When I was a teacher in the Fort Worth School District, they encouraged us to always give our students clear expectations. My students would then know what was expected of them so they could hopefully live up to those exceptions. We all have expectations. Some of them are spoken and others are unspoken. Some of them are realistic and many are not. When you move to a new place, you have expectations. You might try not to have exception especially unrealistic ones but you do have some type of expectations. In this new season of mine, I have been thinking a lot about expectations. Here are some of the lessons I am learning or relearning.
1. Clear expectations are important.
If I need something done or have a request, it is imperative to be clear on what is expected. Living in a culture that is not my own, it often takes two or three tries but I need to keep trying if my expectation is important to me. With students and my children, clear expectations are especially important. I have a clear expectation with W and Big that they will Skype with their mom once a week. No excuses. For my daughter, it is the same time every week. For Big D, the time of the call changes, but the result is the same. We connect once a week via Skype.
Clear expectations with spouses are also important. I wish my husband could pick up all the hints I think I am giving. Should he just read my mind, but I am learning if I expect something from my husband then I need to tell him. One of the things my husband and I were looking forward to the most in our move to our new city was the opportunity to go walking and exploring on the weekends. Right after we moved, my husband was gone to the states for almost three weeks. When he returned, I voiced my expectation and need to venture on one of those walks we had been anticipating. It blessed me to have my husband make our walk a priority even when other things were trying to foil my expectation.
2. Some Expectations are Unrealistic.
3. Sometimes I Expect People to Meet a Need that God Wants to Meet.
4. I Often Put Expectations on God.
5. My Happiness is Not Dependent on My Expectations Being Met.
How do you deal with unmet expectations? Do you think we should set expectations? I would love to hear your thoughts and lessons.