Hope for The Holidays

What are you expecting to happen during the upcoming holidays? Or, even today?
Do you live in the big world of Expectations?
I have found that expectations have the innate ability to blindside hope in my life, relationships, and enjoyment.


So often I spend quality time on feeding my ideas of expectations on you, food, things, and me. I end up highly disappointed. When one takes into their being a cocktail of expectations mixed with disappointments they usually become toxic with criticism. Why? Because our expectations have not been met.

So, you might ask, what is the antidote for expectations? As Bob Dylan sings, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind…” The wind of freedom of exchange. Expectations exchanged for Expectancy.

When I live in a state of Expectancy good things begin to happen. I have given my mind white space to write another’s story. The real person stands to the forefront. I have the ability to dialogue, learn, and explore more of God’s creations from a different viewing angle.

I have come to believe that we can all build mountains of expectations without any effort. But, expectancy is an art, a craft, a skill and it takes practice and work to obtain this virtue.

As we approach the Holidays with great expectancies we are leaving room in our Faith for God to show up with His paintbrush and palette of rainbow colors and brushstroke every divine color on our canvas of expectancy.

Hold
expectancy in your heart as you go out to meet the world and all of God’s creations. Happy Holidays!

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70 thoughts on “Hope for The Holidays

  1. Sara, I think what you are relating is very true. But in my case it seems when MY expecatations are rooted in material things, there is what you described above, DISAPPOINTMENT. I found this quote of Charlotte Bronte’s that sort of says what I am trying to say. “Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not match the expectation.” Nothing of the material world, human or event can fulfill expectations, for as Sara said, your hope gets “blindsided”. But Edwin Louis Cole says, ” EXPECTANCY is the atmosphere for miracles.”
    When we hope in the Lord, suddenly things seem to change. We can count on Him He can fulfill our every hope and dream. When we are disappointed, let down, disillusioned and disheartened because the world cannot ever meet all our expectancies and all our dreams, yet the Lord can. Hope and trust in the Lord with all your heart, believe and He will give you your heart’s desires.
    Expectancy gives your heart a place to grow.

  2. “EXPECTANCY is the atmosphere for miracles.” Edwin Louis Cole….I like this quote from MG’s comment above.

    Do you await this event with great expectancy? “Jesus of Nazareth, born into this earth by the virgin Mary, who was the Pre-existent, Eternal, Creator God, is coming back to earth again.”

  3. Amen! A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. I just got a thrill of expectancy as I read your last paragraph. “The pre-existent, eternal Son, Creator God “is coming for us and I am in EXPECTANCY!

  4. Seems that expectations are often born from fantasy and or formulated from misinformed thinking, pre-judgements, unrealistic goals or inordinate pre-occupation with someone or something. They can be based on someone’s or something’s performance which can fail or let you down. To me this would be the makings of ‘When one takes into their being a cocktail of expectations mixed with disappointments they usually become toxic with criticism. ‘ that Sara so creatively expressed above.
    I think Expectations impose and reach to control and seeks to be served. Expectancy is like the Mosaic of Joy that Sara wrote about on Nov 4…it “arises to His Beauty and Joy.
    This was an inspirong blog and I hope to learn more about the ‘art, craft and skill’ of expectency.

  5. Debi, not sure I understand your term ‘misinformed thinking’ causing one to have expectations. Could you detail this a little for me.

    Debi, if we were to list all the things we desire to do and want and all the things we expect others to give and do for the upcoming holidays we probably would find a list of ‘how to escape’ many disappointments and a litany of criticism about them and their gifts. Even criticism about our own selfish selves for not doing and being more than we are. How to escape list might just be throw it away or at least tweak it. (this might start us on the art of learning…)

    I think my comment you have quoted above…. should make us think,’ when lived without would give bulk to “let their be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

  6. Sara, Not sure I chose the best word, misinformed, for what I want to say. But misinformed defined as when someone’s mind amplifies, exaggerates, overdraws conclusions from a situation or the intentions of someone else. This causes someone to expect something from a situation or a person that is unrealistic or really uncharacteristic.
    Your advice on what to do with the list is good and and I think I am beginning to see how ‘throwing away’ or ‘tweaking’ the list makes a ‘white page’, clears the mind and heart of ‘expectation’ clutter and makes way for that ‘canvas’ and the Artist Himself to color our lives beautifully.

  7. Debi,let me see if I am understanding you to say, misinform definition from dictionary,’ give (someone) false or inaccurate information.’ So, you are saying someone gives you the right info but another mind takes it and twist the info into false thinking. I guess you are saying, one assumes or just thinks whatever they want to make them feel good or maybe causes them to take an action their heart wanted to take anyway. A name blame game.

    I may still not understand but looking for clarification. Thanks for the help.

