Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Filling the Gap

Expectations.

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! 


4 comments:

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 ;-)
http://mamemusings.blogspot.com/2011/08/hot-hot-hot.html