Expectations Can Ruin Everything

depression-2912404_1280Expectations can be a four letter word in my book. I think unrealistic expectations can be a huge downfall to many relationships. Between lack of communication and expectations, that can be a recipe for disaster. One thing I know I have with my husband is excellent communication. We are so different that we literally have to communicate.

Expectations on the other hand, are unfair and often times, unwise.

CandTI can’t say that I’ve gotten rid of all my expectations of my husband, but after 20 years of marriage, I have come to the realization that I’ve put too many unfair expectations on him. I used to leave the house and when I returned, if he didn’t have things cleaned, I would be so angry and hurt. You see, my first love language is Acts of Service. So when I see that my husband has done the dishes, I truly feel like he loves me. His love language is Quality Time so if we haven’t had any time together for a while, he feels a little unloved.

We definitely aren’t the perfect couple and we have a long way to go, but when I see couples struggling with these two areas, it makes me want to do something about it; so here I am writing this blog. I hope my readers and followers see my heart in this. I have had many failures as a Mom and Wife, but at some point in our lives, we need to become the voice that others want and need to hear.

We put expectations on ourself, but we know what those expectations are. When we put an expectation on our spouse, we generally do not communicate this expectation to them, so they are almost always set up to fail. Sadly, it took me many years to realize this. If you expect something from your spouse, communicate it to them in a loving way. I was literally setting my husband up to let me down. That wasn’t fair to him at all. He’s a wonderful husband and although there are things I would like for him to do different, we talk about it….out loud, and not just in my head.

If you would like to take this love language test, click on this link here to take it. This test is for couples, but if you are single, you can still take a test from their website. 

I want to give my husband quality time because I know he feels extra loved through it. He also wants to do things for me that show me how much he loves me. I do realize that his love language is much easier too. Just being with him makes him feel loved. He has to work for me to feel that way!! LOL

So couples, communicate with each other and let your spouse know what’s in your mind as an expectation. Talk it out and learn to love each other on a deeper level because of it.

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Love Yourself

Ipod 310Growing up, I always struggled with who I was. Part of it was having a Narcissist as a mother, but that’s not what I am talking about here. I’m talking about that deep gnawing in you that tells you how you’re not good enough. As children, our parents help shape us, but as we grow into teenagers and try to figure out who we are, we go through stages of awkwardness and insecurity and frustration. We see somebody in school that we think is pretty cool, and we try to be like that person. We change who we are over and over until we get to the place where we are confident enough to be ourself. Sometimes that confidence comes quickly, sometimes it can take years or even decades to achieve.

Honestly, I was in my 30s before I began to figure out who I was. That was due to escaping from the grip of the narcissistic mother, but still, even though my confidence was delayed, I still finally reached it. It’s not something that comes overnight. It took time and being honest about how I saw myself and how others saw me. Now, I can look back and see the process I went through and how long it took.

What I’m concerned about now is how one’s confidence seems to bring out such insecurity in others. Just because somebody has reached a level of confidence, does not mean they are done learning and growing. It only means they have reached a level of comfort in knowing who they are. I think this is what many teenagers struggled with then and continue to struggle with today. Some young people find their confidence early and it brings out the insecurities in others. Even adults struggle with the confidence they see in others. Why can’t we be excited for each other? Why is confidence so threatening to people?

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Matthew 22:39 …”love your neighbor as yourself”

If we understand who we are in Christ, as Christians, we need to be confident in that. God demands that we love one another as we love ourself. If we don’t love ourself, how can we love others? We need to love ourself and if you struggle with that, figure out why. I need to love myself. You need to love yourself.

I know it may be easier to say than to do, but like everything else in this life, begin with baby steps. Wake up every day and find something about yourself that you like. Maybe you like how your eyes look. It’s okay to feel pretty or handsome. Maybe you handed the homeless man on the corner some money to help him out. When we live a Christ-like life, it’s easier to love yourself. Don’t look at loving yourself and confidence as arrogance. It’s two different things. It’s a matter of the heart.

Make today a new day. Learn to love yourself and others in a whole new way.

Today is the Day

Today is Easter. Today I decided to start my New Year’s resolution. It’s never too late. My shins are sore and I am coughing so much but I did it. I went out and ran a little and walked a little and ran a little bit more. I keep thinking that I need to lose some weight before I try to start running again. Look at what I’ve done then in these last 3 1/2 months….NOTHING!

running-1705716_1280I get hard on myself and I keep procrastinating and end up not doing anything and then I end up only feeling worse about myself. I think we all have things in our lives that we want to do and we end up having so many reasons why we aren’t doing it. Stop doing that to yourself. Today I went outside and started running. Today, you can start doing what you have always wanted to do. My goal is to run a 5k faster than I did when I used to run before. I am a slow runner. I am not trying to be negative about myself, but I have never been known as Speedy! I have always been able to run long distances; just not fast. I decided to give myself a hashtag today, #tiredofbeingthefatfriend; I’m gonna replace that from now on with #fitwithmyfriends.