  8. I like to think of each individual person like the ocean and the winds and of course The Holy Spirit. One never ever knows just which way the wind is going to blow and at what altitude. The ocean always has her way without input from our ships. And, The Holy Spirit according to John 3:8 blows as it wills as well. John says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    The wind blows over all the earth. So does the Holy Spirit; we all are blessed with the constant breath of God, yet we must hear the sound of the wind and give reverence to the source. I pray that God will help each one of us to have
    the ability to feel and take pleasure in the breath of Holy Spirit in one another and/or touching one another.

    Let’s just trade in our old clunker (expectations) for a brand new ride (expenctancy).

  9. I hope it goes without saying this blog is not trying to give freedom to enjoy or be a part of just anything without boundaries and limitations. I think Benjamin Franklin summed freedom up for us:
    “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” – — Benjamin Franklin

  10. It seems Ben was paraphrasing Paul who says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” But he issues a caveat with that in Gal 5:13…sort of what Sara was saying in her last comment. Paul says, ” For you, brethren, were indeed called to freedom by Christ Jesus, but do NOT let your freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse for selfishness, but through love you should serve one another.”
    Paul goes on to say…and I love this part….”For the whole law concerning human relationships is complied with, in one precept…love your neigbor as yourself.”

  11. Sara, your understanding on clarification of what I was trying to say is well said. “…So, you are saying someone gives you the right info but another mind takes it and twist the info into false thinking….name blame game.” Thanks.

  12. I think your blog and comments, Sara, give us the ‘boundaries and limitations’ of God’s truths. And when we can grasp, follow and know the Truth (John 8:32), we are set free ‘for a brand new ride’.

  13. My Starbucks Eggnog Latte, extra shot cup reads, “Wish, HOPE, JOY, make your SPIRITS bright. Wish” Do you think Starbucks is on to something?
    I have been taught in my early Christian lessons that to wish is not really Biblical….that it must be HOPE . True but after reading Sara’s blog, HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, I think maybe the “wish” could be similar to EXPECTANCY. And looking on an online dictionary I see one of the synonyms for wish is HOPE! And hope means expectancy. And expectancy mean a real virtue of waiting patiently for the desired thing.
    So, maybe Starbucks has something, here, after all besides a great Eggnog latte and terrific double iced cinnamon roll (if you remove the outside crust. The rest is DIVINE! Thanks for the confirmation, SB.

  14. Wonder if we even recognized all the many wonderful things that come our way each and everyday as we open our heart to expectancy? Do we take time to acknowledge them and give thanks for them and enjoy them.

  15. Waiting in expectancy to see what God will do in and through our lives. How exciting. He never disappoints. Speaking of Holidays I remember one Christmas we were going to a candlelight service. We were so excited. Our children were small and were looking forward to it. With bad weather the decision was to stay at home. I thought we can still worship the Lord at home. The boys could barely read. They read the scriptures with the help of their grandmother. We sang hymns and lite candles. This is one my fondest memories to this day. It truly represented what Christmas is all about – JESUS!

    Recently my sons celebrated my birthday in different ways. I didn’t have any preconceived notion of what would happen. I was thus delighted with a card and a gift that was unexpected.

    I await tomorrow and the holidays with expectancy that Jesus will show up and I see him move in a child or fellow teacher or draw someone to himself as I get to watch his miraculous moves in their lives. That’s HOPing and Knowing that JESUS will be on the scene each and everyday and JOY will overflow. In Sunday school we would say JOY was J – Jesus, O – over, Y – you! May he be over you each day.

  16. Sometimes it seems though Jesus is there all the time, yet SUDDENLY we realize it. That’s our SUDDENLY. Suddenly, we see it! Suddenly we acknowledge it. Suddenly we identify that God, Who is always on the scene, is always present in the true believer’s life, is always omniscient, and omnipresent has touched us, touched our lives, touched our loved ones, touched what we have prayed for and interceded for ….suddenly WE SEE IT! Those of us who hope and trust in the Lord with all our hearts will SUDDENLY see those expectancies “materialize” before our eyes. If we look for and to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY in expectancy we will SUDDENLY get to see it….sooner or later, in His timing but to us it will be SUDDENLY.

  17. Do you think our God given suddenlies include bringing our negatives into focus giving us ample opportunities to remake them into positives?

  18. Sara you ask: “Do you think our God given suddenlies include bringing our negatives into focus giving us ample opportunities to remake them into positives?”.
    If I understand your question correctly, I would say yes.
    One way I see the question is this: God suddenly shines the light on a wrong motive, an area of our lives that needs to change, a sin we need to repent of, a bad habit, a wrong way of thinking, etc…or some other ‘negative’ in our lives. We see it perhaps because someone cared enough about us to bring it into focus before our eyes so we can see and face it. Once this happens, we have the opportunity to repent, learn from it, grow and hopefully help someone else…that would be making it into a positive.
    There may be other ways to understand your question and answer it also.

