Disclaimer: Let me start out by saying that these stories are intended for humor not examples to live by, but also remember that whether or not these are true…humans judging humans doesn’t work. Judging behavior sometimes, but not judging the person. Ok, enough said…

Many moons ago, some friends while celebrating an upcoming wedding with a bachelorette party went to a local club that had dancing in one area, male strippers in another and female in the other. It was for everyone..fun right, lol. Anyways, these friends went to laugh and embarrass themselves and one another at the male stripper area. This is why girls go to these places, it isn’t for the dancers.. So the girls are sitting down, laughing as one stripper dressed as a cowboy comes out. Of course he was in good shape, a good dancer, but as he gets closer to the bachelorette party, the bride begins to have a strange feeling that she knows him…She looks over at her friend and says, “Oh my…that’s my neighbor”. This wasn’t exactly what she expected to happen at her bachelorette party. He looks down, says hello to the girl, and dances on…

Also, many moons ago, a different group of friends were taking another bride out for a bachelorette celebration and decided to surprise the bride with a visit to a male dancing place.. When the party arrived, they were welcomed in at no charge. When they walked in, they realized they were the only females there…They weren’t exactly expecting to be the only group of girls watching and laughing together while some dudes danced…They fled the scene after they realized the awkwardness…

Sometimes we struggle with situations, circumstances, experiences, relationships, etc because our expectations are wrong. We think college will be a party and an extension of high school without parental guidance. We think we will live happily ever after once we are married. We think once we __________, fill in the blank, everything will be hunky dory (as we say in the south).

No matter what your belief system is, you can probably agree that people are not perfect, this world is not perfect, and things in the world are not perfect. We need to expect challenges along the way and not just rewards or blessings. As CS Lewis states, “Whatever men expect, they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on (the devil’s) part, be turned into a sense of injury.”

As you continue through the day, think about your expectations for yourself, your marriage, your children, your job, your family, your friends, etc.. Are they appropriate? Author Donald Miller states, “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” Don’t expect anything except God to be perfect. Since you are not him, expect that you will not be able to fully understand something that is perfect. Don’t even expect a life with God to be without challenges. Just expect that He’ll walk thru them with you. Expect your job to have flaws, expect your marriage to have challenges, expect your children to be different from you. Change your expectations to realistic ones. Maybe that even means to expect good things to happen to you, if you are a pessimist.

Have goals, have expectations, have hopes, but make sure they are realistic and that these things don’t define who you are. Being who are you today is defining. My hope and prayer is that this means you are kind, loving, compassionate, giving, thoughtful,etc. You can be this kind of person with God’s help no matter what your expectations, circumstances, etc..are.

Have a great day!

Natalie

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