Thursday, January 14, 2010

Failed Expectations

Joshua flushed ice cubes down the toilet.
He went outside barefoot.
He walked down the stairs backwards.
He wore his pajamas backwards.
Though I have no eyewitness confirmations, I am told he even had his boxers on backwards.
The weatherman said it was going to snow, and Joshua wanted to do everything he could to assure school would be cancelled the next day.

But the next day was not a snow day.
And when I went into Joshua's room to wake him, when he asked, "Is it a snow day today?" and I said, "No," oh - he was mad!
In fact, the stewing he was doing that morning was hotter than the stew I had made for dinner the night before.
This kid was angry.
I didn't get it. Before Joshua went to bed we told him not to plan on a snow day - that they'd probably be able to have the roads in good condition the next day. We tried to set his expectations correctly.
But it didn't matter. Joshua had his mind made up that there would be no school, and now nothing I said was going to put him into a better mood. He stomped around the house, grumbled about school being "stupid," even updated his Facebook status to let the world know that he was mad because it wasn't a snow day. He was a piece of work that morning.

I felt sorry for my son. It hurt to see him so upset about something which really was not important. I wanted to be able to formulate articulate words of wisdom which would penetrate his heart and help him distinguish between that which matters and that which does not.
And then I realized something.

This battle with failed expectations is not my son's, alone.

How many times have I, myself, gotten upset over something that I thought would go one way, but ended up going another? And at the failure of my expectations, how many times have I stomped and stewed and called things "stupid"? Oh, I am a piece of work, too!
Do you know what I'm talking about?

But the grace of God is big enough to cover our childish fits. It's big enough to carry us through our disappointments. God can handle that which makes us sad. And we can trust Him.
Whether tomorrow is a snow day, or not; whether the economy turns, or it doesn't; whether you can fit into those jeans, or you can't; God will be the same.
Yesterday, today and forever. God will never change.

And that is one expectation which will never fail!

I wrote this post a few weeks ago. And the kids have since had a snow day. All is well! *grin*



AmberRay said...

I know I have done this many times. I didn't get the stuff done I wanted too. I have trouble fitting into smaller pants right now! and the expectations I put on my husband and children. Thanks for this read:)

Leah Adams said...

Unfortunately I found myself in this post. I develop a very bad attitude when my expectations (be they realistic or not) are not met. I could certainly learn something from your son.


Karen Hossink said...

AmberRay - I have let failed expectations get the better of me, too. Too many times.

Leah - Yep. I can write about it because I can relate to it.
That's why I am so thankful for - and so dependent upon - the wonderful grace of our God.

My ADHD Me said...

Are you sure Joshua and "Alberquando" aren't the same child? We went thru the EXACT same thing here...and yes we have since had a snow day....and yes, I have done the EXACT same thing myself!

Patricia said...

Ahhhh, yes, failed expectations...certainly been there! But I am learning, slowly but surely, to remember to rely on HIM!! Thanks for this reminder, Karen!

gianna said...

i was thinking about when 2 years ago, we weren't sure how we were going to pay for chris's college courses he was taking because they wouldn't give us financial aid (since he wasn't taking enough credits). i had a HISSY fit and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed! i didn't trust that was in control of ALL things. then, 3 weeks later we got our tax refund and we could TOTALLY pay for his schooling and then some. it was pretty cool.
we GOTTA keep things in perspective! God is over all things and works THROUGH all things!

luvmy4sons said...

There is nothing like the relationship between us and our children to shed a bright shining light on our relationship with our heavenly Father. Thank you again for your transparency and willingness to share your thoughts and wisdom learned from being a parent. Love ya!

Karen Hossink said...

My ADHD Me - I don't know. I'll call him Alberquando when he gets home today, and see if he responds! LOL

Patricia - Slowly but surely. It's better than nothing! *grin*

Gianna - Yes. He is and He does. And I need to be reminded of that fact, daily.

Leslie - It is amazing to me how much God uses my children to show me His love and grace and mercy. And patience. Oh, wow - do I ever stan in awe of His patience with me when I consider how quickly I lose it with my children.

Angie Muresan said...

This post is speaking directly to me, Karen. Failed expectations indeed! I'm just thankful that God is good.

Jessica Nelson said...

Yep, yep. So very true.

I'm glad he got his snow though.

Winging It said...

Hehe! Yes! I DO know what you mean! I spent a fair portion of 2009 being a "piece of work"! haha!

I'm so glad Joshua got a snow day though! Kids need those once in a while!

Karen Hossink said...

Angie - I'm thankful, too. And I'm glad this post was meaningful to you!

Jessica - Yes. He got his snow. And would you believe he got up just as early that day as if he would have been going to school, anyway? When I told him he could go back to bed and sleep longer he said he didn't want to miss the opportunity to play. *whatever*

Maria - Oh! I was a piece of work yesterday. That means I have spent 1/15th of 2010 being a piece of work. LOL! Sure hope my portion gets smaller as the year goes on. *grin

Stephanie said...

What a lovely post. So true - failed expectations Star from such an early age. I am writing a memoir about just that-my own struggles with failed expectations of life as a grown up and the realities of life that got in the way-namely loses I simply didn't count on and was not pepared for spiritually. Glad to have found you!

Karen Hossink said...

Stephanie - Thank you. I'm glad you found me, too.
I hope your writing goes well. Because we all need encouragement with regard to failed expectations. So many things coming our way that we did not anticipate. But God is good through it all. And we need to remember that truth!