Challenge #2: EXPECTATIONS

It's Monday afternoon.

I have a to-do list this week about a MILE long.  This past weekend my plans changed and we ended up going as a family to day's ministry activities, meaning I didn't get 1/2 way through the list that I wanted to do!  So this morning... I realized I hadn't been able to finish my bible study, didn't get a chance to make the zucchini bread for breakfast (which my husband was really looking forward to having!), and that the 4 meetings I had today were staring me in the face despite my disasterous house, which really needed attention.

What are all of these things?  Unmet expectations, either mine or those that someone has OF me.  That is SUCH a prominent difficulty for women, isn't it?  We are constantly trying to meet someone's expectations, whether ours of ourselves, or those of our family, our moms, our church, our job, homeschooling... you name it!

Living as a missionary with a group of other missionaries is like a quadruple whammy when it comes to expectations.  You have expectations (real or perceived) from:

  1. Your coworkers/fellow missionaries - completing assignments, meetings, coming up with ideas, being "busy" in your ministry
  2. Your neighbors (also your fellow missionaries) - taking care of your house and yard to keep "the neighborhood" looking nice, watching out for each other's houses and children, keeping the noise down to a dull roar, keeping the pets where they belong, etc.
  3. Your supporters - keeping up with communication (SO HUGE and crucial!), thanking after donations for projects/special needs, visiting while on furlough or home assignment, etc.
  4. Being a mom - breakfast/lunch/dinner on the table, keeping up with the housework, homeschooling, raising the kids, maintaining a close relationship with the Lord and with the husband, making sure everyone has clothes/shoes/coats/etc., paying the bills, etc.
That's a LOT of expectations!!!!!  Just looking at that list (and knowing there is so much more I COULD have written) makes me tired.  So how do I keep up with it all??  Simple.  

I can't.

Or so I'm learning.  Which is hard for me because by nature, I'm a people pleaser.  I want everyone to be happy with me and with the job I do.  To fail someone, to forget a phone call I was supposed to make, to not follow through on the paperwork I was supposed to turn in, to lose track of the girls' schooling for a few weeks, wow.  It rips me up.  Seriously.  

As I am learning, as the Lord is teaching me, there is a simple attitude shift I need to take.  Simple in that it is not complex, but infinitely difficult because it is not my nature. whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.  Colossians 3:17 
Living in what seems to be a fishbowl is difficult, sometimes downright tiring.  BUT, I know that I am working for the Lord in this life... and if I live in obedience to Him, I may not always meet the expectations of others, but I will meet the ultimate (and only truly important) expectation...
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men... Colossians 3:23 
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