Sunday, 15 July 2012

The small miracle of expectations

The day had been a culinary disaster.

I have a reputation as a good cook and an even better baker/dessert maker. At work, I am always trying new recipes, and usually they are great. Usually.

The other day, I made something called "Strawberry Cream Dessert." Cookie base, jello, cool whip, strawberries, orange juice.--sounds like the perfect treat for a hot day. When I went to cut it into squares, it hadn't set. No problem. I'll use a spoon and scoop it onto the plates.

I have to tell you--it looked like pink vomit.

Residents who were brave enough to try it assured me it tasted alright, but my reputation was bruised. Everyone who approached the cart which held the plates of the stuff, backed away and said, "What's that?"

I went home and began to make dinner. Hunter wasn't going to be in until 8:00, and in my mind I had a lovely dinner planned. Chicken done on the rotisserie, green beans almondine and raspberry ice milk made in our new ice cream maker. I put the chicken on, and ran upstairs to get changed. In the five minutes that took, my chicken turned into a crispy critter. Apparently medium is too hot.Discouraged, I pulled off as much burned skin as possible, and covered the damage with barbecue sauce. Not beautiful, but acceptable. I dumped the package of beans I bought three days ago in to pot and discovered they were rotten. Next stop was the compost. I looked at the ice cream maker and decided tonight wasn't the night for its premier run.

When I cut into the chicken, it wasn't done. It had to make a trip to the microwave. Twice. My expectations of a "lovely dinner" were in tatters.

If there's one thing I've learned about expectations, it's that they can mess you up. It's important to dream and have goals. Some of my goals are much loftier than a good meal or a fancy dessert, and I've worked hard to accomplish them. There is a balance to be achieved between pursuing goals and dreams and releasing my expectations to God. I often lose sight of the balance.

The key is this: "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." Ps. 118:24

Each day is a gift from God. My job is to be thankful, and honour Him in it. It's not about me, it's about Him. The cool thin is, when I make it about Him and rejoice in the day, whatever it brings, He makes it about me and teaches me. Not long ago (like last week) I would have had a good cry over a day like that. I would have said all kinds of nasty things in my mind about what a loser I was. I would have lost my joy.

But I am learning (learning being the operative word--I have not arrived in this area) to give my expectations to God, and lighten up. We laughed about the chicken and made wraps. Hunter reminded me of a certain blueberry pie disaster the week before, and I reprimanded him for bringing that up, and we laughed again. The "pink vomit" at work brought smiles to many faces, and made for much hilarity all afternoon. The sting is already gone. Only the joy remains.

Some of my dreams are of paramount importance to me, but I have learned to release. I will work and study  and market and do whatever is needed. But at the end of the day, it is His, and I will have joy.


  1. This is my favourite blog so far. Love it! Brenda

  2. Thank you, Ann.
    Your story is an excellent reminder to me. A few months ago my sponsor from Celebrate Recovery suggested that I not allow people to 'steal my serenity'. She explained that when others do/say things that upset me I need to have a perspective of love and compassion. I have "the joy of the Lord" as my strength, and nothing can take that away without me allowing it to go. The joy of the world comes and goes, as your blog illustrates so well :)

    The 'Serenity Prayer' reminds me to trust God to make all things right when I surrender to His will. As you've said, it's about Him, not about me.

    Thank you for reminding me to keep my perspective focused on God, not on myself.