These two great posts by my friends Jen & Ashley reflect perfectly on what I was working on writing this week! Expectations. Gratitude. Space. Intentionality. They make for an epic battle of finding peace and balance. Here are a few of my reflections on letting go of expectations while choosing gratitude and joy in the exceptionally average.
Expectations are a vicious beast. They can change something that is good in a person’s mind into vile, wrong, and completely dysfunctional in a matter of minutes.
I could list one personal example after the next of how I’ve let expectations ruin my day, annihilate my confidence, and completely change how I did things as a parent, housekeeper, wife, and woman.
One example that appropriately fits since I’m sharing this on a blog is my views of how I blog. I’m sure I’ve shared it a few dozen times on here before that how I deal with writing (which does involve blogging quite a bit for me) is a parallel to how I’m working my way through life.
When I first started blogging five years ago, I went into it with no expectations or preconceived ideas of what makes a blog a good one. I thought it would be the easiest way to share updates and pictures with family who lived far away. As I got into it, I found so much joy in reflecting over the little and big things that made up my days with my family. I began to work through my feelings by having an outlet to write about them.
My expectations for blogging started to change when I began reading more blogs by people who made something impressive out of their corners of the Internet. After a while, I decided that no one really wanted to read about every single trip to the park that Dash and I made any more than I wanted to post about the same old same old again. Sometimes in motherhood, – make that life in general – the things that become mundane after weeks turn into months which turn into years don’t seem as noteworthy. And the joy that once came with recounting the little things can be forgotten and replaced with the need to take on bigger things.
I don’t think this is a completely terrible thing. It’s really not necessary to retell every detail of a trip to the zoo to enjoy the trip to the zoo. It’s obnoxious to hear someone constantly promote how they cleaned their house, potty trained their child, or found success in dating their spouse better than I ever could because of their flawless, printable and pinnable 10-step plan.
But sometimes, it’s good to revisit the little things that used to bring myself and others joy to share. Expectations of what other people might want to see when they choose to open up my blog space or what I expected the space should look like by now need to be put aside and replaced with what inspires me to this day. I have changed immensely in five years, but I still love and prioritize my family, which has both gained and lost smiling faces in the meantime.
They inspire me to be better.
They make me rethink my expectations and choose to embrace them with their current strengths and flaws.
They make me laugh and cry within a five minute span.
They make me better and do a great deal to shape who I am.
They make me work hard every day to overcome the lies in my head that I’m not pretty enough, worthy enough, or together enough to deserve them. Because they will catch whatever mindset I choose and adopt it for themselves. And they are, just as I am, created just right in God’s image.
They make me step outside my comfort zone and try things I’ve never tried before. They cheer me on!
They can make summer days in the back yard the perfect mixture of laughter, playing, relaxing, and going crazy.
They are my people. The ones who wake me morning or night, smother me or sometimes push me away, the ones who God hand selected to gift me with so that I could be who He intends me to become. I love them with all of my heart.