Exceeding Expectations

This year in Michigan

The weekend could not have been better.  It exceeded my rather lofty expectations, not because we had perfect weather, although we did; not because ten people traveled from all over the US without incident, although they did; and not because the home we stayed in and the lake we played in were beautiful and inviting, although they were; but because of the time we spent together.

We would have played Euchre, laughed, shared our joys and sorrows, and danced along with old songs lined up on a play list even if it had been raining.  Our meals would have been enjoyable even if they hadn’t featured Pacific salmon and fresh lake perch.  We would have found something else to do without a lake or a boat.  Well, maybe not, for that was tough to beat.

My highest expectation for the weekend was to enjoy my friends, and that I did.  Exceedingly.  It strikes me that a simple expectation of enjoying relationships might be a winning strategy for life.

Our weekend was like a painting created by good friends, each freely splashing her unique color and style onto a canvas.  It was a relational masterpiece beautifully framed by excellent conditions.  When I stand before artistic genius in an art museum, my eyes take in the image on the canvas; the frame is never my focus.

Our relationships are the artwork of our lives.  The other stuff is just the frame.

The foundational relationship in my life is my relationship with God through his Son, Jesus.  When I set an expectation of simply knowing and enjoying him, I am never disappointed.

Let your life’s artwork reflect God and it will be a masterpiece that far exceeds your expectations.  In one conversation that resonates with me as representative of our weekend, my friend Ruthie talked about how God has given her a life beyond her wildest dreams. She said, “I never imagined I would live the life I’m living now.”   Amen.

On what, or whom, have you set expectations for your life?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on expectations or on how God has exceeded yours.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

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About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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6 Responses to Exceeding Expectations

  1. Pingback: Anticipating Artistry | Connecting Dots…to God

  2. Rolf says:

    “Our relationships are the artwork of our lives. The other stuff is just the frame.
    The foundational relationship in my life is my relationship with God through his Son, Jesus. When I set an expectation of simply knowing and enjoying him, I am never disappointed.”

    This is really good stuff Emma. Color me “inspired”. I enjoyed truly enjoyed our ride to and from.

  3. Barb Conti says:

    Laughing and knowing God’s grace through the support and love of friends. Every time we get together his presence seems apparent and his acceptance feels stronger. Why?? Sometimes it baffles me. How can we all be different and yet still so close?

    PS- Peggy you always make me smile!

  4. Peggy Nolte says:

    Dear Emma,
    Just walked in the door and read this. You really spoke to me. Perhaps it’s because when I am with all of these special friends, I experience God’s unconditional love, first hand! I know without a doubt that these beautiful ladies accept me just the way I am, flaws and all. Yes, you described exactly how I felt about the weekend. I felt closer to God. It seems like every time we get together I love God, my family and friends more and more.

    By the way, sorry I took all of you for granted in college. :)

  5. You build me up, Buttercup! I’m seeing a book here somewhere….

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