Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Expectations for Christmas

For years of my life (maybe all of them) I've had pretty heavy expectations for Christmas. When I was growing up, I had a dad and step-mom and a mom and step-dad and to me that always meant more presents for Christmas. Is this what set me up as an adult? 

My expectations, especially at this present-y time of year that is also holy, have gotten me into so many pickles.

I want, I want, I want.


When my kids were small, I want them to look perfect in the Christmas card photo. I don't want my baby girl tipping over. I don't want my boys to be smirking funny, or their shirts to be wrinkled.

I want my family Christmas letter to be newsy, but funny and definitely clever. I want the people who receive my letter to remember it as being so clever that they want to pull it out in July just to review all the cleverness I said in December. (what??)

I want the tree to look perfect, so I don't really let the kids help me decorate it. I don't want all the ornaments bunched up in the same general area on the tree. I want them spaced just so. Magazine shoot worthy. Who am I kidding?

I don't really expect too much, do I?


I like new. I like change, if it's good change. So, I dream of new in the future. This can be good, but it can also be bad. It can be bad if my expectations are misplaced and if my current and future happiness depends on these supposed new things. I know this. At least I'm aware.


See, it can be really tricky. Read other blogs for creative inspiration, and end up swirling in a comparison sink hole of my own making. 

Compare my non-existent Christmas baking to others' bountiful culinary delights. 

What gifts are others giving and how much?

It is all too much to carry.

And the main ingredient for this is my misplaced expectation

The expectation that I should be a better decorator, my house should be cleaner and bigger. I should be more crafty and artistic. A perfect writer, a perfect creator. 

The expectation that my loved ones can meet every one of my needs perfectly.

And, it's not and I'm not. And, they can't.

So, what's a girl to do with all these expectations?

What will bring me true and lasting satisfaction and contentment?

Because, I believe my expectations are speaking to me of this.

What I believe is that I will only be satisfied with the goodness of God. 

A friend quoted this on Facebook:

"Christmas is not about fulfilling our holiday expectations. It's about celebrating Jesus' overwhelming accomplishment for us and following in His humble servant footsteps." ~~from Desiring God

This same person said,

"I have often said the key to happiness is to lower your expectations, but it is really about trusting and resting in His love, power, and goodness."


Yes, trusting.

In His goodness.

And, that the all-gracious King that I sing about is standing beside me with open arms waiting to lavish His love, power and goodness on me. 

Again, where do I turn?

In what do I place my trust, my expectation?

"My people will be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord."
~Jeremiah 31:14b

"For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good."
~Ps. 107:9

Here is the truth that I long to live out.

Linking up today with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. 


  1. Great stuff Anne - Oh to see, feel, and taste his goodness. I know it is all around us but sometimes all our expectations and sinful distractions just get in the way.

    1. Thanks, John. What you say is true. So many distractions.


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