great expectations

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Lately I've been thinking about expectations.  Are they good?  Necessary?  Or, as Shakespeare said, the root of all heartache?  Obviously, this question is two-fold, or three-fold, or maybe 147-fold, but what has it meant for me lately?  I try not to have them.  I hate being disappointed. 

Last night, Matt and I felt for sure we were going to get good news on a house we had just put an offer on.  Well, what do you know?  Bad news.  Disappointment.  But I don’t think I expected the good news, I just hoped for it.  Or did I expect it?  There is such a fine line between expecting something and hoping for it.  I mean, I always hold my students to the highest expectations in the classroom and I sincerely believe that pushes them to excel.  If all I did was hope they did well in school, I’m not so sure they would meet my hopes. 
But Matt and I went to a marriage fellowship night the other week at church and the preacher talked about the difference between expectations and desires in a marriage.  He talked about how expectations for one another can get dangerous because if your hubby (or wife) doesn’t meet these expectations then poof – you are disappointed.  And if they do meet your expectations then it is a flat line.  Neither sad nor happy.  Your expectations were just met.  But if your hubby meets your desires then it makes you happy, but does not lead to disappointment when they don’t. 

So maybe expectations aren’t a great thing in marriage?  But maybe they are a necessity in the classroom and with regard to personal goals?  And what about hope?  Is hope enough?  Or maybe I’m asking questions that are unimportant and maybe, just maybe the key to everything is simply a grateful heart.  It seems like everything I have learned lately leads back to this feeling of eucharisto (thanksgiving).  If we are truly and utterly grateful for what we are given in life then we achieve more than we could’ve imagined – high expectations or not.  When you start expecting things, you start feeling entitled and less grateful for the things you do have.  So my hope is that I will focus more and more on my eucharisto.  I hope I will be more aware of my blessings and that a grateful heart will abound. 

I apologize for the mumbo-jumbo today.  Hope I wasn't rambling too much.  But what about you?  What do you think about expectations, hope and eucharisto?

Tomorrow I will be catching ya’ll up on my 1,000 gifts list I started a few months back with Sarah.  I have been keeping my list in my journal and have failed to update it here on my blog.  So get ready for a much larger list tomorrow!


Svenja said...

Lovely post!

If I really think about it, all of life comes down to expectations to some extend. I also believe that gratefulness is the key to a happy life. Maybe I should try to replace expectations with trust and love, that everything will be alright, and that life will bring me what I need, so that expectations and hope are not needed anymore? Does that make sense?


Katie Cook said...

Denise! LOVE this girl! I totally relate to trying to work it all out in my mind. I'm learning to let go of my expectations for most things, and be grateful for what does happen in reality. However, I do believe it's important to inspire and foster great desires in other people (like your students!) and help them know they can do great things! I think for marriage it's important to be grateful for the other person, while at the same time encouraging one another to grow together! What a journey, haha! love you girl...excited for Saturday! love Katie

Kari said...

Wonderful post! Very inspirational.

Jessica said...

I find it really hard to have no expectations. I guess it's something I need to work on. It does hurt getting let down and I totally agree that when your expectation are met- it's pretty flat line.

It's definitely important to be grateful for the present. All you can do is your best. You can't control anyone else. And believe everything will work out as it is supposed to. At least that's what I've learned so far.

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