  19. I agree Debi with your answer. I know from being a parent when I would see anything, and that was anything, that I thought would have helped my children with their life I would jump to it. When they were younger we spent most of their young years finding the best possible ways and means to educate them and prepare them for college and careers and life skills. Searching out sports they thought they would enjoyed and would give it a try. Music, foods, travels, etc. etc. Always growing into new experiences and new forms and ways of learning. That also included a faith to teach and help them make wise choices. And, a discipline program when our very selfish nature would wants us to rebel against the house rules.

    “If a earthly parent would do this to help a child how much more would, He, Our Heavenly Father do to help teach and educate us.” Hebrews 12:9,10 NLT
    “Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.”

  20. yes, yes, yes! God’s suddenlies sometimes come like that. It’s like the Lord is saying,’ I have been nudging, gently prodding, softly whispering in you spiritual all along;” but SUDDENLY you get it! There it is! It is ugly flesh in all its vainglory. Suddenly you’re seeing it like God sees it. NOT a pretty sight! Even your own spirit recoils at it. When the DAWN comes, the light goes on and now the clean up work can really begin.

  21. I wonder if this is like my students. I work hard at trying to get them to understand. I try all different types of ways to approach the same task. Suddenly one day they have it and they can’ understand why they never got it before.

  22. I think what I see from the healthy examples that Sara shared above of teaching and training her children is that she created an climate or arena of expectency for them to grow and mature in. Sound, secure parameters (like the ‘boundaries and limitations’ mentioned in a previous comment by Sara) gave a greater freedom to explore and experience and learn to live with expectency.
    As Sara said , “I have the ability to dialogue, learn, and explore more of God’s creations from a different viewing angle”…God’s ‘suddenly’ teaching and discipline, helps us see things from another angle and we can be trained by it to learn to live with expectency.

  23. MG, your comment, ‘yet He was there all the time’ reminded me of something that Sara taught us in one of the Daily Lily Retreats from her book “The Dance of Healing – The Ultra Healing Spirit Comes from Within”.
    We learned from Gen 28:10-22 that Jacob experienced a ‘suddenly’ when he fell asleep and had a pivitol dream from God. When he awoke from his sleep he said ,”Truly Yahweh is in this place and I did not know it.”
    Sara then went to tie this in to our experiences with God’s Indwelling Presence. She said , “Many times we are not aware of this mystery. We do not feel the Indwelling Presence of God in our season of blindness. Our gates are closed. The light is out and it is very dark. Truly Yahweh was in this place and we never knew it.”
    How many times God does try to teach us, in many situations and places, but the shades of our understanding are drawn shut. As Sara commented above…’The wind blows over all the earth. So does the Holy Spirit; we all are blessed with the constant breath of God, yet we must hear the sound of the wind and give reverence to the source.’

  24. Rena, not sure I understand from your comment above,” my sons celebrated my birthday in different ways. I didn’t have any preconceived notion of what would happen. I was thus delighted with a card and a gift that was unexpected.” Does this mean you were totally surprised that you got anything?

    I guess I am reading that you and your sons do not have a relationship of giving and receiving. Therefore, when you received a card from one and no gift, a gift from another and maybe no card, that you were delighted that you were thought of on your Birthday. ie A Big Surprise! And, a good pleasant surprise is great.

    I am asking this because I know many families that have worked hard on relationships both between husband and wife, children and parents as well as extended family, church family and work family. And, they have a pattern of etiquette to help their families and work related relationships to run smoothly.

    Expectancy does not mean tolerating bad or unhealthy behavior from another. I think expectancy is looking for certain things to happen. Like one is expecting…meaning a new baby on the way. I am expecting a package in the mail. I am expecting my family home for the dinner table @a specified time.

    Therefore, Rena and others, thanks for the help….I am very happy for the open dialogue and just want to make sure I understand so it can be useful to me and others as we are looking for how to improve our relationships during the upcoming holidays. Always good to hear how families handle their relationships successfully….

  25. In reading all the blog and all the comments above makes me want to share some quotes from Beth Moore’s study, of Esther (taken from pg 194 of “Esther, It’s Tough Being A Woman”). Read with me,
    “Beloved, when a moment like this comes, we need to take it. We often speak of happiness as a less noble term than joyfulness because the former is circumstantial and the latter less conditional. I won’t argue with that, but when God intervenes in our circumstances and we get a chance not only to know we’re blessed but feel blessed, nothing is more appropriate than seizing the happy moment. ‘A time of happiness’ can come like a shot of B-12 to the soul to boost your system when darkness spreads once again like a virus. One of the hardest challenges about taking advantage of a God-given time of happiness is the guilt of knowing that it coincides with someone else’s sadness. No, we don’t flaunt our light in someone else’s darkness, but surely we can find a way to dip ourselves in the bubble bath of a second’s bliss when it comes. Even if all we do is lean our heads back in the sunshine of our soul’s Sabbath and take a minute to feel the glad emotion, it is meant by God to be medicine for our weary souls. Times of happiness are glimpses of heaven until we get there. Homesickness doesn’t always feel sick. Sometimes it’s a quick flash of happy that makes us long to find and keep it.”

