Expectations

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This is the year of His expectations, not mine.

This year I will expect Him, and everything else is window dressing.

When you plan a brunch, plan a study, arrange your children and your time, what expectations are you laboring under?

This week I pretty much just planned for Jesus to show up, and, in more ways than one, that was a little intimidating. To fully let go of planning home baked goods, casseroles, fresh juices. To fully let go of having each word mapped out, each scripture ready to go. To just rest in him, buy a few things at the store, and let Him handle the rest.

And so this morning, when we woke up to ice and snow, I went ahead planning for Jesus. I went to the 8am weigh in. I popped the tube of pillsbury cinnamon rolls. I balled the melon. I had the Hubs nip out for juice. I posted encouraging words to Facebook.

I did not worry about the people who wouldn’t come, I prayed for them. I did not worry about having too much food left to waste, I watched my three year old discovering Melon balls and waiting patiently for a cinnamon roll. I did not worry about the words unsaid, because, between me and my savior this morning are all the words, and none of the words.

What does our life look like when we let go of expectations? I read somewhere that expectations kill relationships, and I had always applied that to my relationship with my husband, or to my friends. But expectations can kill a relationship with Christ just as easily. Do I expect him to stop the snow? Do I expect him to bring people to the table? Do I expect him to let the words flow like wine? Do I expect a massive display of holiness at my kitchen table? Or do I just expect Him?

This week, we looked at the words of Jesus, and my overwhelming take away was to abide in him, in his word.

Abide. To accept or act in accordance with.

Abide. To accept or bear.

Abide. To stay or live somewhere.

Abide. To remain or continue.

Abide. To wait for.

Abide. To endure without yielding.

Abide. To bear patiently.

And I linger on this question from IF:Equip, what is a truth about Jesus that sets you free?

The truth, that it’s all about him, and not a smidge about me or my cinnamon rolls! So, I love you all, but I love him more.

Unmet Desire

IMG_1465“We homeless ones will find our home, though it may take a walk through the wilderness of unmet desire to get there. It may take exposing the hollowness of our own desire to know the satisfaction of the wild love of God.” – Amber Haines, Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and finding the Broken Way Home.

Amber Haines writes her story of desire. Of the desire she pursued in her formative years, of sex, drugs and alcohol.

She writes of God’s pursuit of her, of being found on a bathroom floor, being found in the arms of her husband, in the arms of another, being found at the altar, being found in the delivery room.

She writes first and foremost about God’s relentless pursuit.

When did I stop thinking about him pursuing me in that way?

Two years ago I put aside all the pent up anger I felt towards God, and it was liberating. Like taking a breath of cool air first thing in the morning. It tasted like that first cup of tea. Like that moment when your baby sees your face and smiles for the first time. When someone leans in and tells you that you’re beautiful.

When I let go of the anger, the jealousy and idolatry soon followed. Over a few short months, God stripped me down of these things I had picked up and put in His place.

Sometime, just in the last few months, just since having that third baby, making that family life anew for a third time, breaking and recasting the mold of the mundane, day to day existence, I’ve been desperately scrambling to pick them up again.

That new purse makes me feel special, and if I could just read that book. I just need a few more T-shirts that fit to make me feel good about this body. If I could just lose that weight. I wasn’t invited to that party, that friend has a new friend, that friend hasn’t called yet. She is doing this and I should be. She is speaking out here and I should be.

It’s like quicksand.

Dissatisfaction with anything, is dissatisfaction with God. Anytime I feel that something does not come up to snuff, what I am really saying is “God! You have let me down here!” Stuff will always come up lacking, friends will never fill that God sized hollow. Always, always, always. And what I am saying when I rail amidst my jealousy, or when I log on to Amazon is that HE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ME.

And yet, even when I am scrambling to convince myself that He is not enough, there He always is. Hope, with a capital H-I-M.

My desires feel unmet. My weight is sticking around. My friends all have plans. My house isn’t bigger. My table is too small. My clothes aren’t quite right.

These are things that will not fill themselves. I will get a bigger table and complain about the chairs. I will get new clothes and they will shrink. I will make plans with friends, and the night will draw to a close and all I will be left with is me, myself and the God who pursues me through it all.

I am a flawed creature with a flawless God.

So I will walk this path with Amber’s words on my heart. I will walk through my unmet desire, and I will not scramble to fill it myself, but I will watch as He exposes it for what it is, and I will walk into the wild love of my God.