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Expectations: Yours, Mine, and Ours

I've written about this a lot (here) or at least thought about it a lot in my mind. I think about the expectations I have for my life more than I probably should. How I'm perceived not only by others but by myself. This might sound strange, but it's one of the reasons I write in this space. It's great when others read it and comment about how I'm being ridiculous or how I'm saying the things they are thinking. But the main purpose is for me to look back and see where I've been and where I'm going.

When I first moved to Charlotte I wrote in a journal every day for an Advent thing and then just kept going for many years. I've gone back to read those and have enjoyed getting lost in my memories. I know that sounds like of silly - but writing things down as I'm feeling them helps me to understand more about who I am, what I'm really thinking and feeling, and how I've changed and grown over the years. I'm not someone who throws those types of things away. I never used to be the kind of person who'd share them with the world. But here I am writing again.

It wasn't until a three months ago that I realized how much I've shared myself on this little blog. A co-worker introduced me to a friend of his by sharing this interview that Britt did last year to tell him about me. I freaked out a little bit because it links to this here blog, my social media pages, and even a post I wrote for Cindy over at The Veil when I was feeling particularly single and vulnerable one evening almost two years ago. My expectations of how someone else saw me exploded right in my face.

This person knew all of these really personal and intimate things about me - that I share regularly with the entire World Wide Web. There aren't that many readers but I imagine them being my family, close friends and even better total strangers. You are all my listening ear when I want to scream and cry and shout and the people in my life are tired of listening. I'm grateful for this space and that the comments are only encouraging and not nasty or "go get a life." I'm grateful I'm not viral or have to deal with people disagreeing with me all of the time. That's not what this space is for, not for me.

One of my expectations of this blog is to have a few readers who comment every once in a while who I don't have to meet in real life - although if that happens, I'm sure it will be amazing! I don't really see this space being more than that - I don't see myself as giving this amazing advice for the Single Life, the secret to being patient (if only I knew what that was), or even great DIY advice (although people do say they love my house). Although if you get some of that from this space, then awesome! I'm so glad you do - but know that I do not in any way have it all figured out over here.

People think I do. How? I'm not really sure. It's happened a few times and most recently yesterday with a woman I work with who lives on the other coast. We were discussing my life and how I don't have all of these things that I want. I was talking about how maybe I need to lower my expectations of marriage and the "perfect guy for me" to someone who's a little older (although too much older is still hard to grapple with) and who is different than I dreamed of in the past. I said "maybe that's all I can attract - these 'odd balls' seem to be the only ones asking and I shouldn't be so picky."

She said something that really struck me, and she's said it before. She thinks I'm just fantastic. She thinks I have more talent given by the Lord than any one person deserves. I'm successful at work (I even got a promotion after being there only 11 months!). I can play the piano. I can be crafty. I can whip up a stew in three minutes flat (which isn't exactly true - but I can cook). I blog (which isn't really a big deal). She said that I deserve all of the good things in life.

That really struck me because inside the last month has been pretty hard. I've had these expectations of the Lord, of my life - and they were all falling right down the drain. I thought something amazing was going to happen with this guy - everything seemed so ordained by the Lord - then down the drain. Nothing. I'm more upset with the Lord than I am with the guy. Like everything I've ever wanted or dreamed was becoming reality and then nothing. I know I'm perceiving that differently than it was in reality - but my perception is all I have.

It feels like a lot of pressure to live up to what other people think you are. I appreciate that they think I'm wonderful - and I'd like to harness a bit of that in my own mind, without becoming prideful. There's got to be a healthy balance somewhere in the middle there.

This week's journey is to try to find that balance. Humbly see myself the way that the Lord and others see me to live out who the Lord created me to be! Prayers in my direction would be much appreciated!

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