  26. I like the idea of ‘quick flash of happy.’ In the last few weeks I have watched Debi prepare some of the most beautiful floral arrangements and deliver to the sick and shut-ins. I have heard back from them and believe you me they got a ‘quick flash of happy.” I am sure we can all tell of many we have given and many we have received.

    Beth states,”One of the hardest challenges about taking advantage of a God-given time of happiness is the guilt of knowing that it coincides with someone else’s sadness.” I don’t think we should have guilt if God gives us a time of happiness. He sure knew what would be going on in others lives as well. Maybe our happiness would encourage the one going through sadness if we handle it with God’s Holy Wisdom….

  27. I was reading on the Stephen’s Ministries website short review of a book by Kenneth Haugk, DON’T SING SONGS TO A HEAVY HEART, taken from Proverbs 25:20. The review says that the book provides a healing remedy and was” forged in the crucible of his own suffering during his wife Joan’s 3½-year war with ovarian cancer and the time after her death. The book was then shaped through careful research with more than four thousand individuals who had also known suffering in their lives. Dr. Haugk listened to stories, gathered data, tested assumptions, and compressed their collective wisdom into gems of compassion and understanding that everyone can learn from.”
    As Sara says above, IF WE HANDLE IT WITH GOD’S HOLY WISDOM
    we can see how to direct our ministering joy to those who are going through the suffering with compassion and sensitivity.

  28. The review goes on to say, “Built on a solid biblical foundation and brimming with God’s grace, Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart overflows with practical examples and specific suggestions about what to say or do–and what not to say or do. It will touch your heart, expand your thinking, and guide you in bringing Christ’s loving care to hurting people when they need it most.
    This sounds like a wonderful reference, assist and meditative study that we Christians, especially in situations where friends or loved ones are going through a crisis, can turn to.

  29. I think if we are feeling guilty about God giving us a time of happiness then we have missed a quality of expectency…thankfulness. As Sara commented above: “Wonder if we even recognized all the many wonderful things that come our way each and everyday as we open our heart to expectancy? Do we take time to acknowledge them and give thanks for them and enjoy them.”
    And likewise if we are permitted a time of sadness from God, that too may be regarded as an opportunity to cultivate a thankful heart and attitude.
    And maybe if we are able to approach different seasons (even very short ones)in our lives with an expectency that we can grow and learn from each one, then we will be able to touch someone else’s life and help them live in joyful expectency rather than disappointment that because as Sara said, ‘their expections have not been met.’

  30. MG, I have read the book and given as a gift on various occasions. “DON’T SING SONGS TO A HEAVY HEART.” by Kenneth Haugk. I think Stephen’s Ministries is a great ministry for people to be trained in and volunteer for. My sister, Barbara, was very active in this ministry and she so enjoyed it. I have attended some of the intro classes and it was very helpful.

    Since we are on what I call the AWE moments and Beth calls the “quick flash of happy,” I would like to say I believe in my heart that AWE moments come to us in various shapes and forms. But, seemly, all for the purpose of joy and strengthen our fortitude to please a person and that person is Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

  31. I ‘walked a talk through’ (this is what I call my ministry gift @times) with a young lady yesterday that had been carrying for someone not feeling well. She had said something that made them very upset. It was what I would call a beautiful saying and thought, but I believed I knew what they would say. So I shared how I would think they would see it looking at this issue from another angle. And, for clarity and peace I asked her to revisit our communicate with them.

    And, needless to say, our next communicate was joy and laughter. Why! Because they had looked out the side window when she was looking out the front! St. Paul really does have a lot of great answers for us in all these areas. Hey, you older ones that have gone through these things teach the younger ones. That is what Kenneth is doing in his book above that we have made mention of.

    Also, the review of Kenneth’s book above in MG’s comment let’s us know how he gathered help for us, ie through others telling their stories. Too often we have a story to share but fail to share. I am wondering now if Needles quote from Beth is the answer, ‘guilt’ for being happy or joyful.

  32. Yes, Sara, I am thinking that book would be a good one for the rest of us to read for inspiration on how to speak into someone’s life who is going through a great calamity or even just a tough stretch which most of us go through at one time or another in our lives. How wonderful to be inspired to say the right thing at the right time….like Jesus would…timing is everything. As you said above, ….a beautiful saying or thought but if not delivered at the right time, speaking from the right WINDOW!! makes all the difference to someone who is grasping on to hope and expectancy.

  33. I can remember the many birthdays we had Rena as a kid celebrating our birthday with our favorite cake and ice cream together as a family. We may not received gifts back as a kid but we enjoyed our fellowship together as a family. We always exchanged gifts at Christmas of course you forget when you come see me Rena it isn’t Christmas and you are always bringing me something nice when you come to see me and spoil me since moving back to Virginia.

