Thursday, May 03, 2012

On Expectations...

Expectations are a funny thing.
They come in all shapes and sizes and have the ability to make or break a person.
They can come in the form of a small request or in the form of a huge burden.
Expectations are placed on us by our friends, our family, our bosses, and our co-workers.
However, perhaps no expectations are as burdensome as the ones we place on ourselves.
How many times do we reach a breaking point where we find ourselves screaming at the universe to give us a break? We want to be released from the stress of perfection and supremeness only to find that we are the only ones who expect these things from ourselves.
I recently had a conversation with Landen that went something like this:
"I can't be perfect all them time!"
to which he responded
"Who asked you to be!"
It's a valid question.
Who asked me to be perfect all of the time?
The answer hit me right smack in the face.
I did.
I am the only one who expects sheer perfection out of myself all the time, all day long, every day.
I expect myself to... a perfect mom who has it together 24/7 a perfect wife who dresses nice and is always put together for my husband
...have a perfectly cleaned house in case anyone should knock on my door at a given hour perfect and skilled and a master at each and every craft or hobby I take up.

In the end I find that I am left ragged and confused with lots of unfinished chores or projects in my stressed-to-the-max wake.

The bible says it best about the true expectations I should have on my life:

He has shown you, O man, what is good ; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Those are the key expectations for my life
do justly to others-treat them fairly and with respect
to love mercy
and to walk humbly

and yet we place hundreds of other stressful expectations on ourselves and wonder why before long we buckle under the pressure.

As I did an inventory over the true expectations placed on me I was surprised at how short the list actually was:

Be a servant of my King and live my life to glorify Him.
Be respectful and humble to those around me.
Be supportive and honorable to my husband and provide for his needs.
Be a caregiver to my daughter and provide for her needs and train her up to serve God.
Be a hard worker in my job and respect those around me.
Be responsible for my actions.
Take care of myself and this temple God has blessed me with.

Reading back over those, I realized that I do most of those everyday as it is. So what can I get from this? I am the one that is placing all the added pressure on myself. No one else but me.

It is my goal over the rest of the year to lighten my load a little. To release these pressures I have placed on myself. 
What pressures do you place on yourself that aren't necessary. Let's strive together to be burden free and live this life to the fullest! I'm in!

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