Child logic rule number #1: If you have to do something you don’t want to do, the reward must be pretty awesome.
Around the age of 8, I got my ﬁrst non-family sleepover invitation. I thought Mary Beth was an okay enough friend to play with for a few hours, however she was not one of my besties. The invite involved spending the night and then we would go out for breakfast the following morning.
I weighed my options. The breakfast out sweetened the deal, since I LOVE breakfast, so I agreed—albeit reluctantly.
That night I arrived at Mary Beth’s with some Barbies and my Mighty Mouse sleeping bag in hand. It wasn’t an awful evening, considering we spent all night playing Barbies and unending games of Hi-Ho Cheerio. When she wasn’t looking, I’d sneak cherries from my bucket onto my tree. Who are we kidding here? Winning.
After enduring a night of entertaining MB, I mumbled that I was tired and wanted to go to bed. On a technicality, it was a lie. I could hardly contain myself; I was already anticipating the next morning’s meal. I thought spending the night with people you don’t really like might end up working out, since it involved breakfast. That night visions of yummy breakfast foods danced in my head.
The following morning we drove to the local Kmart—yes, Kmart—for breakfast. The cook in their cafe was out, but they did have English mufﬁns, the clerk proudly exclaimed. Needless to say, the pint-sized foodie in me was expecting a whole lot more.
I was devastated. My hot breakfast dreams of pancakes, eggs, bacon, grits and biscuits were shattered. This disappointment turned into feelings of hurt and offense. I became “that” pouty playmate. It must have been a miserable drive back for Ms. Kennedy and Mary Beth because I remember they quickly dropped me off at my house.
Sadly, it has taken me many years to learn that expectations are a tricky lot; most, if not all of the time they are unmet, unreasonable, and unaware. I wish I could have realized at an earlier age that my larger-than-life expectations for breakfast food (and many other things) would lead to devastating disappointment as a child, teenager, and now as an adult.
I am still in this learning process with regard to my own high expectations aided by copious amounts of God’s grace. My expectations in past and current life situations, at times, have stolen the joy and the blessings that God intended. I know that many of my frustrations regarding those unmet expectations could have been prevented.
God’s plans are always best and I know this. The difficult part for me is working hard to apply the things I know about God to all aspects of my life, my thoughts, and the decisions I make. Proverbs 21:30 states, “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.”
I am working on continually submitting my will to Christ’s. In concordance with His will and His plans, I give Him control over past patterns of having unreasonable expectations. I have to submit and realize that there could be a better outcome than what my feeble mind could have imagined. I must understand that God sees the whole picture of His creation, not just the current blip on the screenshot of my life.
Living a life in complete submission and trust in Christ brings overﬂowing joy and complete satisfaction in a loving, trusting, fulﬁlling relationship with Christ Jesus, which is WAY better than any momentary “kid” excitement in all the unending breakfast foods that Ronald McDonald himself could offer!
A proud Auburn grad and Texas transplant, Brooke Battles currently spends her days teaching ESL to the children of immigrants and refugees in Fort Worth. In her free time she dabbles in the arts: writing and serving on the Praise Team at her church. She earned her 4 seconds of fame as an extra on a locally-shot TV show and is now immortalized in the digital annals of Netflix (or at least that is what she plans on telling her future grandchildren). She admits to owning several technological devices (at least 3) that she knows could make her life easier, but someone would have to teach her how to use them. However, she is pretty confident that someday there will be an app for that–if only she knew which one.
*Photo credit: stevendepolo