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Tuesday, November 25 2014

Dear Friends….

Expectations and anger seem to go together and the Holidays are a perfect breeding ground for the two to collide! 

You might be familiar with this typical scenario….You are hosting the big, family Holiday gathering! You have shopped, cooked, baked, planned, and scheduled the dinner for all to enjoy. You are so excited! You have imagined the sweet scene of the family peacefully and joyfully together. Everyone is laughing and enjoying each other’s company, reminiscing about old times and even creating new memories! 

Then at the appointed time things begin to unravel. Your child begins to act up, or becomes ill/injured. Guests have arrived early while you deal with the present situation. You remember you forgot the dinner rolls and have no option for back up. The annoying relative starts ‘doing their thing’. The kids (these can even be grown children) start fighting. The said time for dinner comes, and some of the guests have not shown up yet. And to top it all off there are the unresolved family issues that hang like unseen tension cords in the air…

This is NOT how you had it planned! Your blood pressure has risen, you feel stressed, and frustration starts to grow. Before you know it full-blown anger has taken over! How could so much go so wrong? What happened to the ‘ideal’ you had in your head? 

Expectation is defined as “a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen”. Or the more obvious way most of us see it is a “perfect” scenario that we have imagined in our minds. It is hard to NOT have expectation, but maybe they should be realistic ones.

Here are some realistic expectations to hang onto through the Holidays:

Expect that your relatives (and this includes you) are sinners which means they won’t always act right. No one is perfect. Give grace. Very rarely is your relative trying to “unravel” you. It’s usually not even about you.
Expect to handle yourself. The only thing we can control is our own reactions and ourselves. Focus on your own attitudes and behaviors. Focus on the blessings and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Expect that things won’t quite be as you planned. Life will happen and interrupt plans. No one really has that much control over an entire event. Go with the flow and see how different the experience will be.
Expect the outcome to not be what you had imagined. Our best imagination is nowhere close to God’s. Focus on His presence and see what He wants to do with your family gathering. Trust God with your family gathering, and you take it one step at a time. 
Expect God to be with you. His presence alone in every situation can bring you strength and peace in the midst of chaos. He is always available to help. Cry out to Him in your need!  

This Thanksgiving I pray you can enjoy your perfectly imperfect family (including yourself). Laugh and enjoy! Life is fleeting. Have realistic expectations, and be amazed at the outcome. There will be less tension, more love and kindness given to all. And remember and believe that God can take anything and make good out of it!  

Blessings~ Angel

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 07:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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Benefits of Weariness


WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.


However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.


Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 


It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.


It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.


“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”


And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 


BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.


And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.


“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”


That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.


Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!


We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.


The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.

Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?

NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.


As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.


Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.


In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.


Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

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