok.  Really.  I do get some hi/low lights put in my hair &, if some of the gray gets covered, great, if not, no biggie.  See, I've earned those hairs.  Each and every one.  Maybe you gave me one!  Who am I to turn down a gift???  LOL!!!  Seriously, my only wish is that I turn into one of those old ladies with gorgeous blue white hair.  I kinda feel like the grays represent the trials, tests & experiences that I have gone through.  They represent: life.
One last thought on getting older....well...hmmmm...I forgot what it was.
Hey, can you read this post ok?  This font seems smallish...........