  34. Rereading the comments I thought about MG’s comment: ” Hope and trust in the Lord with all your heart, believe and He will give you your heart’s desires.” Thinking on this I remember Pastor Gary prayed that ” God would give me the the desire of my heart.” I thought on this prayer for a long time not knowing what my heart desire was and I asked God to show it to me. One day I had moved far away and saw some wooden crafts. I wanted more than anything to make those items so I took lessons. I made mistakes and then tried harder. I even bought a band saw. Nervous and a bit chicken about sawing and peering at the brand new saw I kept backing away from it asking my neighbor if she could saw the item. One day she took me by the hand and patiently showed me how to saw without clipping a finger or two. I’ve been sawing ever since. I made so many gifts for family and friends and have sawed so many items for students to make for their parents. I enjoyed this heart desire being realized more than anything. I feel that gift was from God for others.

    My mother also enjoyed making gifts with her hands, but not wood. She would take little fabric pieces and spend months putting together a quilt which was given at Christmas as we became adults. She also made us Christmas ornaments. With each Christmas I await with a great deal of expectancy to hang each ornament upon the tree. I grieve for myself and fondly remember her.

    As far as birthdays, when I grew up my Mom always made our favorite cake from scratch and depending on the time of year we had homemade or store bought ice cream. Mom also made our special meal. We really didn’t get gifts and cards. Cards came as we left home to be on our own. Dessert always brought great joy and we waited on it with expectancy. We became identified with the cake we liked – Dad’s was German Chocolate with pecan caramel frosting and Mom’s was a white Coconut Cake. Perhaps that is why I look at the dessert menu first when we go out. Gifts never came from our parents; however, my grandfather would send us a brand new $1 bill every year. Perhaps as my sons have grown to adulthood, our adult relationships will continue to be refined by the help of God into healthy relationships that work for all concerned.

  35. Hey sisters, Connie and Rena, great reading your family traditions. I love the cake and ice cream and how you remember your Mom and Dad’s favorite. But, you didn’t give your favorites, did you? I love the fact that the family knew just what kind of cake Mom wanted and Dad and of course the children’s favorite.

    I have seen the lovely quilts your Mother made. By the way, what about the dolls and doll clothes she made. Did she have ones dressed in purple?

    So much fun to hear family traditions and to hold on to fond memories.

  36. Connie and Rena, I enjoyed reading about the things you looked forward to with expectency. It made me think how many good things I had over the years to look forward to that now leave a positive memory of something or someone. Much to be thankful for.

  37. I love what Beth says: “No, we don’t flaunt our light in someone else’s darkness, but surely we can find a way to dip ourselves in the bubble bath of a second’s bliss when it comes. Even if all we do is lean our heads back in the sunshine of our soul’s Sabbath and take a minute to feel the glad emotion, it is meant by God to be medicine for our weary souls.”

  38. Rena & Connie, your great family stories conjure up the ones I cherish from my childhood. It’s funny, but Sister Grandma’s favorite cake, the one for which she was reknowned was a scratch SPONGE CAKE. It was always moist and lovely and she made white “boil” frosting for it. That was Daddy’s favorite and it became ours, too, because that’s what we had and that’s what Mother made. It was good for us and a symbol of love, Mother’s gift to the family. Great with vanilla ice cream, too.
    When someone was ill, neighbor, friend, relative, they got a scratch Sponge Cake to cheer them up. That was the “love token” from our family.
    After we grew up and moved away, our tastes expanded but coming into the Christian life, I now look for ways to bless others with their favorites at special times. Like I know Rena loves Sugar Cookies; Sara, coconut anything; Gary, CHOCOLATE and Debi…well Debi likes everything. 🙂
    Thanks for the brief trip down memory lane. I needed that!!

  39. yes, yes, yes, coconut has an aura of expectancy around me at all times. I love the look, smell, and taste. Eye, nose and mouth gates are always ready to receive coconut. OH, yeah, I better keep the ear gate working as well since I might hear MG coming in the door and I will be expecting something with coconut on it! Well, that is for special occasions!

    OK, I must say, ‘expectancy’ is being painted in word art by our blogging our hopes, love and sharing. One color and shape in this word art shows me that it is important for others, the ones we are in relationship know us. ie, Rena and Connie knew their Mom and Dad and their desires. Their Mom loved coconut cake like me! MG knows what some of us love and she goes all out to provide. I know she is right when it comes to me and PG’s chocolates. Sometimes I think the reason we are so disappointed we pollute our real deep desires with empty words and confuse our beloved ones that really would like to please us. Maybe we don’t even know ourselves and we jump around wanting everything we see thinking it will impress others and yet it never ever pleases us.

  40. Sara wrote in blog, “I have come to believe that we can all build mountains of expectations without any effort. But, expectancy is an art, a craft, a skill and it takes practice and work to obtain this virtue.

