Whew. They can be a tough thing to manage.
Especially at Christmas.
We expect others to celebrate the way we do.
We expect others to understand what is important to us...even if it's not important to them.
We expect to continue our traditions even when life changes, people change, relationships change, circumstances change.
I had great expectations of this advent season....to read my daily advent Scripture and take time daily to teach my kids about advent and what it means. That hasn't really panned out like I had hoped.
We made a birthday cake this morning. For Jesus. Cause it's his birthday in three days...and we are having a Jesus Birthday Party tonight. The cake making didn't go as expected. Lots of tears, meltdowns, and flour everywhere.
And I look around my home...dirty, disorganized, with a few cards that haven't yet been mailed and presents that haven't yet been wrapped and food that hasn't yet been made...and I wonder why I expected this year to be any different.
Just like many of you, throughout the past few weeks I have heard and read a number of messages about Joseph and Mary and Jesus.
And the stories about them have made think about the expectations of that first Christmas.
Mary, miraculously growing her King in her very own womb, certainly wouldn't have expected to give birth in a stable. Or place her son on hay. Or be surrounded by anything less than the best. Or be in a town that wasn't even close to her home and her family.
After all, she was delivering...God's Son.
And yet, God doesn't come according to our expectations.
The Christmas story speaks perfectly to that. Jesus - the One who came to redeem us from our sins and restore all of humanity to Him - enters our world in the frail, humble state of a baby.
And I begin to understand how our expectations and God's plans cannot co-exist.
I am grateful to the depth of my being that God's plans take precedence over my small expectations.
Christmas. I love that the Christmas story takes all expectations of the grandeur and formality with which a King should arrive and replaces them with an unwed teenage girl, a fiancee ready to find a new wife, a baby who was so...normal, a lack of wealth, and an abundance of simplicity.
The Christmas story has a lot to teach me about expectations.
Even when it comes to something like making Jesus' birthday cake.