Procrastinators are famous for expecting things – better conditions under which to work, an unpleasant job, more time later, perfect performance, etc. As we near Thanksgiving, we’d be wise to be alert to expectations – being so sure certain things will happen. Expectations of some things can position us to walk where God does not direct.
We so want things to be pretty, welcoming, delicious, fun, and nurturing that we can become obsessed with making those happen – and they don’t because we become so wrapped up in achieving them that we forget God and the hearts of people with us.
We are not in control of all the factors that make everything we desire actually happen. Others have desires too! Stories, movies, and real life are full of holiday drama based on conflicting expectations.
What if we seek to be realistic and Christ-centered in our expectations? That way, with one hand we can hold onto His hand. The other hand we can extend out – open – to give or receive under His loving care.
What are some healthy expectations?
Expect work before and after. If we have help, that’s fellowship; if not, it’s an opportunity to serve or reevaluate the wisdom of what we’re doing. (Skip the extra pie?)
Expect choices – put off preparations and rush later or do them and have peace, smile or frown, be flexible or unbending.
Expect to work ahead (freeze, chop, slice, grate, bake) so we can be less harried, more available.
Expect to lighten the load to help simplify and enjoy the day. A friend says their family cooks the dishes they enjoy cooking and everything else comes from a restaurant. Brilliant! (Or from a box…)
Expect the unexpected – whatever that is! We once arrived for dinner right after our hosts discovered their dogs had eaten the meat and literally all stores were closed.
Expect the Holy Spirit to be with us – strengthening us to show patience, ask for help, listen well, speak with love, share joy.
Expect Christ to be in us and in our homes because He says He is with us.
Expect to have a hard time highlighting just one blessing this year!
Expect God to delight in genuine expressions of gratitude to Him. We can start with those right now!
What Thanksgiving expectations do you release? Or encourage?