    As we approach the Holidays with great expectancies we are leaving room in our Faith for God to show up with His paintbrush and palette of rainbow colors and brushstroke every divine color on our canvas of expectancy.”

    As I read these words Sara has written, I think WHOA, God is really amazing. If we just let Him work through these earthen vessels and bring joy from the inner well that dwells in each of us our hearts would bud with rainbow delight.

    I have been thinking how many ways I can enjoy coconut. Not only in my foods, but body creams and lotions and candles and art….coconut, how did God know so long again that I would love coconut and He would make a special tree just for me. I love turquoise, my favorite color, and the waters close to where the coconut trees grow are turquoise to me. HUM, I love word art it brings all my loves together.

    When we dwell in the wave of expectancy we might just understand more of ourselves and begin to enjoy just being ourselves while enjoying others, don’t you think?

  41. Needles, when you see Beth again, tell her we agree we as the family of God should never ever ‘flaunt’ our anything. 🙂 I believe I understand, we should enjoy each moment God gives us and breathe deeply into those times of refreshing. I believe in and love retreats for the purpose of renewal in my soul. I love a few moment daily as well as coming away for a period of time to bathe my soul and refresh my mind and heal my all with the Word of God and the love and support of others of like mind. And, I love Beth Moore’s teachings as well as many other great teachers in the Body of Christ. Since it is Thanksgiving I want to give thanks for our Bible Teachers and say thank You God for giving us teachers, pastors and leaders. And, thanks to all our teachers, pastors and leaders that provide road signs for us as we travel on our journey and make our desire destination.
    Also, thanks to all our friendly bloggers on the daily lily. Love all our blogs and comments as they/each of you have taught me so much this year. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  42. And we thank God that He was so wise and clever to put a Sara in our midst. But let’s face it, He probably did it because He just knew she would
    stimulate our thinking in a new, challenging & exciting way about Him and His marvelous universe.
    Now thank we all our God for thedailylily.org and its concentration on the living God.

  43. I want to thank God for the Daily Lily. It has made my life healthier with the daily structure it provides me to think on God, His word and reflect on the comments each one writes.
    Thank you Sara for allowing this to be possible and for all the written inspiration, encouragement and guidance we receive daily.

  44. Sara ask “What are you expecting to happen during the upcoming holidays? Or, even today?” I am expecting happiness. I am expecting to find and give wisdom, love, joy and peace. Proverbs 3:13 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.”

  45. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom…” and ultimately conveys that wisdom to others, shares that wisdom, thus bringing “happiness, order and propriety to another’s life. So then, one finds wisdom (Jesus Christ has been made wisdom to us) and allows the other to find it, also, through his/her sharing of it and wise counselling.
    Scripture does teach us that “there is wisdom in the multitude of counsel”

  46. I think an expectation such as Sara’s above must please the Lord and show Him that the focus of expectation is on delighting in the Him and His ways. When that happens, the wheel must be set in motion and you get your heart’s desire that you have been standing in faith expecting.
    Psalm 37: 4 says: ‘Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

  47. This morning I was reading Joel Osteen’s devotional entitled Your Best Life Now.
    The title of the devotion today was “Changing the Flow”. In this devotion he explains that some people’s negative thoughts have been running in a pattern so long that they have cut a deep river bed which is flowing in one direction – they have developed a negative thinking pattern . Fortunately, when you start focusing on God’s Word and positive thoughts you can cause a new river to flow and the old river bed to dry up. Looks to me the dailylilies are flowing in the positive river with positive uplifting expectations and are champions “flowing with positive, faith filled thoughts of victory.” The scripture he used was from Psalms 46:4 NASB
    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, they holy dwelling places of the Most High.

  48. Sara writes “I have given my mind white space to write another’s story.”

    I must say I am loving my new library. It is wonderful to dwell in the library of lives living in expectancy. Good articles, good reviews, fellowship great, and mind is enriched. As the song writer says,

    ” Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation.
    Hearing now His blessèd voice, I see the way He planned.
    Dwelling in the Spirit here I learn of full salvation.
    Gladly I will tarry in Beulah Land.”

  49. Rena, I think the ‘positive river’, you refer to above would be the only one flowing in Beulah Land that Sara comments on. And there aren’t any ‘mountains of expectations’ Sara wrote about above either. Thanks to both for uplifting thoughts.

