Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Filling the Gap


They're universal. We all have them, right?

I love finding things that are universal. It makes me feel just a bit more connected to everyone. Connected to you.

On Sunday I learned a little something about these expectations we all have.

Our pastor described that we each have a bar where we set our expectations. In most cases, we set our expectations up high, right?
 Brad loves me, and he knows I didn't get to sleep until late. I'm sure he's going to get up with the girls this morning, and let me rest a bit longer.*

So, what happens, when Brad doesn't get up with the girls, and my expectations aren't met? When I had my bar set up high, and he came in on the low bar?

How do I fill that gap between what I expected, and what actually went down?

It's easy, especially when I'm tired, to fill that gap with anger and resentment:
Grrrr! Doesn't he know how tired I am! I get up with these girls every day! Can't he just get up and let me sleep?!*
Or, I can fill the gap with grace:

He works so hard all week. I'm so glad I can give him this time to get some extra rest.
Sometimes, grace isn't easy to give, especially when there's sleep involved!

Truth? I can probably recall more times when I've been extended grace for falling short of others' expectations, than I can times when I extend grace.

Selfish, isn't it? I'll take it, but I don't want to give it!

I like to think about it like this:

When I fill the gap with grace, it's like filling two cookies with ice cream or frosting--whatever your pleasure--it shapes up the day to be sweet.

But, when I choose anger, frustration, resentment--it's like the poop I spray off the girls' cloth diapers--it stinks and there's absolutely nothing good about it.

How do you fill the gap when your expectations aren't met?

*Brad gifts me at least one morning during the weekend to sleep in, and it's pretty much amazing! 


Melissa Ann said...

Thanks for this today.

Twinside Out said...

Arrrgh. You had to write this today, didn't you? ;) This is an area I've been praying about a lot recently, and working on changing.

My inability to adjust gracefully when my expectations aren't met causes 99% of the arguments around here. I like the visual of the bars, and filling in the gap. Great way to think about it! (And timely for me, as well...)

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

Julia, I LOVE this: filling the gap with grace.

Oh I've fallen far short of that this week, all crabby and irritable and resentful. This is exactly what I needed to read at the exact right time.

Thanks for joining the Hear It, Use It link-up!

championm2000 said...

A perfect companion to my goal of better communication with my husband. Sometimes, it just takes grace, along with compromise.

I nominated you for an award because your blog always meets my expectations ;-)