The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. Psalm 146:8
Zack and I have been having a tough run lately. It’s no singular incident; it’s just par for the course. He’s seventeen and thinks he knows it all. I’m a control freak and want him to see and do life like I do. That combination creates friction in just about every interaction we have.
I also feel the clock ticking. By this time next year, he’ll be away in college and my opportunity to mold and shape him will be gone. That makes for added pressure to turn every interaction into a teaching moment – one he doesn’t want to hear because he thinks he already knows it all. Can you see the cycle? Can you envision the friction?
Then enters God, stage left.
After all my kids had gone their own way the other day, the Holy Spirit kept nagging me. Like my kids do to me, I was ignoring Him, thinking I already knew it all (and I wonder where Zack gets it from!).
But He’s a persistent One and wouldn’t give up. When I finally relented, He showed me all the ways Zack has grown this year – not in height and muscle (he’s now 6′ 4″ and weight lifts constantly), but in maturity and responsibility. While I was looking at what Zack doesn’t do, He was highlighting what Zack does do. Talk about a teaching moment!
Looking at Zack in that new light, I was overwhelmed with love and pride in who he’s become. I sent him a text message right away telling him so. His response was immediate and full of gratitude. He’s been a different kid since – seeking me out to chat, etc.
In her book, The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp says: “Expectations can ride like highwaymen, ransacking joy, killing relationships.” Expectations and a need for control were damaging my relationship with my son. Luckily for me, I have a Father who extends neither, only love. It was that love that kept pestering me to see things differently for my own good, and for Zack’s.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do I have expectations of my kids that leave me disappointed and frustrated?
- Do those same expectations have me blind to all the ways my kids are growing and maturing?
Wishing you all the happiest of new years – one free of expectations so there’s room for joy!
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Wonderful timing as I fall into the expectation trap often and not just with my kids. Pausing to allow expectations to fall away and allow God’s view to come into clarity is the reminder I need daily. Appreciate your share Claire as I struggle with their independence that comes with growth.I do not know better either just because I’m older, He is the example and first go to.
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You raise such a good point, Liz. I don’t just have expectations for my kids. I have them for myself, and just about everything else in my life. Thanks for the reminder that Jesus is the perfect example and first go to. Although He was always calling people to become their best selves, I don’t think He ever put expectations on them.
I love this post, Claire! If we could accept, especially those we love, for who they are we would see them in a whole new light. Your insight is remarkable, but not surprising, since you are so attuned to the Holy Spirit! xoxo
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Thanks so much Mom! It seems I tune into the Holy Spirit, hear what He wants to tell me, implement it, forget it and then slide back into my old and bad ways. It’s astounding how many times I have to start the cycle all over again. Thank goodness He has infinite patience with this amnesiac!!!