only 19 days until christmas! that is less than 3 weeks! i am so excited i can hardly stand it. we have big plans for eleri this christmas season- seeing santa, feeding the reindeer down at the local farm, lights at the zoo, candle light carols and the lighting of the village christmas trees over at the pub. so excited. e's little face when she saw the christmas tree in the living room for the first time was amazing, truly priceless. her eyes were huge as she squeaked excitedly, pointing at the tree. she kept looking at me, then at the tree, then pulling on my leg and pointing at the tree. i told her she could go touch it and let me tell you, she took off as fast as those little legs would go. we intentionally put eleri appropriate ornaments on the bottom branches and for a good 30 minutes she was occupied taking the ornaments off and putting them back on again. it was a great moment for eleri and an even better moment for me watching her. i cant wait to see her face for all the other christmas adventures we have planned. did mention i love christmas?
following in the footsteps of yesterday, no smooth transition, just the reverb 10 question for 5 december:
Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
expectations. every last one of them.
i have come to realise this this year how very different dreams are from expectations. i have more than my fair share of crazy dreams/ideas. it has been discussed on this blog before, just how insane some of my ideas can be. and even thought i truly do believe all of my ideas/dreams can become a reality, i am still realistic enough to know that at the core it is still a dream. but expectations are different. as the word says, we expect them to happen. we expect those dreams/ideas to become a reality.
going into most situations we have an idea, or expectation if you will, of what it will be like. we all imagined how great going away to university would be, most girls had huge dreams and expectations for their wedding day, then expectations of what marriage would be like, children, work, our bodies, our friends, pretty much every little thing in life we have an expectation of. we expect starbucks coffee to be hot, frothy, and slightly overpriced. the chain faithfully proves those expectations true therefore we continue to go. we expect both incredible challenging and amazingly wonderful times in our marriages. this usually proves quite true. we have any number of expectations ranging from small, daily activities to life long friends and family. but whatever the situations, rarely do humans enter without some kind of expectation.
i had all kinds of expectations of what it would be like to have a child and then raise said child. it is tough to know what to expect with a baby because if it is your first, it is an entirely new experience. with that knowledge i was quickly able to let go of my expectations for a while and focus on my personal situation. but with the coming of january 2010, rhys and i seemed to hit a wall. we knew it was a time for a change. the beginning of 2010 marks the beginning of my heart, mind and will being stripped of all pre-concieved expectations and begining the slow process of learning to live on trust alone.
i had many thoughts on what my life would be like once i had a child. my friends back home (thats you guys in america!) had the life that i imagined. a home, a church, a yard, a hospital, friends, a small group, play groups etc... but little e came to me in a completely different surrounding. funnily enough it took me almost a year to really accept that. i had expectations of my home and my life that were not coming true. at all. i wanted my own house, room for e, a nice recycling bin, a dishwasher perhaps?....it didnt mean my life was bad, just different than i had planned on. and it took me a while to overcome that obstacle of failed expectation.
with the decision to move to america, i began to form new expectations. we will move in this many months, buy this house, be settled, own this dishwasher, get this christmas tree and so on. but here i am 6 months after leaving london...still in the UK. not in my own space. once again staring down the obstacle of failed expectations.
consistently this year i have had to let go of MY plan and put my entire being into the safety net of God's plan. trusting in Him is a lot easier for me to type out here than it is for me to actually do. some of my expectations this year have been easy to let go of. because i have a tendency to be a bit, well, insane it was easy to realise the 'crazy' in some of my ideas. but other expectations have become a tug-of-war match between me and the one who is making me let go. i am fighting for dear life to hang out to my crap idea of a future when if i would only let go i could start making my way into the wonderful plan is waiting to be fulfilled. it is hard to let go. even if it is for the best.
so looking back now, 11 months since the start of 2010, i can safely say that the thing that stands out the most, the things that i have really had to let go of, are nothing more than my own expectations of life.