  50. Psalm 36:8 “They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.”

    All that you ask Ivan Parker sings,
    “I’m the one who gives water when your well runs dry
    I’m the one who rains manna down from the sky
    I’m the one who stands with you when your friends are gone
    I’m the one who finds lost sheep and brings them back home
    I’m the one called Jehovah and I’ll bring you through
    I’m the one they call healer and I can heal you
    I’m steadfast, I’m faithful indeed
    I am whatever you need
    Oh, I am whatever you need”

  51. It’s True!. When your friends are acting strangely, when you feel you’re judged unfairly, when things don’t pan out the way you thought, when your EXPECTATIONS are not met (because you were looking to man instead of Holy Spirit) or if you’re feeling betrayed, there is one shimmer, one glimmer, one thrill of hope. It is the constancy of Jesus Christ. We sang GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS, this morning, and it spoke of God’s great fidelity and loyalty TO US!! Imagine that!!! God Almighty is Loyal to US!! That blows one’s mind. Our God wants to gather us like little chicks under HIS wing…Gary taught this morning… and we must say YES.
    Everything we need HE has and as the song says, “HE IS”. He is Constant. HE is Friend. He is Husband. He is Companion; He is Healer; He is Brother; He is our LORD. He is Love. What else are we looking for? And why do we think a member of the human race can supply all that? It is impossible. Thank You Lord for all that you have given to us and do for us and for Your love.

  52. I love the Scripture (Gen. 18:25) that says, “will the Lord God , the Judge of the universe judge unjustly?” ANSWER: Of course not. He will judge each and every act for its righteousness or for its vanity. He will be our advocate in the end. Even now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us. When things go awry down here, we can believe and remember that the Judge of all the universe will bring justice in our lives. He will judge justly not only between us and those whom we think have offended us but us also, those against whom we have transgressed. Uh-oh!

  53. Those are very powerful words in the song Sara shared to meditate on.
    I especially have been thinking about “I am whatever you need”.
    What a promise, what a hope, what a rock to stand on. If this promise is the focus of our expectency I can see how Sara could say in her blog, “When I live in a state of Expectancy good things begin to happen”.

  54. As a writer or artist or other artistic work, I would think one would or should be ready when the thought occurs. The pencil, paintbrush or computer begins to take action and produce.

    Dictionary says, “Someone who is ingenious is both inventive and resourceful, with a dose of cleverness thrown in (: the ingenious idea of using recycled plastic to create a warm, fleecelike fabric).”

    I love the word ingenious. It makes me think God is in His workshop and producing new exciting useful needful resources for man’s use. Just think, God is at work through humans to bring about a cure for cancer and other needful cures. Many new approaches to help with all of life’s journey. It’s like building new roads and bridges and planes and trains. Just think of all the exciting creative ingenious things one could be doing if not filling their mind with other things that produces stress, ill health and unhappiness.

    I want to give thanks with a grateful heart and open the door of my heart to receive many other good things to give thanks for. How about you?

  55. Yes, I would like thank God, for His presence and for the good that He wants to accomplish, in all of us. 1Thessalonians 5:18 tells us: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I like the footnotes, from my Bible, for this verse. Read with me: “Paul was not teaching that we should thank God for everything that happens to us, but in everything. Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank Him for it. But when evil strikes, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good that He will accomplish through the distress.”

  56. I, too, am thankful to the Living God for all that He has done for us. For His glorious Son, Jesus Christ, without Whom we would still be in our sins with no hope of eternal life, whatsoever. For this great nation, United States, where we still have freedom to worship, freedom of speech freedom to work.
    I am thankful for an occupation, transportation, food and shelter. We are above all, blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
    We sang a humn on Sunday…THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD. All nature truly has the imprint of the Master Creator. Thank You Father for the Beauty of the Earth. Mankind has tried to ravage it by wars, wastefulness of its resources, natural disaster and constuction of edifices. Yet for all the earth has gone through in all the ages and eras of time, still the Glorious beauty comes forth as the Season change, as the sun rises and sets, as the snow and rain fall, and as the tress & flowers bloom in their seasons. There is none like our great God.
    I thank Him for His creative genius and stunning intellect. What a glorious God and Saviour!!! Thank You for loving me., for loving us.

  57. Sara you asked, “I want to give thanks with a grateful heart and open the door of my heart to receive many other good things to give thanks for. How about you?”
    My answer is yes.
    When I want to review and think about being ‘thankful’ I like to go back and read about it in your book “The Four Bees – Finding Your Spiritual Gifts” . I find there that being thankful is a key to ‘exploding beauty’. You say: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name”. When we do this, you tell us powerful things happen…”Enter into His power. Enter into His authority. Enter into your power. Enter into your authority. Enter into your power and authority with thanksgiving. The entrance of your thinking should be with thanksgiving.”
    It seems this power of thankfulness is linked to the creative ingenious you comment about above. An attitude of thankfulness makes an inroad, an open door, for the flow from God. As you said in “Four Bees”, ‘Your attitude is changed by the measure of thankfulness and gratefulness and faithfulness you possess.”
    I think your comments about ingenious are so insightful and should spur us to want to have thankful heart and healthy minds.