What have you been putting off? Stop it! Now is the time. watch-1267418_1280

Have you always wanted to start a business? Have you wanted to compete in something? Have you always wanted to write a book? (ahem, Husband of mine!) 

Don’t let negativity and/or procrastination hold you back. Now, if you think you are going to be the next big worship leader or singer and you don’t have the gift of singing, don’t be surprised and don’t be angry. I wish I could dance. I’ve always wished I could dance but I have absolutely no gifting to do it. I’ll dance for Jesus on my own and He loves it, but that’s because I’m His Favorite one and He loves me so much. We have to be realistic with our goals, but yet allowing ourselves to dream big.

Running a 5k was a goal for me before and I did it. I was so excited to run the whole thing and be in better shape. I want to be healthier and more fit again. I have had such a difficult time with my weight after my last 2 pregnancies, but today was the day I put my running shoes on and took those first steps. Today is the day for you too. Allow yourself to fly! Dream big and don’t give up.

Successful Mothering?

emoticon-1611977_1280One of the saddest times I have as a parent is when I ask my sons to say something nice about their brothers and it takes FOREVER! Seriously, how hard can it be to think about something good!? I have an extreme dislike for Obama and I can give him a compliment. He said he was going to fundamentally transform this nation and he kept to his promise. That is definitely a positive characteristic of his personality!

Parenting in this PC culture we have these days is so difficult. How many times have I held my tongue when I wanted to ask my kids what planet they learned something?! Most of my creativity comes from making up statements that aren’t too mean while still getting my point across. Why can I ask myself why in the world I did something so stupid, but I can’t ask anybody else that?

As I have a wide array of ages with my sons, I can see where I’ve failed in the older ones and attempt to chart a different course with my younger ones and hope I don’t turn too far in the other direction. I hear sarcasm come out of my oldest one and I have to explain that his youngest brothers don’t always understand sarcasm. I love me a sarcastic joke and he does too. I almost bought him a shirt the other day that said, “National Sarcastic Society; like we need your support!” That shirt still has me laughing, but probably not a good shirt for a High School student.

I can see the flaws in my sons as I’m sure they see all my flaws, but people still need words of affirmation, including my sons.

I love to build them up, but I also try to be realistic as I don’t want to add to this generation of snowflakes.

I am so confident in so many aspects of my life, but I still like to hear when others believe I am doing well. I am trying to teach my kids this. They can be so frustrated with their brothers, but they should always be able to remember the goodness in each other. They should always see the good before the bad. I am working so hard on this lately and I feel like I am failing at times, but I won’t give up.

When my husband wrestles with our sons he has taught them a motto, “Never give up!” I love that motto. Of course, it was the cutest when one of my younger ones thought it was, “Never GET up!” Life with children is truly a great blessing!

Moving on though, we should never give up trying to see the good in people before any flaws. I would love my sons to be able to have kindness and goodness rolling off their tongues as quick as their insults to each other. I’d like to think this would make me feel like I was a success as a Mother, but then I think if they could just aim their pee into the inside of the toilet bowl, that would make me feel successful too. Everybody’s desires are different!!

Shutting Down the South

icicles-700420_1280We had a snow/ice storm here in North Carolina. No school and quite a few people working from home if it is possible for them. We get quite a bit of teasing from Northerners, which I was once one of as most of my readers know. I grew up in North Dakota and snow is something I am very familiar with. Cities in the South just don’t have the equipment necessary to deal with the snow and ice like they do in the Northern part of the US.

We can look at life like these Southern snow and ice storms and giggle and tease those who seem to “shut down” when something they aren’t used to gets thrown their way. Something may seem easy to you, but it can be terribly difficult for somebody else. Are we compassionate and empathetic toward those who have difficulty, or do we tell them how ridiculous we think they are? I can’t say I am always compassionate when I should be. Truth be told, I find myself more cynical than compassionate in too many situations.

ice-branches-232781_1280How can I grow in love and compassion for people who seem to ‘shut down’ at the slightest bit of chill in their lives? I do have love and compassion for people, but I find that when people constantly put themselves in the same situation over and over again, it can be very difficult for me to tap into that compassionate side of me. Every time it snows in the South, it is guaranteed that memes and jokes will show up everywhere about it. I can laugh and joke about it with the rest of them, but I do see how the South just hasn’t been equipped for this stuff.

