These weeks leading up to Thanksgiving (for those of us in the United States) are a great time to consider gratitude. In these shorter posts, let’s explore some different quotes about gratitude and see how we can prepare our hearts for the coming holiday season.
“Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly.” ~Tony Robbins, Author
God has been talking with me about expectations. Honestly? He’s been talking to me for years, but it’s only as I age that I see the impact that holding tightly to expectations has on my heart.
When I expect things, part of me is waiting for someone to break their word, not follow through with something, or to not live up to what I had hoped would happen. I’m waiting to be disappointed.
Expectations often leave us disillusioned.
I don’t know about you, but when I hold to expectations about something, I have a clear vision in my mind for how something is going to play out. When reality doesn’t match my mind’s vision, I sometimes end up feeling disappointed. Too often, I am relying on someone else to live up to what I envision.
I recently read this thought by Mary DeMuth, and the words resonated: “Because when I live mired in the disappointment of unmet expectations, I stop living in expectation of what God has for me.”
What if, instead of waiting for someone to fail to meet my expectations, I choose to be grateful they’ve helped me at all? They have given me anything at all?
What if I choose to be thankful to them for the effort they’ve put forth on my behalf?
What if, instead of holding myself to unreasonably high expectations (translated: perfection), I give grace? What if I thank God for the ways He’s met my needs? He knows what I need. He knows the best ways to meet them.
When I hold expectations, I will be irritated or disappointed when He (or anyone else) doesn’t meet them.
When I shift my perspective and am grateful for what is given? That’s when my heart changes.
When I drop expectations of others, of God, and even of myself, I enjoy life more.
Letting go of expectations opens my heart to see God working in fresh ways.
What about you? How do you manage your expectations? How do you choose gratitude?