Saturday, May 9, 2009

Confucius Says...

"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 day...how 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.

My wonderful step mom wrote this to me this Mother's Day:

"Enjoy your special day on Sunday knowing that in the eyes of your three
children you are more than the person who awakens them in the morning and
puts them to bed at night, who prepares breakfast and a snack for school,
who settles their fights and bandages their wounds...you are one of God's
trophies who is modeling His love. What a privilege."

Happy Mother's Day to each of you!

*If you long to be a mother; and yet do not have children or are missing your own mom; I'd love to be praying with/for you. Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at ateachableheart@gmail.com*

Blessings!

Shanda

18 comments:

Pam D said...

Happy Mother's day, sweet friend! Oh, those expectations.. they can sink us, can't they? Life becomes so much more joyful when we finally, truly realize that the greatest gifts are the ones that money cannot buy. I don't need anymore "stuff".. but hugs and kisses? I can never have enough of those! Hope your day is just as beautiful as you! Hugs...

Charla (SHar-la) said...

I'm not sure if I have already commented about this or not, but I just wanted to thank you for commenting on my blog about the giveaway! I love your marriage posts!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Happy Mother's Day, Shanda! I loved this post...it is so hard not to get all caught up in the "glitz" of holidays. I'm not sure what my husband has in store for tomorrow (it sure won't be breakfast in bed or a big blow-out gift), but it can't beat the hand-painted cardboard picture frame my three year old made in preschool with her picture in it. :) Hope your day tomorrow is special!

Gretchen said...

A very timely message, indeed. I hope you have a fantastic mother's day, with that special poem embedded in your heart.

Jaycee said...

I'm not a mom yet and my own mother died in 1996. Mother's Day is always difficult for me. Thank God for my own wonderful grandmother and my precious mother-in-law!

christy rose said...

Shanda,

What a beautiful post to honor all moms on Mother's Day and still get in an encouraging note to remind us to always keep our expectations on Jesus alone. He is the only one who will never disappoint us or let us down. It is amazing how much more love and affection comes from our hearts when we remove our expectations from others and free ourselves to be who we are and just enjoy each other.

Happy Mother's Day!

Christy

Farmgirl Paints said...

Beautiful post! Expectations are a powerful thing. My husband got my first mother's day right. He had a bracelet made for me with my daughter's name on it and placed it on her in the bassinet. So he did good.

But you are right it's not about the special one day recognition, it's about modeling that love that God gives us for them. It is an amazing privilege. Hope you have a very blessed day tomorrow.

Sue said...

I'm sorry your 1st Mother's Day wasn't quite as you had hoped but what a Sweetie your husband was to pick up on your disappointment and at least try to meet those needs ;-)

My sister has often told me (who has no children) that I'm not really missing much on Mother's Day as her kids selfishly demand of her as they do every other day. The more I see I am realizing much of what you wrote... what I'm missing is the "media enduced, 'perfect'" Mother's Day that often doesn't exist.

I do hope that you do enjoy your day tomorrow and that your family does take some time to recognize all you do for them!

Blessings

Debbie said...

Wonderful post. We are always better off if we can go into any situation with low expectations, aren't we?

Rachel said...

Wow... I need that "expectations" reminder often.

What really helps for me... is that Itty Bit was born the day before Mother's Day. So it is so easy to remember each year how incredibly thankful that God gives good gifts. And to thank Him for His grace as I try to be a better parent.

Thank you for the beautiful post!

Rachel said...

By the way - that was an amazing thing for your Mother-In-Law to write for you... just really heartwarming!

rhemashope said...

I think this was one of the first posts I read of yours, and it's timing is perfect now as I have just been thinking about surrendering my expectations to the Lord.

HappyascanB said...

Oh, I do love this post! What your mother-in-law wrote in you card is just precious! Thanks for praying for those of us who long to be mothers!!!

Jennifer said...

I totally got "zinged" by expectations yesterday....I think I really had it worked out (with the Lord through prayer) around the middle of the day but I was so disappointed that I had once again fallen into Satan's trap and "wasted" the whole morning feeling sorry for myself. It truly was a beautiful day - and I almost "missed" it!!

dynomitegirl said...

Boy, that post rings true! I remember my first Christmas after getting married, I about killed over when I woke up to find one small box of choclates. This was not the Christmas suprise I was hoping for. I laugh now that it actually upset me. Years later Christmas has a lot more meaning than what the advertisers want me to believe, I have already recived the greatest gift of all! No box of choclates or jewlery could ever compare to that. I followed your link over from Rehma's hope.

Alic Benson said...

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