Monday, November 24, 2008

Marital Moments Issue 14 - Great Expectations

"Confucius says, 'Man who does not exceed his wife's expectations has not met them at all'..." Quote from my very wise husband :)

I will never forget my very first Mother's Day! I went to bed the night before sure that it was going to be a special day. After all, I had seen all of the commercials! Touching Hallmark moments, cards and gifts from children, breakfast in bed, people saying, "He went to Jared!"

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. There was no breakfast in bed; but I didn't get discouraged. I enjoyed spending the morning with my husband and young daughter and we had a great "Mother's Day" message at church that day. After our church service, we rushed over to a friend's church for her baby's dedication and then onto their house for a fun BBQ. However, half way through the BBQ, my beautiful daughter, (who had previously been a bit "stopped up" from beginning sweet potatoes) suddenly "worked things out" all over me! Thankfully, my friend had some extra clothes that fit us both so we were able to finish out the afternoon.

We arrived back home and it hit me that my husband really had not planned any kind of special "1st Mother's Day" surprise for me. The realization that the only flower I was going to receive would be the drooping carnation that they had passed out at church and the only "gift" from my daughter was an overflowing diaper; I was overwhelmed with disappointment. Although I had truly been blessed with a special day, my expectations had clouded my ability to embrace the beauty in it.
My husband could sense my disappointment and his first reaction was to somehow meet this expectation that I had in my mind. He zoomed off and returned a short time later with a watermelon (my favorite food), french fries from McDonalds (something we both liked), and a bird house from Home Depot. (He CLEARLY hadn't seen the same commercials as me! LOL!) But he had tried and given from his heart. Which is much better than getting something that we expect.

We both learned a lesson that powerful expectations can be.

When we were engaged, we had gone through pre-marital counseling as many couples do. It was a wonderful way to get our expectations out in the open so we could enter our marriage knowing what the other expected from their spouse. But you cannot always know how your expectations will come into play as you interact with each other's families or after you have children. It is something we need to be continually keeping in mind and communicating about.

We also have to be on guard from allowing outside influences to set our expectations. Every major holiday, advertisers work overtime trying to create "need" within our minds and hearts. "If your spouse really loves you they will get ________ for you" kind of messages. Ones that if we allow ourselves to believe can cause so much hurt and disappointment.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are often times when expectations run high. It can be our expectations on the food we will eat, the gifts or appreciation that we will receive, etc.

They can also happen in a different form as well. We may be expecting family get togethers to be a hassle, Uncle Bob to be obnoxious, or little Betty to get under your skin.

As we enter this season of mass expectations, I invite you to join me as I take take a few minutes to try to write out any expectations good or bad that I might be having. Let's talk openly with our spouses about ones that they may need to know about, and surrender our expectations to the Lord. Let's allow the slate to begin clean. To begin without a demanding heart; but one that is able to be truly grateful for any blessing in store. It is one of the most beautiful gifts that we can give.

Many Blessings!


Butterfly Flutter said...

I can remember when my hubby just came home with gifts for no occasion for me.... Well, that is when they mean more to you when you least expect anything... But you are right about all this expectations ideal lay it all out and then you will not be suprise...

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

Oh how I've BEEN there! That could have been ME reading that!! I was raised by loving parentst that loved EACH OTHER...did the the whole dancing together thing...even in grocery stores if their song came over the Musak...but he was raised with parents that hated each other. Talk about CULTURE SHOCK for both of us! LOL But almost 17 years later, we've found that happy medium.

But I still confess to expectations a lot....

Cassandra said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog & entering my giveaway! I am off to explore your blog now! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I think it's sweet that your husband tried to meet your expectations with watermelon and fries - a far cry from some new piece of jewelry, huh!
Over the past several years I have truly had to learn to surrender my expectations to the Lord.

HIS Daughter said...

Thank you for your sweet and encouraging comments about my testimony at my blog.

I try hard to be real and authentic so that I can give HIM all the glory in what has happened in my life.

The testimony is more like a movie that just when you think it's going to be ok...the bottom drops's much better and the bottom drops out and there is no end until HE comes and speaks life into me. I was "dead in my sins".

I would love to attend a Proverbs 31 event but I don't know anyone that goes.

You are in NOVA or Maryland? My family lives in Centreville, VA Run area of Fairfax County. I'll be up in two weeks to take care of my sister in law during a surgery.

Do you go to a church nearby there?
Love and blessings,

Daveda said...

God has had to teach me about expectations as well. And I agree, communication is vital! The sooner we learn to relinquish expectation, the better. However, to some degree as you said, this is an on going process. As we realize new expectations, we have to give them to God! Great post Shanda!

Thanks for all of your comments on my blog! You are a great friend!

Kingdom Mama said...

What a wonderful post! And I've found that the more content I am with nothing, the more Hubby wants to do for me. I guess I'm the same way with him too.