  58. Needles it seems when we are thankful in all circumstances that we are acknowledging that God is always good and we are showing our faith in His goodness and His love for us.
    “You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.
    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:28,29

  59. In the praise song’s bridge, Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart, the lyrics say “And now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.” This Biblical truth rings clear as we contemplate Thanksgiving and the offering of thanks to to a most gracious God.
    David Teems writes, “Thank You, Lord, for a Love that remains true to itself. You separated me from the thing that I was and gave life to me with a sweetness that I could not have imagined. Now I live the good life.”
    Yes! It is a good life. It is a God-life. Let the poor (those seeking true spiritual riches) say, I AM rich , because of what the Lord has done for me”

  60. Yes Mg, we do have to chose what we want to seek, what we want to say and what we want to feed our minds with. As Sara wrote in her blog, “So often I spend quality time on feeding my ideas of expectations on you, food, things, and me. I end up highly disappointed.”
    So what do we want to feed on? Psalm 107: 8,9 says if we are thanking and longing for Him and His goodness with expectency we will be satisfied.
    “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul,and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

  61. Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,
    Proverbs 10:23 “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.”

  62. Your scripture above Sara, Proverbs 10:23, reinforces the scripture Gary taught on and you elaborated on in church today from 3 John 11:
    “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. ”
    It seems if we diligently pursue wisdom and seek the company of the wise, to imitate them, we will be blessed. But if we consort with and seek the council of fools we are one and in grave danger.
    “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

  63. Debi, your quoted scriptures makes me think a warning alarm just went off.It seems to me that all too often we meet a wise one and gain a little wisdom and then off we go to try and incorporate wisdom into our fool’s page. Wisdom, as I read and understand from God’s Word takes effort to find, know and understand. Foolishness just takes waking up in the morning! Invite the old fool back and off we go. Mindless, senseless, self focused and impulsively driven to do just what one probably knows they should not do.

    This brings us full circle around our blog and we just blew our hope, expectancy. We once again met head on with our expectations, ‘things are always the same.’

    “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”
    (Romans 12:11, NIV) I think Paul was saying get up and stir yourselves up and get out and find some wisdom and put it to good use on your character page and tear up your fool’s page so you won’t use it again. Aren’t we called to reflect God and not a fool!

  64. You have given us good, sound Biblical advice to follow Sara.
    I think you have clearly elaborated on and warned us of the comment you wrote in your blog: “I have come to believe that we can all build mountains of expectations without any effort. But, expectancy is an art, a craft, a skill and it takes practice and work to obtain this virtue.”
    Thanks for this wisdom.

  65. As Christmas approaches and we see nativity scenes being displayed, I see an expectency and hope on each figure of the scene focused on the Redeemer and Savior of the world. In Luke 2:36-38 there was a woman, a prophetess, Anna who was a model of expectency. The Bible tells us she was ‘of a great age’ having been widowed 84 years who served the Lord with fastings and prayers continuously. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus the child to the temple to present Him to the Lord, Anna’s faithful expectency showed. Vs 38 says …”and coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
    Anna stayed expectent and was ready. She did not miss the appointment that God had for her to fulfill.

  66. And in the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke, in chapter 2 there was another man of God, Simeon, aged but living in expectancy, looking for the Consolation of Isreal and the Holy Spirit rested upon him and divinely revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ, the Messiah. And the Holy Spirit prompted him right at the right moment to go into the temple where, lo & behold, there were Mary and Joseph and the baby preparing for the circumcision. Simeon recognized by the Holy Spirit that this was the Redeemer, the Messiah that he had waited for with great expectancy. He took the baby up in his arms and blessed HIM and with great joy, praise and thanksgiving….he spoke to God and said…and I parphrase….” now, Lord God, You can take me home for I have seen Your Salvation and the Light unto the Gentiles to bring honor & glory to Your Holy Name . And he continued to prophesy to Mary what would transpire in the future. But Simeon’s expectancy was totally fulfilled and he would go home to the Lord knowing that God had been faithful to His Word about sending a Redeemer and Simeon lived to see the day and was not disappointed.

  67. Joel Osteen’s devotional for today said, “What are you facing that seems to be taking all your energy? Wait on the Lord today. Expect, look for, and hope in Him. The Bible promises that when you live with expectancy, when you stay hopeful, when you make preparations for the goodness of God, you’ll rise up higher. Your strength will be renewed. In other words, you will overcome life’s challenges.” Read Isaiah 40:31, Amp. and renew your strength, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount to up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired”

  68. Great encouraging words of exhortation that confirm Sara’s blog and especially her quote, “When I live in a state of Expectancy good things begin to happen.”
    God sure is talking to us about expectency and where to place it.
    ‘when you make preparations for the goodness of ‘…this must be the white space Sara refers to , “I have given my mind white space to write another’s story.”
    It seems the expectation of difficult challenges, obstacles, fears, anxieties, etc can clutter our ‘page’ so that there is no white space. Following the directives above is like shaking our ‘etch-a sketch’ clean so this new song of Isaiah 40:31 can be written and sung.

  69. Great thinking Debi, maybe we will get an ‘etch-a-sketch’ for Christmas. Good memory to think how many we might have had and how we enjoyed them…..

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