Have you ever had a scenario in your head, and when the scene played out you realized it didn’t turn out like you envisioned…at all!?
Whether it’s a home project, party, conversation, or even a movie, we can begin with preconceived notions and play a movie trailer in our minds on what’s to come. Sometimes things turn out better than expected, but other times we feel that sting of disappointment. Instead of relishing the fun memories, we feel sadness and a sense of let-down that is real and can dominate our thoughts.
I am a planner and organizer by nature, and love hosting events at our home. God has blessed me with the gift of hospitality, plus my love language is “acts of service” which is expressed by doing things we know others will love.* Prior to hosting a gathering, I have my little list of “to-do’s” all mapped out, and then the guests arrive, and I’m in “busy mode” feeling fulfilled! After everyone has left my “task-master self” arrives and does its own inventory and debriefing on what worked and what didn’t. This is where the fun is lost!
Recently, it occurred to me that this process is messed up! What I selfishly thought was motivation to be better and serve others actually put the focus on my efforts and what went wrong instead of what went right! I zoned in on what I had missed and my disappointment rather than embracing the fact that I got to utilize my God-Given gifts in my God-Given home with my God-Given blessings of friends and family.
Imagine my shock when I noticed I was doing this with relationships too. I found myself, at times, thinking someone should act a certain way or feel a certain way. Thoughts such as, “How could someone not want to give or serve, like me” or “why is she not as passionate about doing this as I am” or “why can’t someone step up and fill-in where needed?” That is not healthy, peaceful or how God created us to think and live.
If we go through life with unrealistic expectations,
we will always be disappointed
and miss out on opportunities to see the good work
God is doing through others.
It is crazy that this realization has just come to me…Regret, but that’s another Blog!
When we embrace the unexpected, we will “find the fun”; words given to me by my friend Elena that I am trying to hold on to and live by.
The sting of disappointment will disappear as we learn to capture our thoughts and see things, events and people how God sees them– as His beloved. Deep, consuming negative thoughts are a waste of time and rob us of energy. There is freedom with this mindset.
I am finding that I enjoy myself more, and I enjoy people more – really getting to know them better and appreciating their uniqueness rather than dissecting their shortcomings. I am finding the fun!
My hope for you is that instead of concentrating on disappointment and getting discouraged, focus on God, the gifts He has given you and meditate on His promises.
“Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.” Proverbs 13:12
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” Romans 12:6
“The mind of a Man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps…” Proverbs 16:9
*The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Nancy is a NOLA girl and loves her city! Married to her best friend Bill for 28 years; they have 2 awesome kids along with their 100 pound Golden that is the center of attention! Nancy is an on- air host for LifeSongs Radio and thrives in the arena of using her voice to encourage others. Along with her love for the city, Nancy has a love for New Orleans cuisine. She enjoys visiting local eateries with her friends as they share dishes and wisdom. Nancy and her husband Bill serve together in their church and lead a marriage group in their home.