The longer I live the more I see how important a couple of “rules for living” have become in my day to day life.
This first one I’ve shared with you several times before:
It’s important for me to live with hope and anticipation for what God is going to do but I mustn’t get my hopes up that it will look and feel the way I think it should look and feel. If I get my heart fixed on a specific outcome I set myself up to be disappointed.
I recently started a short devotional in YouVersion about authentic serving. I love the reminder this morning about service and expectation.
“The discipline of authentic serving does not expect immediate returns, nor does it base itself on any feeling. It bases itself on the love of Christ and His example of service.”
Living expectantly without expectations has helped me over the years to live my life with less disappointment, not just in serving, but in so many other areas too. I remember years ago how let down I would get when I would go home to visit my family in Arizona after my mom died. It never looked or felt the way I wanted it to look or feel. It was only when I stopped “expecting” visits to feel a certain way that I could go without disappointment creeping in. I learned the beauty of simply “being” there. Vacations are much more satisfying if I do more being and less expecting. Life is more satisfying if I do more being and less expecting.
The other “rule” I must remember to live by is:
Instead of grumbling or settling for something that makes you unhappy, attempt to be a part of the solution. Simply put: treat situations or people the way you would want to be treated.
Gripe: That person didn’t say thank-you.
YOU become a thank you QUEEN or KING. Rock the thank you!!
Gripe: I felt ignored or rejected.
YOU go validate others. Let others know how special they are.
Gripe: They’re doing it wrong. They should be doing it this way.
YOU be a part of the solution. Step up and help.
Can you imagine how different situations could be if instead of walking away from environments or relationships when they don’t feel or look the way we think they should, we chose to change the one person we can change?
Today, let’s remember that when we become tempted to shut down and walk away that there’s a better and more productive path we can take.
Today, when you become tempted to throw a pity party for unmet expectations, pause and remember that instead of pouting maybe it’s time to pour on the love.
Today, take the focus off the flaws of others and focus on addressing yours.
And, most importantly, choose to extend grace: to them and to yourself.