Feb 4, 2008

Expectations (Long post)

Sometimes you have to throw them right out the window ....

Expectation #1:
I thought when I grew up and was a big girl, I would go to college, get a really good HIGH paying job, drive a RED BMW, and always, always looked oh so pulled together.

Expectation #2
I thought I would be swept off my feet, marry the man of my dreams who was PERFECT in EVERYWAY, have the wedding of a lifetime, and we would live HAPPILY ever after, forever, AMEN.

Expectation #3
I thought after traveling all the beaches God created, we would begin to have HEALTHY children, 2 to 3 in fact, with a mixture of girls and boys. MY children would never misbehave and they would be model children everywhere we went, especially the grocery store or the mall when everyone was looking.

Expectation #4
I thought my parents and my in laws would ALWAYS be able to take the children whenever we needed them to, so that hubby and I could have our romantic dates and weekend getaways in our weekend adults only car. While we were gone the children would not give the grandparents any trouble at all ... never .. no ... never ...

Expectation #5
I thought my hubby and I would have great friends who were journeying in life just as we were and we could travel together, play together, have children the same ages and they would grow up as best friends and the cycle would continue for generations to come.


I did in fact attend college and had a WONDERFUL experience. I left in 1989 just a few hours shy of my degree to take a job as an afternoon news anchor/reporter making 15,000 per year (In radio, not TV) even though EVERYONE at the station where I interned said don't do it, don't do it. All I knew is that a LOT of the radio/tv majors who had already graduated were ending up in really small cities with hopes to move to a BIG MARKET city and I was already working in one, with a really cool job that I loved no matter what they paid me. So, I took the job instead of the degree. Yes, I do have regrets about that decision, a decision that was made at the ripe old age of 22. I have made plans to finish my degree and am looking forward to attending college ... again .. wow .. at my age .. I think I will do well.
Anyway ....
I drove a cool blue Ford Escort Sport and I always looked pulled together, but I wasn't paying attention to how much of the 15,000 I was spending for clothes and getting my hair done every week. The station WAS NOT providing a wardrobe salary, so yes, I was using my money. Oh yeah, the tax man cometh too! 15,000 AND the tax man .. you do the math.

I WAS in fact swept off my feet by D (the man of my dreams and so much more), we had a beautiful wedding. But as have we reflected on that day, a day where I thought everything would go off without a hitch, we have discovered some things did not go according to plan. I had BIG dreams and ideas and NO idea about how much things cost. Rings, flowers, videos, FOOD, have you priced food at a hotel lately? Have you seen what people ARE spending on weddings these days? Oh My Gosh! I could post an entry on weddings ALONE. ok, off the soapbox. Somewhere in my mind, I did not want to spend more than $2500.00 for the whole wedding, but on paper it was around $30,000. Guess which one we opted for? It was REALLY nice and reflected our love for each other and our committment to God. I did not know we would be the LAST people to leave, bring the tableclothes home to be washed or that my inlaws did NOT eat at the reception after being told 3 or 4 times, please sit down, you will be served. (I roll my eyes even today when they bring it up, how embarrasing) Even though we opted for spending less money for the wedding, I have no regrets about that decision.

We have been married 13 years this year, He IS NOT perfect and tells me so ALL the time. I know he is not perfect, he has flaws and imperfections, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I just knew he really would BE perfect. Especially after I molded him into shape (ha). D and I know without a shadow of a doubt that God placed us together and we are supposed to be together "until death do we part", but I guess the friendship, courtship, was so over the top .. I just knew our marriage would blow me away everyday. Under the surface, I was expecting flowers once a week, trips, shopping sprees, and gifts, lots of gifts, all the time, and surprises (Jai, wake up that IS expensive). D gives me gifts I never even thought about. He gives me gifts that cannot be bought, will never get lost and will not die. He gives me his time, his love, his protection, his prayers, his hugs, his smiles, phone calls throughout the day, "I love you's" AND he is wonderful man of God. He seeks God for instruction on loving me and loving me better.

