A Hope

mansmindwI am not a big planner but I can appreciate one. I have learned how to plan over time but it won’t ever be a natural part of my constitution. I am sure one can analyze my early years to come up with a theory but I naturally just try to go with the flow. It is possible I learned along the way not to hold tight to plans or expectations. Yet I still vacillate between being disappointed things aren’t how I imagined they would be or wildly blessed that an experience has far exceeded my expectations. While I have much less control over things that happen to me than I might like I can ALWAYS control my response.

There are times we might carefully plan things and there are times we wing it. Both approaches have their place. The person who loves to plan and follow it gains great fulfillment when it comes together perfectly. The person who can pull it together at the last minute or go with the flow and enjoy the ride can also find great satisfaction. Knowing which approach to have in the variety of life’s circumstances takes practice but being able to develop a plan and then be content when it doesn’t work out is an act of faith. How we respond is so very important.

I rest my heart on Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declare the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Throughout the course of my life there have been things that have not made sense at the moment but became clear as time moved along. I do completely trust God and the things He has allowed in my life because I have watched Him work things out.

He always works it out!

Even as we look to these heavy days prior to Resurrection Sunday, we see God working out His plan for humanity.

He gives us hope for the future!

On the Road,

Liz

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PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, March 26th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 130

Today we wait and pray but we know Easter is coming. I am always waiting for the good and bad of this life but may my focus be on anticipating what God is doing (and has done) for my eternity!

Here is a collection of Psalm 130:5 in several different translations. Sometimes waiting is the hardest part!

New International Version
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

New Living Translation
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.

English Standard Version
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

New American Standard Bible 
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.

King James Bible
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word. 

International Standard Version
I wait for the LORD; my soul waits, and I will hope in his word.

NET Bible
I rely on the LORD, I rely on him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word. 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have hoped in Lord Jehovah and my soul has waited for his word.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and with hope I wait for his word.

This is NOT What I Expected!

“Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.” ― Mel Brooks.

It’s funny. You dream of a day, a meal, an experience, a career and it doesn’t turn out the way you expected AT ALL!

Now what?

Sometimes we aim too low on our expectations and we are pleasantly surprised. Other times, and likely much more frequently, we expect too much from something or someone and it doesn’t happen the way we hoped.

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!

Expectations can be the death of a relationship (and sometimes that is ok) but a dose of reality is always important.

Take my most recent haircut, for example.

I always agonize when we relocate because it surely means two things: I need to find a new mechanic I can trust and I need to find a new person to cut my hair in a way that looks good on me.

Ugh on both points!

What I was going for....

What I was going for….

I have been avoiding a haircut since September when we moved. I did break down and get a trim in February but that is all I had the courage to do before yesterday. And by yesterday I was already way overdue for a haircut. I called in the morning and she could take me at 1:30 the same day. Wow! I was excited! I even had this photo as an example of the cut and style I was interested in.









What I look like now!

What I look like now!


Granted, I was not going to wear makeup and I was not dressed quite as fancy and I don’t have the same smile BUT this is what I walked out with:








I guess it is close, but not close enough to what I was hoping for. This experience reminded me of some important truths:

We are working with people who most often do not always see things from the same perspective or we have more confidence in them than is warranted.

And let’s take it a step further: We are dealing with people who have some deep wounds we don’t know about or they think have been healed or ____________ (fill in the blank)!

Working with human beings is pretty tricky stuff. When we are deep in a relationship with someone we sometimes experience some very difficult things with them. Other times we miss things that are very important for others because we are in the middle of our own stuff. All of that messes with expectations: yours, mine, and theirs.

Pay attention to your relational expectations. Even if they are truly justified and reasonable, sometimes the other party is not in the same book as you, let alone on the same page.

I do believe God’s grace covers a multitude of sins. I have a multitude of my own sins to worry about. So while I might want to stomp around being ‘justified’ about my irritations or aggravations I most often need to move along and let God work on me and my attitude. As I ponder His grace poured out on me and my life, it feels pretty stingy to withhold it from others.

Are you struggling with expectations today? How do you work through those times of disappointment when you or others have “dropped the ball” or intentionally challenged your hopes and dreams?

When I am in a good space, I tend to seek God on the matter. When I struggle with it the most it seems I have drifted a bit from God’s perspective.

As for my hair, I just have to wait for it to grow out. I suspect that strategy of waiting (and praying) works well with a multitude of unmet expectations. I trust that God will work it out even when I can’t possibly see the solution.