failed expectations.

Okay, I’ll say it, I am ready for fall. I feel like a hypocrite, as being a Minnesotan, we have maybe 2-3 months of summer, a week of fall and then 9 months of winter. But we haven’t really had a fun-in-the-sun summer this year; it’s been more a melt-your-face-off summer. And now, I am ready to unpack my boots and scarves, dabble in fall nail polish colors and order hot drinks from Starbucks. Oh, and not to mention fall TV shows coming back. Revenge! Grey’s Anatomy! Vampire Diaries! Oh my!

(It’s okay to remind me in October after our first snow storm that I wished this upon myself.)

I was recently nominated by another blogger as for a Sunshine Award. What I have been told is that “the Sunshine Award recognizes bloggers whose writings ‘light up the dark corners of our minds’”. It was an honor to be nominated! Thanks to Kate from A Hundred Affections for the nomination! Along with the nomination come questions for the blogger (me) to answer, so here you go!

Favorite color? To wear on my fingernails, pink or gray. To wear in clothes, black. To buy something that color of, usually some shade of blue.

Favorite animal? Morkie, of course! (Maltese-Yorkie aka Cali). But if I had to pick another one, it would probably be a giraffe, going back to my younger days as I was obsessed with the Ty Beanie Baby Twigs.

Favorite number? My birthdate, 19. (Fact, I played my very first game of roulette on our cruise and won with this number!)

Favorite nonalcoholic drink? I love Arnie Palmers (half lemonade, half iced tea), Shirley Temples (sprite and grenadine) and anything from Starbucks.

Favorite alcoholic drink? I rarely drink but when I do, I enjoy a glass of Moscato wine or anything with champagne.

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. I still don’t really understand Twitter but enjoy following people.

My Passions? Living a life that is pleasing to God. My husband and pup. Spending time with family. Reading. Sitting in a coffee shop. Serving at our church. Cooking. Hosting events.

There you go! Then I am asked to nominate others for the Sunshine Award – I am working on linking other blogs to mine with a “Blogs I follow” page so stay tuned for those.

In other news, my beta finally reached ZERO! *CHEERS!* We found out last Friday and that’s been a huge relief. I have my Saline Infused Sonogram today (in about 2 hours actually!). This is the FINAL step in closing out this last cycle. It’s simply put a test where saline (salt solution) is inserted into the uterus and then my doctor will look at the lining to ensure it is free from cysts, polyps and scarring. We are praying that everything looks A-okay as it has in the past and that the D&C didn’t change that.

Driving in to the appointment last week, I was listening to a podcast from Pastor Steven Furtick about expectations. The series was great – it looked at what we do when others fail our expectations, when we fail others expectations of us and when we fail our own expectations. But the message that I was listening to was freshingly real – it was about what we do when God fails our expectations. Gulp. It talked about how frustration is born when our expectations doesn’t match our experience. We expect certain things to happen and they don’t. And sometimes, God is at the center of our expectations – and He doesn’t come through. Our prayers seem to fall flat and it can seem like God just didn’t provide for us the way we hoped and prayed. Pastor Furtick then said something that was hard to hear, but true – he said, “if you follow God, expect to be disappointed.”

Eeeeeeek.

Awkward.

The reason being is that we serve a God that is SO great, so powerful and we know that He COULD do ANYTHING He wanted. And when He doesn’t, we are disappointed. Confused. We still trust Him, or at least we should, but that disappointment and letdown stings.

He used the example of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (when Lazarus was sick). Can you imagine being friends with Jesus, having Him over for dinner, hanging out, chillin’? (I am sure Jesus appreciates me using the word “chilli’” to describe Him. But doesn’t He totally seem like He would just sit back, relax with friends, laugh at how totally surprised that blind guy was when He could see again. He was HUMAN. He chilled.)

I digress. Anyways, so here you have Jesus’ close friends, ones described in the Bible as people he loved and one of them gets really sick. His sisters have been watching Christ’s ministry. They have seen so many healings and it probably seems silly to worry about their brother at this point. Just call Jesus! They say. Let Him know Lazarus is sick. Martha probably went back into the kitchen at that point to cook up a stew for Him to eat when He got there.

And Jesus gets the message. He hears His friend is sick. And what does He do? He stays. Right where He was. And Lazarus dies.

Failed expectations. Four days later, Jesus shows up. And Martha simply says ““Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Talk about being honest and direct with the Lord about failed expectations! I love it.

How many times have I cried out to Him simply saying “God, if you would have answered my prayers, my baby would still be here.”; “God, if you had intervened, you could have prevented this miscarriage.”; “God, if you had been here, I wouldn’t have needed this surgery.”; “God, if you would just touch me, I would be healed.”

Honesty. I think it’s something that we can lack in our walk sometimes. We THINK about how hurt we are with Him for not answering our prayers, but how often do we say, Lord, if you had … then…

He knows our hearts. I think her reaction was so beautifully appropriate.

And Jesus response to Martha wasn’t “How dare you speak to me like that! I know what I could have done!”

He answers with love, telling her that her brother would rise again.

Then Mary comes out of the house weeping and does the same thing. “Jesus! If you would have been there, then …” And Jesus again, doesn’t scold her for talking to Him like that. In fact, His reaction breaks my heart.

“When Jesus saw her weeping … he was deeply moved in his spirit… Then Jesus wept.” (John 11)

He wept in His humanness over the loss of His friend. Even though He had the power to save Him, He hadn’t and even though He knew the grand plans, He wept.

I believe strongly that when we wept, when our expectations are let down, when we cry out why, Jesus joins us in our weeping.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

In John 11, Jesus tells the sisters “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” He went to the tomb, rolled away the stone and said “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”

And Lazarus was the first man raised from the dead by Jesus.

You see – Jesus was healing people, but He needed to prove that He was the man of God. And this resurrection is what helped led people to believe. (John 11:45)

I share all of this for a simple reason – and it’s one that struck me again last week and is one I have to carry in my heart each day – when it seems that God doesn’t provide for us the way we hoped, we HAVE to remember that God doesn’t share our perspective. And because of that, His plans aren’t always going to line up with ours.

But He will come. He will be with us. He will weep. And then, when the time is right, His glory will be shown. I truly believe that.

I hope this reminder blesses you today as much as it’s blessed me. I better get going now so I can get ready for my appointment. Maybe I will even stop on the way for a Starbucks iced tea to celebrate the last days of summer as I patiently wait for fall to usher in.

Happy Friday friends!