I love my husband and I love my marriage, but the first "argument" we had almost sent me over the edge. I can't even remember what it was about, but I cried and then ran away. TO THE CAR. (Real smart kiddo, real smart) D is a person who likes to solve the problem now .. and not let it linger and fester .. Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger do not sin". "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry". I, on the other hand am not like that, but had to grow into this revelation and I am STILL learning. It really has been good for our marriage.

I know I put D on an unrealistic pedestal and expected him to know what was going on in my mind. No, I NEVER shared any of the expectations, dreams, wants with him, because you know, he is supposed to know me. Afterall, God put us together .... right? Unfair to D, unfair.

We love each other and are in love with each other and ARE committed through the happy and sad, we will work it out and stay on our knees. It is not just the two of us, but three. (Jesus, D and Jai) We CANNOT move without consulting and seeking God.

Reality #3
God gave us 4 beautiful children, Ethan (11), Denham (would be 5 this year), Austin (almost 3), and DeClan (15 months). No one EVER said my pregnancies would go full term, I just expected them to. My pregnancy with Ethan was wonderful. I worked until the night before he was born. I gained 40 pounds (all in my belly) and lost every stinkin bit of weight and then some. Svelt size 8 I was .. oh yes I was. I loved being a mom, although I had no idea what I was doing. My mother passed away a year before I got married and I was pregnant 2 months after I became a new bride. My grandmothers were both in heaven and my two sisters were single with no children. Who, tell me, who was I supposed to get my Titus 2 instruction from? I was too afraid to ask. I prayed a lot and became more confident as a mom. We got pregnant again in 2003 with Denham and then the floor fell out from under me. Denham was born and died on the same day. Read more here. Then we were hit with the ultimate one two punch. Ethan was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He is doing VERY WELL today, but I expected my children to be healthy, no brainer. Never even prayed about my children's health. Even after having a mother who was ill for 10 years. I NEVER thought it giving my children's health to God in prayer. Now, I try to pray for and about my children DAILY.

Reality #4
I ALWAYS thought my parents and my in-laws would babysit for us, because I always expected them to be around. I never expected my parents to go to heaven so soon. My mom BEFORE all the grandchildren, my dad 2 years ago. My inlaws live in another state. The children see my husband side of the family 2 times a year. NEVER thought to pray about this before I got
married. Makes me love his family more, especially since they took me in and love like I am a real, blood family member. My sisters ARE here for me and it warms my heart to see my children's eyes light up when MeMe and JenJen come to see them, but I always expected and wanted to hear my children say Poppy and Nana.

Reality #5
I can remember my parents playing cards, pokeno and spades with their "couple" friends. Laughing .. all ...the... time.... I knew it would be the same for me and hubby.
My husband and I have friends we love dearly, but not a couple that is our Fred and Ethel (that's what was in my head). We have three boys, our friends have girls. We have 1 older and 2 younger, our friends have older than Ethan. Our friends are active, we have been homebodies since Ethan's diagnosis and are just now getting back out in the world. Frankly, some people don't understand where we have come from and why we make decisions we make (especially when it comes to Ethan) We have met some people, but the chemistry is not the same for both husbands or both wives.

It never occured to me this would be an issue for us. BUT GOD. We know we have to be friends to get friends. DID I SAY, we DO love the friends God has brought us in the last few years.
BOY, do I hope I explained this right ..

Expectations can be a SET UP for a LET DOWN, especially when there is no communication with the other person you have these expectations from. Even if that person is you. You have to communicate with God and the people in your life. I have spent WAY to many days mad, angry, depressed, feeling sorry and I will NEVER get those days, minutes, hours, back. NEVER.

I am NOT saying is it wrong to have standards, goals and dreams for yourself and your family. I AM saying communicate, communicate, communicate with those around you and especially with God through prayer. When it is ALL in your head, but things are never said .. how is anyone supposed to know what you want? It is not fair to you or the people you live this life with if you EXPECT one thing, get another and they never even knew and then you get mad and start WWIII. I have learned the hard way about expectations and I am learning to get them out of my head and into some dialouge.

I know I will be better for it and my life will be more fulfilling.

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