Are you right on track? Are you behind? Overwhelmed? Too busy? Too tired? And if things aren’t going too well right now, is that expected? And does it matter which time of the day I ask you?
I can handle just about anything first thing in the morning, if I’ve had a good night’s sleep. That didn’t happen last night and my eyes feel real tired right now. How about yours? The thing is – we can’t be expected to pull off everything we hope to, when and how we imagine it all. Period. And that’s okay because we live in an imperfect world. Stop expecting so much of yourself and everyone else around you. Stop expecting perfection, or anything close to it, and start enjoying the effort in the everyday.
I can remember my report card from the first grade. (Back in those days, not everyone did Kindergarten.) There was the grade for the subject, then there was the grade for the “effort.” Mom always told me the “effort” was the most important. I aced that one by the way. Usually they line up but not always for me. She made me feel valued because I tried, I will never forget that. That kind of stuff brings joy in the remembering.
Laugh. Laugh when the cookies flop, the juice drops on the carpet and the package is late. Let joy be your default because Jesus is your Redeemer.
The only perfect expectation that cannot disappoint is one that is related to God. Talk to your soul, like David did, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and salvation; He is my defense: I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:5-6
You will not be giving up. You will not be a quitter because God is a Savior. He is your Rock when the winds of discouragement pummel you and try to make you unsteady. He is your Defense when that blasted accuser says “I told you so” over and over.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2: 11-14
The enemy of your soul does not want you to enjoy this Advent Season. He does not want joy in your heart or kindness or love to reign. Resist the urge to keep up with others that seem to “out-do” you. Keep looking for that “blessed hope” of this season. Settle it in your mind and heart that you have been rescued from the throes of evil, because God sent His Son. So He could be with us, always.
God gave. And the greatest gift we can share is His love. This is such a light item to put at the top of our “to-do” list. We are “His own special people” and we are “zealous for good works.” Smile, over and over. Pray for those who are having a difficult time missing loved ones. Give your time and energy to those who could use more of both. Be brave as you step out of your comfort zone to bring comfort to someone who really needs it.
You can expect this — Jesus redeems and you are His special girl, and there is always enough grace to cover any and all mess-ups. Keep on having a joyous Advent!