Some people are not as well equipped for different seasons of their life and what they don’t need is anyone reminding them how much they don’t know or haven’t learned yet.

I’m not saying we can’t ever joke with people or have a little fun with close friends, but if you have just met somebody and don’t know what their life is like, walk in compassion first. I need this post probably more than anybody out there because sometimes I feel like I see life so different than other people. My first reaction may be for someone to ‘suck it up’ before I think that maybe they could use a hug.

Lord please help me to grow in Your love and Your compassion. I want people to see You in me before AND after I open my mouth! Help me be a light that guides people to You.

 

Better You, Better Me

new-year-1898553_1280So, this New Year brought me to the place where I look at my life and decide what I would like to change. I take a look at my health as many people do at this time of year. I hear people say that you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions because you should always strive to be better. Well, yes, this is true, but why is it wrong to want to make a fresh start to your life when a another year starts fresh?

I decided I wanted to be a better wife and mom. I also decided I wanted to try to run a 5K faster than I did when I used to run a few years ago.

If starting a new year helps somebody decide to make a better effort regarding their health or their finances or even their relationships, then I say go ahead; Make those resolutions!

firework-collage-1489849_1280One thing you must watch for though, is to not feel regret or condemnation if you don’t measure up to your resolutions. We all fall short and we all struggle in certain areas of our lives, but does it mean that we just give up until another new year starts? Absolutely not!

I know we are a few days into the New Year of 2017, but let’s together make it a greater year than we have ever had. Let us decide to be better and do better this year.

Are you with me?

Captain Obvious Lives at My House

facebookSocial media can be a wonderful thing, but it can bring on a variety of behaviors that I used to think were saved for children. This is a huge election year and I know many of you may be surprised, but I have strong opinions about it! I have quite a bit of opinions and I generally like to base my opinions on history and factual evidence. To not sound arrogant, I’ve had to back track on some facts in the past and admit things were, in fact, false. I apologize to anybody who was offended when I wrote that Santa Claus was real, when apparently most people understood that he is not. Okay, sarcasm aside now.

We all have opinions and social media is a great place to say what you are thinking and to repost about informative topics. What I don’t understand is why people delete and/or block you when you post something they don’t agree with. I have all sorts of people who believe almost the opposite of what I believe, and yet in a surprising turn of events, I still call them my friends.

Why must we delete those who disagree with us?

Panic-DeleteI have been deleted often over the years. I generally wonder why, but recently I was deleted because of my race and another one deleted me because I called them out on posting false stuff (As pretty much all of their friends did because it was literally outrageous and this person should have known better!) I have been deleted because they believe the lies my mom is posting and rather than find out the truth, I get deleted. Is this what we have come to as adults? I definitely understand, Adulting is so hard.

I have deleted friends along the way. I went through a point where I had people I just never talked to and let’s be honest, sometimes we have grown so far apart from people, and to try to reconnect is like trying to warm up your bath water with your hot curling iron. You just shouldn’t do it because come on, that’s just stupid! [Don’t do that by the way. You’ll get electrocuted and probably die!] Man it’s so hard to stay on target today with what I am trying to say.

Okay, here’s my point. If you are using your delete button as a  tool to teach somebody a lesson or to try to get at them, you are being manipulative. I don’t like to be manipulated. Nobody likes to be manipulated. Far too many people do little things, aside from social media, that are solely used to manipulate people. If you want something, just ask. If you are too afraid to ask and you think the next best thing is to throw out hints, rethink that. I am guilty myself of this and I need to work on it. My husband could probably tell you too many things that I’ve hinted at because isn’t it so much better if HE is the one who suggests picking up supper rather than me!? Sorry Honey!

I’ve been told to work on my sarcasm too. That’s a tough one for me. I’m pretty sure my kids think that somebody named, “Captain Obvious” lives in our house somewhere because I thank him a lot. I think I can be sarcastic as long as I am not hurting somebody’s feelings. Let’s not go too overboard here, if you’re just a big baby, sarcasm isn’t your enemy, your own arrogance is.

Wow, I believe this is the most all over the place post I have ever written, and I may have offended some people, but to be honest, it was a little fun to write, so it stays. If you don’t like it, then I guess you can delete me. [Please don’t! Seriously, please don’t do it!! I’m so sorry. I’ll go talk to Captain Obvious right now and tell him to move out!]

heart-996157_960_720I love all my friends whether we agree or not on different issues. How boring would this life be if everybody agreed with everybody else. And to those of you frustrated with me and are still there, thanks for sticking around!