Faith and Adjusting Expectations

Two weeks ago I shared about unexpected surprises where my whole family got to go on vacation together.  It was such a blessing to focus on being together I chose not to write my blog!

I think everyone who went would say they had a good time.  However, I am sure that each of us had to adjust our expectations of what that would look like along the way.  Issues with pre-purchased tickets, sick children and children who did not think riding rides were as fun as the adults believed all challenged our thoughts about how this time together would go.

Life keeps happening even when we are on vacation..or trying to be!  My daughter in law spent way more time working on an upcoming project than she ever expected too.  She was a trooper and answered emails, texts and phone calls as necessary.  She said she learned not to go on vacation when you are starting a new ministry unless you are prepared to take the planning along.

One day on our vacation I was sitting with my two youngest grandchildren.  Their parents were riding a ride together.  The baby was asleep in the stroller and the three-year old seemed to be bordering on the happy/grumpy line.  I found a quiet place where she could get out of the stroller and play while her brother slept on.  It was so peaceful in the midst of California Adventures!  She found a potato bug and played with it.  She was having fun!  In the midst of all hustle and bustle she chose to be herself and just enjoy where she was.  It was refreshing to spend some time reflecting quietly by myself as well.  I wish I would have taken a picture of her with her new “friend” because it was fun to watch her play so gently with him or was it a her?  Because I went on the vacation to spend time with my family members this was not a “waste” of my time or money.  If I had not had that perspective I could have been frustrated with her because she really did not want to ride the rides or enjoy most of the things available.  She loved going to the Redwood challenge and climbing on the rocks, walking the net bridges–basically enjoying nature!  In case you think I wear a halo-these are things God has been teaching me over the years. Like Paul, I am learning to be content in my life situation.

My first visit to Disneyland as an adult was with my husband.  We made some wonderful memories.  Sounds, sights and situations triggered some of those memories on this trip and grief showed up, I must admit.  Walking with my family made me long for him to enjoy those moments together.  Watching cousins holding hands celebrating their friendship and the simple joy of being together was so heart swelling that I yearned to share it with him.  I had to adjust my perspective and be thankful for the grand-parenting time we did have together. As I shared my pain with the Lord,   He helped me adjust my perspective  from who I was  sharing these new experiences with rather than who wasn’t.   It helped bring me back to the present instead of dwelling in the past.

Life forces us to make adjustments in our perspective many times.  Releasing our faith to trust the Lord during these times sets us on the course for peace much faster.  Last night in our Life Group we discussed James 1:2-3.  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  As we encounter life’s trials and tribulations it is up to us how we view them.  Taking responsibility for our attitude shows a sign of maturity and it is not always easy to “grow up”.  When we meet heavy-duty trials: difficult diagnosis. loss job, relationship issues it is sometimes easier to turn to the Lord and His wisdom than in the smaller issues.  Grumbling, mumbling in frustration, irritation or exasperation robs us of our joy, which is our strength.  I have been learning this–but I admit I have been a slow learner.  I have done life both ways.  It is easier to trust the working of His grace, strength and purpose in our lives that it is to live under our own small perspective of life.  I find myself walking more in the joy than in the frustrations of life now.  Maybe it is my age, but I like to think it has been our generous God helping me to become more mature and complete in Him, for that is what He promises these struggles of life would bring to us.


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