Sunday Series: Expectations and Dandelion Dreams
Hello love and welcome back to the blog!
Today has been a strange and humid end to a cold and rainy June. It's been filled with a cozy movie with my husband, lots of coffee, and some future plans to make craisin, raisin, and oatmeal cookies (don't come at me... they're really yummy.)
This rainy and cold month has reminded me of the old phenomenon of our expectations versus reality, which is what I want to touch on for today's Sunday Series.
You see, June is SUPPOSED to be a really warm and summery month here in Michigan! It's supposed to be filled with bonfires, beach-time, and lots of sunsets. There is supposed to be walks outside, short dresses, and more freckles than I could ever count! It's supposed to be the highlight of the year and truly, the highlight of the summer.
But, alas, June was none of those summery things: instead, it was cold, rainy, dark, and.. oh yeah... cold. It truly did not meet any expectations and defied logic, understanding, and hundreds of years of warm weather patterning that had taught us to prepare for summer in ... summer. We didn't even get to experience summer before Midsummer passed as a grim reminder that we were halfway through something that had never even happened.
You see, June was a big reminder to me that even when you plan for something great, that has truly no reason to be terrible, it could still turn out different from your expectations.
I see this all the time with couples who decide to get married or have a baby. I see it in people who think losing the weight will unlock a better life, or people who think that just trying to get a boyfriend will change everything. I see it with people who go to college and wait around for the "best four years of their life" to begin. I see it in my own life, with the move to a new town and the growth of this blog.
Although most things, like a cold and rainy June, are not truly worthy of being labeled as "persecution and suffering," they can still be disappointing, anxiety-inducing, or just plain stressful.
I think sometimes when we rely on things to be incredible, or we build them up in our mind, it can be even more frustrating, disappointing, and exhausting when those things don't live up to our expectations.
But am I saying that we should not anticipate the beauties in life? Absolutely not!
I think that if we derive all our joy, peace, and balance from good things turning out good, then we will be left sorely disappointed. It's okay to hope, anticipate, and look forward to something without relying on it to automatically be incredible. When we build things up in our minds and leave no option other than what we believe will happen, we often face circumstances or events that do not look like what we expected, leaving us to feel disappointed and unstable.
I think I am learning to avoid having strict expectations for things and to instead live more in the moment. Instead of building things up in my head I try to enjoy the moment and leave the future open as well; open to all manners of quirks, disappointments, triumphs, and joys.
This perspective and attitude has allowed me to be pleasantly surprised and pleased when things go splendidly, while also allowing room for disappointments and changes. It helps me release control of the future and get ahold of the present. It helps me have grace when things do not turn out how I expected or even hoped, and most of all, it helps me remain humble.
I am reminded that no matter my expectations, desires, beliefs, or hopes, I do not control the future. Only God does. By stepping back and allowing Him to create my path, I have gone down many unexpected, unconventional, and even scary paths, but the entire time I've been reminded that just because I am unsure about the future and where He is leading me does not mean that it isn't good.
Because even if we have rain for all of June AND July, God is still good. We can still find joy and beauty in the moment and in life even if everything is not perfectly aligned. We cannot wait and hold back our joy and peace for moments when everything meets our expectations because that might never happen.
Life is probably not going to look like how you imagined it in your mind, but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful or exciting. When we release control of our expectations and instead indulge in the beauty of change and the wonder of our small humanity, we can begin to truly live.
Life should not be lived with a white-knuckled grip on our blueprint plans for the future; instead, we should hold our hopes and dreams in the palms of our cupped hands like the fuzz of a dandelion--ready to softly blow them away with a dream and a prayer, but ready for whatever comes our way.
Treasure your hopes and your dreams: pursue them and always chase good things, but when the inevitable hurt, change, trauma, and rain comes your way, do not lose heart. Instead, take every moment in life as it comes, and allow things to change outside your plan. Remind yourself, as I have had to, that our Pinterest lives are just a dream. The real life and the real humanity comes when we release control and allow life to just... be.
Sending you love today my dears, whether it is rainy in June or sunny in July, I hope that you will share with me in a relaxed and peaceful spirit, no matter what happens.