Tuesday, June 22, 2010

High Expectations

Yes, that title describes me. I have very high expectations for myself and for things I plan. Recently, my high expectations collided with a big dose of disappointment and I struggled to see things through the eyes of my children ... Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was just an ordinary day except for one thing - David had to work very late that night. When Daddy has to work late, my girls usually request pancakes. And, I was beginning to catch a vision for something like this!

I made some simple decorations, planned the whole thing out in my mind and then watched the clouds roll in ...

... I really did try to think of a fun alternative that would be special, but in my heart of hearts I just did not want it to rain and wanted to go ahead with the really fun idea of taking a pancake picnic over to our little neighborhood lake and eating on the dock.

The ominous clouds hung over our house for a few hours without letting go of a drop and I was still cautiously hopeful - but just before we were ready to leave on our excursion, the heavy drops fell.

And, I was let down. I didn't feel like even trying to come up with a special alternative anymore because I'd been disappointed and my expectations were not met. But, my girls were eager to come up with a cheerful solution and I followed their lead.

We sat on the front porch and watched the rain, enjoying pancakes and doing something we don't normally do. They thought it magical and I was struggling to act like I thought it was fun. In truth - it was fun!

High expectations can be a great thing - but I am still learning how to handle the let down of disappointment. My girls showed me that night how to have fun, create a fun alternative and they were cheerful and did not complain at all! They have made fun new memories and I have learned from their sweet attitudes.

A week later, looking at these pictures makes me happy! I'm glad that they nudged me to go ahead with this - the pictures are sweet, fun and happy! My expectations were not met - but I'm still smiling at the memory!

18 comments:

Ginger said...

Monica, it looks so perfect on the porch that I thought that's what you *planned* until I read about the dock.

Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide said...

I too have been at fault for having high expectations. As my children have gotten older, I have learned to go with the flow. Things certainly do not always work out as we'd like, but in the end.. I always feel that was for a good reason. From you pictures, everything looks absolutely adorable! Luv the little link chain too!

Leanne said...

that was a really neat post, Monica...I learn so much about MY attitude from my children!
Have you been reading One Million Arrows? I am finding that book to be SO convicting about the things I spend my time on...and what impact they have for eternity...that gives a lot of perspective on my daily activities! it also reminded me that every day is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to guide me! Not an opportunity for me to exert my control...
by the way..you are so wonderful to even THINK of taking your kids to the park for a pancake picnic!! I would NEVER take that on! you are my hero!

Wendi said...

I struggle with this also. I am trying to go with the flow more. I find that I am a happier person when I do. Glad that it all worked out and you can look back with a smile!

Elise said...

You know, I think our children are so much more adaptable to circumstances and changes than we are. I think you made that so special still. LOVE the paper chain!!
Elise

Anonymous said...

Great post. The downside of blog-reading is that we get such great ideas and sometimes aren't able to carry out all that we wish we could. I think it comes down to cultivating a spirit of contentment, which it lokks like your lovely kids are doing!

Julian said...

yes. How well i know and understand this. You nailed it on the head for me. I have had to let go so many times of the plans I had in my mind, and clung to so desperately, and God took over, and they were better. More than just a picnic. But yes, it looks like you had fun, and God made it work for you, just in His way.
Blessings,
Christina

Rachel @ The Cupcake Sprinkles In Life said...

Sweet pictures of your littles.

We do pancakes for dinner here as well! :)

Tara said...

Monica I love all of your ideas!!! You are such a creative and intentional mama! Can I ask how Samuel does with picnics and such? Is he at the age where he is enjoying such things? What are his favorite activities that you do with the kids (I know, a really broad question!). My son Ian is just a couple months younger than Samuel I think. I've been trying to come up with fun new things to do (I've been trying to do one fun new thing each day). I'm so inspired by you! All that to say, do you have any good sources for ideas for toddler boys (so far, most of my "picnic" type ideas haven't been a success)? Thanks Monica!!!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I'm always impressed with what a fun, creative mom you are. You really do go above and beyond. :-)

BTW, I LOVE your tablecloth! Did you make that? That fabric is just so pretty. I think I'm minorly coveting!

Angelia in TX said...

Thank you for sharing your expectaions with honesty and even after the event was still so lovely, admitting our thoughts. These truths inspire me. I am blessed by your high expection and yet your humbleness in achieving those things or not LOL. smiles, Angelia

angie said...

I share your trait of having high expectations for myself. But at least your expectations involve creaing special moments for your family. Mine usually center around my endless "to do" list!
I am amazed at the detail to which you set your table for most meals. How special your family must feel.

Shelley said...

I just love how you try to make every little detail so special for your kids. You are such a wonderful and thoughtful mom. Thanks for sharing and I love your great homemaking ideas.
Shelley :)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

This is so sweet...you know...I have always wanted to have a porch i could sit on to enjoy the rain...and I'm sorry you didn't get the outing that you had planned for..BUT this is so sweet and your kids loved it. I think they know you love them lots and lots. Oh, cute pics of the kids too :) :) Love that you are setting a good example for them in the home and about Jesus Christ too :) Thanks for sharing this. Now I'm goin gto pray for some rain here :) :) Hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

petrii said...

Monica,
As I read this post, I started thinking about your beautiful porch. I was so glad that y'all moved it to there. What a blessing that porch has been already. What beautiful memories you are creating for you and your children.

Blessings ~~ Dawn

Mom said...

Ah, expectations...so easy to set and so difficult to let go. I agree with Ginger that your porch picnic looked like the original plan rather than a substitute. Great photos! Love you, Mom

Cheryl said...

when my children were younger i too was the same way. I have since learned after many years of being disappointed that just spending that time with them making the memory was enough. So glad you took the nudge from your littles and enjoyed yourself. btw, your table looks lovely and I am loving the hydrangeas in the vase.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Monica - I love seeing ho big your girls are getting. They look like such sweet little ladies:)
I know just what you mean about expectations. I often expect too much of myself and, trying to make everything perfect, I wind up getting stressed out or cranky and ruining the whole thing (in my mind at least). I'm so grateful when God opens my eyes in time so that I don't spoil things. And I'm learning to be content whether things work out according to my plan or not.