Thursday, May 10, 2007
Those dang expectations!
Christmas in my house is usually overboard. Well, actually it's always overboard. It is by far my most favorite time of the year. I've written about it many times before but for those of you that don't remember, I begin playing Christmas music the first week in November and my house is decorated for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving. That time of year is magical for me because I get to live out many dreams by creating traditions with my children. We did not really have any traditions when I was growing up so I probably over do it with making ones for my own kids. I go crazy with baking, decorating, shopping, Christmas music, Christmas lights, taking the kids to do Christmas things, the kids always have matching Christmas shirts, Christmas pajamas (that I always buy the day after Thanksgiving) and we always send out Christmas card pictures. In fact, I have already started getting excited about decorating this year in a new house and I know that I bought some Christmas stuff last year the week after Christmas that I can't wait to get out and use! At Christmas time, you can call me Clark because that's pretty much who I become.

Jeremy told me the year before last that I need to chill out at Christmas time. "You have all these expectations for Christmas and if they don't happen, you freak out." It's so true! He was right. So last year I really tried to not freak out when we couldn't take Josiah to North Park Mall in Dallas to see the train Exhibit. And when I realized I did not have enough time to bake SANTA homemade Christmas cookies to put on our Santa plate, I was okay with store bought. Well, kind of. I beat myself up on the inside. Expectations! They get me every single time! I also felt like crap when I did not make Ava Beth's birthday cake last year or Josiah's birthday cupcakes. But Jeremy talked me into giving myself a break since I was nine months pregnant for both birthdays! I won't lie though, I still felt like I was breaking my birthday cake tradition. The kids did not put that expectation on me, I did. It seems I often set a standard for myself that I just can't keep up with and i can't imagine how that makes others feel. I can't keep up with myself so I sure don't want others thinking they have to. You know what I mean?

So here I am again with all of these expectations that just don't seem very realistic. I felt before we moved that we were being obedient to what God called us to do. I still feel this way. It has not changed. The problem I am having, the wrestling I am doing has to do with what I "thought" it would be like. Our life back in Dallas was missing something huge. Fellowship. It was missing encouragement, accountability and much more. For some reason I had these visions of going walking or running every night or morning because my husband would be home more. That is not happening. I pictured me sitting in coffee shops with the girls after the kids were in bed, not happening. I pictured us sitting down to eat dinner at 5:30pm every night instead of 7, 8 or 9pm! I pictured a lot of stuff that just aint' happening. I pictured more time with my husband. Instead I am getting less. My expectations have failed me.

If God would have told me all of this, we would not have moved. Obviously. But God, was asking us to take a step in FAITH. Faith requires me to do something even when I have no idea what lies ahead. A few of you have asked if Kyle and Erika ask us to move to help them. They did not ask us to come to Austin. Sometimes I wish they would have. I think it would be easier in a way. But what we did came straight out of prayer. We were blind, totally blind. A career change, a house change, an everything change. There is not one thing about this that is COMFORTABLE.

A few of my family members lurk on this blog and they have shared that I don't seem happy. They have even started voicing their concerns about not having older people mentoring us, etc. They have said, "I thought Jeremy would not be working as much. I thought y'all would have more money to spend." And the list goes on and on and on. Even writing this is a risk because I know that family members will think we made a mistake because we are struggling. Which makes me think they may not fully understand what FAITH truly is. That comment may offend but this is my blog and I am fed up with having to say, "EVERYTHING IS GREAT" so they won't think we are failing.

My struggle is not in thinking we made a mistake. I do not believe that for one second. My struggle is with what God is asking of me. He is wanting me to trust Him right now despite what I see and my flesh is putting up the biggest fight ever! I honestly cannot remember a time where my spiritual battle was ever as tough as this. A church plant needs strong people that have their life in order and can give time to invest in the community. No, it doesn't need perfect people but the core group needs to be able to overcome. I feel like every single time I struggle or every single time we have to say no, that I am failing RC and failing myself. Yes, I KNOW it's only been a month but again, my expectations set me up!

I've got to quit operating in fear. I am struggling so much right now with seeing through the clouds instead of spending so much time grieving those expectations!

(Please keep in mind that this is an online journal. I share a lot of stuff and I don't expect everyone to hear my tone of voice or understand me, especially when most of you don't know me. I am not sitting in my house crying or freaking out. I'm just typing what I feel. I am not depressed, I am not doubting. I'm not unhappy. I'm just in the middle of a huge growth spurt and I am trying to remain positive when I feel like bitching instead.)

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  posted at 2:39 PM


Location: Austin, Texas

Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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