Monday, February 16, 2009


My husband and I returned Saturday from a little Valentine's Day ski trip. It was wonderful; the first time away from all three kids in over a year. We could actually hear one another talk over dinner (a rare occurrence). Well, in light of our little getaway we decided not to get one another anything for the overrated and over publicized love day. (Can you guess where this is going?) After confirming our decision the day before V-day, my husband actually didn't get me anything!

When we went to bed Saturday night, after a long day of battling ridiculous thoughts as to how he must not love me, I expressed my disappointment. (How we women must baffle their minds!) The poor man was so confused. "But you told me not to get you anything!" he reminded. "I know but it's Valentine's day!" I explained, "You weren't supposed to believe me." Then the kicker, "I should just have no expectations for any special day. That way I won't be disappointed." Wow; This poor, poor man.

So why did I get upset? Why disappointment? I am the one that told him not to get me anything. The reason? Hope.

The next morning I was reading in Paula Rinehart's book Better Than My Dreams (a must read!) and God met me...and I was humbled. I realized three things. The first two lessons are obvious: I must rightly communicate my desires and then guard myself from the expectations of the world. In this case the disappointment honestly did not hit until I started hearing all the media and seeing all the red. That is when I decided that my dear husband must not love me.

The third lesson is more subtle. I realized that I am guilty of living on patrol with my heart, protecting myself so as not to get hurt. Rinehart explains that there is a fine line between entitlement and resignation; demanding our longings vs. packing them neatly away along with all hope. Even though I have a desire to be romanced, I packed it away without prayer or communication.

Rinehart continues that we first have to identify the longing in our lives, then bring it to the Father, seeking His wisdom as to whether or not it is a selfish desire. If the desire isn't selfish then we must live in a place of hope, deciding that there are worse things than disappointment. In the words of Rinehart, it is the struggle with God through disappointment that makes for intimacy; grieving our losses with integrity brings tears that give way to fresh hope.

It is all about the journey with our Father; hope and expectation are meant to be fuel in this adventure (Rinehart). My longing the other day was minimal next to other longings through which we sometimes struggle. But all longings have the potential to bring us to the feet of our heavenly Daddy. He wants to meet us in the most tender places of our hearts and be our hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances.

Well, my sweet husband vowed to make it up to me and brought home 2 dozen roses on Sunday. Poor guy... I just might make him crazy.

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Emily said...

That was great insight, Lara. I've struggled with expectations for a long time too, and realized that only when I let go and let God intervene (to move my husband's heart) is when things start to happen... :)

ps-looks like a great book

Beth said...

Does this mean that you broke ranks and got something for your husband?

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